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11 Ways to Spot a Psychopath at Work

Early in my career I reported to a Managing Director who was intelligent, charming, funny, hugely energetic and full of great ideas which he was always very happy to share, preferably over a bottle of two or wine!.

He was also terribly impulsive, a master of manipulation, often humiliating those who ‘disappointed’ him and resorting to threats and bullying behaviour when things didn’t go his way.

I realised early on that staying one step ahead, recognising what he was up to and keeping on his ‘good’ side was critical to my career, all the time mopping up after him while others fell by the wayside, unable to find the resilience required to soldier on.

As my career progressed, I found similar traits in some of the women I worked with, so the “all men are bastards” catch-cry had to be shelved.

It seems I was in the presence of corporate psychopaths, or “snakes in suits” as psychologists Robert Hare and Paul Babiak call them.

According to Hare, one in 100 members of the general population meet the criteria for psychopathy, which, thanks to the plethora of TV shows about criminal forensic psychologists, we are generally led to believe is limited to serial killer types who cannot function in normal society.

The truth is, the signs and symptoms of psychopathy — ruthlessness, fearlessness, charm, persuasiveness, egocentricity, impulsivity, and the absence of conscience and empathy are personality traits like any other.  And like any personality traits, they will present differently in different people and not always to the same degree or in the same combination.

There is increasing evidence that the proportion of individuals with psychopathic traits could be higher in the business world, perhaps as high as one in 10 senior executives. Organisations tend to be attracted to high-energy, intelligent, fast-moving people who ooze charm and charisma and seem to be able to persuade and influence others.  According to Babiak, psychopaths can look that way.

At the outset these qualities are often mistaken for leadership but as time goes on these people remorselessly manipulate, charm, lie and bully their way into favour, often creating highly successful careers for themselves while leaving a wake of destruction and broken spirits in their path.

But not every successful, high-energy, intelligent, charming and persuasive person is a psychopath.

So what should you look for if you want to spot the psychopath in your workplace?

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1. Emotional manipulator

Playing on sympathy is a favourite weapon of choice for psychopaths.

While they are confident, outgoing and mentally resilient and rarely feel sorry for themselves, they are master manipulators are extremely proficient at eliciting pity and compassion.

Poor performers with psychopathic tendencies may frequently appeal to extenuating circumstances and pleas for support and understanding in order to shift the focus from their own behaviour.

2. Control freak

If you feel like you are being micro-managed, you probably are!

Moving people around, making them jump for the sake of it, unnecessary rearrangements of workspaces, the sudden imposition of unsocial working hours, monitoring toilet breaks, the promise of favours in return for ratting out your colleagues are just a few psychopathic favourites.

3. Charming

Psychopaths are past masters at making brilliant first impressions and charming your socks off.  They know only too well the value of turning on the charm early in a relationship and then slowly turning it off to make you start doubting yourself and feeling less worthy.

If you have been swept off your feet and made to feel like you are the only person in the room, if you have felt that someone is speaking just to you, only to be left feeling confused and insecure afterwards, then you may have been face to face with a corporate Psychopath!

4. Bloodsucker

Psychopaths are corporate vampires who take you into their confidence only to suck out all the valuable new ideas that may have been weeks and months in the planning.

A typical approach is to use reciprocity, a potent influencing tool.  A Psychopath might ‘confide’ in you about some ordinary idea of his/her own in the hope you then offer one of your own that is better.

Before you know it, your idea has become theirs” and they are getting the credit for it.

5. Liar Liar

If your relationship with your boss has been plagued by ‘false starts’, ‘misunderstandings’ and ‘wrong assumptions’ then you may have a Psychopath on your hands.

A tendency to misrepresent the facts while appearing plausible and reasonable, along with a lack of guilt or anxiety over telling lies is another hallmark of psychopathic behaviour.

But they are hard to spot because the lies often contain just enough truth that a spurious cover story can be concocted if they are scrutinised too closely.

6. Narcissistic

Though they may pretend concern for others, appearing warm, considerate and even helpful, make no mistake, psychopaths are completely self-interested, often coupled with an arrogant, grandiose and egocentric interpersonal style.

Relationship patterns in both their personal and corporate lives are often stormy and short-lived and “Friendships” are often terminated without warning once you cease to be “useful”.

If your boss has been known to fire people for no apparent reason, thinks he/she is more skilled, important or valuable than anyone else, or has a habit of stealing the limelight from others, then you may wish to consider moving on.

7. Teflon-coated

Psychopaths never accept responsibility for their mistakes and poor behaviour.  Worse than that, they are brilliant at manufacturing evidence that makes someone else look guilty so the blame is quickly shifted.

Psychopathic bosses have no shame when it comes to using employees as expendable buffers to ensure their own standing and reputation is not sullied if performance is being questioned.

If your boss has shifted blame and responsibility on to you to make him/herself look good, then you should start thinking about whether you want to hang around.

8. Great acting skills

The part of our brain responsible for emotion is turned down (or even off) in a psychopath, meaning he or she doesn’t experience normal feelings like the rest of us.

Feelings like fear, regret, disgust, and shame aren’t familiar to them.

But psychopaths are brilliant actors who will act scared, sorry or surprised in order to manipulate others if it will help them advance their own agenda.

If you have a boss who is prone to extreme displays of emotion then quickly returns to normal as if nothing has happened, then you might question whether he or she really feels anything at all.

9. Risk taker

Things that would scare the hell out of a normal person don’t frighten a psychopath at all.  In fact their unemotional composure under fire is part of their attractiveness and explains why they often achieve success in highly volatile professions like the media, politics, finance and the military.

But this lack of fear and warped view of risk can also lead to unnecessary risk-taking – think of what happened in the global financial crisis and some of the less than ideal decisions taken by military leaders in the past.

Things to watch for are a package of risky investments, unwise alliances, inappropriate behaviour, and risqué comments.

The recent film about Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a good example of corporate psychopaths.

10. Power-hungry

Psychopaths need to control and manipulate others and so are attracted to positions where they can influence others.  In the corporate world, senior management roles are ideal places for psychopaths to function in.

Any organisation that has a hierarchical structure which enables an individual to have a position of power over others is attractive to people with psychopathic tendencies – even better if they get to wield their power with impunity.

Psychopaths are masters at “managing up”, so beware of anyone who will step on those below to impress those above.

11. Menacing ‘aura’

I alluded to TV shows earlier.  It’s true that films and TV shows generally portray psychopaths as intense, brooding, menacing figures who send chills up your spine.

While every psychopath is not a sadistic rapist or serial killer, there is some evidence that people experience unnerving physical sensations when in the presence of a person with psychopathic tendencies, whether they be a killer or not.

There is the suggestion that psychopaths give out a certain ‘aura’ and comments like “he makes my skin crawl”, “he makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end”, and “he sends chills up my spine” are just some of the reactions people report.

So trust your gut instincts – if you feel uneasy around your boss, or experience discomfort when you are alone with him/her for any length of time, then GET OUT!

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Bernadette Eichner

RecruitLoop's Marketplace Manager, building our recruiter community. I've more years experience in the global recruitment industry than I care to mention. Known to sprout Shakespeare. Follow me @RecruitLooper.

  • nomore

    This article is a little misleading, as “normal” people can display some of these tendencies some of the time. As someone who has had to deal with a lot of everyday sociopaths in their life, it is not always as easy to spot as this article makes out. These low empathy people are excellent at seeing clearly what to say or how to behave to win you over. It’s not until you’re not useful anymore that you see their true colours. I’ve found upon much reflection and reading of materials about sociopaths/psychopaths (and after much suffering and loss at their hands) that the last point is one of the most important. I don’t necessarily get chills when I come across them, but I do notice that every sociopath I have met has left me feeling like there was something not quite right that I couldn’t put my finger on – it’s like a sausage roll that’s been reheated and the heating didn’t quite go all the way through so when you delve/bite into it, there’s a little cold or numb there. Trust that feeling – it means their feelings aren’t genuine and don’t genuinely “go all the way” through them. If you get that feeling, just stay cautious and don’t get caught up in their games. Sociopaths use others to do their nastiest dirty work for them so that the “worker” gets the blame if the game is exposed. The sociopath knows how to get away with scot free almost every time. Don’t become their patsy by helping them shaft somebody else. Otherwise, you’ll be the next to go down and the victim of the game usually doesn’t deserve it either.

    • myAnon

      wow, you said all that fits with my one experience with a sociopath. I googled this because I suspect there is a manager at work who is one. So the jury is still out, I’m hoping it’s not true because she’s in an integral position, but have made a list of red flags. Not looking good but will give the benefit of the doubt and also will tread lightly. thanks so much for your post. It brings sanity to those of us not knowledgeable in the area.

    • care package

      It’s not misleading. Psychopathic behavior is becoming more “normal” for one (even encouraged to some degree at this point), and your whole paragraph is just another way of saying everyone is a psychopath to some degree even if very slight. It’s like autism. There are varying levels of autism too, some so slight they are considered highly functional autistics. Autism is increasing like wildfire just like psychopaths are.

    • JK

      That feeling that something is not quite right, exactly trust that feeling.

    • Ron Lentjes

      Yep, you said it well. I’ve experienced this with a couple of individuals. But worse of all, I experience this with a group of people like that. Check “Gang Stalkers”. This is an ugly subject. And unfortunately most of what is described is true. The leader is basically getting all the low lives to do all the dirty work for him/her. A lot of people don’t believe in this. But those of us who are attacked by these nasty players have no doubt. You can be a whistle blower from any walk of life. Even just someone to be experimented on. I guess you’d call it “group psychopathy”. If you look at their faces – many of them – they are strange, cold, empty people. I have had investigators after them. Now they always wear dark shades in fear of our constant video of their activity. They don’t like to be exposed at all, I’ve noticed. They make false claims about people and basically get people to believe that the target is some criminal or anything vile. You can’t go to police. They will not help. You can’t go to doctor, they will try to commit you. Some psychologist have even made their own sites with total lies about this. So wait a minute, just who is behind all this then! If your kids or adult friends say they are being bullied (at work, on the street), being followed by cars or on foot. DO NOT ASSUME THIS IS NOT HAPPENING. They want victims to talk about it so that they are ASSUMED to be CRAZY. Now all this should actually sound just like what this TOPIC on this site is ALL ABOUT. “GROUP PSYCHOPATHY AT WORK”. So for you kids sake and your adult friends sake, take “Gang Stalking” seriously. It is happening world-wide! There are bad sites and good sites. You have to sift through it carefully. But if your loved one starts describing this, LISTEN and HELP them. DO NOT GO TO POLICE. DO NOT SEEK PSYCHIATRIST. One of their aims is to try to get you committed. It is a sickness. So read all this site, you will realize that it is just that: “GROUP PSYCHOPATHY AT WORK”. Cheers, Ron Lentjes. Take care. Arm your self with this understanding and help others who are suffering. We have a responsibility as a society to deal with these growing number of PSYCHOPATHS.

  • Terence Verma

    They are at their ‘hair raising’ best when they occupy the high chair. The big Q is how they manage to get up and through with their subterfuges? Reckon they have fooled too many folks for too much of the time. A robust company culture should be able to throw up these ‘Abnormals’.

  • mike

    The ones I have met in life can only be described as having one thing in common: the quality of slippery, cretinous rats with zero moral worth. They are almost completely autistic in terms of real human emotion and interaction, but with the far more malevolent drive to use these to their own ends (which is normally to maintain whatever facade and reputation they covet).

    They often succeed and flourish in the presence of a weak, dying managerial culture, where revenue targets are the only lingering barometer of success between employees; 90% of the time you will see them in Sales roles where these qualities are suited and allow them to easily take liberties.

    How does one cope with them in the workplace?

    Isolate yourself from them:

    It can be very difficult to isolate yourself, as they will nearly always be hacking their way to the top of the social ladder. My advice would be to ask yourself how you feel around them. If they exhaust you or and make you feel bad.. unfortunately you will have to avoid these gatherings until you are in the right mood.

    Be better at what you do well:

    Psychopaths are generally very average at most things that don’t require some spin on charm, manipulation (that require hard work, persistence). If you are a specialist programmer etc. prep for meetings, know your best stuff that can’t be done by others and make a big impact. They are less likely to see you as an easy target as management will take action if you make a complaint against them.

    Warn management early on:

    Mention briefly in meetings any particular malicious activity on their part that you can prove. Warn them that they should be careful around said employee. In my experience, management have already had complaints logged against them.

    Find their weakness

    A much more difficult strategy that I have employed when locking horns is to intimidate them in a way that uniquely hurts them when they push boundaries. You can easily find this in the way they overcompensate. Being a big guy I can get away with being more physical.. grabbing, wrestling, poking.. with a big grin on my face. As long as they think they can “measure” you and your reactions, they will be less likely to cause problems. However if you do this to randomly and appear as a looming threat (they are paranoid) you are asking for trouble.

    • myAnon

      what about weakling females who aren’t into headlocks – how do we intimidate them to keep them in check? I think it takes one to control one – mentally that is.

      • Cheshire

        I find being assertive helps with mine. Look them in the eye and smile, they hate that.

        • myAnon

          I shall try that and see how that works. L. I wonder if it’s like those people who always seem to have a smirk on their face. They irritate me because I find it condescending. I think what you’re talking about might be different. It should be more like “I know what you’re trying to pull and it ain’t working…” sort of smile. Am I on the right track?

          • Mary

            and the absence of conscience and empathy are personality traits like any other.

            Boy how true are the writers words- but you cant change peoples personality’s .

            All you can do is run from having them in your l life– unless youv got yourself caught up financially with them and stand to lose your house as is my case.

            These people are great at acting the victim and it can take years before you see the truth.

            Its much worse if your not working trust me with limited friends.

        • JK

          In light of the people who are in the news these days that have the qualities of this disorder its a matter of time they will be exposed for what they are in the workplace.

  • victim

    This article is great. I have been targeted by one at work, and because I had to expose him he is destroying me. He assaulted me and managed to turn it around so that the team does not believe me even when he has been given a punishment order from the State Prosecutor. He threatened me that he will get me outside of work too. Strangely enough I can’t find another job.

    • Viktoria Sigrun

      Get a gun.

  • Lucy

    I realize I have worked with a psychopath recently. She is calculating, non-empathetic, selfish, and smooth. She has literally hurt EVERYONE in the workplace to satisfy herself. Playing viciously mean ‘pranks,’ like soaking one’s seat with water slowly so it soaked into the fusion and people won’t notice, arranging items to fall on their head when they open cabinets, taking the time to put ink or pencil lead under someone’s desk so it would get all over their clothes, accusing people of saying or doing things they didn’t do, or twisting their words to take on a whole new meaning, to complain to their superior so they would get into trouble, accusing one person of sexual harrassment (a person whose wife works in the same building and would NEVER do such a thing) to keep him from promotion because she found him threatening, asking people to come in early the next day and when they do and find they aren’t needed, denying the fact that she told them to come in early.
    She says inappropriate sexual remarks, and pats kids on the rear end.
    She pretends to be the parents’ friends to gain their trust and feel important.
    She calls her boss, the principal, who is a wonderful person, “the Evil Bitch” behind her back.

    • Elise

      Unions are needed to protect workers because the higher you go in the corporate structure, the more psychopaths you’ll encounter. This woman sounds odious, and the situation must be hard, but suppose she wasn’t just a secretary. Suppose she ran a company you worked in. Wouldn’t you then want a union in place to protect you?

      • Ron Lentjes

        And suppose he/she runs a country…
        And 9/11..
        And all…
        Cheers, Ron Lentjes

  • Cheshire

    My current one is a manager at the store I clean, and thankfully buffered by the rest of the friendly staff at my store. I was warned that she scared others away, and she loves to find or manufacture mistakes to reprimand me for.

    Whenever I am with the manager, I get violent shakes, but I actually can get her to back off. I tend to actively ignore her untill she speaks to me directly, as she tends to mutter, walk into me to get me to move, or shout accusations and orders from a distance, and smirk if I let on I didn’t understand. If she speaks to me rudely about a percieved mistake, I always make eye contact, and give her short, sharp answers. I suspect that she wants me to stammer and make excuses when she needs to accuse me of something, so being direct and authoritative throws her off a bit.

    I’ve met others, but dind’t have as much luck as they managed to wreck my experiance at Uni and at work before I became less reserved and obliging to these people.

  • CVD879

    so i would like to point out as a diagnosed phycopath that alot of these are true but there is alot of false statements here first off good luck finding a true phycopath i can pass an iq test and hit genius but youll never see it in person because im not going to play all my cards right away im going to use my intelligence to not be noticed by you for you are not important the ones i want to see me as smart but not smarter then them for that causes fear in them is those 2 levels above me in my chain of command i will outsmart those one level above me and make myself look great but those that are equal to me or below there is no need for they are of no use to me unless i need them to do something i will also point out that while i accept credit i will also play it off that others did things to show sharing of credit when it is clearly my work / direction that was a sucess but i would also like to make it clear as long as you dont get in my way there will never be a problem because while i dont feel bad if i make u fail to make me succeed if you arnt in my way then there is no need to do so and we dont always abuse the people below us for there success is my success as well they may get the credit for doing the ground work but i get the credit for approving that it be done in the first place that is so long as they succeed if they fail then its there hole they dug not mine so long story short for the person that said they have a boss that they feel is a phycopath he is likely a sociopath there is a difference

    • Bob

      Ever heard of grammar, genius? Or punctuaction? Or spelling?
      All you prove is that IQ tests are a load of bollocks.

  • asda

    i have been able to correctly identify these kind of people since my college years. The trick i think, is in the eyes: if you look closely youll find nothing in them, i call it the “death stare” and i call them the “souless people”.

    My general strategy is avoiding them and surrounding myself with positive people, and when posible, discrediting them before they even attempt something against me. And also, showing no emotion when you are with them helps a lot, since they are predatos that go against anything that resembles weakness.

    But everyonce in a while youll have to deal with them directly or because they have become part of your group, and if for some reason you become their target, they will pursue anything you want or have.

    I have never known if they do this in a conscious or unconscious manner, but the thing is they are like hungry dogs, and they will pursue you. So, i have found the best strategy is counter them with their same game, that is, deceit. Youll have to throw bones in every direction so they will go after it, without hurting your true interests.

    For example, and this is an innocent one: if you share with them that you like one of youre female coworkers, you can be sure that either of two things will happen: either he will try to conquer her or he will put you at bad terms with her, all while making it look that it happen by itself and they are innocent. So, all you have to do is tell him you like any other girl with a passion and watch him go after her.

    The same with your intended carreer goals, promotions or jobs. Once you spill out your true intentions in front of these people you are in trouble.

    i have been lucky in that the sociopaths i have encountered werent as agressiive as the ones described in other comments, but the trick is to identifying them right before they try anything and stay alert.

    • Ron Lentjes

      YES! The eyes! An absence. Not depressed. Just nothingness. Strange. Odd. Empty. Well that’s my read.
      And they often look downwards or to the side of you as they try to communicate in such a make up way…
      But some do try hard to look at you straight but that makes you sick to your stomach! Uuuuuck!

      Cheers, Ron Lentjes

  • beaware

    having worked with one it took some time and ill health to work it out they are very charming and plausible but there is always a line of victims who have lost their position and sometimes although clever in their own right were unaware of the psychopaths role in their demise

  • Shocked

    Is there anyone moderating these racist comments? An educated discussion forum is no place for this idiot!

    Having a look at your Disqus profile, it is pretty clear that you are a white supremacist, spouting your vile views of anybody that does not look exactly like you. Shame on you.

    • Franklin

      Your opinion is divisive and therefore dangerous.

    • frank garrett


  • miriam3

    There is no such thing as “psychopathology” or “psychopath/sociopath”. It is a made up label, much like Bipolar or depression etc. The term psychopath is simply a label and does nothing to provide meaningful insight. Human beings who exhibit shameless conduct are most likely full of it, shame that is, so much so that they are blind and numb to it, emotionally defended to the point that they do not experience them. What the church of medicine/psychiatry call “psychopaths” are not “risk takers” in that they are intending on taking outrageously stupid risks but rather that they are defended against various vulnerable feelings such as alarm and perhaps even fear. This creates blindness and the less intelligent human beings operating with such deficiency then “seem” to take risks when really they simply do not have the ability to see or appreciate the risks.

    That said, focusing on identifying people experiencing such emotional defensiveness is not particularly helpful to society as a whole in my opinion particularly when it comes to identifying how to protect oneself from evil which seems to be the intent of this article. To know evil it is necessary to know truth and that truth is Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, we all have the capacity to commit acts of moral evil. All it takes is the right crucible, that situation and it’s assorted pressure, influence and coercion to create an atmosphere ripe for darkness to come out and play. When civilization declines due to Godlessness as is the flat-lining of civilization we see so apparent today, lawlessness abounds and hearts grow ever more cold; such is the state of individuals, groups, and nations apart from Jesus Christ.

  • Orin

    The difference between a psychopath and a normal person is how far an individual is willing to go to achieve their goals, and how selfish their goles are.
    The problem lies in the capitalist system which encourages and rewards ruthless competitiveness, winning at any cost. In a world where Everyone is believed to be evil by nature, everyone is against everyone. In this world Doing something for others is a waste of time at best and a sing of weakness and stupidity in the worst case. Unfortunately because the majority believes the aforementioned, this world is a reality. The only way to be successfully is to follow the psychopathic pattern, and do everything it takes to “win”(or “go one step further”than the other guy, be even more ruthless). If such trend will not only continue to be accepted but encouraged and rewarded we are doomed as a speeches, because it is parasitic by nature, and cannot sustain itself. I believe the only way to minimize this pathological trend is to make the world on a macro and micro level a more equal place, and stop tolerating psychopathic behavior.

  • Camila

    Good on you for telling it like it is. Those that don’t believe will learn the hard way. I get until you’ve truely experienced it you have no idea. As for me I was good at stopping them in the workplace my greatest ever life destruction was chops in one as a partner. Psychopaths need to be registered as a condition in the psyc medical hand book.
    Regarding recruitment Robert hare. Does a Psycopath test. The worst are the ones that attract like flys to law enforcement and the judiciary. That’s when real life damage is done.

    I have run multi nationals us recruitment hr and procurement and been the moral compass and cleaned up after sociopaths. But throat psychopaths are the worse

  • Camila

    The typos are from the technical stalker psyco – they are hard to get rid of and follow you around like a bad smell after you report them.

  • Monogatari

    I agree with nomore….as an INTJ, I am often misinterpreted. Also, I actually have deep emotions and empathy….but in new groups (working environments, courses) people often misunderstand my need to be alone sometimes…and I come off as ‘uncaring'(not to everyone) and eccentric.
    As this Jungian personality type, I generally go after my ideas with great zeal….driven to create something of use in this world, but generally unorthodox, sometimes impervious to ‘ideas of others’, as I must test if what I thought off will work. I do credit and evaluate the ideas of others in detail … (footnotes etc!).
    But to the superficial observer, I might just seem like I try to get my way. At times, I really get emotional even if I rather keep this private. So, I might break down crying for a few minutes until I found my composure, but I might feel sad for the day…or much longer. People will not always see what I feel inside.

    So anyone who briefly glanced over the traits of a psychopath, might think I could be a psychopath (I suspect some colleagues have, or it was just coincidence them exchanging a book on psychopaths and glancing in my direction). I even wanted to know myself, so I took several tests and gratefully don’t even come close to actually exhibiting psychopathic traits. Having had long-term psychological help for traumatic experiences, thankfully professionals also never came to that assumption. So, perhaps, unless you are a professional psychologist…you might wish to be a bit more careful on handing out a tutorial and checklist where people can tick of a list and conclude they must be working with a psychopath.

    • Monogatari

      Btw, often after a while…people do tend to come around and realize I am not arrogant, and that I care deeply. I actually like people, and I studied Archaeology (the study of ancient cultures). I really like the quote: I care more about my character than my reputation. People talk too much about other people, how about they work on their feelings of self-worth, tolerance, respect and love first? I do have an interest in psychopaths (the phenomenon), but I will also go with my gut-feeling. If I do not like someone, it also does not make them psychopath but I try to steer clear from people who cling to negativity.

      • name

        My first boyfriend was an INTJ. Very charming, kind fellow with beguiling eccentricities, great intellectual depth and surprising empathy and kindness.

        Psychopath does not refer to unlikable people but those who exploit others without conscience. I used to have a roommate who is a psychopath. I believe she was an INTP. She steals, gas lights, is very manipulative, cannot do a good deed for its own sake — rather everything she does is a calculation to impose her power over others or gain some advantage. She sadistically toys with others, inflicts pain for amusement; laughs at the suffering of others, spies, stalks, steals etc. She is not just unlikable — she has no morals, conscience, or empathy beyond what she can feign. She is a beast in human form.

        She targets the empathic and accommodating to advance herself….her victories are always small..and while she can fool people for a while..once they catch onto her, she loses again. She cannot hold but a minimum wage job despite having a Masters degree — she is lazy too and believes she is too intelligent to work; that she is entitled to wealth and success since she is convinced of her superiority and believes it will fall on her lap or that she can manipulate others into providing it to her.. Her husband left her. Her kids hate her. She has no friends to speak of. She is controlling, always engaged in a battle of wills with someone. She is a miserable, depressed human being with a fake smile plastered on her face. She fooled me for a while until I realized she was a thief who did wicked things and then conniving to assign blame elsewhere while she smiled in amusement at the chaos she created. Everyone attacked each other over things she had done while she held herself above the fray and was everyone’s confidante (ie, spy). Eventually the truth came out…and she has retreated into her little cage. I expect she hasn’t learned her lessons..that she is just waiting for the next sucker to come along so she can play the same game.

        Psychopaths cannot win against people who have character, strength, and morals. Best to avoid them. They win through manipulation. If you keep your distance, they lose their influence and usually lack the creativity and resourcefulness to achieve on their own. They are the ultimate parasites and freeloaders, conniving where others are creating. The true creators/performers are too busy focused on their goals to . succumb to this sort of nonsense..The psychopaths don’t have such gifts and simply wait for their moment to exploit, or pounce on their prey, predators that they are. They can therefore put their energy into charm, charisma, which wears thin after a while. People eventually see beyond the mask. They leaver destruction in their wake. The INTJ/ENTJ is not psychopath. The psycho is a different breed altogether and can be found among all typologies.

  • john smith

    wow that was some rant , i suspect you don’t like Catholics either LOL

  • Paul Turner

    I believe Trump is either a psychopath or sociopath. God help us!

    • Elvira F


      • Jim Van Dusen

        A toxic narcissist at the very least.

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  • Joha

    This helped clear some things on my list. But yea, most definitely trust your gut instincts. Even my other coworker feels it. The moment I saw her, I didn’t like her. I’m more intuitive and very observant when it comes to what is directed towards me that I’m extremely exhausted by the end of the day. Hence, the reason I hate social outings.

  • somewhereincali

    I’ve worked with a bully for three years now. When I started my job, I was her target for many reasons, one of which was I turned her in for a serious violation. It was difficult to survive the situation, and I wanted to leave right then, but I wasn’t able to find another (or better) job, given the rural location where I live. So, I stuck it out, but it was excruciating. This person had our immediate supervisor, an emotionally weak and vulnerable person, wrapped around her finger, and the supervisor above her was the bully’s drinking buddy. This upper manager also enjoyed being kind of abusive herself.

    However, both supervisors eventually moved on, and the bully is now in a lower position. I’ve since spoken with a few people who were also the victims of the bully and the upper manager, and found we had a common thread one day.

    I happened to have a fender bender one day with the bully’s brother. He told me she had been fired from a similar job and often had items from this former employer in her possession, claiming, “they won’t miss them”. She’d moved to the town where she resided from California when her brother told her to help him purchase a home, because he was out of state at the time as well. She not only purchased the home, but she put it in her own name, instead of her brother’s. This man often remarked, “I can’t believe she’s still working (where we work). Don’t they do background checks?”

    As I chatted with him more, because we were waiting for the police to write up the accident report, he happened to mention that he knew a coworker of mine well. This person had been the target of both the bully and the upper manager, who had written her up at one point. This bully’s brother had been an employee of this coworker before. Was the bully afraid she’d talk to her brother and find out about her background? Was that why this woman was targeted?

    Her brother said he had visited her when her children were young, and he noticed methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the house. He called her a “meth head”, but I doubt she uses now, as she’s overweight, and her complexion looks okay.

    Anyway, just out of curiosity, I did an online background check on her, shelling out for a courthouse verification. My employer, ironically, won’t do this because of the cost, and that’s probably why they have her.

    I did find convictions in California for forgery, possession of a controlled substance for sale, possession of stolen property over $400, forgery of Identification, and false utterances. The charges were dismissed pursuant to

    PC 1203.4/1203.4A of the California Penal Code, which allows for expungement after a sentence (non-prison) is served. So, she was convicted of these crimes, and given a lesser penalty, such as probation. There were not any details as to the penalty she received.

    If you’re with me so far (sorry to ramble), I think my coworker is a psychopath. She’s not in the position where she used to be, but she still works for the company, and is still trying to get into upper-upper management’s good graces.

    This employer serves vulnerable adults. I believe upper management has a background in education, and I’m sure they have some training in the psychology field, but they also seem very naive.

    This bully is extremely charming and many, many people like her and are influenced by her. I’m hoping to cut my losses and leave as soon as I can. I’m also the parent of a young adult who can be served by entities like my current employer, but the fact people like this bully can be in positions like this scares me.

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  • Carl

    There’s a website called that has a quiz on this that is pretty good.

  • Kim

    Wow, your information is so skewed. There are good and bad in every religion, race, office and people, this article was written about the behavior of psychopaths not a people as a group. Since they are Gods chosen people, let God be their judge. Lets stick to the theme of this post please.

    • Ron Lentjes

      Wow, I wasn’t expecting all that above.
      I am spiritual. I believe we are all connected together and that we are all of the same creation.
      When you read one religion is basically says to bash the others who don’t believe scripture X.
      Seems like quite a divisive device to me.
      I think if we try to obey just 2 universal laws, we might be much better off:
      “Do on to others as you would have done on to you”, and
      “Don’t make false report about others”.
      Business ethics: Kill your competitor at all costs. Mmm.
      Cheers, Ron Lentjes.

  • Biffard P. Misqueegan

    Interesting read. The “aura” thing is pretty sketchy, IMO. People (myself included) are ‘creeped out’ by other people for all kinds of vague reasons. More times than not those turn out to be just bad first impressions.

  • Joe

    I take great offense to this. I have read so many articles that portray psychopaths as a dehumanised beast. I am a psychopath and I can say that I have done none of that. This article, like many, make it sound like all psychopaths are like that.

  • Gigi Smith

    Extremely hard to detect, frequently they are humble & unassuming. Everybody has a work persona which has to be recognized if you are debating an individual.
    The one I encountered used a gentle harmlesd strategy, he was patronizing to women but male colleagues loved him.
    He was very ‘wordy’ using plenty of jargon which he could not explain so made you feel less than instead of explaining. They steal ideas & pass them off as theirs, they have bought qualification which boast a 100% pass rate.
    They tend not to keep positions for more than a couple of years, they climb up even after they’ve been let go.
    Women struggle around psychopaths, male or female, they do group together in organizations making it impossible for non psychopaths to continue working in a toxic environment.
    All institutions will have predators even schools.

    • Ron Lentjes

      If you have a dream like a hard shell or hard face mask, or
      If you can’t get a normal read of that person – can’t seem to penetrate, or
      If you get a sense that you probably should distance your self, or
      anything like that: RUN!
      It is hard, even for a psychic to “get it” sometimes.
      Psychopaths try to hide everything they can from you.
      They are masters of disguise!

      Cheers, Ron Lentjes.

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  • King Moron’s

    i dont catch how peoples fell this “guts feeling” ……. that explain why people are unconfortable in my presence even if im really good looking

    • Ron Lentjes

      A “gut feeling” at the psychic level (we all are, just different levels of) is like this:
      You are walking down the street. You get this “feeling” that some one is behind you. You look back. And someone is walking behind you. This is more powerful feel if the person was paying attention to you.

      Intention is like an state of energy. You can become aware of this. That is what people sense.

      If the “psychic sense” does not match the physical body language / dialogue, then something is “not quite right”.

      Ron Lentjes

  • Anhwar Ashad

    That “great acting skills” is true. I have a boss that acts melodramatic all the time. Then we found out that it was since his childhood, he was like that. Mr. Fikry (from almentor) once told us to extend patience to prevent trouble.

  • JL Stevens

    There is one guy at work that stalks any new girl that gets hired. He throws things when angry, shout profanity at employees, and even makes not very vague threats. He basically has the store convinced he is crazy and they all allow him to behave how he wants because “if we say or do something, he might get fired and come back and kill someone.” So, my question is… if a guy is this psycho publically and they refuse to fire him no matter what he does, how do you legally make the company take actual action. I recently had him written up for waving a metal hammer at me and smiling. Does the guy have to kill someone before they take it seriously?

  • Sheryl Baldwin

    Came here to provide evidence someone on Facebook is a psychopath, stayed to laugh at the psychopaths getting butt-hurt in the comments….

    This one is the best:
    //I take great offense to this. I have read so many articles that portray psychopaths as a dehumanised beast. I am a psychopath and I can say that I have done none of that. This article, like many, make it sound like all psychopaths are like that.//
    Also *dehumanized

  • rtj1211

    I think the traits of psychopaths are more that the traits described above are applied inappropriately. Few would complain about a mother tearing into the parent of a child bullying her daughter, less lustifiable if she did the same to parents of a girl who stood up for her daughter in the playground. Fully grown men who play power/mind games on the sports field with young children are wrong in the head, but no-one decries fully grown men engaging in 80 minutes of punishing rugby then sharing some beers afterwards.

    The bigger question is whether the Limited Company legal vehicle is the most appropriate in many places of work. Excellence can be achieved through prioritising solvency, fiscal responsibility, human development and community spirit just as well as in a dog-eat-dog trading environment. The biggest failing of Western education is a failure to discuss this in detail both at school and university.

  • Mona Shamin

    Confirmed. Please decapitate on sight to help save the company and the world.

  • Enigma Justice

    Came here to list additional information that I’ve gathered. We have to stop this man from doing any more harm to other people.

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