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Old 04-11-2010, 07:40 PM
'M'
 
Location: Glendale Country Club
1,422 posts, read 1,422,481 times
Reputation: 1898
Red face Experience dealing with a sociopath at work?

Didn't seem to be able to find an appropriate category - or a previous thread - regarding my question.

My question is: If you have ever worked with a sociopath, what was your experience?

Some might call this type of person something different, but a sociopath has these characteristics: they have zero conscience are highly manipulative con artists have no feelings/shallow emotions (even with their own children). When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises. are easily bored criminal or entrepreneurial versatility changes their life story readily) unable to feel remorse or guilt incapable of human attachment authoritarian secretive doesn't perceive that anything is wrong with them don't do well in counseling (even related to work...and besides, they can probably con the counselor) poor work ethic but exploits others effectively Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed Pathological Lying...Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis.

Briefly, my story is that "my sociopath" developed a resentment toward me and began to go after all of the people at work that I had a good relationship with. She carefully scoped everything out to see where my weakness was - which was my being someone who liked people, and they liked me - and she began to go after these people, telling them some kind of lie about me....I wish I knew what she said. Once she turned them against me, these people were very guarded around me and we no longer had the same friendliness with each other. These people would have lain in front of a speeding train to protect her once she slandered me. They became very protective of her and somehow, they felt sorry for her due to what she told them about me. After 3 years, she became my supervisor. Within a year, she fired me. Needless to say, this was devastating since she had manipulated upper management and had them eating out of her hand. Only myself and a couple others saw through her. The rest of the folks - probably 20 or more - believed every word she spoke. She was very good. Not only this, but I observed her, her husband, and their 9 y/o son once...her husband was extremely verbally/mentally abusive to their son. I cringed as I watched him talk to his son. I also noticed that she seemed to be very detached from her son...she saw him only as a possession rather than being nurturing and motherly with him.

If you have interacted with someone in the workplace who has similar characteristics, what was the outcome? How did you deal with this person effectively? Did your interaction with this person change your life? Could you be specific about your experience?

Last edited by 'M'; 04-11-2010 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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Yes, these type of people are good at what they do. The only way that you can deal with these type of people is to go along with their agenda and even then, that doesn`t garuntee it will always work. Other than that, if possible, stay far away from them. The people that side with them don`t have a mind of their own and are easily munipulated.

It still amazes me how other people chose not check out if what is being said about others is true.It just goes to show how these people don`t care what they truth is because they also have an agenda of their own.

And ya, these people leave a trail of destruction with no remorse. So it definitly changes your life in many ways.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Lake Kimble, TX.
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I had the misfortune of having not one, but two sociopath bosses, on two different occasions. The last, a very powerful GM-15 CEO. This guy was the stereotypical sociopath. He fit 100% of the clinical traits of sociopathy.
I went through hell with this guy, working for him directly for over a year, then indirectly my last two years before retirement.

Sad thing is, everyone knew this guy is a sociopath, even those above him. It was as if they were afraid to challenge him or correct him when he was blatantly wrong. My problem was, I refused to bow down to him, and would intentionally correct him publicly when he stated erroneous or wrong comments.

I stood up to both of the sociopaths I had the displeasure to work for, (who were also both liars) and in the long run, it hindered my career to some degree. But, when I knew I was right on an issue, and was supported by agency policy and federal law, there was nothing they could do about it, other than give me bogus assignments out of spite for embarassing them in public by pointing out their errors.

Good thing is, I retired, and don't have to deal with either one again!
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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So your coworkers saw her potential and popularity with management and rather than risk their wrath, they decided to protect their job security by joining her team. You were going round spouting off about how evil she was and you were the only one who could 'see' it and your coworkers decided to distance themselves from you. You claim they all liked you but its quite likely they didn't, at least not as much as you think. She was all business and that is bad according to you. And you observed her with her son a grand total of....once.....and decided that she is abusive, rather than perhaps that the kid was in trouble for having been a brat all day or any number of things that are totally not your business. And eventually your negativity and failure to get on board with your new supervisor cost you your job. And you are still clinging to your hatred of her after how long?

And she's the sociopath?
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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Wow... Kodaka, that`s pretty mean... You obviously have no clue what you are talking about.
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:13 AM
'M'
 
Location: Glendale Country Club
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
So your coworkers saw her potential and popularity with management and rather than risk their wrath, they decided to protect their job security by joining her team. You were going round spouting off about how evil she was and you were the only one who could 'see' it and your coworkers decided to distance themselves from you.

You claim they all liked you but its quite likely they didn't, at least not as much as you think. She was all business and that is bad according to you. And you observed her with her son a grand total of....once.....and decided that she is abusive, rather than perhaps that the kid was in trouble for having been a brat all day or any number of things that are totally not your business. And eventually your negativity and failure to get on board with your new supervisor cost you your job. And you are still clinging to your hatred of her after how long?

And she's the sociopath?
I didnt; do a good job of explaining the circumstances....I discussed with her one time some very inappropriate behavior on her part...it was in private, just she and I...I would never do something like this in front of others...also, I had NO IDEA about her personality...from this one time, she went on a rampage, purposely damaging my reputation with anyone who would listen to her (which was quite a few people because at first, she comes across as 'normal' until you started dealing with her over time). Another term for this kind of behavior is 'bully'. There is a website devoted to bullying...Bully On Line, that is very extensive.

I did not gossip about her to these other people...there was one new person who had only worked in our dept for a month or so. Since this is a small town, we all had to take jobs where we were 'underemployed' in order to make a living. She had previously managed a business with 50 employees (the new person). One day, after everyone had left and it was just she and I...she looked at me in an exasperated way and said "Doesn't anyone see what's going on here?" So I said "What do you mean?" because I didn't want to get involved in anything to do with another co-worker. Also, I thought: let her tell ME what is going on. It was then that my new co-worker began to tell me what I already knew: this was a toxic person who was doing very strange things, like asking another new co-worker she was training about her sex life!!! Miss Sociopath had asked this newest co-worker about HER sex life..and she was mortified that a 'trainer' would try to initiate this kind of converation. This kind of behavior was extremely inappropriate and could lead to a law suit against an employer. She had also overheard her ask another new co-worker she was training about her sex life as well. ...

This was only the beginning. The sociopath had suddenly 'schmoozed' our supervisor, who was feeling overwhelmed and wanted to retire in a few years. The sociopath made herself indispensable to her, and began suggesting that she could take on many of the supervisor's duties, like training. The thing was, while the supervisor was there, she was the perfect employee. Once the supervisor was gone...to one of the many meetings she was required to attend almost every siingle day...the sociopath would act-out in very strange ways. Later, the sociopath would wait until the supervisor left, and the sociopath would be gone from our dept. for hours at a time, leaving the other employees to fend for themselves during EXTREMELY busy times when the assistance of the sociopath was needed desperatly. Somehow the sociopath got away with this. Hmmmm.....

From this point forward, I knew that the newest co-worker was like an angel because she immediately saw the toxic work environment that the sociopath was creating in our department...which had been a good place to work until she began spreading her toxicity around.

Also, my co-workers distanced themselves from me not because of anything I said - because I didn't say anything to them about what I saw in her...it was because SHE was purposely going around falsely damaging my reputation with as many people who would listen to her. She made things up about me that had no basis in fact. To be perfectly honest, I am the kind of person who tries my best not to gossip about one co-worker to another.

From what I saw in the sociopath, I think I know one type of behavior she displays to other to get them to 'protect' her...she somehow plays a wounded animal...and this elicits others' sympathy. She had started doing that with me when she came to work in our dept as a new employee. I feel for it hook, line and sinker. But, I also thought it was a little strange, because this wounded behavior was so over the top. It seemed odd but I couldn't put my finger on it. This is rather humorous because of all the people that I know, she is the LAST person who would need to be protected...she is a sociopath who can get people to feel sorry for her and once she has swayed them over to her side, they would lie down in front of a speeding train to 'protect' her. This is still mystifying to me.

So, this is how it happened. And, the conversation between her husband and son would make anyone's hair stand on end who understands abusive conversations with a child. This was a good kid who happened to have ADD...and his father shamed him in front of others, which was inappropriate on many levels. As I said before, she - my abusive, bullying co-worker - was a very strange mother who appeared emotionally distant from her son...one of the strangest things I've ever seen. Now that I've read the characteristics of a sociopath, I understand her style of 'mothering'. It's very frightening.

Last edited by 'M'; 04-13-2010 at 06:33 AM..
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:32 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
20,875 posts, read 18,387,278 times
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It sounds like you are reading a lot into someone you don't know very well. I know it's easy to put labels on people like "sociopath" and "pathological liar," and say grandiose things like "she has no conscience," but you don't really know those things. I also doubt that people would actually allow themselves to be killed by a train, despite your saying so twice. Sure, she sounds like a brown-nose and a crummy supervisor, but that doesn't make her a sociopath. Sometimes we don't get along with coworkers--for lots of reasons. It sounds like that place was not a good fit for you.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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JustJulia, sounds like to me that you don`t know anything about "sociopathic," narcissitic behavior. If you have worked a long side someone for months or years, someone will eventually see who the real person is. You either will be in denial of it(like most people are, because they have their own agenda or they are narcissits themselves)or they will face the truth. Most people don`t like living in the truth so it is easy to overlook bad behavior of any kind.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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I had a workplace bully once. We shared an office and she acted one way with me and another with everyone else. She was a very jealous, competitive and vindictive person. She spread lies about me and damaged my reputation around the office very soon after I started working there. When I left she turned on my boss and started doing the same things she had done to me to her. She got fired and my ex-boss called me to apologize for believing this bully over me. It was an awful experience.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:44 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
20,875 posts, read 18,387,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl723 View Post
JustJulia, sounds like to me that you don`t know anything about "sociopathic," narcissitic behavior. If you have worked a long side someone for months or years, someone will eventually see who the real person is. You either will be in denial of it(like most people are, because they have their own agenda or they are narcissits themselves)or they will face the truth. Most people don`t like living in the truth so it is easy to overlook bad behavior of any kind.
Sociopathy, narcissism... I leave these diagnoses to the professionals.
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