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In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
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In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,660 ratings  ·  264 reviews
"This book clearly illustrates the true nature of disturbed characters, exposes the tactics the most manipulative characters use to pull the wool over the eyes of others, and outlines powerful, practical ways to deal more effectively with manipulative people."
Paperback, 122 pages
Published December 19th 1996 by A. J. Christopher & Company
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,660 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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Start your review of In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this book because of other reviews on Goodreads that I saw, which highlighted some tactics that manipulative people use against others. They struck a chord of familiarity for me, as I've known various people in my life who have used these methods repeatedly to avoid responsibility for their aggression. I found the book most useful in clearing away the fog of confusion that such characters use to hide their true colors and avoid taking responsibility.

The biggest insight the book contains
Jun 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anybody feeling victimized or codependent
This is not well-written, thorough, or clear enough for me to give it more than 3 stars, but the ideas in it are worth at least 4 (if not 5) stars. In my opinion, the most important idea that Dr. Simon presents is:
in general, manipulators, abusers, bullies, and otherwise overly-aggressive people act this way--NOT because of some underlying fear, insecurity, or past abuse--but because this type of unacceptable behavior allows them to get what they want

I ordered this book via interlibrary loan
Dec 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
One of my favourite episodes in John Sladek's Roderick: The Education of a Young Machine is the bit where the eponymous hero is kidnapped by a travelling carnival. They stick him in a booth, with his power supply connected to a coin-operated meter. If you put in a dollar, he comes alive for a minute and tells you what kind of person you are. Roderick only has one script, but it pleases everyone: he tells them that basically they're too nice, and that they shouldn't let everyone use them all the ...more
Larry Ortman
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this book after looking online and trying to understand a person I was recently involved with. I got chills reading the tactics of these "covert-aggressive" individuals, as many of them were used on me. These people are very cunning at making you feel like it is "all you", "you're crazy to think that" and to completely ignore your screaming intuition. The book gave me insight not only in the tactics, but the psychology of these people who's primary motive is to win at all costs. Most of ...more
Fuck. Manny’s reading this book In Sheep’s Clothing Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People and I’m thinking he’s going to start applying it to goodreads, isn’t he? He’s going to start looking at reviews and writing comments like, sorry, but that’s a review that’s trying to get a vote through covert-aggression and I’m not falling for it. Vote withheld.

So he says he’s especially interested in this concept covert-aggression, he thinks it’s useful and I’ve spent all night sitting up in
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there is a manipulative person in your life, you don't need to read things about how they got that way and feel all sorry for them. That's for later. If you are dealing with a manipulative person, you need to read this book. NOW. It's about how ro deal with manipulative people and reclaim your life.

Having said that, I hope you don't need to read this book.

Re-reading parts again.
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Blind spots are the human limitations of the intelligent mind. Too often we think we are too smart, too accomplished and too reasonable to put up with any nonsense from anyone. Well, we eat humble pie when we find ourselves to be in situations where people use us, abuse us and generally make us feel bitter and resentful.

This book puts in perspective situations where we may be subject to manipulation, without us realizing the full extent of our loss. It also gives us tips to deal with such
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was recommended to me by a friend who is going through a very messy divorce. I found the book to be quite interesting in helping one learn how to identify and deal with manipulative people. Especially in regards to viewing manipulation as a form of aggression as opposed to neurotic self protection. Truthfully, it seems that (with the exception of manipulative children) that the best solution to the people profiled is "run away!" but the author does a fine job of giving examples and offering ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
What is I liked about the book:
1. It confronts the “traditional” approach of understanding personality and neurosis and suggests that unchecked pervasiveness of the same can actually be maladaptive.
2. The model of manipulative behaviour is simple yet effective. I wonder if there are better ones available.
3. Attempts to show how covert-aggression is a distinctive feature of manipulation.
4. The stories and clinical accounts to illustrate the tactics.
5. Helps one identify those tactics, generate
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
A fine introduction for first-time seekers of knowledge on the subject. But like so many books of this self-help type, the bulk of material is dedicated to case studies. While it is necessary to get some background on why wolves are wolves and how they employ psychic trickery to manipulate, it seems to me that by the time a person is reading books on the subject they have been afflicted enough such that being introduced to more nut-bags becomes a miserable, disheartening experience. What victims ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We live in dangerous times, and I mean it!!!
What I want to say is that regardless our technological progress, the human condition hasn't change for the best..

I know very well what it means to be victimize by manipulative people;
And how passive and covert aggression are causing havoc by disrupted characters.

Disrupted characters is like a disease, the new plague in our society with epidemic size!!!
So, for me this book is a timely help providing much needed insight..
We live in a competitive world,
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book. The biggest takeaway, for me, is that the belief that most people think the same way, and want to do the right thing, is fundamentally flawed. I grew up being told to see the good in everyone, which has occasionally cost me. Some people really don't feel guilt or shame in the same way, and to see this confirmed in black and white has made me realise how naive I have been (and how badly I was taught!) A worthwhile read. I also particularly liked the concept of building ...more
Excellent. Succinct. Highly recommend.

I listened to this, trying to figure out how to deal with a specific person in my life, but I gained much more insight than anticipated. Well done!

(I'd like to thank my local traffic for being so horrendous that I finished this in two days.)
Amy Raby
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Worth reading if you deal with a manipulative person in your family, workplace, or social circle. And who doesn't? These people are everywhere. The author talks about a continuum that has the neurotic personality at one end (conscientious, prone to guilt and shame) and the character-disordered personality at the other (weak conscience, seeks to win/dominate at all costs). If you've read about sociopaths, you already know about the extreme character-disordered personality who has no conscience at ...more
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very eye-opening book. Simon discusses the most common ways people set out to manipulate others, but more importantly demonstrates the ways in which we set ourselves up or allow ourselves to be manipulated. Three things that really resonated with me: 1. He cautions against using old psychiatric models from the Victorian age. People who manipulate others or do unconscionable things seemingly without remorse are not necessarily "compensating" for their deep-rooted fears and insecurities--they may ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Update: I finished 2 other books by Simon. I will still leave my original review, but I feel compelled to add to this and my other Simon reviews that while he has good and useful things to say, he is hella racists. I recommend trying to find someone with a better character to go to for advice.

I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I am not a fan of self help books and because of its title, I had an aversion to it. However, this book was on par with The Psychopath Next Door. It is a must
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a Godsend. I've been baited, steered, and manipulated by a covert aggressive family member on and off for most of my life. I always knew something was wrong with the way he went about scheming to get his way rather than earning it, but I never had a way to describe what was going on until now. The tips for protecting yourself from the machinations of a manipulator are wonderful. This aspect of my life is going to be far less distressing in the future! My only problem with 'In ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book taught me how to understand an abuser in my life.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Is there someone in your life who seems friendly, but every time you disagree you feel that you give up too much and don’t feel good about yourself? Do you know someone who presents his/her idea as the only logical option, and tells you that your different idea is selfish? Have you met someone who wants something from you and as soon as you say no asks again in a different way? Is there someone at work who seems nice but consistently withholds important information from you? Do you need to ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Highly recommend.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Mostly lists different personality types and the manipulation tactics they each tend to use. Very brief section on how to deal with those personalities though. Overall I enjoyed reading this. Learned something new (on convert aggressive personality types) and even things about myself. What's interesting to me is how they are finding out that background environment childhood etc doesn't always make any difference in how certain personalities turn out.
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
George K Simon did a great job at exposing Covert aggressive personalities and their way of operation.Used real clinical cases that anyone who has ever encountered covert aggressive personalities can easily relate to.However,he concentrates more on exposing there characters than providing more practical ways on how to to effectively deal with such personalities.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, psych-mind
Indispensable guide for understanding this "open secret" in society, what the author perfectly terms covert aggression.
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is 3.5-4.0 stars.

Overall, it is an excellent introduction to covertly-aggressive people and the strategies that they use to manipulate others. A solid resource to people dealing with bullies, especially the sneaky kind.

I had a few concerns with the book but for the most part they did not detract from the overall value of the book:

>I really hate it when people use male pronouns and nouns to supposedly cover all of humankind
-research clearly shows that 'humankind' is not represented
Dave Burns
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
5 stars because this book gave me just what I wanted and expected, tactics for dealing with manipulative people. The first 8 chapters describe the psychology of manipulators. I skipped them. Chapter 9 describes the tactics that manipulators use against others. Chapter 10 was the red meat I came for, counter-strategies. The book is clear and seems plausible.
The 5 stars does not mean that I have no quibbles. Simon is surprisingly judgmental for a psychologist, and at least in the two chapters I
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The premise of this books is that while most of us think of people as existing along a continuum of greater or lesser neurosis (basically they have an overreactive conscience/too much guilt/inhibited), with the healthier side of the scale zeroing out at less neurotic, the scale actually continues past 0% neurotic to the opposite extreme - character disturbed (no conscience/lack of guilt/entitlement). So while we might traditionally make excuses for someone who acts like a bully - "it is because ...more
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a pretty good, short read. Dr. Simon acknowledges having spent many years not being able to clearly help people deal with this type of manipulative personality until he recognized the futility of trying to understand the one doing the manipulating. Where the light bulb went on for me is him explaining that a lot of these people just ARE the way they are. It's how they get what they want in life. I have spent too much time wondering why this or that person would feel so insecure (or ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soc-psych
I wish someone had given me this book 25 years ago, so I would not have had to learn how to deal with manipulators the hard way. I think I will put a copy in my kids' Christmas stockings this year.

Simon addresses manipulators for what they are - aggressors who care more about having their own way than anything else. He encourages people to recognize them, to trust your intuition when you feel like something is not right, and to stand up to them in an effective manner. He also advocates knowing
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY
Shelves: psychology
I have so much to say about this book and all of its fascinating and essential insights. But I will write that later! Basically I recommend this book to EVERYBODY ON THE ENTIRE PLANET along with The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types. I swear that these two books have helped me unlike any others to understand people and develop a working philosophy for my interactions with them, and with myself, and just, a very ...more
Belinda Missen
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has been busy dropping truth bombs like a busted packet of Tic Tacs.

Simon provides a useful guide to identifying and dealing with manipulative people in your life. Reading some of the examples, rationalising, and tactics used has left me far less confused about my life than I was at the start of the book. I've been able to pick out moments from life, both past and present, that fit almost perfectly into one or more modes of manipulation.

I guess the trick is to utilising the knowledge
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George K. Simon, Jr., Ph.D. is a leading expert on manipulators and people diagnosed with character disorders. Not only a psychologist, Dr. Simon is also a public speaker, consultant, professional trainer and composer who has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs.
“Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.” 66 likes
“If you're dealing with a person who rarely gives you a straight answer to a straight question, is always making excuses for doing hurtful things, tries to make you feel guilty, or uses any of the other tactics to throw you on the defensive and get their way, you can assume you're dealing with a person who — no matter what else he may be — is covertly aggressive.” 14 likes
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