9 dead giveaways your coworker is a sociopath

Now that we’ve been remote for over a year, the idea of having to share a space with all our coworkers again can be daunting.

As we slowly start to get back to meeting in person, there are several warning signs to protect yourself and help someone who has an antisocial personality disorder, commonly known as sociopathic behavior.

Before we dive into this article, it’s important to note that mainstream media and movies often characterize sociopaths as criminals and serial killers.

This is not at all the case.

While there may be a few felons diagnosed with this condition, it’s essential to understand that many sociopaths go through life without being diagnosed or discovered. Some can blend in with society as they struggle with their mental health condition.

Often sociopaths struggle to control their anger and have high anxiety levels, which can make it difficult to blend in with a cohesive team environment.

Psychology Today states that one in 25 Americans are sociopaths with antisocial personality disorders. This means that more likely than not, you are probably working with several sociopaths at your workplace.

Here are nine dead giveaways your coworker may be a sociopath

The following list is a culmination of studies and information obtained from Psychology Today, Health.com, SSM Health, Medical News Today, and the Mayo Clinic.

Keep in mind, if your coworker exhibits only one of these signs and symptoms, it’s not always a giveaway they are clinically a sociopath.

1. They struggle to tell the truth

A common characteristic among sociopaths is their inability to tell the truth consistently. They tell lies on top of lies just for the sake of lying.

2. Your co-worker is a great charmer

Even though they may suffer from anxiety or anger issues, they can also be highly charismatic and friendly.

Sociopaths can be great with words and say the right things at the right time to move the conversation in their favor. 

3. They struggle to connect with people on a personal level

Even though they can be charmers, they rarely can form close personal relationships.

One of the common traits of sociopaths is their inability to feel empathy, so they may be well-liked in the office but not actually friends with any of their coworkers.

4. Your coworker doesn’t understand empathy

As previously stated, sociopaths struggle with understanding other people’s emotions because they cannot feel common feelings like guilt, love, or shame.

This lack of conscience makes connecting with others extremely difficult.

5. They only worry about themselves

While they are charming on the outside, underneath that shell is someone who is only focused on themselves.

They are constantly looking for ways to move a situation or relationship to their benefit rather than the benefit of others.

6. Sociopaths are often bored with everything

Imagine if you don’t care about anyone else but yourself.

These feelings can often lead to extreme boredom, which is usually eliminated by playing mental games with others.

7. Your coworker is constantly manipulative

Because of their natural inclination to only care about themselves and their inability to feel empathy, most interactions are calculated to manipulate others to their benefit.

Sociopaths intentionally target others who they believe they can control, especially others who are inherently loyal.

8. They are quick to anger

Sociopaths struggle to control their anger and often lose their cool and lash out for seemingly no reason.

This anger can take the form of verbal or physical abuse, which can be over a minor issue.

9. Threaten suicide to change others behavior

While the threat of suicide should always be treated appropriately by making the required notifications, sociopaths often use the threat of suicide to manipulate others, with no intention of actually following through with the threat.

Important considerations

It’s critical to understand that unless you are a licensed clinician, you cannot clinically identify someone as being a sociopath.

This list is some of the most common characteristics of sociopaths so you can protect yourself from becoming manipulated and used against your will.

Always seek professional help for any mental health issue and keep your employer informed about any workplace irregularities.