Joe Navarro “Dangerous Personalities”

Joe Navarro is a former FBI profiler specializing in behavioral assessment. He started lecturing on human behaviour after retiring from his job. Considering his former career, there will be no doubt, that Navarro knows what he is talking about. Throughout the book, you can feel, that he is passing on the knowledge derived from his own experiences.

According to Navarro there are four personality types that can cause serious trouble or even be harmful to your mental or physical health and financial status. Navarro classifies these four as predator (DSM* classification: antisocial personality disorder), narcissistic personality, emotionally unstable personality (includes borderline personalities, histrionic personalities and bipolar disorders) and paranoid personality. The description of these personality types is not a psychological profile nor a diagnostic tool and Navorro has his own reasons for such classification. Each chapter ends with a lengthy checklist helping the reader to answer the following questions: How to identify these people? Does someone I know meet the criteria for a dangerous personality type? How dangerous is that person likely to be?

In an interview with Marty Nemko, Navarro stressed that these checklists shouldn’t be used to label people. The behaviors on the checklist violate the boundaries of normal behavior and if they occur too frequently or intensely, you should pay attention. The more serious or prevalent these behaviors are, the more likely the person is to victimize you physically, emotionally, mentally, or financially.

Some readers may recognize their current situation, others may have witnessed their friends or families dealing with something similar. Very often such persons are unavoidably part of your life: a family member, spouse, boss…

These personalities are not easily identifiable. They are great manipulators. Their behavior can be really subtle and unnoticeable and grow slowly, so you don’t become concerned until it’s too late. That’s why, only after a long period of time, you start to piece together a person’s behavior as a dangerous personality. 

All in all, this is an informative and user-friendly book and a useful tool to help you to identify the dangerous personalities in your life, to take a sober look at the situation and with recommendations on how to find help.

*DSM – Classification of Mental Disorders (Am.)


Rodale, 2014

Check from the e-catalogue ESTER

Eha Elmi
Department of Literature in Foreign Languages

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