Do you have a tendency to blame others for your mistakes? Do you have a penchant for bullying? Are you filled with an inflated sense of self-importance? Perhaps you’re the CEO of a publicly-listed multinational? Careful, you might just be a psychopath.
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, chances are you're what psychologists refer to as ‘the Office Psychopath’, while the rest of us prefer the simpler term, ‘total ars_hole.’
‘Hey, go easy on the psychopathic boss,’ I’m pretty sure no-one said, not followed by, ‘What have the conscience-lacking, narcissistic psychopaths ever done to you?’
Well, apart from bullying me ceaselessly at work; taking credit for all my successes whilst simultaneously blaming me for all their mistakes; outsourcing my job and leaving me destitute and forced to sell dreamcatchers on the street, my response would be, ‘To be fair, not a hell of a lot.’
So its pretty much generally accepted now that psychopaths are a fact of daily life, and well, we've just gotta love them and move on. And while the classic song ‘To know him is to love him’ doesn't really apply in this case, it may assist you in navigating the difficult path of dealing with a psychopath:
So here are 5 classic behaviours that the psychopathic boss may (or may not) exhibit:
Don’t expect flowers if a loved one passes (unless it’s in their interests to do so):
While psychopaths lack the ability to feel empathy, it doesn't mean they cannot recognise it, and if they see benefit in it, use it to further their cause. So while people with autism can very empathetic, yet struggle to read the external cues, psychopaths can be the opposite; they can read how you’re feeling, they just don’t experience it themselves.
Expect them to whip out their credit card and pay for several rounds of drinks for the team (it will be on the company credit card through):
They seem so generous, offering to take everyone out for drinks. It seems such a spontaneous act, to offer to shout all the Personal Assistants drinks, just to celebrate the arrival of the new Receptionist (who happens to be 6 foot tall, DD cups and bear a strong resemblance to Angelina Jolie). Let’s just say their motives aren’t entirely pure here.
Don’t be surprised when the average tenure of their PA or EA is about 6 weeks (tops):
They have no problem recruiting amazing women to work with them, after all they are smart and charming and anyone would look good, if they spent that much time grooming themselves. However the fact they are self-centered narcissists tends to get in the way of being a great boss.
Are you looking for someone to stand by you and support you? Keep looking.
The Office Psychopath loves working with you because you always deliver, you can be relied upon, you believe in success through others. He (and yes let’s be honest it’s a he, 90% of the time we are talking about a male) will support you when you make him look good, if not, if you happen to make a mistake, get ready to be thrown under the nearest bus. This guy is not taking the fall for you, or anyone.
He’s “happily married” but also on Ashley Madison
There’s charm and then there’s charm. His 100 watt smile is pretty impressive – his teeth whitening must have cost him a fortune!! The guys knows how to win over a lady and he uses his charms indiscriminately, seriously one would have thought the work experience girl was off limits, (especially considering she’s the CFO’s niece) apparently not. Our Office Psychopath takes being a “lady’s man” to new limits. Oh and he also has no sleepless nights over being a sleazebag. The benefit of being a psycho is you have no conscious.
So there you have it, five key characteristics of an Office Psychopath. Do you know one or are you looking in the mirror at him?
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