Mobbed by female sociopaths at work

by Liz

My boss, the ringleader, was a serial bully who always had someone in her sights. Her targets were women, usually subordinates. Those who weren't targeted were treated very well. Later I realized this was part of her strategy to get those in her in-group to participate in the mobbing.

My boss gossiped and maligned her targets behind their backs to everyone in the office. Strategically this accomplished two objectives: 1. Persuaded others to mob the target and 2. Make people fear getting on her bad side.

She also had affairs with male superiors and wielded a great deal of power over them with her sexuality. This again accomplished two objectives: 1. Enlisted the CEO's help in ousting the target and 2. Prevented complaints about her from being taken seriously

Her efforts worked like a charm. While most would not directly mob the target, they would avoid associating with her. That person would for all intents and purposes be shunned.

A few fellow sociopaths would actively engage in driving the target out by harrassing and demeaning her, refusing to provide information the target needed to do her job, sabotaging her work, making false accusations, even physical intimidation.

I saw one sociopath co-worker do all of the above and visibly gloat when the target showed any sign of distress. Later on I learned this co-worker fudged her time and stole thousands of dollars of electronics from the agency, all enabled by my sociopath boss. When the payroll clerk spoke up about the fraudulent timesheets, she became a target and was driven out.

In the seven years I worked for this 15-employee agency, six women were mobbed and driven out. There had been several before I began working there and no doubt more after I left. I was the target who hung on the longest, to the detriment of my physical and mental health.

The worst of it came when my sociopath boss hired a friend of hers with no experience to become my supervisor and tormentor. She had bypassed the civil service process to obtain the job and I had to train her on how to use a computer.

In return, I was belittled, yelled at in public, accused and framed for things I didn't do, had my documents and e-mail lists broken into and tampered with, and had things stolen from me. Sociopath boss would come over to sociopath co-worker's desk, which was near mine and they would ridicule and laugh at me like I wasn't in the room.

Of course the longer I held out, the harder sociopath boss worked to force me out. I was probably the biggest challenge for her ever as I tend to be rather stubborn.

My job responsibilities were removed based on false reports of poor performance. My hours were reduced and I was given menial tasks to do. My desk was put into a converted closet, away from the rest of the staff. I was not included in any meetings or gatherings. Nobody talked to me and I was told to "talk to my manager" if I asked any questions. Of course sociopath boss would ignore me.

So the technique of solitary confinement finally drove me out. By that time, I had an anxiety disorder and developed an ulcer. My doctor told me to leave that toxic environment for the sake of my health. I had put it off because the pay and benefits were good. I knew I would have a hard time finding another job because sociopath boss would likely blacklist me, as she had done to other targets.

True to form I have been unable to find another job. Not being able to use anybody I worked with as a reference is partially to blame, as is a tough job market, as is the emotional baggage I carry from my previous experience.

Sociopaths destroy lives and female sociopaths are worse because they don't get caught. They are pretty clever at operating on the down low and society doesn't take them seriously, especially when they victimize other women.

I would say to anyone who encounters one of these monsters at work to get out but it is rare for a workplace to not have at least one. Pray you don't have to report to a sociopath and if you do, either plan to do their unethical bidding (if you lack a conscience yourself) or get out quick before becoming the next mark.

Comments for Mobbed by female sociopaths at work

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A great description!
by: David


This is very well written and it's good to hear that you have left the environment, even if not unscathed!

It's very important to realize that it is not, and was never, your fault. This often takes time for people who have been in your situation to get their head around.

It is possible to undo the emotional damage done by developing a deeper understanding of the techniques used against you and the effects these had as well as undoing any destructive beliefs that may have developed over the time there.

I strongly recommend working with an expert in the field if you have not done so already. It really is worth it.

And thanks for writing!


I Commend You
by: Grace Peterson

What a horrible scenario to be caught in. I'm so glad you got out and I hope you find work soon.

I'm fortunate in that my supervisor and I are good friends and there is only one other female employee in the office and she's a jewel. However, my supervisor has told me the horror stories of former female employees. How manipulative and mean-spirited they were. How they undermined their fellow female employees, took credit for work they didn't do and buddied-up to take down the supposedly "weaker" coworker. I am so glad that they were all given the boot before I began working here.

I hope you can find a similar environment to work in. They may be far and few between but they are out there.

I've been there!
by: Cincinnati

Liz, I am sorry you were forced to go through this. I lost my job for reporting my sociopath manager's theft in 2009. I am working only parttime and only temp work. Managers need to understand this personality to protect the rest of us. Stay close to God. Ask Him to protect you from the evil that surrounds you.

Give her hell
by: Anonymous

I hope you gave her hell. Nothing like working for a bitch that wants to destroy you.

Been there
by: Anonymous

I too have suffered under a female sociopath. She reminds me of a cartoon I saw many years ago, with two women speaking of a third, saying "Don't be fooled by her smile, her tongue is lethal". She was as nice as pie to the higher ups, but a tyrant and a control freak, to lower ranking staff.

She works in a well known Government department. Having somehow attained the rank of section supervisor, she has made it her mission to make life hell for all but a chosen few working under her.

Every month we were required to receive "feedback" on how we are doing. She would use this as an opportunity to belittle and demoralise you. You knew that no matter how hard you tried, or how much work you produced, it was never good enough, and she would always find something wrong that would become the focal point of the conversation.

When something happened in the workplace that she disliked, the entire team were subject to a tirade of abuse at the next "team huddle", and she would keep staring at the person she believed (but usually wasn't) responsible for it.

Periodically, individual team members were taken to a "quiet room", and subjected to her tirades, which could be about anything at all, right down to her not liking the look on your face.

If people were talking, she always had to be in on the conversation. People ended up using sign language, or even stepping out of the section to communicate with one another.

She was always subjecting people to "raids", i.e. trying to catch them out doing wrong at their desk. In my case, she would come galloping up to my desk, stand right up next to me, and stare over my shoulder, hoping to catch me out not working.

Recently, it was decided that a large number of city based staff should move to the western suburbs. At the same time, redundancy packages were being offered. Eight people in her section chose to take the redundancy packages, seven of them because they couldn't stand her any more.

I don't doubt that in the new office, with new staff, that there will be more of the same.

on being mobbed . . .
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing your mobbing experience. I, too, was victimized at work by a female sociopathic boss who constantly demeaned her female targets (includes me) and she had her little minions carrying out her orders that resulted in me contracting both clinical depression and chronic anxiety debilities.

She was epically evil, lying about my job performance, ridiculing me in front of my co-workers, isolating me in the workplace, etc. She is the only person in the world for whom I fervently wish a visitation from The Angel of Death!!

Thank you for letting me vent!

Not All Women Are Like That
by: Anonymous


I know where you are coming from as I worked in a team of 7 females. I was the only male.

When I refused to submit to the unwanted sexual advances of my assistant manager I was subjected to a witch hunt by most in my office and her friends in the other office. I stuck it out for as long as I could but was then forced out on trumped up charges and suffered psychiatric injury.

My court case was thrown out as I am a male and I complained about the misconduct of females. It was an English court and all sexual harassment claims by men against women from work are thrown out by the courts there regardless of the merits or evidence. It is unwritten policy.

Prior to working for that company I had an unblemished work and education record. Now I have been blacklisted and cannot work. They ruined my health, my finances and my professional reputation out of spite and vindictiveness. It sounds like that is what they did to you (except for the sexual harassment).

It seems that as long as people group together at work they can get away with whatever they like. It seems that as long as the wrongs they commit are institutionalised and against an everyday person that person just has to take and suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, there is little you can do and in circumstances like these the law is simply disapplied by the courts because the complaint was brought by a male against women.

Anyway, my point is that I can and do sympathise with your situation and hope your life improves over time. At least not all women are mean and nasty.

My life
by: Anonymous

Oh my goodness, this is exactly my experience...three years and I have been emotionally and professionally torn to shreds, but 'hung on' for the benefits. The same - I know I cannot use this person as a referee...she has not out and out ridiculed me in front of others (well a couple of times) but set me up behind me back. I never actually thought this type of behavior actually could be for real. I mean, who the hell does this shit? And what for? This woman is so far above me in the career ladder that I dont even register on it...I am not any kind of threat...yet, here I am...

Time to leave
by: David

You may not consider yourself a threat, but for some reason she did... and she went after you to neutralize that threat!

If you are not out already, it's probably best to do so, because now that you recognize what is happening, any financial benefits are going to be outwieghed by the physical and mental costs to you.

Legal issues...
by: David

It is very difficult, because of the nature of mobbing, to prove this in court, especially when you are still heavily affected by it. The victim often comes across as the one who has the problems, and indeed they do have problems, but these are because of the mobbing and not an inherent issue of the victim.

Irrespective of what happens in court, working with a professional to undo the negative effects and get yourself back into the work place (and back into society!) is worth the time and effort. In fact, it's the only way to do it because just winning a court case does not automatically undo the (often) profound damage done to people in mobbing situations.

Thanks David
by: Anonymous

Thanks David. Thing is is my contract is out in Sept this year. I've been aiming to get to the end in one peice so not to burn bridges, and hopefully get a position elsewhere in the university where we work... I've finally gone and talked to an anti-discrim officer today who was appalled and told me to report everything... but for what I'm wondering. The officer said sept is still a long way off when I am crying every day, and my health is suffering, which is true...

I wish I had done something sooner. I'm at a loss, if I didnt need the money I would walk... looking for other jobs is all I can do at this point.

Keep your chin up
by: David

I suggest you keep a detailed diary of what is happening to you as well.

And looking for another job is what you should be doing right now.

If you'd like to chat about your situation you can contact me through the contact page on this site...

The best revenge is living well
by: Anonymous

Rest assured you are not alone!! I was mobbed horribly and some people would pretend to be a friend and twist me words around later and back stab me.

These people have no other lives and they are bored and bitter. Pour your energy into something outside of work to keep your spirits up. Contentment is the best suit of armor you can find. And it kills them to see you happy. And you never know what your new hobby will turn into.

by: Jacinta (formerly anon)

Hi David and all contributors,

I wrote anonymously in this thread last year under the subject My Life. (I can use my name without fear now - ha!) Well, I wanted to come back and hopefully offer some wisdom hard won through hindsight.

The thing that screwed me most was that it took me some time to realise that I wasn't going mad and my tormentor - a University Ass.Prof - was in fact the nut-job. By the time I realized what was happening it was too late to do anything to circumvent the now out-of-control situation. In fact, one of two colleagues who took me for whom I really was said to me only weeks ago (I left last August) that everyone thought I was crazy. I knew they did, and the more I tried to "clear my name" the more crazy I appeared. It really is beyond just "unfair".

This is the worst part of identifying a workplace psychopath, by the time you cotton on its too late. I did find out post-job that I wasn't the first target, but no-one was willing to come forward and try to take this loony down... so she keeps on doing what she does best.

ANYWAY, my advice is this - THREE chances and they're OUT. If you find your boss/coworker etc. has evidently lied, missed an important meeting, given conflicting information, bitched about others to you...(the list goes on and on) only THREE GOES, because normal people DO NOT indulge this kind of behavior, they may accidentally forget a meeting or have a bad day, but to conduct themselves in such a way consistently means something is wrong.

My other advice is if the tormentor is in an established position of power, and you are not 150% certain you can win - GET OUT - as soon as you can. If you cant leave straight away, because like me, you actually need the job, then you need to strategise while you are still there. The great thing I realise in hindsight is that for all their apparent bravado, self confidence and high assessment of themselves, psychopaths are actually quite predictable, straightforward and have a 'flat' or 'linear' personality that, with the right tools, can be managed.

My advice is check out this link to an Australian author who just finished a book on this topic. When I heard this interview, his diagnosis of psychopathy in the workplace fitted with what happened to me so remarkably that I cried with relief that it really wasn't me - and that is what prompted me to come back here to this site. Here is the link; I cant recommend it enough:

The other thing I want to add is that if you have suffered long and hard like I and so many others, you may suffer some form of pstd, as I suspect I have... I am still coming to grips with what happened to me a year on and feel ashamed that I allowed someone to treat me the way this horrid woman did. This is why you should get out asap - because your long term health may depend on it. At the same time I like to think that in some small way I won - because I did not play along with her games and submit to the bitching, backstabbing behavior. I think this could be why she tried to take me down from early on... because she couldn't use a lack of ethics or honesty on my part against me. Better to make me look incompetent and crazy, besides.

In summary, IDENTIFY the psychopath and then STRATEGISE.

The other interesting thing that is mentioned in the link above is that science is only just finding out that psychopaths are missing a specific part of brain cells - spindle neurons - that have evolved in humans over the past 1000000 years - this neuron allows us to live communally and ethically so we can survive in groups of more than 1 or 2. It is theorized that our current corporate, self-centered, capitalist society has made it easier for these neuron-deficient people to move amongst we more evolved individuals.

In close, thank you David for creating this site. Being able to come here and share has helped me enormously. Kind thoughts to all.

Thanks Jacinta
by: David

I am very glad that you are improving.

One significant thing here is that you did not allow this to happen to you. It is a very common belief among victims of psychopaths and is part of the mind control.

Nobody willingly allows themselves to be abused. No one goes out looking to get themselves into an abusive relationship.

The psychopaths are doing things that are outside of the awareness of their victims and therefore the victim cannot consciously resist these things. As you point out, when you realize what's going on, you are already caught up in the abuse. At this stage, simply walking away is not straightforward.

Until the victim gets that it wasn't their fault they cannot fully recover. As long as they blame themselves, or hold themselves responsible, it causes difficulties.

You are also right about the ptsd, (victims also often have depression, anxiety, paranoia and a lot of stress related symptoms, too!) but simply treating the ptsd is never enough. Only by undoing the psychological abuse do the symptoms of ptsd resolve.

Thanks for the update!

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