Sociopaths and the Gervais Principle

Several people I have showed the following essays to are haunted. For those of you who work with others in anything even resembling an office setting, reading them is like taking the “red pill”. You will analyze your own language and that of others with labels like powertalk, babytalk, and posturetalk. You will view every person in your work environment as a sociopath, clueless, or loser. Another of my favorite authors, Venkat Rao, unpacks Ricky Gervais’ The Office with rigor and insight that will never let you see an office interaction the same way. I’m not kidding when I say that a few of the people that have read these are now reviewing their professional relationships through a lens that reframes meetings, hallway conversations, and negotiations. I certainly did.

Some tips if you dare. 

  • Read parts I and II fully. After that, it starts to get very strenuous. Let me know if you make it.
  • You don’t need to have seen much of the Office to appreciate this. I have seen a few episodes here and there. 
  • He redefines sociopath, clueless, and loser. Don’t let the baggage of those words misdirect you.
  • See if you can identify yourself.

As they say, caveat emptor.

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