A dialogue on mental health can be addressed from numerous perspectives.  We should always indicate that we feel badly for individuals experiencing psychological difficulties. But we’re not expressing ourselves totally if we fail to acknowledge how some of those behaviors affect others. This post is meant to rectify that omission.

Psychology is everywhere and especially in the workplace. After spending so many hours together on a weekly basis, it’s difficult not to observe the varied behaviors. Positive attitudes are a must for every level of an organization.  And there’s never enough of them. Unfortunately, there are workers with negative mental default buttons. If we’re completely honest, they take air out of a room.  Those behaviors leave us shaking our heads in disbelief, wincing with pain, and with nerves worn out.  Some of the issues we may observe are:

  • Anger Management Difficulties
  • ASPD (First Level)
  • Toxic Complainers
  • Mercurial (not BPD)
  • Nosey-Parkers (this isn’t a mental health issue, per se, but it’s troublesome behavior)
  • Rigid Thinkers (unbeknownst to them, they’re setting themselves up for anxiety disorders)

And we can’t leave out NPD.  Each one of us have known, or knows, individuals with this condition.  Which brings us to someone we’ll refer to as Sebastian to protect his identity. He was a new peer.  Twenty-six years old, Vice President, brainy and demonstrated his proficiencies. All of us liked him, until he shot himself in the foot. And kept shooting. The following is a series of events.

  • Periodically throughout the year, meetings were held for new hires.  Each was introduced and spoke briefly about work experiences and personal interests. Sebastian indicated he was champing at the bits to bring value to the firm, addressed skills, and how much he couldn’t wait to work with everyone. Then, he made derogatory comments about his former company.
  • “How’s everyone doing?”  There was none of that.  He didn’t believe in greeting people at work, not even the boss.  “Let’s go to lunch and discuss the new project.” It didn’t happen. “I play golf on the weekends.  Come.” He never said it.  Sebastian wasn’t interested in getting along with anyone at work.  He lacked people skills.
  • The organization provided on-site Professional Development every quarter.  He was in one of the sessions a few weeks after his arrival.  All of us were excited about the program as we filled into the training facility.  That excitement quickly dissipated, however. Sebastian interrupted the trainer repeatedly, gave his thoughts and experience, corrected the instructor, with the rest of us interrupting him to be quiet.
  • None of us knew what exactly occurred.  There was a heated conversation in the hallway between Sebastian and the Human Resource Director, with the latter advising the former, Cool it! The Director had a laid-back personality, and we hadn’t ever seen his feathers ruffled until this incident.
  • There was nothing inappropriate about Sebastian having time off for external professional development. Others were granted similar permission.  It was his bragging as though he had a sense of entitlement which was inappropriate.


Sebastian reminds me of a classmate in grade school.  He couldn’t govern himself an hour before he was sent down to the principal’s office.

A lighter touch, fragrance of humor, modifying the ego, all could have assisted him greatly before he completed his first employment application.

Did he see it coming that Friday morning when he was introduced to his replacement?


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