Articles by Jane McGregor

Breaking Up With A Sociopath

Breaking Up With A Sociopath

Are you in a relationship where you are always in the wrong and chaos is the norm? Your partner doesn’t show any concern for anyone other than themselves and has extreme antisocial tendencies?   The chances are you are in a relationship with a sociopath. Sociopaths don’t care if they hurt, bully or maim. They have no conscience and show no remorse. Exiting a relationship of this sort can be painful and difficult but being aware of our former behaviours helps us gain insight, which in turn helps keep us from getting inadvertently (re)trapped in a cycle of...
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Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

What prompts us to ignore the distress of other people? We’ve all found ourselves in situations - the times we’ve seen someone taunted and didn’t intervene; when we’ve driven past a car that has broken down, assuming another driver would pull over to help. We’ve noticed a young man slumped on the pavement, and not gone over to check if he’s okay. We witness a problem; consider doing something, then respond by doing... nothing. Something holds us back. So why don’t we help in these situations? Apathy can immobilise us when we feel the impulse to flee and help at the...
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Can You Be Too Empathetic?

Can You Be Too Empathetic?

Do you experience overwhelming feelings when confronted with lots of other people? Do people, even strangers, pour out their hearts to you? Do you care more about other people’s feelings and well-being than your own? If so you may be highly empathetic. Individuals with a highly empathetic temperament are often kind and caring, putting others before themselves. However, these talents can be viewed as weaknesses, as empathetic people are overly sensitive to others’ remarks and actions. They are too alert to the suffering of others and suffer on their behalf....
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Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Do you have difficult family members, someone who doesn’t always make for good company? Take 45-year old Simon. He’s been married to Ali for 15 years, and though she loves him, she struggles to cope with his irritating ways. Why does he spend so many hours a day by himself,  most often hidden away playing computer games? And when they do go out, he can’t seem to hold a proper conservation without getting flustered. She can’t stand the way he procrastinates all the time, and is irritable whenever she asks him to do things to help her out. She is fed up that, as she puts it,...
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Is Your Partner a Sociopath?

Is Your Partner a Sociopath?

Sociopaths are people with little or no conscience or ability to empathize with other peoples’ feelings. One sociopath in the course of their lifetime will harm many people but hurt most those with whom they have intimate and close relations. Although many operate as seeming ‘model citizens’, behind the façade they have interpersonal deficits such as grandiosity, arrogance and deceitfulness, lack of guilt and empathy, and impulsive and occasionally criminal behaviours. It’s easy to miss these traits in someone you love because you are not expecting to see them....
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How to Spot a Sociopath at Work

How to Spot a Sociopath at Work

You could be working with a sociopath. Does your usually charming colleague ever surprise you with the ease with which they make ruthless decisions? Do you have a boss who loves to humiliate people in meetings? Have you been on the receiving end of a campaign of harassment at work because you challenged the work practices of your colleague? Have you had a colleague take credit for your idea and pass it off as his/her own?  Estimates suggest that one in every 25 people in the world is a sociopath. Many people think sociopaths are cold-blooded murderers, but in fact...
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