By | February 26, 2013 9 Comments

Towards a graduate degree in Workplace S&P&N-ology

Editor’s note: The following was written by the Lovefraud reader PressEject. He previously wrote “Male and female sociopaths have remarkable similarities.” Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

It has been about 4 1/2 years since my absurd abuse at the hands of the sociopath, which your great site helped me to make sense of, and, to eventually overcome. I am writing today in gratitude, but also with a bit of an update and reminder (at least to myself) to remain vigilant.

With your help, and with the help and support of your readers, I finally had a set of tools to work with to navigate the world should S’s and P’s and N’s eventually fall right back in my pathway. Ultimately, the healing work brought me out of years of a prolonged state of resentment and isolation (separated from God’s healing grace) right into the hands of a loving God, where love for me now has finally had a chance to cancel out the many dark clouds I had chosen to live with over so many years.

Tools not enough to protect entirely

Unfortunately all this great love I am experiencing does not necessarily protect me from falling right back into the devious chaotic clutches of a bona fide sociopath. I am dusting off now after a recent collision which left me once again abruptly “devalued and discarded.” I have to say I have been navigating at a near 100% awareness level at detecting these using types in my personal relationships. I truly feel I had earned my degree in S&P&N-ology a little while ago! But now I know my degree was only an undergraduate degree ”¦ there was more to learn!!

Sociopaths not only in relationships

Unfortunately I did not have the advanced degree in Workplace S&P&N-ology!! I had only been concentrating on NOT DATING any more using types, those with no-nada-zero empathy (and feel I have been happily successful in this area). But I unfortunately failed to see any “red flags” in approaching a recent employer who took me for a ride. I now see that the advanced degree for workplace navigation would also be very useful to have! I am determined to earn this one now too after this recent encounter.

I believe some of us developed a “blind eye” to these types that use and abuse. As I mentioned in my original notes to Lovefraud, it was something I think that may have been a result of having been raised by a BPD father. It was “normal” to be around someone that had no interest in me as a person while growing up. Fortunately I finally had a chance to grieve what has been missing all this time, and have learned to become more responsible for myself and my well-being.

Impulsively hired

For many months last year I had wanted to work at a company I felt drawn to for the quality of product it represented. I entered into talks with the owner who came across as “humble” and “charming.” A little crass at times and full of off-color jokes. There was no work for me, but eventually the owner called and asked me to come in and talk about part-time work.

Funny, at the meeting, it went from part-time to abruptly, “Ok here’s the deal, instead I want to now hire you for full-time!” Red flag right? No real planning here just a spontaneous “you are the best thing that ever happened to us to come along” so let’s just put PressEject up on a pedestal and get him whatever he needs kind of “over-valuation!”

Jeckel/Hyde Boss

I read that it takes some time for the true colors to come out… but within the first week I saw how he treated others in the company and it truly was a shocking true Jeckel and Hyde personality here. Within two weeks I was completely chewed out and told I could leave if I didn’t like the arrangement! This was odd and in hindsight pretty abusive. I had only questioned the owner about the commission structure, having found a small percentage discrepancy in what I was being paid and what had been offered initially by the owner.

His earlier off-color jokes soon were replaced with a series of awful jokes of a sexual nature that belittled women and nearly everyone else for that matter. I tried my best to overlook the rough edges. I chose to stay but knew to keep my guard up with this one, yet not fully realizing a sociopath was behind the curtain, pulling all the levers and keeping me in that trance, where one simply doesn’t know what is coming next but is pulled in with false assurances and a paycheck. (Stockholm syndrome if one stays? I noticed the one directly under him acts selflessly as a complete sycophant, often in pain from the abuse at work but smiling all the time.)

Impulsively Fired

After three months, the owner came in one day and said he was letting me go. It was the oddest thing, as of the three employees in the branch, I was the one who had been making a large majority of the sales!! I was shocked of course, there had been no warning. Granted sales had been off but only in the two prior weeks. Even though I was excelling, apparently I was taking away sales from the others. Last hired, first to be let go… I get it and don’t really have a problem with it. What was unacceptable, though, was how the owner went from saying there weren’t enough sales in the branch to support three on staff to nit-picking my performance when I was the one who had made the largest sales and highest net profits!

An impulsive hire originally, then these mixed messages, convoluted chaotic reasoning for letting me go and a complete 360 degree turn “devalue” from having just been a “successful seasoned professional and part of the family” (how I had been introduced often to clients).

Better off and back on my feet

The good news is that my undergraduate degree in S&P&N-ology has helped me to get back on my feet. To not take this personally (even though it is always hard to do at the hands of an abuser, so many old tapes in my head get replayed right away!) It has only been about two weeks but I see I am better off now being without a job with an “S” as a boss. Others said to me he was a “loose canon.” Better yet than this description, I found the most accurate one here:
(mine was the “Guru” bully)

Profound thanks to Lovefraud

So it is with profound thanks to Lovefraud once again for the valuable help I received in my undergraduate training. I believe from this recent experience I have now earned a sizeable amount of credits towards a graduate Workplace degree in S&P&N-ology. I see we can be played as the victim ”¦ (and I see it can happen from time to time) BUT we don’t have to actually BE the victim!!

Thank you, Donna, for your support and good works you do. This seems to get a little easier to navigate over time, even if a “blind spot” still gets me in trouble from time to time. I am working hard still at avoiding trouble staying vigilant. I don’t feel so lonely and used like I did before. So many others share these similar struggles, I have learned. It seems better now for me to step back, take stock, regroup, refocus, and continue to go forward with a heart still in tact and capable of giving back (where appropriate!)


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Ox Drover

Press eject, even if you had a PhD in psychopathy, there are still “Post-doctoral” studies that we must all continue to take in the University of Hard Knox. LOL

I’m learning more every day….and realizing that even people who may not be “100% psychopath” are still TOXIC and not worth being around.

Glad you passed the “class.” Great article.


PressEject? I wanna press “THANK YOU.”

You have written several nuggets in this short article, including a topic that resonates with me.
“it was NORMAL to be around someone with no interest in me” pretty much sums up my relationships.

I was swept away by an spath b/c I failed to see the signs. The REASON I failed to see the signs came from, like you, my childhood. I was extremely neglected. It NEVER occured to me that I was Supposed to be loved. Yes, I knew enough about love to WANT it, but I never expected it. So the man I married only had to give me a little attention and I thought it was love. People extend a small gesture of kindness and I mistake it for an offer of friendship, when all it really is… is a small momentary gesture.

I find this remains one of my blind spots, that I can’t seem to ascertain sincerity in people. It happened a LOT when I was with my spath. It happens still, that some betray me, such as what one particularly hurtful new friend did to me, she betrayed me to the one she KNEW was HATEFUL to me and then blamed ME for HER betrayal! Astounded me. And thinks herself entitled/excused and a good person in spite continuing to be vicious to me. She’s not spath but she was abusive, refusing to hear me tell her of the betrayal and how what it was doing to me. Her demand: that I submit to being betrayed to one who hates me or be shunned. So here I am, shunned by her and by those she has encouraged to shun me. The pain has been terrible but I remind myself it’s not about ME b/c I am not the person she defined me to be, it’s about HER and HER need to scapegoat the dummy who trusted her, me. Why couldn’t I see this dynamic when it was happening? Why only in hindsight? That’s my blind spot! Thinking if it didn’t make sense, then surely I was misunderstanding?

But to see the signs of disinterest? Of exploitation? When disinterest and exploitation is NORMAL to me? I am still in the “difficult to train” class on that one, working on being vigilent in appropriate expectations of behavior from others. And ya know what, being vigilent is a lotta work, it’s a lotta high anxiety, and it’s a lot easier to isolate myself, be alone, less of a target and less anxiety worried about who will betray me out of left field. (not giving up, will work on this about myself, but just acknowledging how difficult it is to learn the skill of recognizing who to trust, and how much trust to give them.)

But…. the final lesson, to NOT take things personally? To realize we have been PLAYED as a victim but we don’t have to BE the victim? That’s a Fantastic reminder. And one I am going to put time and work into today. Thank you. “Press THANK YOU”

kim frederick

Katydid, I am also becoming aware of how I was trained in childhood to accept the unacceptable, as normal. Head spinning, really, and so obvious, once I let myself really explore it.
I had what I considered to be a really good child-hood, up to about age 12. Something happened and everything seemed to change. My older brother was drafted and went to Korea. My Dad’s drinking increased and he spent all his time in the little one room house he’d built out back. It was his man cave, so to speak. And my eccentric Mom, would sleep until noon, then get up, do a little house work and go to town, just before I got home from school. She’d return at about 7:30, drink one glass of wine, then a cup of coffee, then she’d get around to making dinner. We usually ate dinner at around 9:30 or 10:00. She would literally ring a bell, and my Dad would come in and eat and go to bed. The next day was the same.
I think this was all my Mom’s way of avoiding my Dad’s drinking, but, I got lost in the mix. I couldn’t figure out why I was alone all the time…especially after having what seemed like a good and loving child-hood.

So, here was the set-up to be idealized…(love-bombed) then to be disgarded, but never really knowing I had been disgarded….to sit and wait, faithfully, for some time down the road when everything would magically come together.

I had never been taught how normal families act.

This all became clear to me many years ago when I was living with X in Florida, recovering from my own alcoholism, had been sober about 2 years, I think, and I hadn’t been home, or seen my parents in 7 years. An AA freind heard me say this in a meeting, and he and his wife had bout tickets to fly to the nearest city to my home town. She had just landed a new job, and couldn’t go. He offered me her ticket.

I told my Mom and Dad exactly when the airport shuttle would drop me off in my home town. The drop off spot was a bar, for God’s sake.

I sat in that bar and waited something like 7 hours. Mom had to go grocery shoppping, and get the groceries put away, before she’d let my Dad come get me.

I called and called. No one answered the phone.

I realized then, how I had been set up to be insignificant, and to accept the unacceptable, and to hurry up and wait fro the primary players to become available. Wow. Just Wow.

that’s such a sad story. I can relate to being made insignificant. You should know, that you’re significant to me. ((hugs))

Press Eject,
thanks for this important article. You did a good job describing the typical work/business spath.

The off color jokes were the first red flag. Being offensive is how they TEST BOUNDARIES. All spaths do this early on. The other early test is word salad. When they speak in sentences that don’t make sense but they aren’t questioned, they know they have a target.

I ran into a business spath the other day. He was selling some property… not really, he was running an ad to sell property but he had no intention of selling it. He just needed the attention. By running an ad for a “too good to be true” sale, he was sure to get lots of “hits”.

I recognized this one by his word salad. They’re everywhere.


Funny how as an adult, I felt so fortunate to be the neglected one as a child, b/c to be the favored one meant being SEEN, and being SEEN was to be a target. I worked VERY hard to be part of the woodwork. Yes, I was molested by my pedophile father but at least I avoided the penetrating rape that I watched him do to my sister. I was too young to understand it was intercourse, but I heard her screams and knew to avoid being alone with him. Insignificant? YES. Not Existing? YES. Unable to realize when I am being treated as insignificant and nonexistant? YES.

I am so sad for you, that your mother was blind to you. Sounds like she did a defense mechanism that worked for her but failed to see the outcome of HER behavior on you.

I did the same to my baby, the love of my life. I failed to see that my defense mechanism of trying to be the woodwork in order to minimize the abuse, was having an effect on her.

I can only fix/work on my demons. Sorry to say, now that my baby is an adult, she will (hopefully) work on hers.

The TRUTH is You ARE NOT INSIGNIFICANT. You never were. You were just treated that way and so you believed that LIE. And it is my belief that, (just like me, if I had known the consequences to my hiding in another room until my husband went to bed was making my daughter feel unloved and invisable), your mom would have looked for a different solution.

Terrible depression blinded me. Maybe for your mom too? Depression also makes a person numb, it becomes important to try to not FEEL b/c FEELING makes ya want to DIE.

I know this about my daughter, I adored her from the moment I was pregnant. I stayed with my spath b/c by the time I figured him out, my daughter was old enough to choose him as her primary guardian (he was the fun one and I was the mean mom who made her do homework, etc.) and I REFUSED to leave her behind, so I HAD to stay until she chose to leave home. As the unemployed depressed spouse, no court would have granted custody of her to me against the fun, pioneer, established community ties of my spath.

Your mom failed you, like I failed my baby. But I’d like to think it was not by choice but b/c she saw no other way. I am so sad for what you endured. SOme days it’s really hard to see the path to emotional healing. On these type of days, I work to connect to my soul and give myself grace. Some days that is the best I do. Other days, I am already connected to ME, and I prevail against the NONSENSE of ABUSERS.

Katy, wishing she could find a way to comfort and empower you, and who feels SO BAD for the failure of your mother b/c I understand how I feel so worthless for MY failure for my own beautiful darling daughter.


Again, my eyes are filled with tears and my heart is breaking for the people who posted…the mom who wishes she had done things differently, the daughter waiting for her parents to pick her up…all of you.

And for me. I could write these stories myself. I think that is where the ex-spath harmed me the most, in the waiting and believing and hoping that things would get better, that they would change. And they didn’t. And they couldn’t. And they never would have. So much of my life was wasted.

We all did the best we could at the time. I know this. I remember when I first started gaining weight, me who all her life was not just the slim one, but was many times underweight. I had no skills because I could always eat anything I wanted and no idea how to change what was happening to my body. And then I found that, for me, low-carb was the answer. I had to change the kinds of things I ate. But I was shocked, because I always thought that what I did was so healthy, not just for me, but for my kids! I was wrong!! So wrong in what I was feeding them.

Maybe I didn’t feed them sugar-coated cereal, but I always had boxes of cereal in the house. No more orange juice or bananas, because they shoot your glycemic levels through the roof. It was such a profound change in the way I was eating, I would walk into the kitchen and not even know what to cook anymore.

But slowly, over time, it got easier and easier. I found substitute foods for the home-style meals I would cook for my family. I bought different kinds of foods and I stopped bringing home the ones loaded with carbs. Now it’s easy for me to fix a delicious meal again and I don’t gain weight…in fact, I lost all my surprise excess weight and have kept it off. For 8 years. But it was so hard in the beginning. If I fell off the wagon, I would just get right back on it the next day and NEVER beat myself up over it. I had a goal (and a closet full of clothes that I was going to keep wearing!)

We can change, y’all. We can succeed. We made mistakes, but there are solutions to our problems. We are good enough, valuable enough, worthy enough to live good lives again. I never stop praying for everyone on here. And I have made a decision, that I will never again mold my life to fit someone else’s weaknesses. Not even my own.



Workplace sociopaths are my personal specialty.

They hire you in a way that you’re indebted. Can’t start for a month – their boss wants a quick hire, but they are going to hold it just for you type of bs.

You start and your job seems to consist of listening to how wonderful they are, being taken out for lunch then after dinner drinks.

They’re going to some effort to impress you. *why?*
They talk you up to their superiors, how great you’re going to be, such an asset and how badly you’re needed *yet no work?*

Not like the last person in your job, you new sociopath boss/friend/indebted pal had to get rid of them.

Then you do something like ask about how ethical something is (yeah I did), question a choice they made, or ask about the last person because you’ve read their work and it seems really good.

Next thing you know there’s a new hire that you’re being asked to train – you don’t even really know what your job is yet and oh… wait…. the new hire has heard bad things about YOU? And you can’t get any time with the boss?

Then you hear the boss is being investigated for padding expenses.

Then one day you’re fired on some outrageous charge. (deflection to buy the sociopath boss more time at the company)

Found out later he was finally caught accessing clients financial records to mine them as clients/victims for some scam he was dreaming up.

There was a person hired at the same time as me. An ex-psychiatric nurse. I realize now they knew what he was. If I had been told I wouldn’t have believed it. The ex nurse handled this boss PERFECTLY. Would go for drinks, but had to leave after 30mins for family obligations, never said much, didn’t volunteer information, information that the boss tried to get out of him was slow coming in return and dull. Instead of no-contact the ex-nurse went ‘not an interesting target, look away’.

I truly believe the best and ONLY way to handle a sociopath in the workplace is to be uninteresting and dull to them.

Gathering evidence and making superiors aware will eventually get them fired, but in the meantime, pretend you’re a statue.

Ox Drover

Speak out, that “uninteresting target” is what we call Gray Rock here, you are as dull as a pile of gray rocks! LOL Skylar came up with the concept and it is a Love Fraud original. Welcome aboard, your post is very insightful!


PressEject, thank you so much for this article and reminder that core-issues are my main culprit – the manner in which I was raised and the intense “need” to “feel” approved, accepted, etc., ALL factor into how I made very poor decisions throughout my lifetime.

And, it’s also a reminder to me that there are toxic and predatory individuals, across the board.

I’m terribly sorry that you had the experience with the spath boss, and very grateful that you were able to walk away with even greater wisdom to use and share.

Brightest blessings

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