Published February 2021 on Spotfiy

465: Thomas Erikson | How to Protect Yourself from Psychopaths

1. Introduction

Thomas explains the mentality of psychopaths and how to spot them in the wild. He also gives advice on how to deal with them and protect yourself from their harmful behaviors.+

2. Psychopaths Unveiled

Psychopaths Among Us:Thomas Erikson and Jordan Harbinger discuss the common misconceptions about psychopaths and how they are often intelligent individuals who resort to manipulation instead of violence to get what they want. They also touch on the topic of isolation and victimization in society.+
The Psychopath Next Door:Thomas Erikson discusses the characteristics of psychopaths, their manipulative behavior, and the surprising statistics of how many psychopaths are in our society. Jordan Harbinger adds a personal touch by sharing his experience working in occupations that attract psychopaths.+

3. Understanding Psychopathy

Understanding Psychopathy:Thomas Erikson explains that psychopathy is not an exact term and that all of us have some psychopathic traits. He also discusses the connection between psychopathy and narcissism, and how narcissism can drive psychopaths to manipulate and dominate others.+
Understanding Psychopaths:Thomas explains that psychopaths have a need to use people to feel better about themselves, and they know they are lying and manipulating but don't care because they believe it's their right. He also warns against sharing your emotions with a psychopath as they will use it against you. Jordan wonders if psychopaths are good for society as they can control large organizations ruthlessly.+

4. Psychopathy Unveiled

Understanding Psychopathy:Thomas Erikson discusses the history and inheritance of psychopathy, a personality disorder that has been around for thousands of years. He explains that it is not an illness but rather a trait that can be inherited from parents. Erikson also shares a disturbing example of how some societies have dealt with psychopaths in the past.+
Understanding Psychopathy:Thomas explains the difference between psychopathy and mental illness, stating that psychopathy is a personality disorder that starts in the womb. He also discusses how brain scans show that psychopaths lack certain areas in the amygdala, which controls emotional reactions.+

5. Understanding Psychopaths

Understanding Psychopaths:Thomas explains how psychopaths are rational and not affected by emotions, making them great at observing and manipulating people. He also discusses how they use a manual to trigger emotions and control their victims. In extreme situations, they remain calm and act rationally.+
Psychopaths Unveiled:Thomas explains how psychopaths need stimulation and quick fixes, leading to sexual aggression and other factors. They need drama and feel superior, entering a room and saying, "I am here. Look at me all you peasants, all easy usable assets. Give me the support that I am entitled to."+

6. Sponsors

Thomas shares his insights on the importance of comfortable clothing and Jordan talks about his experience using Theragun for percussive therapy. The episode is sponsored by Bearbottom Clothing and Theragun.+

7. Psychopaths and Relationships

Psychopaths and Relationships:Thomas Erikson discusses the case of James Fallon, a psychologist who discovered he was a psychopath. Despite having a seemingly normal family life, Fallon's wife has reported his tantrums and lack of empathy. Erikson questions the authenticity of Fallon's public persona and highlights the chilling moment when Fallon admits to not feeling love.+
Protecting Against Psychopaths:Thomas Erikson shares three ways to protect oneself against psychopaths: understanding what psychopaths are like, recognizing patterns, and valuing oneself. He emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and not being naive in order to avoid being manipulated by psychopaths.+

8. Building Self-Esteem

Building Self-Esteem:Thomas emphasizes the importance of building self-esteem as a defense against manipulators and psychopaths. Jordan and Thomas discuss the significance of setting firm boundaries and paying attention to patterns of behavior to identify manipulation.+
Spotting Psychopaths:Thomas shares insights on how to spot psychopaths and their manipulative behavior, including taking notes during conversations and looking out for warning signs. He emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and not allowing them to gain the upper hand.+
Spotting Manipulation:Jordan and Thomas discuss how being self-aware of our weaknesses can help us spot manipulation from people who are good at exploiting them, even if they are not psychopaths. They emphasize the importance of confronting manipulative behavior and not letting people step on us.+

9. Setting Boundaries

Setting Boundaries:Thomas and Jordan discuss the importance of setting boundaries with manipulative people. They emphasize the need to follow through with consequences and not make empty threats. It's important to act and do something when dealing with people who cross boundaries.+
Psychopaths and Social Competence:Thomas explains the difference between a regular jerk and a psychopath, and how social competence plays a role in identifying psychopaths. He also discusses the long gaze and how it can be an indicator of psychopathy, as psychopaths do not always understand social cues and may stare at people like interesting objects.+

10. Psychopathic Manipulation

Thomas explains how psychopaths use isolation and nitpicking to manipulate their victims, making them more powerful and their victims more forgiving. They turn their victims against their friends, making them more dependent on the psychopath's goodwill. The psychopath builds a persona around themselves, and when they have bled their victim dry, they leave without caring about where they end up.+

11. Sponsors

Jordan discusses the benefits of therapy with guest Thomas Erickson and encourages listeners to consider working with an expert to improve their mental health. They also mention the confidentiality of therapy and how it can be a great way to dip your toes in the water of therapy.+

12. Manipulation Tactics

Gaslighting and Sabotaging Memories:Jordan shares his experience with gaslighting and how a manipulative person can gradually break someone down by sabotaging their memories and making them question their behavior. He talks about how having a socially aware partner helped him realize what was happening and how it was a turning point for him.+
Psychopaths and Manipulation:Thomas Erikson discusses the manipulative tactics used by psychopaths, including technical triangulation and playing the victim card. He also explains how psychopaths mimic emotions like jealousy to gain control, but don't actually feel them. Erikson offers advice on how to approach someone in a toxic relationship and emphasizes the importance of using emotions, not logic, to communicate.+

13. Dangerous Love Bombing

Dangerous Love Bombing:Thomas explains how love bombing is one of the most dangerous manipulation techniques used by psychopaths. They prey on people who feel unloved and miserable, and shower them with spontaneous good things like flowers, fancy dinners, and money. This technique is dangerous because it makes people trust and believe in the manipulator, and they become an open book for them to use.+
Spotting Manipulation:Thomas and Jordan discuss how manipulators can easily spot those who are easy to manipulate and how to recognize warning signs that you may be in a manipulative relationship. They provide insights on how to fight cognitive biases and wake up to the reality of the situation.+
Building Trust:Thomas emphasizes the importance of trust in relationships and how it needs to be built every day. He suggests that old trust is useless and that you can't base trust on what someone did in the past. If someone isn't trustworthy now, then there's something wrong, and it's time to leave.Show transcript +

14. Clarity through Journaling

Journaling for Clarity:Thomas and Jordan discuss the benefits of journaling and how it can help individuals gain clarity in their relationships and emotions. They suggest taking notes to document conversations and patterns to avoid succumbing to cognitive bias.+
Psychopathic tendencies:Jordan and Thomas discuss the difference between an unpleasant personality trait and psychopathy. They also talk about how people manipulate others in different situations, like sales.+
Good Intentions, Bad Actions:Thomas discusses the line between good advice and manipulation, emphasizing the importance of intention. He also gives examples of manipulation from loved ones and how to recognize them. The discussion highlights the need to pay attention to patterns and intentions to avoid misunderstandings.+

15. Confronting Manipulative Behavior

Confronting Manipulative Behavior:Thomas advises listeners to practice confronting manipulative behavior in a positive way. He suggests calling out disrespectful behavior and asking for a conversation to improve the relationship. However, he warns that if someone scores high on the psychopathy checklist, it's best to avoid confrontation and cut ties.+
Psychopaths in Society:Thomas Erikson discusses how psychopaths can be used for good in society and how to stay safe by using common sense and being aware of your surroundings. He emphasizes that psychopaths are a minority and that it's important to not be naive but to still engage with the world.+

16. Psychopath Self-Defense

Protecting Yourself:Jordan warns listeners about the dangers of psychopaths and how they often prey on vulnerable individuals through scams. He advises listeners to distance themselves from any contact with psychopaths and reminds them that therapy often makes things worse with psychopaths.+
Psychopath Self-Defense:Jordan shares personal experiences with psychopaths and offers tips on how to defend yourself against their manipulative tactics, including taking notes and being vigilant during vulnerable times. He also discusses the importance of keeping psychopaths out of your orbit to prevent future attacks.+

17. Outro

Thomas Erickson, author of "Surrounded by Psychopaths," joins the show to discuss how to identify and deal with psychopaths in various relationships. Jordan Harbinger also shares tips on networking and building strong relationships in his Six-Minute Networking course.+