According to a new report by CNBC, that coworker who repeatedly backstabs you, steals your ideas, gets the same haircut as you, wears white after Labor Day and manipulates you may not just have a stick up his ass. He or she may actually be psychotic. Former criminal profiler Gregg McCrary said psychopathy runs on a continuum — with white collar criminals falling in the middle. And though these criminals may not physically harm you, they will do anything to take you down. “They have no guilt, remorse or shame. They’re deceitful and egotistical. It’s all about them,” said McCrary. If you’ve ever encountered a co-worker who will do anything to get ahead, destroying anything in their paths, you may be working with an actual psychopath.
Believe it or not, there are about 3 million Americans or 1% of the population walking around (not in jail) that have psychopathic tendencies. Some of these are lower-level criminals but they are not as intelligent as their white collar counterparts. According to McCrary, this type of psychopath should be considered high-functioning. Unlike lower-level criminals who might rob a bank and leave behind evidence, white collar psychopaths are much harder to catch. They’re intelligent, have great interpersonal skills, powerfully persuasive and able to disguise themselves very well aka they are your superstar coworker. “A psychopath’s approach to life is all about manipulation,” McCrary said. “They make great natural psychologists. They read people well and look at them and businesses as being there to serve their needs. They’re always assessing, “How can this particular job or person meet my needs? How can I exploit them?’” McCrary said.
We all do compartmentalize in terms of our work life and our personal life but psychopaths take that to the extreme, and they excel at it. “I call it duping delight,” he added. “They take great delight in duping people and getting over on them because it’s an indicator of how smart and brilliant they are.”