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Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People
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Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,258 ratings  ·  277 reviews

Have you ever been in a relationship with a psychopath? Chances are, even if you did, you would never know it. Psychopaths are cunning charmers and master manipulators, to the point where you start to accept the most extreme behaviors as normal…

Even if it hurts you.

All around us, every single day, human beings devoid of empathy are wreaking havoc and destroying lives

Kindle Edition, Expanded Edition, 284 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Berkley (first published March 20th 2013)
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Zed Ecks this may be a bit hyperbolic and/or a reflection of the specific dynamics of my own history of toxic personal relationships, but i strongly suspect…morethis may be a bit hyperbolic and/or a reflection of the specific dynamics of my own history of toxic personal relationships, but i strongly suspect that the reason that these kinds of books almost universally assume a male abuser is that in the modern western monoculture, it is generally assumed to be every woman's right to exhibit the personality traits normally ascribed to such individuals; or maybe it's because heterosexual male survivors of abuse are less likely to spend money on self help books; maybe it's both; maybe neither; and maybe those two possibilities are causally linked on some way; maybe not(less)

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Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could have read this book a year ago. The author basically told me my own story, and for the first time, I was able to REALLY hear it. The author is just a person, like me. Not a doctor or specialist of any kind- aside from honest experience. This was exactly what I needed. I feel more grateful than ever that the sociopath who tortured me only did so for a few months and never fully engaged me. I am proud and grateful for my status as a former transitional target! His horrific silence ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly, I picked this up to support a fellow Derryfield alum (Go Jackson!). I didn't expect it to speak to me since I have not (to my knowledge) dated a psychopath or anyone with a personality disorder. After reading Psychopath Free, it became clear that this book is not just about recovering from dating a psychopath. This book is about human relationships, empathy, and self-preservation. It's about protecting yourself from toxic relationships and forgiving yourself when you fall apart. I ...more
Kimberley Jacobs
Such a great book. I always felt like the "crazy person" in my relationship.. to the point I wanted to die. Nobody really ever saw the psychopath side of my partner until it was almost too late. There are so many people out there who are suffering in these same situations and this book helped me realize I am not the loser.. I am valuable... and people who truly love others do not make them feel worthless and could never discard them so easily. I do struggle with "no contact"... this book helps ...more
MaryKay Keller
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! Everyone should give a copy of this book to their teens. Not everyone is your friend! It's okay to be choosy about who you spend your time with and when you meet someone with these qualities keep them out of your life.
Mandie Lowe
This is a really good guide to abusive relationships with psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists. For those who have never considered that their partner might be suffering from a personality disorder, this could very well provide you with the answers you have been seeking.

My abusive ex told me I was stupid (in far less polite terms) for falling for his lies (again, I'm cleaning up his language) and that he is a sociopath. He feels no empathy, no guilt, no remorse, he feels nothing for me, our
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is a Survivor of Psychological Abuse
I think everyone should read this book, even if they have not personally been in an intimate relationship with a Psychopath. With the high percentage of the population that have Cluster B disorders all people have been in contact with at least one, even if they haven't been personally affected, yet. It is educational, but also personal. It put things into words that I had experienced, but could not explain. I will likely refer back to this book often and read it again.
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Having unknowingly befriended my share of sociopaths and narcissists in life, this book really speaks to me. I wish I had had it to guide me in the aftermath of those friendships, but even now, the tips for recovery are so helpful to me. Though the focus is on sociopaths in romantic relationships, most of the insights in this book can apply to non-romantic situations and situations with narcissists as well. My only issue is that the author describes psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists as ...more
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I purchased this book because I had a recent conflict with a psychopath in my life and I wanted some clarity. While this book does provide some clarity, I can't say it was necessarily the best book for my needs. I might have been a little upset when I made the purchase because I usually don't make poor purchases like this.

The book draws largely from the author's experiences and provides a casual account of the author's experience starting a website support group for people who have dealt with
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that this little book really does have it all!
It simply tells you how it is with the psychopath. How they think and how they do not care nor worry about what you nor anyone else thinks. No empathy, no care other than for themselves. Moving on to one doormat to the next only to recycle you IF you allow them too! How to keep a, "no contact" agreement with yourself and from them. A must read for anyone living with/attached to/or recovering from a psychopath's path of destruction.
Wow the intro had so much I could relate to it was scary. zyhe manufactured soul mate was both frightening and fascinating. Having ended my relationship and feeling free from it Already, a lot of the rest of the book didn't speak to me as much but did make me immensely glad that I am not feeling hung up on a psychopath. A lot of great tips and advice if you every come Across one of these toxic types. I highly recommend.
Jess Cruz
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'll be the first to admit that I usually see self-help books as a scam. I feel that they don't dispense new or insightful advice. And with this book, in particular, I was a little wary about the lack of scientific study and statistics. With that said, if you're looking for a book rooted in social experiments and actual data, you won't find it here. However, if you approach this book the way I did (as a vulnerable, post-break-up hot mess), you might be pleasantly surprised.

Prathik M
Mar 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to get an insight of why psychopaths do what they do, but this unscientific book, filled with unproven, baseless things like angel, spirit, guard etc.. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I am giving a harsh review for this because these people are taking advantage of the vulnerable too by perpetrating this nonsense and making money out of it, the very thing that they claim psychopaths do, take advantage of the vulnerable. After reading "You Might Be a Narcissist If.." by Paul ...more
S. Davis
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All I can say about this book is that I was in a downward spiral into the darkest depression, questioning my sanity, my logic/reasoning abilities, what I saw with my own eyes and what I heard with my own ears, until I listened to it.

When I wasn't using my self-defense mechanism of denial, my life and mind were in constant turmoil.

For my own sanity and a consuming need for encouragement/distraction, I would search the Internet for books about toxic people, Narcissists, and manipulators.

Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I recommend this book to anyone who feels they have been in an emotionally abusive relationship. I liked it because it reiterated your experience was very real. It is hard for people that haven't walked in our shows to relate.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm giving it 4 stars more for its powers of personal validation than for the way it's written, which as some have mentioned can be repetitive (although this has is its own affirming power in my opinion. some things ought to be repeated like a mantra). It loosely charts the trajectory of a toxic relationship (although specifically one with a Psychopath as per the personal experience of the author) & the subsequent healing process. I especially appreciated reading about the unbearable ...more
Becky Reed
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The nightmare world of life with a psychopath finds voice in this marvelously knowledgeable work. During my own horrific ordeal where my idea of self was eviscerated as I struggled to work on a romantic relationship which forever morphed into varying shades of unreal moments, I found myself lost. Literally, “I was no more the one I used to be.”

Just as the author explains and delineates the route of a soul's terror, there is a tremendous sense of relief and genuine release from the reader's
I have been on a quest to read as many books that involve DSM personality disorders as possible. So few rise to any acceptable standard; and yet, the public eats them up. This book was another book in the sea of psych-centered self help books that provides some unquestionably helpful advice (identifying traits that are manipulative and suggesting ways to free yourself from individuals who act that way) while at the same time creating a plethora of just so stories that pollute anything good the ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me make sense of behaviors and things that happened while in a relationship with some one...that made no sense to me. NONE! SO many times I would be highlighting something in the book, as I was reading, and think..."wow that is exactly what happened" or "that is just how this person acted". I would talk to several friends when I was in the relationship, and they would just look at me, and say "Holly that isn't normal". I thought this person I loved would never cheat or lie to ...more
Kyle Nicholas
I loved this one for several reasons:

1. The gentle approach by the author is less technical, less judgmental and more healing than many self-help/psychology books. You won't find much in the way of numbers, statistics and studies; look elsewhere for that.

2. I listened to the audiobook version of this title. The narrator is so wonderful, I got tingles listening to him (read: ASMR.) I think I'll listen again to this audiobook soon as stress relief! (Especially because society "out there" tends to
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who have been affected by toxic relationships
Recommended to Shell by: Psychopath Free website
Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People (Paperback)
by Peace

This book is a great read.

I discovered this book when I read that the founder of the website with the same name- Psychopath Free had written a website. As a former victim of emotional abuse this book helped me to come to terms with the loss of a relationship that did not add up. There are many things that I could list in here but I know that deep down I
Stephanie Phillips
Zero references and the author has absolutely no credentials. Strange claims (you will take 12 to 24 months to recover from this relationship...?) and a clear misunderstanding of Cluster B personality disorders and the differences between, especially in how they impact interpersonal relationships and the wrong assertion that they're untreatable--which is probably to be expected when you aren't a mental health professional, and is a pretty good reason that you shouldn't be writing a book delving ...more
Erika the lesser known Bronte
want a pity party? want advice from an author who still sounds hurt? the entire book is like a shameless retort to an ex that wont give them the time of day. "ill show you!! ill write a book about how evil you are." major gripe #1...actually labeling someone with a legitimate psychopathic disorder as evil....writing off years of legitimate research in deference to the same mentality that made people burn women at the stake for being witches.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The most important book I have ever read. Changed my life and will help me going forward to not fall into the same cycle and traps of love, friendship, working relationships etc.
The book is truly one of the best things that I have ever discovered.
Recommend and so grateful.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was given this book by someone on a narcissistic abuse forum I’d befriended because I was struggling after finally breaking free from my narcissistic, abusive ex and going no contact. I thought this book was a tad simplistic and patronising but overall found it quite helpful and uplifting until I got to one of the last paragraphs “The 15 percent problem” then my perspective on this book and its author Jackson MacKenzie totally changed. I was so appalled by what I was reading that I struggled ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for everyone who were in an abusive (emotionally/verbally) relationship. This book does not differentiate if you were dating narcissist, psychopath or someone with borderline personality disorder. The bottom line is they are toxic people and the influence on their partner is the same.
This is one of the best books about recovering from unhealthy relationship, it describes the pattern which is present in every toxic relationship, the stages (from the idealization to devaluation and
Paloma Meir
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is specifically written for people coming out of relationships with partners who suffer from personality disorders. It doesn't really address heartbreak because I don't think that's what a person feels coming out of violently abusive relationship with a disordered person.

The aftermath of that kind of relationship is more of a permanently drained feeling, loss of a sense of self, of having all of your illusions shattered rather than real heartbreak. If you're suffering from those kinds
Pamela Sweezy
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is life-changing and brilliantly put together. In my life, since my teen years, I have had approximately 9 relationships. Though I’m not a clinical person, I can still confidently say that of those 9, at least 7 would fall into a cluster B personality disorder (and two of those were diagnosed by clinicians). Plus, I dated about 5 more of these type guys for shorter periods of time but not long enough to consider them a “boyfriend”. Not only that but I’ve had the misfortune to ...more
Randall Wallace
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s corny that the author’s name is Peace but this is a great book. Anyway, according to Peace, Psychopaths need you alone away from others (and certainly away from prior victims) to do their work if you are their target. If they are not out to get you, they are out to use you to turn on someone else. They will mirror your insecurities to throw you, the empathetic target, off the scent (they know you don’t want them to appear too over-confident in the courtship phase). They ...more
Jihan Hasan
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This book is more than amazing. It's less technical than other self-help books, but I guess that's what makes it amazing. It takes a warm, casual, light-hearted approach. It does a great job describing toxic relationship dynamics and the stages of recovery. It also has simple yet powerful ways to embrace the experience, brush off the dust, and finally recover. It also discusses the beauty of empathy, and the strengths of empathetic people that psychopaths don't have. It makes me feel like I ...more
Grace Bailey
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enlightening Reading

I gave it a five-star rating because the author was able to make this book fit anyone who has had a relationship with a psychopath, either at work or in your personal life, whether or not it was with your brother, sister, or boyfriend/girlfriend, i.e. anyone. When you begin to question your being because of what somebody said or did with/or to you, then it's time to take a look at the other person. You just may be in a toxic relationship!

if you don't understand this book or
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“The Psychopath Free Pledge:

1. I will never beg or plead for someone else again. Any man or woman who brings me to that level is not worth my heart.

2. I will never tolerate criticisms about my body, age, weight, job, or any other insecurities I might have. Good partners won't put me down, they'll raise me up.

3. I will take a step back from my relationship once every month to make sure that I am being respected and loved, not flattered and love-bombed.

4. I will always ask myself the question: "Would I ever treat someone else like this?" If the answer is no, then I don't deserve to be treated like that either.

5. I will trust my gut. If I get a bad feeling, I won't try to push it away and make excuses. I will trust myself.

6. I understand that it is better to be single than in a toxic relationship.

7. I will not be spoken to in a condescending or sarcastic way. Loving partners will not patronize me.

8. I will not allow my partner to call me jealous, crazy, or any other form of projection.

9. My relationships will be mutual and equal at all times. Love is not about control and power.

10. If I ever feel unsure about any of these steps, I will seek out help from a friend, support forum, or therapist. I will not act on impulsive decisions.”
“Psychopaths provide shallow praise and flattery only in order to gain trust. When you actually need emotional support, they will typically offer an empty response—or they will completely ignore you. With time, this conditions you not to bother them with your feelings, even when you need a partner the most, especially during times of tragedy or illness. You will begin to notice that you are never allowed to express anything but positive praise for them.” 18 likes
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