Dangerous Personalities: An FBI Profiler Shows You How to Identify and Protect Yourself From Harmful People, by Joe Navarro

My Copy: 9781635653366 (image from rodale books)

A lot of what we’re seeing in the news today has a lot to do with dangerous personalities, and it’s a plus to read a book like this.

Now, this 2017 edition does briefly mention a certain political figure, but he’s not diagnosing him. If anything, clinicians apparently recommend people to read this book to make up their own minds (especially in light of the psychology “scandal” that’s brewed about diagnosing said figure without meeting him personally).

Dangerous Personalities is about bringing your own awareness and what you see and making your own judgments. To anyone from your next-door neighbor to a world leader, using your eyes and the tips in this book to see if someone you know is a dangerous personality.

I like the structure of Dangerous Personalities. It gives a general introduction as to why he wrote the book, a little background on this FBI agent and profiling. Then the next few chapters introduce and explain the four main dangerous personality types: narcissistic, emotionally unstable, paranoid, and the predator.

Keep in mind, this isn’t a clinical text, Mr. Navarro is using descriptors that will be useful for any layperson at any time. There are also lengthy checklists for each section. If you have a concern that you know someone who might fit some of these personalities (and there are some combinations possible–see most serial killers), then he advises you to go through the whole checklist before tallying up the possibilities. And if there’s a doubt or it doesn’t quite fit, skip it, because some questions are similar and may fit the description better anyway.

I haven’t tried to use the checklist myself, though I am going back to work through it now. I think this book is a keeper for the shelf, not too difficult at all to read and a great reference in case someone questionable or dangerous were to–unfortunately–put you in their path.

The biggest thing Mr. Navarro mentions is being aware. Keep your eyes open and look around once in a while. That’s the best tip for being safe, especially in an era where everybody’s got headphones on and/or their face in their phones.

Dangerous personalities are on the look out for the vulnerable, after all.

Just makes sense.

Happy (and safe) reading.

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