Snakes in Suits

In Book Reviews on June 29, 2014 at 6:00 am
HarperCollins 2006

HarperCollins 2006

Nustshell blurb: So, apparently there are a lot of psychopaths in the corporate world. This book tells you how to identify those people and how to deal with them.

This book was recommended to me by a colleague (whose name I will withhold in order to protect her anonymity). Obviously, this book is merely for the lolz because I work in an office filled with really nice and well-adjusted people. Not a psychopath in sight. Nope. Not a single one.


This book can actually apply to people outside of the corporate world and, in fact, I was able to look back on past relationships and realise that some of those people were psychopaths. The authors of this book warn about diagnosing and labeling people as psychopaths, though, as only a qualified psychiatrist should make that judgement.

What they did encourage you to do is to be able to identify people who exhibit psychopathic tendencies so that you can understand better how to deal with them.

I’m going to go ahead and spoil it for you because it made me laugh. Basically, if you are in a relationship or work with a psychopath, do not confront them. Step away from the psychopath and under NO circumstances should you EVER call them a psychopath. Not to their faces anyway. The best idea is to try to avoid them as they are great schemers and manipulators. They will always turn things around to where you get the shaft.

I’m simplifying things, certainly, but that’s the gist.

In spite of making me giggle a little bit, it did make me think about myself and the people around me. I’ve always had low self-esteem and it’s within the past few years that I’ve been able to really recognise my self-worth. I’ve been working really hard to get rid of my hang-ups which is another thing that this book recommends. One of the things that a psychopath will do is to capitalise on a person’s insecurities. If you get rid of your insecurities, the psychopath will have less ammo with which to obliterate your career or your life in general.

I’m simplifying this book in a huge way and the things that they talk about are actually rooted in science as well as common sense, so I felt as though it was pretty sound advice. It was a good read and it has made me more aware of the actions of people around me as well as my behaviour around other people. After all, who is to say that I’m not a psychopath?

(I’m not, by the way.)

  1. I need this book now… I might be a psychopath…

  2. Sounds like an interesting read. Avoid people with psychopathic is always a good thing, but the problem is in the workplace, that type of mentality is well suited to thrive in the realm of office politics as these type can be quite well behaved to their superiors despite their malevolence towards others. As such, they may be difficult to avoid if one wishes to move up the food chain if they are in your management line.
    Office politics in general can be acerbic and bring out the worst in some people.
    I’m surprised to hear you suffered from having low self esteem as you seem pretty put together and talented.
    “After all, who is to say that I’m not a psychopath?
    (I’m not, by the way.)”
    Well, maybe, but I don’t think a psychopath would admit to being one either. 😉

    • Yes, it’s definitely true that these traits are valued in a office setting. One just has to hope that people on high recognise the behaviour and handle it appropriately. Sadly, this doesn’t seem the case.

      Thanks for the compliment! I’ve actually gained quite a bit of confidence as I’ve grown older. I was picked on in school mercilessly and it kind of stayed with me into adulthood. I’ve had to work really hard to realise that I have great qualities and that I am an asset to my company. It just all comes back when I meet people who bully others. It’s quite shameful that this type of behaviour is not only permitted but is celebrated. I work hard to constantly improve myself. That’s all I can really do.

      Actually, according to this book, psychopaths are aware of what they are so it’s possible that they might admit it. They don’t have emotions and they look down on emotional people as being inferior. It’s quite interesting because I know someone who constantly fakes emotions. He tries to come off as being caring and kind but it doesn’t quite work. I’m not sure if he’s a psychopath but he had some of the traits.

      I’m pretty sure I’m not one. But you never know! 😉

  3. You say you’re not a psychopath, but you also say at you’re place of work there’s not a psychopath in sight. You know what they say about when you can’t spot any crazy people?

    Sound like a great read. I really should read more non-fiction, but thanks to my studies I struggle to see any non-fic as the escapism I need so much.

    • Haha! You’ve found me out!

      I can totally understand not wanting to read non-fic while you’re studying. I really enjoy reading it but I always think about my stack of novels piling up beside my bed. So I just read one or two here and there if I see something that looks super interesting. This was definitely a good read.

  4. Have you read The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson? It sounds similar to this title. It’s been sitting on my shelf; I may have to read it now.

  5. There’s a similar book, The Sociopath Next Door, that I recall reading though I seem to only have given it a moderate rating. It has more case-studies than recommendations. But if you’re looking for more on the topic, there it is.

    • That sounds interesting. I do enjoy these types of books as they’re great for character creation. (It’s great when I can apply them to my life as well…) Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Added this to my to-read list!!

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