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How to Tell If Your Friend Is a Sociopath Audiobook

How to Tell If Your Friend Is a Sociopath: Learning How to See Through the Smoke

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Publisher's Summary

A dangerous person without a conscience rarely looks that way. They often seem like the most charming and attractive among us. It is only when we are used or targeted that we learn who we're really dealing with - and often much too late. A trained mental health professional shares candidly about his personal and professional experiences with sociopathic individuals. Some basic guidelines for understanding this infamous personality style.

©2017 Jonathan Jaye (P)2017 Jonathan Jaye

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    Kindle Customer 10/08/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Uninformative"

    I received this audiobook for free from the author/narrator in return for an unbiased review.

    This is a short book, just over an hour, and unfortunately is lacking in useful content. The first half of the book is taken up by three stories from around the authors college years and just beyond. All three relate to drug dealers, two were friends and the third he met while working with mentally ill people.

    From the narratives I don't feel especially convinced that these three were definitely sociopaths (even using the author's own criteria) the first is perhaps the most fleshed out both as a story and as potentially being a sociopath. At one point he suggests the second drug-dealer was potentially violent because he had a knife hidden away, which could indicate a potential for violence, or maybe just that being a drug dealer could be dangerous and he wanted to protect himself.

    Throughout the first half, (which I subtitled in my head, 'Drug dealers I have known and regretted later') the author says he was used as camouflage and a shill to help these sociopaths find and use con victims. That may have been the case in reality but it doesn't really come across in the stories at all. What he seems to describe is being friends with some shady types who were popular and attractive and that he at least partly wanted to be.
    He doesn't really show them using him in that way.
    Also the author states of his college-age self, that he was not as dumb as he looked, shortly after recounting taking some (free) white powder without asking what it was, but assuming it was Coke and then being messed up because it was actually PCP. Which kind of undermines that assertion.

    He repeatedly explains how during the 70s and early 80s everyone was doing drugs and having lots of casual 'pre-marital' sex (leading to a weird comment implying causal sex isn't really possible these days) including staff at a private psychiatric hospital he worked at. I felt during this first half that the author was not really taking any personal responsibility for his own actions or choices, beyond claiming a naivety and susceptibility to not seeing what was wrong with these particular friends. Whether or not they were actual sociopaths almost feels irrelevant, and these anecdotes certainly don't seem helpful to anyone who isn't hanging out with a bunch of shady types, who you should expect to come with a bunch of complications and problems.

    As a side-note, women in this book are only really mentioned as objects of lust or victims of serial killers, which is pretty weird, the author refers to a college girlfriend he had as 'pretty cute' and that he took her for granted, not realising getting her was 'beginners luck' and says she later left him (after the pcp incident) for a guy she could better trust with her safety. Considering this book was published in 2017 this guy seeks to have retained some odd ideas regarding women.

    There is briefly a bit of potentially useful stuff in the middle, a few indicators that could suggest a problem in a friendship, though (in my opinion) not necessarily sociopathy.

    There is a strange and unnecessary anecdote of more recent times when an elderly friend tells him of having been (unknowingly) best friends with a serial killer and his feelings of guilt at not somehow knowing and preventing the deaths, this doesn't tell us anything useful, and feels pretty awful as the author inadvertently (and in a way that I find worrying considering the author is a professional mental health worker/professor of psychology) causes more distress to the friend by first googling the serial killer and then thoughtlessly telling the already distressed friend that the serial killer had eventually been paroled and gone on to kill another victim.

    There is some stuff at the end saying if you suspect someone is a serial killer to not confront them, which is good, (but hopefully unnecessary?) advice, and in general to avoid confronting non-killer sociopaths with their lies or other stuff in case they turn violent. Which I would agree with.

    Scattered throughout are moments of bizarre, or just inappropriate, waffle. There is an implication at the start that the snake in eden is a sociopath from 'dawn of time' which hurts my brain on so many levels. The author wildly claims that Jack the Ripper had 'countless' victims, and that (in the bible story) Abraham killed his son for God, and the Son of Sam killed because he thought God spoke to him through a dog (actually he claimed it was a demon possessing the dog who ordered him). If nothing else this would make me worry about the general accuracy of the book.

    In conclusion, if you are looking for information on sociopaths this is not a good choice, there is little information and what there is could be gleaned more easily and quickly elsewhere.
    It is also not a good choice for recognising if someone you are friends with, or work with, is potentially a sociopath, since, in my opinion, nothing about the anecdotes as given actually help with that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kyle Hempel
    Batavia, IL
    17/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sex, Drugs, and Sociopaths"

    Through personal tales of sex, drugs and what seemed like friendships Jonathan Jaye tells of his personal experiences with sociopaths and what signs to look for to see through the web of deceit they leave in their wake.

    The title of the book is slightly misleading. Jonathan Jaye does not exactly tell you how to tell if your friend is a sociopath but does go through how to see through the smoke of someone who is. While the personal tales were interesting to listen to I found the last chapter the only one that really had good takeaways. If you are looking for a quick read to learn about how to deal with sociopaths that may be in your life I would say this book is worth the cost. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • audra dryer
    14/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some good information"

    This audio book had some good information in it. I agreed with some of the opinions, but not all. I will definitely apply this to my current friendships/relationships. I received this for free for an honest review.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kingsley
    Henely Brook, Australia
    14/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Memoir and observations"

    How to Tell If Your Friend Is a Sociopath is a very quick read ostensibly about what sociopaths are like and how to identify them. What it is in reality is a collection of thoughts and memories of author Jonathan Jaye. Jaye is a psychiatrist and he collects memories and cases , both professional and personal, around sociopaths he has encountered, with occasional insights and thoughts about sociopathy between the stories.

    The book serves a a memoir of these cases rather than a researched study of sociopathy. It is what he has learned through anecdote, not through data and research. I was expecting a book based on research and peer reviewed ideas, not one individuals memories and anecdotes.

    While I have no inherent problem with swearing it felt very out of place in this book. Jaye using swearing throughout the narration - not just as quotes by patients/friends. This works to make the book feel even less of a study and more of a personal memoir. It made it feel a whole lot less professional.

    While there is some insights into sociopathy provided here they are all from Jaye's singular history and don't appear to be well backed up. Overall it's a little disappointing to me.

    Jaye also narrates his own book. For this he doesn't do too bad at all. It is a short non-fiction book, so there isn't a lot of scope for him to vary his narration work, but what he provides is more than sufficient. He is clear, well paced and easy to understand.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • rhonda walker
    13/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of How to Tell If Your Friend Is a Sociopath to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version of this book


    What did you like best about this story?

    Honest and straightforward writing


    What about Jonathan Jaye’s performance did you like?

    He was perfect to read it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book had me from outright laughing to shaking my head. I loved the honesty and openness of the author!


    Any additional comments?

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dominique
    Cathedral City, CA
    10/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pithy, entertaining and educational - loved it!"

    First, although I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I must say that I would have happily paid the modest price for this amusing and humorous book. It's just my style.

    The author, who uses profanity freely and naturally as he tells his stories, made me laugh out loud while driving and even made me laugh-snort a milk shake during lunch while listening. He speaks the way most of us wish we could if no one would judge us.

    The author tells stories about different individuals and their behaviors in order to illustrate the ways of several sociopaths in the author's life. I love that he DIDN'T say, "Let's call my friend Kevin." He just talked about people and I believed him. I hate when authors change the names of people in such an obvious way that you remember that you're reading a book where they changed the names, if that makes sense. Like, seriously, who are you protecting, some sociopath? Thank God this author had the guts to just tell his stories and not pussy-foot around.

    If you're not offended by some grown-up language that is often hilarious, always appropriate and never gratuitous, get this book for entertainment and education, and keep an eye on this author, Jonathan Jaye because he's got more stories to tell in the future for sure, and I'll be among his biggest fans.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • mandymay
    12/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unfortunately most of us know one 🤔"

    I requested this book in exchange for my honest review because of my boss.
    I'm convinced he is a sociopath.
    I found some useful information while trying to stay one step ahead of my narcissistic psycho boss 😂
    Some of the examples given though were just a no brainer...
    If you're hanging around people with addictive personalities, what do you expect?
    Addicts are manipulative people without a conscience while they are using.
    I know this first hand because my sister is living proof.
    Anyone who has a bat 💩 crazy friend, relative, or coworker should give this book a listen.
    Overall I found this entertaining and well narrated...

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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