Manipulative people have always been with us. Manipulation is a timeless problem, but it has also been increasing in prevalence over the years. Many years ago, I started taking note of a certain kind of personality. These people could be quite charming and appear benign but also could engage in some of the most ruthless, underhanded behavior. They knew how to get the better of people. Their victims were frequently caught unaware. Dealing with them was like getting whiplash. You didn’t really know how badly you’d been hurt until long after the damage was already done.
Around 16 years ago, I published my first book, In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People. I did so because I was working with many people who had been victimized in some way by a manipulator. Knowing how many people had been subjected to various control tactics, back-stabbing, underhanded maneuvers, subtle abuse, etc., and the host of problems (e.g., depression, internal turmoil, relationship confusion, etc.) was eye-opening. I also came to appreciate that several of the notions about human behavior the victims held – many promoted by traditional psychological paradigms – were actually making it harder for them to understand and deal with the behavior of their manipulators. After working closely with manipulators, various other disturbed characters, and relatively healthy individuals victimized by the responsibility-challenged people in their lives, I decided a radical new approach could help people protect themselves from the harmful things disturbed characters are prone to do. In Sheep’s Clothing was the result of utilizing this new approach to help people understand and deal with the disturbed characters in their lives, especially manipulators. For the first time, it allowed people to understand what was really going on with their abuser, how they managed to get hoodwinked, blindsided, and manipulated, and what they could do to keep such things from happening again.
In Sheep’s Clothing started out as a small, independent publication, targeted toward a relatively small market. Yet it was received by the public in a manner I could barely have imagined. After several revisions, numerous online reviews and testimonials, and unprecedented word-of-mouth, it became a bestseller and has been translated into several foreign languages. It has been revised a few times, but its basic content has remained as stable and as timely as its subject matter.
Just a few weeks ago (March 31, 2010) a brand new edition of In Sheep’s Clothing was released by Parkhurst Brothers Publishers. This edition contains some new content and provides a suitable introduction to my new book, Character Disturbance, which takes an in-depth look at the disturbing phenomenon of our age. Character Disturbance is also published by Parkhurst Brothers and is scheduled for wide release on July 31, 2010. It is my sincere hope that both of these works cast a needed new light on a societal problem that appears to be becoming ever more prevalent in our age of permissiveness, entitlement, and irresponsibility.