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Surrounded by psychopaths – Thomas Erikson

Again, we have a new article about the next book written by Thomas Erikson. If you have not read the previous one yet, I recommend you to start with it, as it’s, in a way, about the first part of this series of books.

Link to the previous book:

Thomas Erikson

As we already mentioned in the previous article T. Erikson is a Swedish writer, lecturer and expert on communication and human behavior. He also works with various organizations and helps them improve in the leadership of their staff.

Surrounded by psychopaths

The book surrounded by psychopaths focuses on how manipulative people around us can be. To be honest, we are all manipulators, but we are not always aware of it. In the book, the author writes about various examples of manipulators and how they manipulate 4 basic types of behavior that Thomas Erikson devoted to the book Surrounded by idiots. He again divides personalities based on DISC system using four colors:

Red – Dominant type of personality

Yellow – Influential type of personality

Green – Stable type of personality

Blue – Compliant type of personality.

For a better understanding of the content, I recommend you read this book before you go into the reading Surrounded by psychopaths. However, it will also be dealt with in the Psychopaths since the author devoted one chapter to it, where the basic and necessary information is summarized briefly, such as typical traits, strengths and weaknesses of each of these four colors. But for a deeper understanding you should definitely take some time to read the Idiots.

Kniha obklopený psychopatmi


As I have already mentioned, this book is focused on psychopaths and how they manipulate us. You will learn about how to distinguish psychopaths from a normal person. The author divided each of the basic types of personalities into chapters in which he points out to the reader that some typical traits and reactions for the given type of behavior doesn’t make them psychopaths. And therefore, withdrawing a few facts, you will learn that some behavior can look psychopathically, but it is a completely normal part or a person´s reaction.

The worst is that a person is sometimes unaware how someone else manipulates him because he is blinded with sweet guff etc. Reading this book will help you learn and notice the signs of manipulation and avoid possible manipulation. The best way to learn is through examples. T. Erikson describes the handling of each color in different situations from ordinary life. Whether it’s in the store, at work or in private life. He describes in detail the process of how psychopaths shape and manipulate us into the person they want us to be. Thanks to these examples you will know for what you have to watch out in life.

What is psychological manipulation?

Under the term psychological manipulation we can understand the effort to control the thinking of the second person or more persons. The manipulator is trying to intrude a target person thoughts, opinions or behaviors that are not the victim’s own and which they wouldn’t voluntarily accept. The manipulator gains an advantage against the person without the person being able to choose whether he will oblige him or not. The victim often even doesn’t  realize that he is manipulated. In manipulation, the manipulator uses the goodness, naivete, uncertainty, lack of knowledge, decency, fear and further rather positive than negative feelings and traits of other persons in order to realize his own, mostly secret and hidden intentions, goals and plans.

What is psychopathy?

It is a syndrome that manifests itself by inability to sympathize with people, inability to empathize or feel sincere remorse from treating others in a bad way. Psychopaths lie, they are egocentric and have non-realistic emotional reactions – their shown emotions are only played.

And this is the main difference between a normal person and psychopaths – psychopaths simply do not have emotions.

Characteristics of a psychopath

  • Grandiose estimation of self
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Callousness and lack of empathy
  • Pathological lying
  • Cunning and manipulativeness
  • Superficial emotional responsiveness
  • Impulsivity
  • Poor behavioral controls
  • Irresponsibility
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Lack of realistic long-term goals
  • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  • ….

Book review

I have to say that Surrounded by Psychopaths was easier to read than Surrounded by Idiots. Obviously it was because I had already been familiar with the subject. The stories that the author used as examples for a better understanding, were really interesting and it was well described so as a reader I could observe manipulator behavior, which he wanted us,  by writing this book, to avoid. However, if you are looking for a deeper theory on psychopathy, this book will probably not be for you. Though, I personally think it will not be a waste of time to read it. On the contrary, you will only enrich yourself by something new and different.


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