If you work or have worked in a traditional corporate environment, chances are you’ve run into a narcissist or sociopath in your career.According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, harassment, intimidation, and covert coercion at work “is akin to domestic violence at work, where the abuser is on the payroll.” This form of covert abuse occurs more frequently than we might assume. Martha Stout (2004) estimates that 1 in 25 Americans are sociopaths, which is an alarmingly large number considering that many workplaces reward narcissistic and sociopathic traits.Your significant other is supposed to support and encourage you.If they are always humiliating you in front of other people, it means they don’t care about your feelings and would rather tear you down than build you up. However, the ironic thing is that they rarely give attention in return.Not unlike narcissistic friends, partners and family members, narcissistic co-workers will get on your “good side” early on and build a positive rapport with you, only to use what they learn as ammunition against you.It may surprise people to discover that the workers who tend to be targets of harassment and bullying in the workplace happen to be the most skilled.
There are subtle forms of sociopathy and, if you’re a woman, even socially acceptable forms of sociopathy.With that in mind, it’s important to learn the tactics of toxic manipulators, especially when you are starting a new job or attempting to cope with a toxic workplace situation.Here are three ways workplace narcissists and sociopaths behave to undermine you, and tips on how to cope. They get to know you, only to use that information against you.Then, they create triangles that stimulate rivalry and raise their perceived value.(Adapted from “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene).