Is my Boss a Psychopath? Dealing with Corporate Psychopathy

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 characterised by some of the following personality traits:

  • superficial charm
  • grandiose sense of self worth
  • need for stimulation
  • pathological lying
  • manipulative
  • lack of remorse or guilt
  • lack of empathy
  • refusal to accept responsibility
  • lack of self control

Other common factors that are often related to psychopathy include potential juvenile delinquency, a history of criminal behaviour, 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 healthcare, teaching, therapists..etc. It is also important to remember that statistically speaking, the majority of individuals are not psychopaths.  Statistically speaking, odds are low that your boss or coworker are actually psychopaths.  Sure, being aware of the traits can be helpful when protecting yourself and understanding the behaviours 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. You can contact 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)

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