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She also claims to fantasize about murder, drops friends when their personal problems get in the way of her fun, and plots ways to “ruin people” in her spare time. In her 2005 book The Sociopath Next Door, psychologist Martha Stout warned that sociopaths make up four percent of the U. population; last spring, journalist Jon Ronson detailed his search for psychopathy from prisons to boardrooms in ranked U. presidents in order of their possession of a psychopathic trait called “fearless dominance,” with Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Sociopathy is a personality disorder that manifests itself in such traits as dishonesty, charm, manipulation, narcissism, and a lack of both remorse and impulse control.
Thomas describes herself as a cutthroat attorney who sailed through law school without much effort, landed a position at a prestigious law firm, and then became a professor. Thomas is not the first to make this point, but hers is certainly the most personal argument yet.
but I grew up gay in a conservative place and I know what it’s like to be rejected for who you are,” said Lauren.
“Her ultimate goal is to be out as a sociopath, accepted by society and not vilified.
In her new book, Confessions of a Sociopath, Thomas, writing under a pseudonym that pokes fun at her narcissism, removes her mask of carefully crafted personality traits in an attempt to prove that sociopathy is not simply a disorder of serial killers but one that exists on a spectrum, plaguing to varying degrees a large portion of successful, apparently well-adjusted people.
For one, she credits Mormonism, specifically its doctrine that anyone can change and its required social engagements, with keeping her on track. By posting and responding daily to articles on sociopathy, she’s essentially forced to analyze her own behavior and decisions on a regular basis.“I think one of the things that’s been my downfall in the past is when I start thinking that I’m normal and fine and that when something happens it’s someone else’s fault,” she said. After all, as Sweatt put it, sociopaths are mostly “problematic in terms of the stress they cause other people.”Lauren, who asked not to use her real name to protect Thomas’s identity, was the first person to suggest Thomas might be a sociopath.
While interning together one summer during law school, Thomas admitted to studying other people’s behavior for clues on how to act and expressed frustration over a friend whose close family member had died.
Thomas wasn’t distraught or upset that she couldn’t do anything to make the situation better—she was annoyed that her friend had become less fun and entertaining to be around.
When she read the book, Lauren was shocked to learn of the cruel games Thomas had played with other people and relieved that she had never been the target of her friend’s manipulation.
“But I wouldn’t necessarily say that if someone is an extreme psychopath they are going to kill someone.” John Edens, a psychology professor at Texas A&M, evaluated Thomas when her literary agent suggested she get diagnosed before turning her blog, Sociopath World.com, into a book.