A word of caution: Your coworker could be a psychopath.
As you read this, probably sitting at your desk at work, making occasional jovial eye contact with your genial coworkers across the table, bear this recent revelation in mind: your beloved colleagues could be exhibiting some latent psychopathic tendencies.
And no, this isn’t some whimsical clickbait-y news. It’s backed by hard evidence.
You think God works in mysterious ways? Have you met human psychology, folks?
The Journal of Business Ethics has highlighted two studies which prove that psychopaths seem to do perfectly great, or rather remarkably well, under mean, abusive bosses.
If a boss is a mean, abusive terror who does not care for an employee’s privacy and spins venom with every word he/she utters, chances are they’re hated. You know, just like Voldemort!
However, the study, conducted with 419 volunteers reporting on their bosses, claims that individuals with psychopathic tendencies seem to gravitate positively towards such superiors and function more efficiently under their abusive reign. Remember Bellatrix Lestrange?
In the words of one of the authors of the study, Dr Charlice Hurst,
There are primary and secondary dimensions of psychopathy. Both consist of high levels of antisocial behaviour; however, people who score high in primary psychopathy lack empathy and are cool-headed and fearless. They don’t react to things that cause other people to feel stressed, fearful or angry. Secondary psychopaths are more hot-headed and impulsive.
“We found that primary psychopaths benefit under abusive supervisors. Relative to their peers low in primary psychopathy, they felt less anger and more engagement and positive emotions under abusive supervisors.”
This lack of empathy could also mean that what normal people consider an abusive environment to work in would be deemed to be a rather productive and efficient setting by the primary psychopath!
In nutshell, what all this psychobabble really means is that your office could turn into a bad episode of Criminal Minds pretty soon! Again, not kidding, the docs say so!
Talking about a horrible worst-case scenario, the study mentions,
At the extreme, [companies] could end up with a highly engaged workforce of psychopaths.
Ummm, anyone else feeling extremely uncomfortable with that thought?
So here’s your first order of business. Get into work tomorrow and carefully observe how everyone reacts to your boss’ rude behaviour. You never know, your work-desk neighbour could be cray-cray!
But of course, this is all assuming that you do get affected by abusive bosses. Yo do, right? Because if you’re cooler than M S Dhoni in the face of horrible bosses, then congratulations! You’re a freaking psychopath!