From the blog My Daily Struggle.
These are the 13 rules developed by Martha Stout, an American psychologist and author.
"In her most popular book, The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us, she advises developing an awareness of the nature of anti-social behavior in order to avoid becoming its victim and proposes thirteen rules as self-help guidelines to assessing relationships and behavior for these characteristics, as well as offering advice on handling situations when one encounters the behavior. The Sociopath Next Door received positive reviews from 'Kirkus Reviews' and 'Library Journal' and a mixed review from "Publishers Weekly."
"The following are Martha Stout's 13 rules for dealing with sociopaths:
"1. Swallow the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no conscience.
"2. In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role a person has taken on—educator, doctor, leader, animal lover, humanist, parent—go with your instincts.
"3. 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. One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you’re dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior.
"4. Question authority. At least six out of ten people will blindly obey authority to the bitter end. The good news is that having social support makes people somewhat more likely to challenge authority. Encourage those around you to question too.
"5. Suspect flattery. Compliments are lovely, especially when they are sincere. In contrast, flattery is extreme and appeals to our ego in unrealistic ways. It is the material of counterfeit charm, and nearly always involves an intent to manipulate.
"6. If necessary, redefine your concept of respect. Too often, we mistake fear for respect. In a perfect world, human respect would be an automatic reaction only to those who are strong, kind, and morally courageous. The person who profits from frightening you is not likely to be any of these.
"7. Do not join the game. Resist the temptation to compete with a seductive sociopath, to outsmart him, psychoanalyze, or even banter with him. In addition to reducing yourself to his level, you would be distracting yourself from what is really important, which is to protect yourself.
"8. The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication.
"9: Question your tendency to pity too easily. Pity is a socially valuable response, and it should be reserved for innocent people who are in genuine pain or who have fallen on misfortune. If, instead, you find yourself pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to 100 percent that you are dealing with a sociopath.
"10. Do not try to redeem the unredeemable. Second, third, fourth and fifth chances are for people who possess conscience. If you are dealing with a person who has no conscience, know how to swallow hard and cut your losses.
"11. Never agree, out of pity or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character. 'Please don’t tell,' often spoken tearfully and with great gnashing of teeth, is the trademark plea of thieves, child abusers—and sociopaths. Do not listen to this siren song. Other people deserve to be warned more than sociopaths deserve to have you keep their secrets.
"If someone without conscience insists that you 'owe' him or her, recall what you are about to read here: 'You owe me' has been the standard line of sociopaths for thousands of years, quite literally, and is still so.
"We tend to experience 'you owe me' as a compelling claim, but it is simply not true. Do not listen. Also, ignore the one that goes, 'You are just like me.' You are not.
"12. Defend your psyche. Do not allow someone without conscience, or even a string of such people, to convince you that humanity is a failure. Most human beings do possess a conscience. Most human beings are able to love.
13. Living well is the best revenge."