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Surrounded by Psychopaths: How to Protect Yourself from Being Manipulated and Exploited in Business (and in Life)

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#1 internationally bestselling author Thomas Erikson shows readers how to identify and avoid the psychopaths around them. Charming, charismatic, and delightful or manipulative, self-serving, and cunning? Psychopaths are both and that’s exactly what makes them dangerous. Bestselling author of the international phenomenon Surrounded by Idiots, Thomas Erikson reveals how to id #1 internationally bestselling author Thomas Erikson shows readers how to identify and avoid the psychopaths around them. Charming, charismatic, and delightful or manipulative, self-serving, and cunning? Psychopaths are both and that’s exactly what makes them dangerous. Bestselling author of the international phenomenon Surrounded by Idiots, Thomas Erikson reveals how to identify the psychopaths in your life and combat their efforts to control and manipulate. Using the same simple four-color system of behavior classification that made Surrounded by Idiots so popular, Surrounded by Psychopaths teaches readers how to deal with psychopaths in their lives by becoming aware of their own behavior and their weaknesses. Vivid example stories illustrate ways that psychopaths can take advantage of various behavior types, helping readers identify their own weaknesses and be proactive about protecting themselves. Erikson outlines some of the most common forms of manipulation used by psychopaths—and others—to influence those around them. Since manipulation can often be a feature of ordinary, non-psychopathic relationships, the book also includes practical methods and techniques to help readers confront controlling people and rehabilitate negative relationships into mutually respectful ones. By understanding your behavior as well as the tendencies and strategies of psychopaths, Surrounded by Psychopaths will teach you to protect yourself from manipulative influence in your workplace, social life, and family.


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#1 internationally bestselling author Thomas Erikson shows readers how to identify and avoid the psychopaths around them. Charming, charismatic, and delightful or manipulative, self-serving, and cunning? Psychopaths are both and that’s exactly what makes them dangerous. Bestselling author of the international phenomenon Surrounded by Idiots, Thomas Erikson reveals how to id #1 internationally bestselling author Thomas Erikson shows readers how to identify and avoid the psychopaths around them. Charming, charismatic, and delightful or manipulative, self-serving, and cunning? Psychopaths are both and that’s exactly what makes them dangerous. Bestselling author of the international phenomenon Surrounded by Idiots, Thomas Erikson reveals how to identify the psychopaths in your life and combat their efforts to control and manipulate. Using the same simple four-color system of behavior classification that made Surrounded by Idiots so popular, Surrounded by Psychopaths teaches readers how to deal with psychopaths in their lives by becoming aware of their own behavior and their weaknesses. Vivid example stories illustrate ways that psychopaths can take advantage of various behavior types, helping readers identify their own weaknesses and be proactive about protecting themselves. Erikson outlines some of the most common forms of manipulation used by psychopaths—and others—to influence those around them. Since manipulation can often be a feature of ordinary, non-psychopathic relationships, the book also includes practical methods and techniques to help readers confront controlling people and rehabilitate negative relationships into mutually respectful ones. By understanding your behavior as well as the tendencies and strategies of psychopaths, Surrounded by Psychopaths will teach you to protect yourself from manipulative influence in your workplace, social life, and family.

30 review for Surrounded by Psychopaths: How to Protect Yourself from Being Manipulated and Exploited in Business (and in Life)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This author is clearly a business man. His repetitive ramblings suggest he has an axe to grind rather than any real awareness or understanding of mental ill-health, personality disorders or psychopathy. There are much better books on the market which explore similar issues. I'd start with Jon Ronson's 'The Psychopath Test' or M. E. Thomas' 'Confessions of a Sociopath'. This author is clearly a business man. His repetitive ramblings suggest he has an axe to grind rather than any real awareness or understanding of mental ill-health, personality disorders or psychopathy. There are much better books on the market which explore similar issues. I'd start with Jon Ronson's 'The Psychopath Test' or M. E. Thomas' 'Confessions of a Sociopath'.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Internationally bestselling author Thomas Erikson returns with another fascinating book which shows readers how to identify and avoid the psychopaths around them. Charming, charismatic, and delightful or manipulative, self-serving, and cunning? Psychopaths are both and that's exactly what makes them dangerous. Bestselling author of the international phenomenon Surrounded by Idiots, Thomas Erikson reveals how to identify the psychopaths in your life and combat their efforts to control and manipul Internationally bestselling author Thomas Erikson returns with another fascinating book which shows readers how to identify and avoid the psychopaths around them. Charming, charismatic, and delightful or manipulative, self-serving, and cunning? Psychopaths are both and that's exactly what makes them dangerous. Bestselling author of the international phenomenon Surrounded by Idiots, Thomas Erikson reveals how to identify the psychopaths in your life and combat their efforts to control and manipulate. Using the same simple four-colour system of behaviour classification that made Surrounded by Idiots so popular, Surrounded by Psychopaths teaches readers how to deal with psychopaths in their lives by becoming aware of their own behaviour and their weaknesses. Vivid example stories illustrate ways that psychopaths can take advantage of various behaviour types, helping readers identify their own weaknesses and be proactive about protecting themselves. Erikson outlines some of the most common forms of manipulation used by psychopaths--and others--to influence those around them. Since manipulation can often be a feature of ordinary, non-psychopathic relationships, the book also includes practical methods and techniques to help readers confront controlling people and rehabilitate negative relationships into mutually respectful ones. By understanding your behaviour as well as the tendencies and strategies of psychopaths, Surrounded by Psychopaths will teach you to protect yourself from manipulative influence in your workplace, social life, and family. It is an accessible, witty and riveting read and as a lover of true crime, and therefore interested by the inner workings of the mind of those who manipulate others, this really had me enthralled throughout. A layperson will easily comprehend the vast knowledge and information Erikson provides and the chatty, conversational writing style means you devour it quickly. I'd recommend this as an indispensable book for those in a relationship, cohabiting or acquainted with one of these types as Erikson gives tips as to how you can put a stop to the behaviour and exploitation, but I'd also recommend it highly to those interested in psychology, those who have a criminology background and true crime enthusiasts. Many thanks to Vermilion for an ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lim Paul

    A gift from my friend and an international best seller is the only reason that I completed this book. In my opinion perhaps the only relatable psychological relationship is the author last name. The thing about self-help book is that it is often backed up by pseudo science that is written in a manner cater to lay person that is unaware of the concepts presented in the book. Thomas Erikson's surrounded by psychopath is another classic example of such reading. It started with running examples of wh A gift from my friend and an international best seller is the only reason that I completed this book. In my opinion perhaps the only relatable psychological relationship is the author last name. The thing about self-help book is that it is often backed up by pseudo science that is written in a manner cater to lay person that is unaware of the concepts presented in the book. Thomas Erikson's surrounded by psychopath is another classic example of such reading. It started with running examples of what psychopath is, by claiming real experience to draw a more convincing outlook of his knowledge. Sadly how real such experiences are will never be known. The contents within the book are also contraidict in relating of the pseudo ideas, at the introduction he described psychopath to be known as a classification that is beyond the DISC spectrum, however at later chapters decided that some traits are similar to DISC spectrum. The semantic usage of the words is also problematic and often unnecessary, for instance manipulation in p84. Thomas conflate the concept of manipulation with influence and persuasion, such loosely use of words can easily be interpreted wrongly and also dangerous and create unnecessary miscommunication. Taking such conflation at face value would also means that we are constantly manipulating others, which Thomas term it as only natural. He then go on to prescribe an additional adjective to manipulation as being positive or negative, which is redundant and unhelpful, especially intuitively nobody relates manipulation with a positive connotation to it. The attempts by Thomas to conflate concept and then re-catergorised them, may serves as a means to simplify certain concept but is often unnecessary and unhelpful to differentiate between concept. The portions that really makes me tick are 1) the examples given, which are often if not all are unable to verify its authenticity and tend to claim as real life examples. This gives reader an impression that psychopath are really everywhere and real, which is not necessarily true. 2) Passing statement that are either dismissive or contrary - for instance, helping others will subject ourselve to be exploited - p93; making remarks that psychologists are unable to come to a conclusive answer if psychopathic is curable but ironically will claim research data to support his position. The author also classified psychopathic traits into the different colours, except for the blue because they are too meticulous (again another passing remark with no basis). However, this attempt really undermine the psychopathic traits that the author has been trying to establish in the earlier chapters. Mainly the fact that he could classified them so easily into the different colours of psychopathic traits ironically contradict his earlier statement inferring that the classifying psychopath is impossible. In addition, the way he attempted to differentiate psychopath with normal people is just that they are not remorse with their doing, however psychopathic traits tend to be measure in degree rather than a clear binary distinction between psychopath and people who are normal. It then goes on to suggest how a psychopath manipulate the different colours, which is strange because the earlier part of the book the author was very concerned about the psychopath who wanted to take advantage of the personalities traits of the different colour but now wrote a manual on how to do it. Although I suspect that some may argue that the knowledge provided by the author serve as a means to know how to prevent being manipulated, but It is one thing to learn to defend and another to learn to offend. I don't need to teach someone how to shoot a gun to prepare them to protect from gun violence. That being said, the book is not entirely without some nuggets of content to take away, for example he mentioned in the book that "Fear isn't the problem. The problem is how you choose to handle it." However, this sprinkle of "wisdom" does little to the overall quality of the book content. In summary, the general take away of this book is how much emphasis Thomas made on the authenticity of the 4 colours "DISC", however, the scientific references to this concept is not only missing but overly inflated. Thomas make numerous passing remarks of researches or papers to suggest his concept but hardly provide any authentic sources. Furthermore, his overly conflate and simplify concept is definitely unhelpful to the general reader, he represents himself as some sort of an authoritative figure or an expert in the field of behaviour psychology but is backed by his own pseudoscientific understanding of human behaviour. His intention in this book has been clear, to crept unwarranted skepticism to his readers, and in this time and age where the general public are mostly literate but lacks critical thinking is definitely a dangerous concoction to the progress of civilisation. If anything is worth mentioning, perhaps the most representation of a manipulative individual is none other than the author himself, not so much as to say he is a psychopath but clearly an overrated writer that devise content to meet the general population that doesn't subscribe to critical analysis.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt Hutson

    It's definitely a straightforward book about Psychopaths. Although it seems like it's very rare that we run into them, according to the book it's more common than we think. Surrounded by Psychopaths has some great examples of how people manipulate each other and how we are fooled into being manipulated by others. It also categorizes people in four different colors which are red, yellow, green, and blue. The last 25% of the book focuses on learning the different manipulation strategies people usual It's definitely a straightforward book about Psychopaths. Although it seems like it's very rare that we run into them, according to the book it's more common than we think. Surrounded by Psychopaths has some great examples of how people manipulate each other and how we are fooled into being manipulated by others. It also categorizes people in four different colors which are red, yellow, green, and blue. The last 25% of the book focuses on learning the different manipulation strategies people usually use and how you can deflect those strategies. Or even use them I suppose.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andrzej

    Interesting approach to practical psychology, maybe too simplified, but I have no education to really judge that. Anyway, it can probably save serious troubles for more than one person. Still, it is written clearly looking from Scandinavian point of view. While fully understandable in Europe, might be not so clear and applicable for example for Latin or Asian people, despite that author recons that it is fully universal. Nevertheless, at least two techniques of defense against manipulators are p Interesting approach to practical psychology, maybe too simplified, but I have no education to really judge that. Anyway, it can probably save serious troubles for more than one person. Still, it is written clearly looking from Scandinavian point of view. While fully understandable in Europe, might be not so clear and applicable for example for Latin or Asian people, despite that author recons that it is fully universal. Nevertheless, at least two techniques of defense against manipulators are probably worth trying: 1. Always take time to think longer when you get any request for any favor from anybody. Always. 2. If some actions of anybody bother you try to communicate it to them in exactly those 4 points in such order: a) When you do this and this b) I feel this and this c) If instead of this and this action you made/did this and this d) I would feel this and this If technique 2. doesn't help in the long run, you might be facing a psychopath.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eyla

    I learnt a lot. I think it's better to read it as a book instead of an audiobook. Update. Lowered it to 2 stars. It is not that great actually. I learnt a lot. I think it's better to read it as a book instead of an audiobook. Update. Lowered it to 2 stars. It is not that great actually.

  7. 4 out of 5

    BookAholic12

    This was such a good read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Timo Anttila

    I really liked the book "Idiots around me", so the expectation of this book was great. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to expectations. I really liked the book "Idiots around me", so the expectation of this book was great. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to expectations.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wei Ming

    Similar to his other book, surrounded by idiots, this book repeats almost everything verbatim with little to no new insight.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Human behaviour fascinates me and I saw this book and thought this might be interesting to get a better understanding not for psychopaths but for human behaviour in general. I couldn't finish the book and I feel dissatisfied here. It was interesting at times but I felt it was all a kind of sales pitch to me as a reader. I do find that I question myself more what other peoples motives might be. Being an international bestseller doesn't always make the book a good read. Mirriam Webster defines psy Human behaviour fascinates me and I saw this book and thought this might be interesting to get a better understanding not for psychopaths but for human behaviour in general. I couldn't finish the book and I feel dissatisfied here. It was interesting at times but I felt it was all a kind of sales pitch to me as a reader. I do find that I question myself more what other peoples motives might be. Being an international bestseller doesn't always make the book a good read. Mirriam Webster defines psychopath as follows a mentally unstable person especially : a person having an egocentric and antisocial personality marked by a lack of remorse for one's actions, an absence of empathy for others, and often criminal tendencies. Now I do not call my self an expert but on several occassions where I have read articles/books and reports it is a word not to use carelessly. In this case for me he used this word in connection which really got my goat. Adolf Hitler was a psyhopath. Gets and annoys me every single time. If you are asking there are several sources that don't agree with this and I think they have a better idea of what they are talking about then this author. But I am getting off topic here. For me the author didn't check his facts which is a major factor of the book. The book is alright to read. I guess but I expected more and to be honest I wouldn't recommend it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zoë Grünewald

    Obviously this book has an element of confirmation bias about it... People who pick up this book are likely to have someone in mind. And, as Erikson shows you, if it walks, talks and acts like a psychopath, it probably is! What was particularly helpful about this book is that it didn't give any apologies for psychopathic and narcissistic behaviour. As someone who firmly fits in the yellow typology, my draw toward empathy is, as Erikson points out, the very way in which a psychopath will manipulat Obviously this book has an element of confirmation bias about it... People who pick up this book are likely to have someone in mind. And, as Erikson shows you, if it walks, talks and acts like a psychopath, it probably is! What was particularly helpful about this book is that it didn't give any apologies for psychopathic and narcissistic behaviour. As someone who firmly fits in the yellow typology, my draw toward empathy is, as Erikson points out, the very way in which a psychopath will manipulate me. This book made no excuses for them, and simply pointed out that your wellbeing is important, and nothing good can come from letting a psychopath in. The takeaway of this book is: identify your own weaknesses. Write them down. And if someone is paying far too much attention to alerting you to these, run far away. Psychopaths walk amongst us, and the best way to defend yourself against one is to refuse to surround yourself with people who drain you.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yesha Parikh

    Definitely an interesting read! It was very interesting to learn and differentiate people in four different color system! And importantly to learn about psychopaths and how they manipulate! This book will surely help to look at manipulative people around us and also about the behavior of psychopath! Would recommend and worth a read if you are interested in such topics!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kim Mora

    Hijacked this title from a coworker. (Hmmm...) True value for a psychopath to figure out ways to drive his coworkers crazy. For whom was this writer targeting this how-to book?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marloc Jones

    DON'T read it if you want to know more about psychopaths. It's really about different personalities, and how to deal with them, avoid being manipulated etc, especially in a work and personal environment (more work). DON'T read it if you want to know more about psychopaths. It's really about different personalities, and how to deal with them, avoid being manipulated etc, especially in a work and personal environment (more work).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Therese

    It has some very interesting theory and information, but the writing itself made it very slow to read and repetetive from time to time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amy Wood

    I like the simplicity of this book, and the author's conversational style. I normally get bored of popular psychology books, as they tend to have too much padding (i.e. having umpteen "real life" examples and, well, basically repeating themselves). At less than 250 pages, I could finish this one before losing interest! Erikson argues that psychopaths arent always the ones you see on TV and that, therefore, it's good to be aware of their manipulation techniques and strategies for defending yoursel I like the simplicity of this book, and the author's conversational style. I normally get bored of popular psychology books, as they tend to have too much padding (i.e. having umpteen "real life" examples and, well, basically repeating themselves). At less than 250 pages, I could finish this one before losing interest! Erikson argues that psychopaths arent always the ones you see on TV and that, therefore, it's good to be aware of their manipulation techniques and strategies for defending yourself against them. The best part is his practical advise based on which colour you are. The colours are sometimes referred to as "Insights" in the UK - basically a way of recognising someone's predominant and most comfortable behaviours. So this isn't particularly original, the colours theory has been around a long time, but Erikson adds some practical advice that's helpful.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judy McMillan

    Worth reading if you are or have been feeling manipulated by someone at work or in a relationship. Lots of detail!

  18. 4 out of 5

    James

    Fun read, didn't know anything about psychopaths before so... 8/10 Fun read, didn't know anything about psychopaths before so... 8/10

  19. 5 out of 5

    Geric

    (Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin's Press and Thomas Erikson for this advance reader copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Viewpoints and opinions are mine and mine alone.) Wow. I don't think I've ever been as emotionally charged while reading a book as I was with this title. It was definitely a page-turner and an eye-opener. It almost creeped me out how accurately each color was represented and how closely they reverberated with my life and those around me. The author's portrayal of the (Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin's Press and Thomas Erikson for this advance reader copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Viewpoints and opinions are mine and mine alone.) Wow. I don't think I've ever been as emotionally charged while reading a book as I was with this title. It was definitely a page-turner and an eye-opener. It almost creeped me out how accurately each color was represented and how closely they reverberated with my life and those around me. The author's portrayal of the classic psychopath is scary, because they can be as close as the ones closest to you. Though at times it feels like a "stranger than fiction" situation, the examples presented in this book are real life, according to the author. And if the DISA model is accurate, everyone has psychopathic tendencies... Which are only tendencies if you have feelings and can feel empathy. Psychopaths, according to the author, don't feel. They are all about manipulating to their own ends. At the end of the day, I think there is much to gain from this book. Especially if you or someone you know has been affected by a psychopath and his/her destructive behavior.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    5 pages in and as someone who studies mental health I am CRINGING. Phrases like ‘normal people’ and the general tone in which people who are demonised who were born this way is abhorrent. There is a factual way to get all of this across. The author seems jaded, and I can see many who have been jaded by someone with anti social/narcissistic TRAITS, would love this book. People throw the term psychopath and sociopath around so loosely- when in actuality they compromise 1% of the population in clin 5 pages in and as someone who studies mental health I am CRINGING. Phrases like ‘normal people’ and the general tone in which people who are demonised who were born this way is abhorrent. There is a factual way to get all of this across. The author seems jaded, and I can see many who have been jaded by someone with anti social/narcissistic TRAITS, would love this book. People throw the term psychopath and sociopath around so loosely- when in actuality they compromise 1% of the population in clinical terms. Someone with anti-social TRAITS is not a psychopath. Staying in a toxic relationship with someone with poor mental health- does not make them a psychopath. The tone in which this is written should have been re-evaluated, it fuels stigma even more when you are a mental health professional and you use language like this.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pueh Leng

    Picked up this book because I heard so many good things about 'Surrounded by Idiots' but was too lazy to read that book. I was hoping this book to be really enlightening and all, but it turned out to be rather gossipy and filled with insipid and rather slippery slope-y anecdotes which made it really hard for me to take whatever was written too seriously. The language is fairly colloquial so it was pretty easy to just charge through the segments that were painful to read and what pushed me to fin Picked up this book because I heard so many good things about 'Surrounded by Idiots' but was too lazy to read that book. I was hoping this book to be really enlightening and all, but it turned out to be rather gossipy and filled with insipid and rather slippery slope-y anecdotes which made it really hard for me to take whatever was written too seriously. The language is fairly colloquial so it was pretty easy to just charge through the segments that were painful to read and what pushed me to finishing this book was the modicum of somewhat wise words about how to recognise manipulation and the possible strategies to react to them, that was strategically chopped up and sprinkled over the length of the book. I guess clickbait is a form of manipulation as well.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alice Rowan

    It’s difficult to consider how to review this book. As a survivor of this type of abuse and manipulation, both in work and at home, a lot of what is said in the final third of the book resonates with me and my experiences. However, the first half or so focuses on an aggressive critique of psychopathy in a way that oversimplifies a very complicated personality disorder. There are people out there with anti social personality disorder who don’t manipulate people or take joy in others’ sorrow. Had It’s difficult to consider how to review this book. As a survivor of this type of abuse and manipulation, both in work and at home, a lot of what is said in the final third of the book resonates with me and my experiences. However, the first half or so focuses on an aggressive critique of psychopathy in a way that oversimplifies a very complicated personality disorder. There are people out there with anti social personality disorder who don’t manipulate people or take joy in others’ sorrow. Had the book been better researched on the personality disorder front, and perhaps a bit more balanced, I would have rated it higher. Having said that, I wish I would have read this book a year ago. Or three years ago. The funny thing was, I read Surrounded By Idiots when I was with a manipulator, and couldn’t place them in any of the colours. They had low levels of all of them, but just as a surface level. I guess now I know why.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Corina Leth

    Made a bit more sense than "omgiven av idioter" (even though you really should read that book to understand the point of this), but also "Omgiven av psykopater" was too simplified. I don't think that a psychopath always is prepared to put work into making your life a living hell. I don't believe that all psychopaths are sadistic. I think most of them just want their needs fulfilled and lack compassion and care about other people in doing that. If the need is to feel other people suffer, yeah, su Made a bit more sense than "omgiven av idioter" (even though you really should read that book to understand the point of this), but also "Omgiven av psykopater" was too simplified. I don't think that a psychopath always is prepared to put work into making your life a living hell. I don't believe that all psychopaths are sadistic. I think most of them just want their needs fulfilled and lack compassion and care about other people in doing that. If the need is to feel other people suffer, yeah, sure, and then it would probably be easy to characterize them..but the sliding scale will make it more difficult. It is like the frog in hot water, if you increase the temperature slowly enough, he won't see the danger and be boiled before he knows it. A plus to the author for mentioning Dexter.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aurora M

    I liked this book because the term "psychopath" has become so common in our culture to describe anyone who lies, wants power and/or hurts other people, and also because I have been around legit psychopaths and my current workplace has or had at least a few. Which is a problem because since we live in a very competitive culture and everyone is a rock star in their head, everyone is lying, will do anything for a bit more power, and a lot of us are hurting other people for our own means. This book I liked this book because the term "psychopath" has become so common in our culture to describe anyone who lies, wants power and/or hurts other people, and also because I have been around legit psychopaths and my current workplace has or had at least a few. Which is a problem because since we live in a very competitive culture and everyone is a rock star in their head, everyone is lying, will do anything for a bit more power, and a lot of us are hurting other people for our own means. This book seems designed to cut into it and help people deal with people's ugly sides without resorting to the Robert Hare checklist. This book actually draws upon Erikson's last work to describe people in four personality types, though really we all have a bit of each, but are dominant in one area. And he then goes on to describe how the negative traits of each type can be mistaken for sociopathy. The last part of the book deals with how psychopaths work in the workplace and in personal relationships on these four personalities. The difference between a red person and a psychopath, as well as the gaslighting example, really hit home for me because the examples he gives in these two parts are exactly what I went through recently: a boss would scream at me in front of clients for rules she never told me about (not life or death matters, but a rule that ironically hurt our business in small ways), and when I told her how she made me feel, she gaslit me, saying it was me who was angry, not her, even though she had just admitted to my colleague who witnessed it that she indeed did get angry because she saw me doing what she didn't want me to do (throughout the day, she would claim she told me three times, then five, then four lol). After I caught her lying about my hours and sharing my personal info to my colleagues some months later, I told my director this woman displays all the traits of a sociopath, and it got her fired. (If only this outcome was more typical in the workplace.) She's now in a leadership position at Barnes and Noble. Actual psychopaths are difficult to combat because they are so ridiculously charming to most people, and a few times in my life I've been the person they have targeted. Eventually people see through them and good people will likely be on your side, as I feel like our culture is becoming more aware of the fact that just because someone is charming towards you, it does not mean they will be that same person to someone who is perceived as having less power or having a people-pleasing personality type. Having said that, when people warn you about someone (and they typically don't!), you should likely believe them unless you have serious reason not to. I do tend to think I've experienced what I have due to my people pleasing tendencies, but Erikson also brings up something I've thought of every now and then but haven't been able to put into words because I didn't know if it was an actual phenomenon: I also think I am targeted because I read people fairly well, and after seeing certain inconsistencies and oddities in someone's behavior I become psychopath-proof and I know when I'm being played. And then my whole attitude towards them changes. Same goes for narcissists. I am learning to be my warm, chatty self without engaging in people-pleasing actions, pretending I can't tell they're trying to manipulate me. If you have better strategies than mine, more power to you. But before anything else, the underlying advice of this book, which is so valuable, so underrated and works wonders is: know thyself.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Abhinaya Anandamurugan

    I've never read a book more scarier than this. True horror of the book is that it enlists stories of real life manipulators, who are otherwise on the surface look indistinguishable from genuinely well meaning people. Then why to pick up this book, you may ask - well, precisely this - 'How to stop being exploited by others.' The graveness of this book, is that I couldn't continuously read it. I took a break about two months before getting back to this book. Others who are quite well rounded in de I've never read a book more scarier than this. True horror of the book is that it enlists stories of real life manipulators, who are otherwise on the surface look indistinguishable from genuinely well meaning people. Then why to pick up this book, you may ask - well, precisely this - 'How to stop being exploited by others.' The graveness of this book, is that I couldn't continuously read it. I took a break about two months before getting back to this book. Others who are quite well rounded in dealing with the negative side of human behavior might find the book easy to deal with. The books is heavily based on the DISC system of classification, which helps the author to dedicate chapters on how psychopaths manipulate people belonging to each of the DISC category. Had one tested themselves on the DISC system, one can easily understand their weakness to emotional and mental manipulations. The author makes a clear distinction that the psychopath can be of any color in the DISC category. First few chapters deal with how psychopath belonging to each colour category will manipulate others. The second part of the book deals with how the psychopath manipulates normal person belonging to each of the DISC colour category. The last chapters offers a sense of relief as to how to identify and deal with when manipulation is involved. In my opinion, this is definitely a good book and eye-opening to understanding 'psychopathy' for a lay person not experienced in psychology or medicine. It is both intriguing and scary to learn that Psychopathy isn't necessarily total mental malfunction where normal people can clearly differentiate individuals but it is a inherent malfunction in humans who have learnt other unhealthy coping mechanisms which will be destructive when one is involved with. Also another brilliant insight this book offers is that psychopaths are by definition do not intend good. They lack emotions, empathy and the neural circuity that wires for normal human connectedness, hence will have no regret involving themselves in anti-social means if it meets their ends. Not only will this book give awareness about psychopathic manipulations, this is also gives us a glimpse into people who share one of more of such psychopathic traits and those who use these unhealthy behaviors to manipulate others for selfish gains. There was in a sense an incompleteness, there weren't any scale for normal readers to understand what is sometimes a harmless manipulation used by people who did not intend to inflict manipulative ways vs the malicious psychopathic manipulation. However, one is only left with choices in the last chapters to deal with manipulation of any sorts in the hope the other is well functional well intended person.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adelyne

    Not as good as Surrounded by Idiots, which I absolutely loved, but a good read nonetheless with sensible advice. Full review to follow. I loved Surrounded by Idiots by the author – I remember saying at the time that “only time will tell if the insights from this book will make me a better communicator” and, months later, I am sure that it has. I am often guilty of projecting my own thoughts / reactions to things upon others, and with a better understanding of the way different people are wired I Not as good as Surrounded by Idiots, which I absolutely loved, but a good read nonetheless with sensible advice. Full review to follow. I loved Surrounded by Idiots by the author – I remember saying at the time that “only time will tell if the insights from this book will make me a better communicator” and, months later, I am sure that it has. I am often guilty of projecting my own thoughts / reactions to things upon others, and with a better understanding of the way different people are wired I feel like I can get through to them better. The best example for this is that I feel I handle Red colleagues a bit better now, simply by realising that they don’t dwell upon things the way I (Green/Blue) do, and I can say it like how it is and, within reason and of course politely, I can get things done and they are genuinely not upset. As such, when I spotted during my bookstore “window shopping” that there was a sequel, I bought and read it straight away. This was another insightful read, the way that Erikson breaks things down is second to none and I feel like avoiding being manipulated is as important as being able to communicate effectively (covered in the first book). He breaks things down into the DISC / colours very effectively, and that gives his books a default easy-to-follow structure. It is admittedly more difficult in this one, as now there are more characters / permutations to consider, and indeed I felt it wasn’t quite as well-structured as the first. Also, I get his reasons for doing so (as pointed out, repetition is key!) but I felt that there was too much recapping of the first book before we got into the crux of the issue with psychopaths, which was the reason I bought this one in the first place! It would have been far more efficient to give a quick 2 sentence summary of each of the colours, point interested readers who haven’t yet read Surrounded by Idiots to read that first, and get on with the central theme of the current book. Again, the one “problem” with this series of books in general is that it the title makes them a bit awkward to read in public! Though that being said, I am very much looking forward to (and have pre-ordered) reading his next book Surrounded by Bad Bosses once it comes out in English translation! Solid 4 star, goes onto the keepers shelf for future reference.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Amate

    Thank you St Martin's and Netgalley for this Advanced copy in exchange for my honest review! Surrounded by Psychopaths was a fun read for me as Im a retired marriage and family therapist and have come in contact with many Psychopaths both professionally and unfortunately in my personal experiences of life. I have actually taken such an interest in studying them to learn how they think and how to recognize one so one could avoid one at all cost. It simply isn't worth trying to win a battle with o Thank you St Martin's and Netgalley for this Advanced copy in exchange for my honest review! Surrounded by Psychopaths was a fun read for me as Im a retired marriage and family therapist and have come in contact with many Psychopaths both professionally and unfortunately in my personal experiences of life. I have actually taken such an interest in studying them to learn how they think and how to recognize one so one could avoid one at all cost. It simply isn't worth trying to win a battle with one. I enjoyed this book so much, I think I was able to really identify with examples he gave as experiences or feelings one might have while in a snare with a psychopath. The author discusses the DISA System which is exploration of behavioral patterns and translated into colors. Red, yellow, blue and green. Im not going to define these colors and behavioral patterns you need to read the book. However it goes on to describe how a psychopath will take advantage of each personality types weakness. There was a lot of insight that I learned from in this book. I think if your interested in this subject or are in a relationship with someone who is messing with your head and controlling you ...you might want to read this book. Because he might be a psychopath or a masterful manipulator, either way..this will help.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I wish Erikson had introduced this book years earlier. Had I read it before taking a certain full-time job, I would have been better prepared to handle a former supervisor who displayed unmistakable psychopathic tendencies almost daily. In my 40 years of employment spanning more than 15 bosses, this was the only overseer who displayed such alarming tendencies. But before readers delve into the devious lives of psychopaths, there’s homework to do in the first quarter of the book. Readers must wad I wish Erikson had introduced this book years earlier. Had I read it before taking a certain full-time job, I would have been better prepared to handle a former supervisor who displayed unmistakable psychopathic tendencies almost daily. In my 40 years of employment spanning more than 15 bosses, this was the only overseer who displayed such alarming tendencies. But before readers delve into the devious lives of psychopaths, there’s homework to do in the first quarter of the book. Readers must wade through occasionally dense material involving specific personality types. Some will be familiar with the DiSC model that places people into red, green, yellow and blue behavioral categories. Time spent on these lengthy explanations and examples are worth it in the long run as the author presents a smorgasbord of scenarios in which psychopaths ply their manipulative strategies in homes, workplaces and other settings. Although a few anecdotes feel a bit redundant, most vividly illustrate the problems and offer enlightening strategies for grappling with psychopathic landmines. True, some of the vignettes seem to be fueled by personal hostilities and could be interpreted as axe-grinding on Erickson’s part – or even a tad narcissistic. But “Surrounded by Psychopaths” presents many intriguing news-you-can-use insights.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zev

    Four and a half to five stars. The introduction of this book didn't do its job very well. Seventy percent of this book is knowing your personality type according to color (Red, Yellow, Green or Blue). There's a 'blink and you miss it' sentence that says the color personalities don't apply to people who aren't neurotypical, but dude, that comes off as a Cover Your Ass moment. The colors can apply to anyone, no matter how their brains work. The passages that discussed color were often funny, and I Four and a half to five stars. The introduction of this book didn't do its job very well. Seventy percent of this book is knowing your personality type according to color (Red, Yellow, Green or Blue). There's a 'blink and you miss it' sentence that says the color personalities don't apply to people who aren't neurotypical, but dude, that comes off as a Cover Your Ass moment. The colors can apply to anyone, no matter how their brains work. The passages that discussed color were often funny, and I liked how the information and examples were presented. Psychopaths are mentioned very, very little. This is a guide on how to deal with them according to your color personality. Thirty percent of the book is, anyway. There's dialogue you can practice saying that will help. I repeated it often out loud and wrote down examples. I knocked off half a star since it took me a bit to adjust to what the author was doing. Spending so much time on color personalities had a reason. It took awhile for that reason to sink in. And the book dragged at parts and could be repetitive. I'm still super glad I read this.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yomna

    I can't stress enough how this has enlightened me. I already had a very positive experience with the first book, Surrounded by Idiots, which allowed me to have a better understanding for people and different human behaviours. It had also made me more open minded and I have, since then, become more accepting of the fact that people are different and it is me who should adapt to them to make interactions easier. Surrounded by Psychopaths made me aware of some dangers that I never thought were there I can't stress enough how this has enlightened me. I already had a very positive experience with the first book, Surrounded by Idiots, which allowed me to have a better understanding for people and different human behaviours. It had also made me more open minded and I have, since then, become more accepting of the fact that people are different and it is me who should adapt to them to make interactions easier. Surrounded by Psychopaths made me aware of some dangers that I never thought were there. It also explains the methods of manipulation and the author repeats, rather excessively, the reminder that psychopaths are evil and have no remorse. I never thought people like that even existed. I've always thought that people who do evil things are doing them as a result of previous abuse or simply with reasons behind their behaviour. But Psychopaths do not have reasons. And it is very mind blowing that I never thought of it that way. I am very grateful to have read this book and I recommend it to everyone. Psychology is such an interesting topic and I'm glad I get to learn more about it from Thomas Erikson.

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