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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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How can I work with not responding with stress around people

Customer Question

How can I work with not responding with stress around people who exhibit psychopath like behaviour? Both my parents have many psycopathic/narcissistic traits and I don't spend much time with them. My dilemma is I feel reasonably safe (psychological) at work but I'm still stressed (physical) by my colleague's "communication style".
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rossi :

Hi, what do you mean by co-workers communication style? Are they abusive to you?

Dr. Rossi :

You mentioned antisocial/psychopatic traits that you have noticed in your parents.

Dr. Rossi :

Are your coworkers triggering some sort of memories in regard to how you parents treated/treat you/

Dr. Rossi :

Was your past treatment for depression or PTSD?

Dr. Rossi :

Not sure if you're online at this moment?


My mother is a psychopath and my father is more of a narcissist. Having been the child who never did anything right (my sister couldn't do anything wrong) I am over sensitive to my colleague's inclination to correct me and "set me straight". I find her to be extremely sure she knows the Truth and she is not humble at all in regards XXXXX XXXXX possibility there might be several "truths" or she could be wrong. Self confidence is good, but I find it hard that she seems to feel entitled to put me down. I have reduced engaging in conversation and although it affects me I am not really aware anymore, because intellectually I find no reason to react emotionally.It's simply not about something I did or said most of the time. I don't get frustrated with my parents to the same degree anymore because I see the manipulative pattern so clearly), but my body is still firing off this "primal urge to run" - even when my head is confident there is no need to run. The triggering of "flight or fight" response all day long is doing havoc to my health and energy levels. I guess I will meet people able to trigger this response everywhere, because they don't even have to be psychopats, they only have to act in a "similar way" to trigger me. So, having educated myself intellectually (and emotionally to some extent), I am keen to find out how to teach my body to relax in the middle of the storm so to speak. My question is really about finding more tools to get me through a work day, but I guess there is no "quick fix" here. Writing this clarification made me see things a little more clearly and I think I'll leave it at this. Thank you for the attention :)

Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.
Feel free to respond when back online.
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.
you rated my inquiries. I had not yet given you a reply. I've opted out as it seemed you were off line when I sent my inquiries.
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 3 years ago.


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m the moderator for this topic. I am sorry, but It seems that the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. ..or because they have to go off line for any number of reasons. But don’t worry….. If you are still waiting for an answer, I will try to find a new professional to assist you! Please keep in mind that sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected. All of our professionals come on at varying times, so sometimes it’s a bit difficult to predict. Either way....If you would prefer not to wait, please feel free to let me know, and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you.


Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 3 years ago.

Dear Client thanks for asking ja. I would like to help but noticed that you are offline. I am sorry that you coworker reacts this way with you and others around you. It is a very difficult situation to work with a difficult coworker who wants to correct you and puts you down. You are right that she is triggering your fight or flight responce. I find that for my clients who have similar experiences this exercise that we call heart math helps to greatly reduce the stress responce in the body and reduce anxiety. When you feel the anxiety take 3 deep breaths into your heart and bring an image of someone of something you love in your heart. A baby, a pet, a loved one look at the image take it in breath into your heart for a few minutes and smile as the love extands and fills out your whole body and relaxes it. From this place of peace and love you will be able to tell yourself that you are safe and loved. Try to replace any negative thoughts with possitive ones. Such as I can protect myself and love myself. I am safe.

Later find a friend or coworker to talk about the events that took place. Get the support you need to vent outside of work. Remember you did not do anything wrong to trigger this person to be critical. Remind yourself that this person is sick and this is not about you. Say to yourself I am ok. Let me know if this method work. Please keep doing it. Also possitive affirmations around your desk with help you stay possitive around negative people.

Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience: I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
Penny Rayas, MFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 3 years ago.
Thanks so much for your good rating. Please let me know how it goes. I would love to prodive you with more coping skills
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you :-)

Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 3 years ago.
You are wellcome let me know how it goes

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