7 Signs You're Working With a Psychopath

Look for these red flags that you're working with one

Seven Psychopaths Premiere
Charles Sykes/Invision/APActor Christopher Walken of 'Seven Psychopaths'
How do you know when you're face-to-face with a psychopath? There are more out there than we'd like to imagine, and they all tend to exhibit essentially the same traits, says behavioral analyst Lillian Glass, a language expert who's worked with the FBI on unmasking signals of deception.

Psychopathy is an anti-social personality disorder where the sufferer tends to adopt erratic and impulsive behaviors. Psychopaths have an inability to internalize social norms.

While it's difficult to know how many psychopaths reside in the U.S., a survey cited in a Reuters article found that out of the 500 senior executive respondents in the U.S. and U.K., 26% said they had "observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace" and 24% believed that those in the financial industry need to "engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful."

Based on Glass' new book "The Body Language of Liars," we pulled out seven red flags that you may be dealing with a psychopath in the cube next door.

They constantly use the past tense.

Researchers have found psychopaths use past tense more than present tense, which could signal that they're detached from the present, writes Glass.

They use cause-and-effect statements.

"Because psychopaths are entitled and see the world and others as theirs for the taking, researchers at the University of British Columbia found that they used more words such as 'because' and 'so that'" says Glass, since they tend to rationalize their actions with their own logic.

They talk excessively about their basic needs.

Since they're typically not occupied with anything else, psychopaths think about their basic needs a lot, such as food, shelter, and clothing, writes Glass. When talking about their basic needs, psychopaths tend to use twice as many words as usual or provide too much information.

They don't take responsibility or blame.

Psychopaths usually think that they're the victims, which comes from their sense of entitlement, says Glass.


"The psychopath will speak of himself in grandiose terms while blaming others and taking no responsibility for his actions," she says. You can hear this in the lack and emotion of their voice.

They contradict themselves often.

This may even happen within the same sentence. "[Psychopaths] will lie or omit information when you ask them a question, but they may tell you the truth if you rephrase the question slightly. Researchers have discovered that this has to do with the particular way their brain is wired," says Glass.

They are really bad at crying.

"When [Susan Smith] gave a press conference and cried about her missing children, her fake tears were actually what raised suspicions that she was the killer," says Glass.

When psychopaths cry, Glass says they will often wipe underneath each eye, one at a time. "When people cry genuine tears they cry with both eyes, and so they will tend to wipe both eyes at once."

Their body language is different than what they say.

Glass says psychopaths will often say one thing, but their body language will tell a different story. For example, while saying the word "yes," the psychopath could be shaking their head no.

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rwest42096

And I might add, that is a really bad picture of Christopher Walken.

November 11 2013 at 6:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rwest42096

I KNEW I was working with psychopaths! Wait a minute, I think based on this article, I may also be a psychopath...

November 11 2013 at 6:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
kathleen.haxton

What a crock of..........

November 11 2013 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vignaujdan

This is just a prerelease advertisement for the movie.

November 11 2013 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smfstiffy

Wow , sounds like the beginning of an add campaign for a NEW drug that should be on the market soon!
NoPsyco Can be taken by both the pscho and his or her or its, faceless victms and helps both deal with and detsroys those uncooprerative brains cells! Coming to a DRUG SUPERSTORE near YOU!

November 10 2013 at 4:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Dwnes2

So, on the occasions I do cry, I tend to wipe my eyes one at a time before tears fall. Because I hate it when people see me crying. So, that makes me a psycho? I thought it was because we were always told, "stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about!"

November 10 2013 at 2:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
fulman63

OMG I'm a psychopath, I believe whoever wrote this described the behavior of every human on earth at one time or another. I don't claim to know all about psychopaths but I do know they don't have a conscience and they are predators and will kill you with no remorse at all. This article needs a little more research in my opinion. There will be a lot of people saying they work or live with a psychopath after reading it and if they truly looked in the mirror.

November 10 2013 at 2:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to fulman63's comment
PowellTreeCare

The fact that you can say that you're a psychopath means that you aren't. Psycopaths are extraordinarily narcisstic - if you can admit fault, then you aren't one.

November 13 2013 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
justandyandme

Yea, it cast a wide, generalized net. Some of her points sound valid.
I wonder how a " behavioral analyst" and "language expert" differs from the good ol' , run-of-the-mill psychiatrist with an MD.

November 13 2013 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yachtcare

In other words, welcome to being YOU?

November 10 2013 at 2:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

Now everyone that works and that have read this will go back to work and look at you if your one...LOL

November 10 2013 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary Ann & Mike

"Because" is used in the beginning sentence by the author when describing the words "because" and "so that" describing psychopaths. Does that make her a psychopath?

November 10 2013 at 1:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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