How to deal with a sociopath
The following are 13 rules for dealing with sociopaths1 in everyday life by Martha Stout in her book The Sociopath Next Door. I thought we could look at these in regards to the sociopaths who rule over us (and are probably not next door, but neither are they far away from our everyday lives).
The first rule involves the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no conscience.
I’m not sure that this is such a bitter pill given what we now know about the sociopath, although it is a difficult thing to come to terms with - after all, they do seem to be a lot like us, yet at the same time very different. For our purposes of dealing with the sociopath in the White House (or the UN, WEF, NIH, take your pick of institution) I think the first rule is accepting that they are there, in those places of influence, and they have no conscience whatsoever (and that’s exactly the way they want it).
In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role of a person ha taken on - educator, doctor, leader, animal lover, humanist, parent - go with your instincts.
This is an important point, although difficult given the sort of media around sociopaths in high places painting them as something they are not. Nevertheless we have an intuition that picks up on all sorts of ‘red flags’ about a personality, even if you are only getting the information second hand through news reports, social media, etc. The key, I believe, is to not to get locked into a narrow band of information flow but be open to multiple channels (some of which may come from your political antagonists) of information - even your enemies can reveal telling things if you care to listen. The position (Senator, global leader, health guru) does not define the personality - sociopaths hold all sorts of ‘ethical’ positions but without any personal ethics.
When considering a new relationship of any kind, practice the Rule of Threes regarding the claims and promises a person makes, and the responsibilities he or she has. Make the Rule of Threes your personal policy.
You can forgive people for a lie, a broken promise, a neglected responsibility, but when it’s 3 lies in a row then you are dealing with a liar. Don’t give yourself, or money, or support to a “three-timer”. Apply this to politics and leaders of say, Big Pharma, and immediately you’ve identified liars. They may not all be sociopaths, but it’s a clear warning signal. Don’t through your support behind them and take everything they say with a grain of salt.
As we are talking about authority figures I guess this applies to them all - listen to your instincts and question what they say and do. People easily and blindly follow authority figures (remember the Stanley Milgram experiment) so question the validity of these people. I’m thinking about the mountain of evidence against Anthony Fauci and how much authority his office holds and how much authority he now has personally. He’s finished - they just haven’t carted him away yet.
The authority figure is unlikely to be flattering you personally but you may catch them in bouts of flattery to others in high places, overly flattering their own team/unit/party/project/strategy, exaggerated patriotism, or overly gushy or positive when it seems out of place.
If necessary, redefine your concept of respect.
Most of us have been brought up to respect those in authority and this respect translates to obedience. It’s ok to respect and obey someone who is deserved of that respect and has your best interest in mind. But when an authority figure uses intimidation, fear, emotional manipulation to garner respect, don’t give it and certainly don’t feel compelled to obey them. (Of course in a completely totalitarian society where disrespect is met with imprisonment or death, this is a different matter, you may naturally obey out of fear for your life or the lives of your family members - but this is clearly not earned respect)
Do not join the game.
Sociopaths are playing a social game - you are a chess piece on the board of life. Don’t try to play the same game, don’t try to out-compete, out-seduce, outsmart, or out manoeuvre. Don’t even agree to play. In terms of politics this means calling them out for what they are and not allow them to set the rules, set the stage, or deal the cards2.
The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication.
Obviously this is for the personal association with a sociopath but what about politics? Well I guess the first step is to do whatever you can to ensure the sociopath doesn’t have access to your life - don’t vote for them, campaign against them (or support groups who challenge them), write to other senators to not vote for legislation that the sociopath wants to pass, be active in your local politics and community.
Question your tendency to pity too easily.
This is a big one for many - we too quickly want to give them the benefit of the doubt and pity them for any number of reasons they create. It may be their unfortunate upbringing and battle against the odds, the flak they are getting from the opposition, the ‘unfair’ coverage the media is giving them, the gigantic social issues they are trying to tackle with little help from government (having to rely only on their own billions!). Those who actively campaign for your sympathy may well be a sociopath.
Do not try to redeem the unredeemable.
If they get voted out of office, if they get stood down from your association board, if they get suspended for hurting someone, don’t try to redeem them. They will not learn, nor will they change their behaviour. Don’t let them climb the ladder if you are in any position of decision making.
Never agree, out of pity or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character.
In terms of people in the public sphere this would mean exposing the hurt, pain and injustices they have committed. Bobby Kennedy Jnr has done exactly this in his book on Fauci, Gates, et al.
Defend your psyche.
This is a big one. Protect your mental health by recognising when you are being manipulated by a sociopath, don’t let them get into your head (humour is useful here). Recognise also that the vast majority of people are conscience driven, are well-meaning good people, and if they are doing the wrong thing there’s a chance they can recognise it and their conscience will call them back to honesty. Of course we’ve seen many brainwashed (and probably fearful) people in the public sector just be stupid and push stupid agendas for evil ends. But there’s hope for them. The same cannot be said of the sociopath.
Living well is the best revenge.
I’ll take this last point by Martha Stout as living a parallel (and good) life from the one the sociopath is trying to engineer for us. Living with alternative sources of information, resources, relationships, to those that the sociopath is trying to ensnare us with. Likeminded readerships on Substack is but a very small sub-set of such parallel processes that are going on in society as people side-step the totalitarian (and simply crazy) world the technocrats are trying to force down our throats.
What other ideas do you have to counter the sociopath in high places?
Should we be saying Psychopath rather than Sociopath? Probably… Here’s a sketch of psychopathy https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(14)00771-4
sometimes this can only be in your mind, your personal convictions, your conversations, but that’s a good start.