Snakes in Suits—When Psychopaths Go to Work is a new book published by Dr. Robert Hare, the international expert on psychopaths, and Dr. Paul Babiak, an industrial-organizational psychologist. Although the book is primarily about psychopaths in the corporate world, it contains important information for anyone who is dealing with one of these predators.
Chapters 3 and 4 explain how psychopaths manipulate their victims, and it’s absolutely chilling.
Hare and Babiak describe a three-phase process psychopaths use in their parasitic approach to life. This isn’t a process psychopaths have to plan, they do it naturally. Here’s how it goes, according to the authors:
- First, they assess the value of individuals to their needs, and identify their psychological strengths and weaknesses.
- Second, they manipulate the individuals (now potential victims) by feeding them carefully crafted messages, while constantly using feedback from them to build and maintain control. Not only is this an effective approach to take with most people, it also allows psychopaths to talk their way around and out of any difficulty quickly and effectively if confronted or challenged.
- Third, they leave the drained and bewildered victims when they are bored or otherwise through with them.
As a result of the manipulation, the psychopath establishes a “psychopathic bond” with the victim. Here’s how Hare and Babiak summarize the manipulation:
The psychopath’s psychological game involves analyzing the individual’s expectations and desires, and then reflecting them in a psychological mask that is so convincing the person bonds with him or her. This bonding can take place very quickly, even during the space of one cross-country airplane ride. There are two payoffs: the psychopath wins the immediate game by gaining the person’s trust, and the victim, now in the grip of the psychopath’s power, will soon give up whatever the psychopath requests or demands.
If you’ve been victimized by a psychopath, you’re probably trying to figure out how it happened. Read Snakes in Suits, especially chapters 3 and 4.You’ll find your answers.
Snakes in Suits includes a sidebar about Lovefraud.com in the chapter about personal self-defense. I greatly appreciate the reference.
Another note—although I draw on the work of Dr. Robert Hare in Lovefraud.com, I’ve chosen to use the term “sociopath” in place of his use of the word “psychopath.” The reason is that most people assume a psychopath is a deranged serial killer, which may prevent them from realizing that the spouse, relative or coworker who is making them miserable may have the personality disorder. My purpose is simply to enhance communication.