Recommendation: The most interesting piece of non-fiction that I’ve read in quite some time. Thomas does her best to explain what it’s like to have sociopathic tendencies in a society that doesn’t understand or readily accept her motivations. I am an empath and this book helped me make sense of people that I previously could not comprehend.
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So Ms. M.E. Thomas (not her real name) comes out with this book that is all about life as a sociopath. Thomas went through plenty of growing pains trying to conform to societal expectations until she discovered and embraced her identity as a sociopath. She now runs a website where she details some of her thoughts and actions while providing other sociopathic individuals with a bit of a community. Seems a little sketchy to me to have a whole bunch of sociopaths running around on a website, much the same way that a website full of extreme empaths would eventually make me go insane, but it’s the internet, so whatever. Now Thomas has moved on to traditional publishing, where she lays out some stuff that you’ll find on her website, but also goes more in depth into her defense of sociopaths. Just because their thought processes are different from the majority doesn’t mean they are inherently worse.
Confessions of a Sociopath is hella interesting. Especially for empaths, but even the sociopaths out there will probably enjoy the novelty of having a mainstream book humanizing sociopathy. Plain and simple I love books that offer up a different way to look at the world and this book falls precisely into that category. Why would someone try to drown a baby animal trying to get out of their pool? Why would someone track down a person who minorly offended them with the intent of violently harming them? Why would a person try to romantically ruin someone that they didn’t have any feelings for whatsoever? These are questions that I couldn’t answer before reading this book and now…well I can’t pretend like I completely understand it, but I do have a better idea of why someone might do these things.
Thomas is a gifted writer, if a little robotic, but she’s able to bring life to her personal stories and get the readers involved. She’s a lawyer by trade so I don’t think she plans on writing any Neil Gaiman-esque fantasy novels or anything like that, so there’s no real reason for her to improve on her style. The bits that I didn’t like in this book I’m pretty sure can be attributed to the marketing. There were a couple spots where “Thomas” overstated or reworded information in order for it to sound more impressive, and it was pretty silly and insincere. I understand what 4 percent means, you don’t have to then turn it into “that’s 1 out of 25 people!” to get the point across, even if you do think it sounds better.
That’s about all I’ve got on this one. It’s a rather straightforward book. By reading the description on the back you’ll know what you’re in for. There are some personal stories that are told really well and there is an argument for sociopaths to be accepted (or at least more accepted) into a society dominated by empaths. And the argument largely makes sense.
They think differently than the majority, but that doesn’t mean they are monsters as they are commonly characterized in popular culture. If any part of you is interested in sociopaths (how they’re different, how they think, what causes their thought processes, etc.) than this is the book you should pick up. Don’t be grabbing a second hand account like Jonn Ronson’s The Psychopath Test when you could get the information straight from the sociopath’s mouth.