We hear it all the time. People whispering under their breath “What a psychopath”. Perhaps you are seeing how poorly your boss or a coworker behaves at work and can’t help but wonder, “Could they be a psychopath?” Let’s take a closer look at what psychopathy really is to understand what you could be seeing in the workplace.

What is a Psychopath?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that is characterized by some of the following personality traits:
Superficial Charm
Grandiose sense of Self Worth
Need for Stimulation
Pathological Lying
Lack of Remorse or Guilt
Lack of Empathy
Refusal to Accept Responsibility
Lack of Self Control
Other common factors that are often results of psychopathy include potential juvenile delinquency, a history of criminal behavior, and even a history of multiple failed relationships. As always, this list is not intended for diagnosis purposes but to give insight into personality traits of psychopathy.

How might a psychopath present themselves in the workplace?

The truth is psychopathic personality traits tend to lead to success in the business world. Their ability to charm and manipulate are helpful when trying to climb a corporate ladder of promotions. Often times the lack of remorse or empathy make it easier for them to make decisions that ultimately benefit themselves or the business above coworkers or clients. Remember charm is a personality trait of psychopathy, so they are very good at ensuring that the right individuals like them.

Is my boss or coworker a psychopath?

Individuals with psychopathic personality traits will thrive better in high achieving careers that tend to value the ability to make objective decisions. Career fields like Lawyers, CEOs, and Sales tend to provide a better environment for psychopaths. Less common career fields would be the careers where empathy is vital to success, so think direct care health care, teacher, therapists..etc. It is also important to remember that statistically speaking majority of individuals are not psychopaths. Statistically speaking, odds are low that your boss or co worker are actually psychopaths. Sure, being aware of the traits can be helpful when protecting yourself and understanding the behaviors of your peers, but be careful that it does not impact your ability to create genuine friendships in the work place.

If you would like to learn more about psychopathy or learn ways to cope with psychopathy
book in a time to speak to a psychologist call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online.

Related reading:

Perfectionism: Healthy or Unhealthy?
Decision Making Guide for Busy People’s Schedules
Stress: How to Mange (or even Benefit from it)