We’ve all had bad bosses or coworkers, and I am no exception. But what do you do if your boss actually ends up being a sociopath–and you never knew it all along? Unfortunately there are a lot out there. Peter Economy, The Leadership Guy, writing here for Inc, explores your options.
Well, here are the five steps you should take if you feel like there’s just a little something off about the person you work with.
1. Recognize the signs of a sociopath
In general, the most recognizable sign of a sociopath is the inability of him or her to feel empathy for others. In most obvious cases, this results in a lack of sympathy for those in positions of lower privilege, or a lack of understanding for those that are going through any other sort of emotional crisis, in addition to being self-centered.
2. Look at what motivates a sociopath
They rarely do anything with the intention of bettering the world, or making someone’s life easier. The actions they take often have a hidden motive or benefit themselves in some other way. In fact, sociopaths often are able to commit crimes that normal people aren’t–such as cheat on their partners or commit murder, since they don’t feel guilt for doing so. But when you know what drives a certain sociopath, it’s important so that you know not to get in the way of what might be their ultimate goal.
3. Figure out how to communicate
For some, this means cutting off all contact with the sociopath. For others, it could mean continuing to talk to them, but simply putting their guard up. In cases where you’re forced to speak to a sociopath, maintain neutral conversation topics.
4. Don’t divulge anything personal
Keep all your important, confidential information close to you. Don’t let them know anything that could be used against you, and definitely don’t go too far in depth about future plans or long-term desires and wishes. If you’re able to maintain some distance between a sociopath and yourself, you should definitely do so.
5. Refrain from feeling indebted to the sociopath
If you get too invested in a sociopath, it could be dangerous for you in the end. Sociopaths ask you to do favors normal people wouldn’t, sometimes putting you in risky situations where you’re unable to uphold your own moral beliefs. If you do find yourself falling in too deep, seek professional help. It might be your only way out. read more at inc.com