At the mention of the word ‘psychopath’, people tend to imagine the worst possible pictures of monsters ranging from rapists, paedophiles to serial killers. Although a lot of violent and aggressive criminals are psychopaths, some successful individuals can be, scratch that, are also psychopaths. In businesses and workplaces, they employ the use of their smooth talking skills to work their way up the ladder of success. However, their manipulations rear its head at some point and their true nature is revealed. Spending a lot of time around a psychopath can cause serious harm to your emotional, psychological and mental health. The good news is that you can shield yourself from the effects of the toxicity by being proactive about how you deal with them.
A research was carried out extensively on the difference between successful psychopaths and the ones who end up behind bars and it was discovered that the successful psychopaths have high levels of conscientiousness. It is true that all psychopaths have the same features and show off similar traits such as being exploitative, dishonest, callous, having little or no remorse, arrogant, callous, shifting blames to others and being shallow-minded. In addition, they lack empathy, are carefree and charming, aggressive, selfish and are experts at dealing with people. As opposed to the successful psychopaths, typical psychopaths have low levels of conscientiousness. This implies that they are more impulsive, irresponsible and negligent than the successful ones. Therefore, they are more likely to get caught whenever they commit crimes. Successful psychopaths are sleek with their modus operandi and are rarely caught, which explains why they occupy several enviable positions rather than being behind bars.
Also, they possess some traits such as being immune to stress, which is an added advantage in business and office settings. This enables them remain calm in the eye of the storm. They are skilled at wielding influence over others and staying fearless in the midst of crisis. So, despite having dark sides to their personalities, they move higher in business and get promoted in their workplaces due to their good sides. You’ll agree with me that at one point or another, you must have encountered or been around a psychopath for sometime and this includes at business or in the workplace. It might be your client, subordinate, boss or a colleague. You’ll also agree with me that it’s so much stress dealing with them and it only takes a proactive approach to get them off your back. You can study the way they behave and decide to stay off their grid.
Here are steps on how to stay mentally strong when you’re dealing with a psychopath
1.Don’t be intimidated and even if you are, don’t show it
A major sign and characteristic of a psychopath is that they resort to the use of aggression and threats to control other people. They can even go as far as standing over you when talking and it doesn’t take much to get them to spew insults and threats. What you should do is to stand your ground, look them in the eyes squarely and show them that you are not scared of them and their threats. If they continue to thread this path, file reports to a higher authority in a workplace setting or sever ties with them in a business setting.
2.Learn how to keep your cool when the storm is raging
Learn to keep calm and just watch them as they act out because when you lose your cool around them, you show them that they have the ability to control the way you react to things. If course, this gives them power over you and you’re like putty in their hands. Even when they act irrationally, let them know that they do not have the ability to control your emotions by staying calm through it.
3.They know just how to shift the blame to others, don’t give them a listening ear.
Psychopaths tend to smoothly and swiftly shift the blame to other people when they realize that their own game is closing up on them. Pay no ear to the excuses they will come up with and show no sympathy for their seeming problems, as this means that you played right into their hands. They’ll do all they can to prove to you that they’re really the victims in the situation or circumstance. Do not buy that as it’s all a facade.
4.Find a way to steer the conversation in their direction
One of the most effective ways of making a psychopath inactive around you is pointing out their flaws to them. Boy, do they hate that act! Find a way to always direct the flow of conversation back to themselves and their flawed actions. This action alone makes them powerless and thoroughly annoys them because they want to talk about anything else but themselves. They feel insecure and exposed whenever the spotlight is beaming on them.
Series of research and studies have shown that spending a lot of time (and this includes working and doing business) with a psychopath does a real bad number on both your physical and mental health. While I’ll advise that you should avoid them completely as the best way to remain safe. However, this may involve a lot of stress, risks and losses for you and your organization as you’ll be putting a lot on the line just to stay away from the toxicity of psychopaths. This move will be totally worth it in the long run because by then, you’ll probably be working with better people who will add a lot of value to your life. In instances where you can’t completely avoid a psychopath, you have to protect your mental strength by getting proactive and trying your best to avoid having issues with them. Also, if you’re working in an organization, make sure that you make reports of every case of intimidation and bullying to the Human resources desk. This will surely go a long way to put a psychopath in check around you and other normal people.