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Psychopaths are often thought of as killers and rapists, but up to 10 per cent of people are probably psychopathic without being criminals. Science suggests psychopaths don’t have empathy. Although charming in the early stages of a relationship or employment, they will leave you feeling cheated and humiliated, will dominate and manipulate you, denying reality to the point where you question your sanity.

Psychopaths derive power from creating chaos that renders the rest of us immobile with confusion and resentment.

The everyday psychopath is at best disruptive, and at worst highly dangerous to your day-to-day life. At a societal level, their presence in powerful positions can be disastrous.

Psychopaths have always been around, Gillespie argues, but were traditionally constrained by social disapproval. But as community-building institutions dissolve, so does our ability to use social tools to constrain the psychopaths among us.

Taming Toxic People is a practical guide to restraining the difficult person in your life, be it your boss, your spouse or a parent. It is also a serious and meticulously researched warning if we value a free and well-functioning society: if we don’t understand and act to manage psychopathic behaviour, Trump is only the beginning.

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  • David Milton says:

    David , I need your book on : Taming Toxic People . I have been a people watcher and I think I can identifie many toxic people that I have come across , mainly at work , and volunteer situations .

  • Kerry karen says:

    David,I had came across many Psychopaths at workplace, they are simply shameless and did many things against human nature just to achieve their motive, esp women, did something indecent in order to get to the top, I simply felt that they are shameless, not fit to be called a human!

  • Leah says:

    Hi David, your interview on Conversations with Richard Fidler was so fascinating, thank you

  • Kerry karen says:

    Thus I need your book:Taming toxic people, as I want to know what on their minds that made them willingly to do somethings against human nature and so dirty,which I simply can’t go against my personality

  • David Gillespie says:

    Thanks Leah – for anyone reading this who missed it, here is a direct link to the replay http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-david-gillespie/8717944

  • Dale says:

    Why, I wonder, am I not able to get this book on US Kindle or US iBooks?

  • David Gillespie says:

    They are fixing it as we speak – you should be able to within 24 hours – sorry for the delay Dale

  • eric fadie says:

    Hi my name is Eric Fadie and I work on a daily podcast pot of Detroit,MI called The Detroit Cast. The host and co-host are very interested in this book and I was wondering do you send out media copies at all? If so they would love to and talk to David about it. Thanks so much for your time and have a good day.

  • Pete says:

    I am fortunate to be one of the first to be able to read this book [downloaded onto my Kindle reader on release day]. I couldn’t put it down, literally, and read it straight through – finishing it at 3am. Being retired now, my time is my own.

    In my working life though, I worked for 44 years for the same company. The last two CEOs of this company, including the incumbent, fit your psychopath profile exactly. It was disappointing and dispiriting to watch this company, nearly 100 years old, being ripped apart and gutted over an extended period, despite the continuing hard work and dedication of thousands of employees. Periodically, many of these same dedicated employees are ‘thrown under the bus’ in some new reorganisation or change of strategy, or are confronted and publicly abused at a company to union level. At an individual level the staff continually struggle to deal with the consequences of arbitrary policy changes, lack of strategic planning and bureaucratic turmoil. For 15 years now, what was an important, very professional, widely respected, effective and innovative organisation has been in almost constant turmoil.
    I was too far down the organisational tree to have more than fleeting personal interactions with these two, but the disruptive effects could be felt far and wide, even out in the general community. It’s the same with our politicians. Our lives are very much influenced by the disruptive effects of a narcissistic or psychopath in charge, even though we are too far removed for personal interactions. It is very important that the ’empaths’ recognise what is going on in these unfortunate situations, know how to ‘push back’ against the unbridled psychopath, or avoid them, and know how to mitigate their self-serving agendas.

    So thanks, David, for an excellent book on a subject of critical importance. It’s a ‘must read’. And thanks also David, for your other books. I’m 14 Kg lighter in the last six months after following your ‘minimum sugar/fructose’ advice, and my wife has had Parkinson’s for nearly ten years now, so your book on seed oils is next on my reading list.

  • Tim says:

    Hi David, I was listening to your interview with Richard Fidler and was riveted. The bit about pawns, patrons and police, sent shivers down my spine, I realised that a few short years ago I had been a victim of an individual that exhibited all the manipulative behaviours you described, I think I could do a lovely chart showing all the P, P & Ps of that episode which actually went on for quite a few years. It rocked me to the core at the time and believe that recent (self diagnosed) bouts of depression stem from these stresses. I still harbour a deep-seated anger against the individual, who was the CEO of a local, but important, organisation at the time. Since then he moved on to the same position of a much larger organisation of the same type, only to be sacked after 8 months after causing an entire council to be sacked. He then moved on to another organisation in the same small capital city, which to me beggars belief, where he, within a short time, caused another maelstrom!

    I have to get your book, if not only to stress myself out, but perhaps to help make sense of it all.

  • Graham says:

    I have just finished your book. Having fallen victim to two of them in the one work place, your analysis is spot on. Robert Sutton’s No Asshole Rule and Oliver James’ Office Politics (together with his texts on Affluenza) are good adjuncts. PP’s are preeminent social monitors. I too have noted the gap in response you advert to which seemed contrived but could not put my finger on it. I call the psychopath process one of work place and economic terrorism. It should give rise to its own cause of action as an intentional tort. The wash out can be career terminal. I practice in employment law and PP is a prominent feature; however, some stats from Canada suggest that 70% of workplace bullies are women with 80% of the victims being women: that accords with my own unfortunate personal and professional experience. Further a friend of mine is a judge and he notes that extreme or highly completive sports people are prone to this behaviour making it hard to resolve mattes in mediation. A win at all costs mentality with rules being optional. In your list of careers banking and money market people don’t exist and in my experience is that some of these are highly PP prone and are Machiavellian narcissists.

  • Jenny says:

    I am going through the horrors of realising my brother is a psychopath. He also has down syndrome and it seems to me many traits are shared, which is perhaps why it has taken 57 years to work it out. I needed a book like this to explain it to me. All my hard work trying to help him…..at least I can benefit now in starting to untangle myself.

  • M Ameen Gill says:

    I want to download
    How it is possible

  • David Gillespie says:

    You can download it from all the normal e-book sources (iBooks, Amazon etc)

  • Nadhir says:

    Anyone know why I can’t buy this from iBooks? It’s saying that it’s only available in Australia…

  • David Gillespie says:

    You should be able to – will get the publisher to look into it and I’ll get back to you when its fixed.

  • Robert Mansfield says:

    David I have a keen hunch that the President of the United States is a psychopath
    and that in regards to the President of the Russian Federation he see’s as a Patron.
    When I put Trump’s behaviors and extreme outbursts it all clicks into place.
    OMG The majority of Nuclear forces in the world are being controlled by psychopaths.
    The chat on the radio was a great eye opener, thanks.
    P.S now I don’t sleep very much, thanks.

  • Larry Post says:

    David, I loved your book, it was super helpful and incredibly interesting. HOWEVER, a couple of thoughts for the next edition:

    1) institutions are as much the problem as the solution. All institutions turn psychopathic, they end up putting themselves first and the people they serve last, always. No exceptions; it is only a matter of time. They come to protect psychopaths, and do so under the guise of public protection and so on. Psychopathic individuals use institutions to their advantage, for instance Jimmy Saville. There is nothing that can replace the vigilance of every single one of us. And yet, that is another trick of institutions, to lull us to sleep and pretend they are taking care of us, while diverting our attention.

    2) your views on Donald Trump are misplaced. In light of what we now know about Obamagate, Russiagate, the stolen election and so on, it is clear he is the psychopath’s worst enemy, and the greatest defender of liberty, truth and justice since the Civil War. It is no surprise then that many famous psychopathic individuals and institutions have waged war on him and vilified him. Much better to take a look behind the superficial charm of Obama, Biden, the Bushes and Clintons, if you want examples from politics.

    Looking forward eagerly to the next edition. Thank you again.

  • Michele says:

    Hi David

    I am struggling to get a copy of your book in South Africa, and have tried searching all the major book sites.

    Do you have any idea where the book is being distributed in South Africa?

    Thank you

  • David Gillespie says:

    Sorry Michele I don’t know much about book avialibility – have you tried contacting the publisher (Pan Macmillan Australia)?

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