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Is Your Coworker a psychopath And 5 Ways To Deal With Them?

Is Your Coworker a psychopath And 5 Ways To Deal With Them?

A new employee begins working for the company you work for and is assigned to work next to you in the office, and something about them doesn't seem right.

James Mason profile image
by James Mason

Identifying a Workplace Psychopath

Have you ever wondered if your coworker might be a psychopath? Signs include a lack of empathy, calmness in stressful situations, amusement at tragic events, and manipulative behaviour. They might charm you while secretly plotting against you, especially if they see you as an obstacle to their ambitions.

The Threat to Your Position

A psychopathic colleague might covet your job, keeping tabs on any mistakes you make and possibly reporting these to your boss. They have an exceptional memory for others' missteps and may even fabricate stories to undermine you.

Poison in the Coffee?

Beware if this person frequently offers to make your coffee. Persistent gastrointestinal issues could be a sign of something sinister. They may be attempting to compromise your health to increase your absenteeism and facilitate your removal from the company.

Social Manipulation and Its Consequences

Your relationships at work might suffer due to the psychopath's influence. They could spread false narratives about you, leading to a tarnished reputation. This manipulation can escalate to formal reprimands and possibly result in your termination, all part of the psychopath's plan to eliminate you from the workplace.

Outsmarting the Office Psychopath

To avoid falling victim to a workplace psychopath, you need to recognize the signs and act strategically. Maintain a facade of politeness and helpfulness to avoid arousing suspicion. Behind the scenes, however, prepare to counteract their schemes and protect your position.

What are the tendencies of a psychopath to look out for?

  • Compulsive lying but this might not be easy to always detect
  • Callous, no empathy whatsoever
  • Very manipulative
  • The need for adventure or stimulation, prone to boredom
  • Reduced emotional responses
  • Parasite
  • Irresponsibility
  • criminal activity

Dealing with the Psychopath

When confronting the challenge of dealing with a psychopath in the workplace, it's essential to approach the situation with caution and strategy. Here are some ideas to effectively manage interactions with such individuals:

Establish A Sense Of Security

  • Set clear limits: Clearly define what is acceptable behaviour in your interactions with them and stick to these limitations.
  • Maintain professional distance: Avoid sharing personal information that they could use against you.

Enhance Your Awareness

  • Observe their behaviour: Pay attention to patterns in their actions and reactions to better predict and manage their behaviour.
  • Seek patterns and triggers: Understanding what motivates them can help you avoid or mitigate negative interactions.

Strengthen Your Network

  • Build alliances: Cultivate positive relationships with other colleagues to create a support network and reduce the psychopath's influence.
  • Communicate effectively: Keep communication with others transparent to prevent the psychopath from controlling the narrative.

Manage Conflict Wisely

  • Stay calm: Don’t react emotionally, as psychopaths thrive on manipulating emotions.
  • Use facts and evidence: When addressing issues, rely on concrete evidence rather than personal accusations.

Seek Support

  • Consult with HR or management: If the behaviour crosses the line into harassment or bullying, involve human resources or management.
  • Professional advice: Consider speaking with a psychologist or counsellor for strategies to deal with the psychopath effectively.

Self-Care and Resilience

  • Practice self-care: Ensure you manage your mental and physical health to withstand stress.
  • Develop resilience: Strengthen your emotional resilience to handle better the challenges of interacting with a difficult person.


Dealing with a psychopath at work requires a balanced approach of assertiveness, strategic planning, and self-care. By applying these strategies, you can protect your well-being and maintain a healthier work environment.

James Mason profile image
by James Mason

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