Monday, June 15, 2015

Psychopath boss

From a reader:

I'm and Empath, currently working for a sociopathic boss (female). Over the years, I've figured out that she is a sociopath. I finally found a way in to talk to her about it (wanting to help or whatever), and after a long "game" she fully admitted to me that she is sociopathic.

I've done a ton of research on the subject as I need this job for now and leaving simply isn't an option- I've done my best to avoid boring her, being useful but only when she needs it, and always loyal and consistent no matter how much she stonewalls or bullies me.

My contemplation is in deciding if I was a huge threat, however on the other hand it seemed that she needed to talk about it... Recently we have been "coexisting" but it seems that there is a mutual fascination between us. She has since told me about boyfriends whom she plotted to destroy, and I can only respond with things like "well, it's his own stupidity", as if she is proud of herself or truly wants to share some of her "accomplishments" with me.

I really don't mind her talking to me about these things, because it seems therapeutic to her. But I need clarification on that...

I am trying to find out if this Empath/Sociopath dance is normal, and if I'm handling it correctly. My intention is to coexist with her- not to befriend her, but to be what she needs me to be at all times until I can quit this job.

Here are my questions boiled down:
- Am I a threat to her, or does she need someone she can actually talk to?
- Is this "normal" for a sociopath to admit themselves to an Empath?
- How should I proceed? I want I be just as respectful of her needs as my own. I have no interest in dethroning her or being a threat of any sort.

Finally, I want to say to you as an Empath- who was victimized and tortured, used, and bullied for fun by my boss, that I wish the world understood you in a better way. It's a different way of thinking/operating, and it's not the sociopaths' fault. I hope that someday people can be as loyal as dogs, so that no one has to think that they will someday be let down and maybe it could improve this dance for everyone.

Just looking for your 2 cents, if you decide to respond to this.


I don't think that she necessarily need someone to talk to you about this, so much as she no longer sees the need to filter her thoughts around you as she did before. In other words, whereas before she would constantly put on a bit of a show, i.e. wearing a mask, now she doesn't engage and even that minimal effort. She may feel relief about that, and she may feel gratitude towards you for that or feel like it is a good outlet of expression for her, but I would hesitate and thinking that that give you any sort of leverage or that you were truly satisfying the need for her.

I don't think it's common at all, she probably has experienced it maybe once or twice before, if at all, depending on who she has been around in the past.

I think it sounds like you're already dealing with it pretty well. My one caveat would be that she may start to see you as a loose and, in the sense that if anything in her life starts to go sideways, she may not want you around to besmirch her character. That is, she probably doesn't currently see you as a threat, but that doesn't mean that circumstances won't change, circumstances perhaps beyond your control even.



    1. "We don’t talk about medicating them or really ever changing them…for those of us who are unconventional people or who know and love people who are on any sort of spectrum. We often find ways to work around that. It doesn't always need to be solved medicated or labeled…"

    2. It is possible for a sociopath/norm or sociopath/empath relationship to exist. I am a sociopath working for an empath for example and our synergy is excellent. If I ever work with/for another sociopath it will only be a principled one. As a socio who self revels on a consistent basis it is very freeing to not have to keep up the masks for people. I would warn you to learn to recognize when she going into "game mode" as this can be dangerous whether she perceives you as a threat or not the temptation/habit of using people as pawns to further an end is just something most of us do. Good luck. Just make sure you put your needs before hers as you can be assured that she will put hers before yours. I would have an emergency back up job lined up as a precaution.

    3. OP, even if you know and talk about they being a sociopath, it is nearly impossible to know when your sociofriend goes into game mode. Sometimes it is very obvious (exaggerated body language for contrition, as an example), but other times you can't help thinking... Well, s/he is obviously lying to somebody because s/he is telling me s/he is lying to those people. But what if s/he is not lying to them but instead lying to me? Doh!

      It is pretty much impossible to trust a sociopath. Heck, I don't even think they trust their own self! They don't know for sure where the wind is going to blow next...

      OP, take it a day at a time. Trust as long as you see the words matching the actions. Do not become emotionally involved or trusting. Confront if you feel taken advantage of. In this 'game', only give as much as you get but no more. Enjoy. That is my advice.

    4. It s actually pretty easy to tell when a sociopath is lying. Our lips move :) All kidding aside there are actually tells. The eyes are one. As sociopaths since we have no shame in lying we will actually look you straight in the eye when passing on our version of reality. (Human types look up down left right etc..) However if we are actively trying to to convince you of a lie we will be scanning your face constantly to react to your micro expressions. We will be listening for changes in your tone of voice. We will also be "bullrushing" you. So ask multiple questions rephrasing the same info and watch/listen for the response . If the answer is backed up with more "facts" each time, if we backtrack, if we are spitting words at you too fast to follow adding technicality jargon and adjusting our expressions. Well then you are being gaslit.

    5. "As sociopaths since we have no shame in lying we will actually look you straight in the eye when passing on our version of reality"


      We will also gloss over facts, and adeptly leverage someone's narcissism by subtly changing the subject, and steering the conversation towards something of interest to the target. We will find smooth ways to transition from one topic to another and link them together inconspicuously, so the shift appears seamless and natural. :D

  2. The power in "the word" psychopath is remarkable, somebody has "self diagnosed" this label & the whole neighbourhood just stands petrified? As if hard, ruthless & evil empaths do not exist? A boss is a sociopath. Oh, ok. What does he do then? He has a certain "stare" when people do not jump when he says jump and seems a little dominant at lunchbreak. Uh-huh. "He´s a psychopath". He himself has suggested this. And dont use "his cup", he may then use icy sarcasm..

  3. "I've done my best to avoid boring her, being useful but only when she needs it, and always loyal and consistent no matter how much she stonewalls or bullies me."

    You sound like a good pet OP.

    As for your questions:
    -ME is spot on, you're only a threat if it seems like you might use what she's told you against her. I actually find having someone I can be completely honest with is a big relief - I usually try to have one person like that just so I can get advice from someone who knows the whole situation.

    -I wouldn't admit it to someone I work with, that seems like asking for trouble. But maybe you and her click on some level.

    -Again ME covered it, just keep doing what you're doing. I'd tread careful if you ever have to tell her an unpleasant truth though.

    I do wonder with her talk of ex's and your tone though if she (or maybe you) is seeing this relationship in a more romantic light?

    1. "ME is spot on, you're only a threat if it seems like you might use what she's told you against her. I actually find having someone I can be completely honest with is a big relief"

      ^Yes, absolutely. But if you threaten her, she will unsheath her claws in a quick, brutal instant, and rip you to shreds. Don't abuse her confidence.

      Most of us are very judicious in selecting those with whom we choose to be open.

  4. Long live psycho bosses! :D

    Honestly? My work brings out the very best in me. It forces me to be altruistic, and to use my faculties and strengths to bring out the best in others. In my domain, particularly, being a good leader is a lot like being a good shepherd.

    1. A, You are witty. :) But I must add the following, because I'm opinionated.

      May psychos live as long as they do no harm to the prosperity of human and animal life. Game for the good of others, all species, if you must game at all. And, when you eat meat, give a little appreciation for the life you've taken.

      The life force on this planet intends to lift all boats. Whether we're on board or not. Life will find a way.

      I intend to help build the ark. ;))

      I would remind myself and others that choices have real life consequences.

      You see, I work for a socio who's bored with public heath and safety regulations . . . nuff said. I doubt you work for such a person, or are one. I also don't doubt that your leadership advances good shepherd principles. You write like someone who recognizes the vital necessity of human individualism. That gives me hope.

      I wish that all neurotypicals, empaths and socios would man up - own their faults, strengths, etc., and contemplate the advantages of cooperation. After all, cooperation is what gave mankind a hands up the monkey tree of consciousness.

      Earth grows smaller by the day. Time to climb to the top of the tree, become true stewards of the planet. Good shepherds of life on earth.

    2. Faust, I also would get terminally bored of public health and safety regulations. Just reading that sentence made my eyes gloss over. XD

      I recently had to deal with someone's overzealous concern with regard to upholding copyright laws. I had to research the issue thoroughly so as to deal with it professionally and judiciously- but I resented it. I responded to the situation by regurgitating facts in an excessively diplomatic e-mail, in which I made the person look dense for having failed to do due diligence prior to sounding an unnecessary alarm, whilst subtly deriding them for misplaced and onerous legalism. It was a satisfying little game. :)

      "The person is ahead of their time and often has a cause of some sort to which they are devoted."

      I am the co-founder and president of a medium-sized, educational non-profit that services socioeconomically disadvantaged kids. That, like every other aspect of my chart that you interpreted, was spot-on.

      I can't work for people. I always ended up quitting the moment I sensed that my supervisors were getting overbearing. I am very bad at taking orders from people. I also intensely dislike routine, and boring, rote tasks. Prior to becoming my own boss, I quit as soon as I got too bored or unfulfilled. I am a risk-taker by nature, so I was never concerned with stability or financial security. I often excelled in positions, but quit without warning, on impulse, or with fabricated excuses galore.

      In this domain I must leverage our members' strengths and put them to good use within my organization. I have to negotiate and placate. I have to be firm, but also flexible and generous. It brings out the best in me, because it forces me to put the well-being of others ahead of my own in order to achieve success.

      I create my own hours but I work my ass off, generally speaking. I have a tendency to procrastinate but my fellow board members sometimes pick up my slack. Professionally speaking, this is the first time I have not been an irresponsible flake, because it is my own initiative. As such, I have a real vested interest in tending and growing our organization.

      What do you do, if I might ask?

    3. A, You delight me. :))

      However, I must say that public safety and regulations would not bore you if people you knew intimately got assaulting inside their own rooms, in public washrooms, because management is too cheap to fix the goddamn washroom or tenant door. Blood flows fast and quick where I work. With the hard to house. A housing facility where addicts, criminals and so on inhabit and wreck havoc. Stab, shoot and otherwise take advantage. Not pretty. And right in your face. I've seen too many people bleed due to simple maintenance issues and neglect thereof. I'm sorry, but I'm talking about 20 hotels and thousands of people: tenants, guests and staff.

      So, I don't have much sympathy for my boss or her mismanagement.

      I don't care about people acting overbearing, so long as they do their job. which in this case happens to be the most vulnerable people in Western society: Those whom suffer mental illness, were sexually abused, and yes, predators. But who wouldn't predate on others when having suffered . . . that's why in battered women circles they call it a
      cycle of abuse.

      I've never been concerned much about finances or stability, either. I feel lucky to still be alive.

      I laughed out loud re: copyright laws. Talk about a foggy labyrinth. As a writer (albeit published only about 20 times total), I don't really give a damn. Words spoken or written have their own destiny.

      You are founder, all right. You're founding a new path through the labyrinth. I salute your efforts. There's a profound questing quality to your horoscope. I respect that.

  5. Very interesting post, as I do believe that my boss is also a sociopath.

    I highly recommend that you read the book, "Corporate Sociopaths/Psychopaths" (I forget which word is used).

    M.E. and Puppy Basket definitely covered the most vital aspects of your situation. Whatever you do, don't betray your boss's trust; not simply because she will unsheath her claws, but because on some profound level she is opening up to you. Exposing yourself, being willing to be known warts and all, is one of the most difficult things a person can do, socio or not. And, as a so-called empath myself (God I hate that label), I believe that whilst you cannot change your boss, you can change the way she treats you.

    So, I would be careful but nonetheless speak the 'truth' as you see it if that truth is necessary to the day-to-day operation of your working reality. I think, after reading this blog, that some socios actually like being called on their BS. (It's about giving and gaining respect, as the old Aretha F. song goes.) Just do it with humor and never to threaten her position. Your empathy can go a long way in paving a mutual, beneficial working relationship.

    I have a saying from my work with socios: You can't help people you hold in contempt, and those who act like sheep only garner contempt. I wouldn't bend to her every whim nor would I allow her to bully me. Bullies nearly always crumble when they meet a strong person who's not afraid to stand up to them. All it usually takes is saying NO, f-- off. Or better yet, Wanna drink my blood? Go ahead (then roll up your shirt sleeves and hold out your arms) . . . they usually laugh. Besides, she may simply be seeing how far she can make you bend.

    Mind you, I'm not a socio, so you may want to listen to the experts here and not take any chances. Good luck and stay strong. The weak will nearly always be herded and fenced by those who are strong.

  6. ""You are loved in that you're the center of my dopamine and oxytocin production."

    That sounds about right for your situation, too. Keep feeding her circuits and she'll keep you around. It wouldn't hurt, btw, to admit to her and yourself that on some level you're fascinated, too. Fascination breeds respect between both parties.

  7. Win her over buy by giving her this at the next appropriate time:

  8. *gets excited* intriguing! This is really interesting. Socio/empath relations. I'm neither so I don't get it- but intriguing nonetheless. It's quite fascinating to read about others' experiences as being/while dealing with sociopaths. Just- fascinating. I need new synonyms...

  9. Casey Anthony, or someone proporting to be her, called me up last
    night! How did she get my phone number? I don't give out my phone number.
    And I never get any calls!
    At around 7 PM, the phone rang. That was suspicios in itself. My 90 year old
    father picked up the phone. A woman asked, "Is _____ there?" My father gave
    me the phone. "Who's calling please?," I asked. "Casey, was the response."
    It was a young adult woman's voice. Older then a teenage voice, but younger
    then an old woman's voice. I was flustered. "Casey from where?," I asked.
    "Casey from Florida," was the response. "Where are you from?" "New York," I
    answered. "I heard you where one of my greatest admirers," she said.
    "You er, I could say that," my voice broke up.
    She lingered on the phone a moment or two and then hung up. I have no way of
    knowing whether it was really her, but two things: My father was witness to the
    conversation and heard the whole thing, and "Casey" did specifically ask for me
    by name. The voice was serious. There were no smirks, wavers in tone or
    chuckles, as one would expect if it was a crank call.
    Arguing against it being the REAL Casey was the fact that the voice didn't seem
    as husky as the real Casey's from 7yrs ago, and the fact that she refered to
    herself as "Casey from Florida," as opposed to "Casey Anthony."
    I did get a few odd calls last week. If I answer the phone and no one says who they are immeaditatly, I hang up. My father thinks it might have been the REAL

    1. That is really the most likely explanation. Perhaps your devotion will finally pay off, and Casey will recognize that you are the one for her.

    2. Lordy ! keep believing ,, keep on reaching forth to ur delicate precious ,, Casey is the one that called ! You believe it - so it must be so. :D


    If you liked Dexter, you might like this show too. The main character isn't quite your textbook case sociopath, but a lot of the way he thinks rubs off strongly sociopathic.

  11. Hey,

    In psychology I learned that there are two parts to empathy- recognization and understanding/caring. I also read somewhere that between sociopathy and aspergers- both are missing a part. For sociopaths- they can recognize it, but they don't care. For an aspie- they don't recognize it, but they do care. How true is this? I wonder because I consider myself empathy impared- but I don't qualify to be a sociopath. But schizoid personality also shows variation in empathy as well... I may need some clarification.

    - that empathy impared weirdo

    1. Hey,

      To wit: Even the so-called empathic folk, like the burning devoted Bushes, often rule/manipulate the masses via impaired empathy. It's called Newspeak. Propaganda.

      Nothing moves the masses like emotional pleas of so-called reason: Patriotism, love of family and 'righteousness and justice.' Never mind of the country is run by Stalin or the family via threats of terrorism. Sigh.

      We're all weirding our way one way or another.

      "sociopaths . . . recognize but don't care. "aspies -- don't recognize but do care."

      I think you're right. But would add that it appears to me that the more intelligent socios do recognize that their empathy deficit does impact their ability to connect with all life. Life is beautiful. And so, the really bright ones consequently see in themselves a latent void that they would fill, one way or another in a way that would keep them part of the beauteous gene pool, and beyond that part of the resplendent universe. Appreciation of Beauty in all of life's forms, especially those forms which seem 'inferior,' creates a foundation, a home and tribe, that's limitless.

      I have a dear friend who's reportedly schizoid, among other diagnoses. (He does have an extensive criminal and mental health record.) I believe that you are correct that there's a variation in empathy . . . but that's true of everyone, of all neuro-types, depending on whether they are feeling well or ill, ate some bad oatmeal (Scrooge), had a fight with their lover, etc. etc.

    2. That is also true. It's incredibly mind-boggling how people with empathy can do all of these horrible things and it be ok. But if a sociopath does the same thing...

      To be honest, I'm not all that moved by displays of pathos. I can't seem to comprehend how people can be swayed by sad images and words- especially since they generally do nothing about it. Life is beautiful. It would be nice if everyone could admit that their empsthy is flawed.

      - that empathy impared weirdo (being weird is more fun anyways)

  12. Had it not mirepresented itself it would have never been on my radar. Now it goes away and does not bother the great one EVER again.

  13. Plus, such hoting 40 yearold def worth my 5

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. You have Office Stockholm Syndrome. Deal with it.

  16. I work with 2 is my manager. They go from 2 extremes. either being as fake friendly as possible, or seething in extreme hostile hatred towards me. They absolutely suck and I can't stand either of them. I know they absolutely hate my guts and would feed me to wild dogs if they could get away with it. I'm the type of person a sociopath would hate on sight. I can easily spot a sociopath these days because they are the ones who slip and show their absolute disgust at the sight of me..or wear a carefully constructed veneer of social niceties. At work recently a sociopath approached and flashed his look of extreme hatred and disgust without thinking....then when he saw that I knew what was going on and was ready for war, he tried to cover it up with the most ridiculous lie..."Oh, I'm in serious pain right now, I'm passing a kidney stone." I'm standing there like, Yeah Right!! Idiot!
    You know you hated me on sight. I'm black. I'm a young woman. I'm not 500 lbs or illiterate. I'm not brain dead. So you know this guy hated me on sight. No I will not Aunt Jemima myself for you. He was white too. Probably clings to his white male privilege every night at bedtime. I think one of the scariest things to these types is a black woman who *knows*. They love brain dead black people though, to use, abuse, and laugh at. There are sociopaths in all ethnicities of course. My sister is one as well. My parents are NPD. To me sociopath/PD pretty much translates to Godlessness. I will say, working with the sociopaths has made things interesting. I now learned to study them as they have studied me all these years. But at the end of the day, these people are destructive and would see me locked up in mental institution or six feet underground before repenting of their wicked ways. So by and large, they are my enemies.


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