How to deal with a narcissist at work

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If you are forced to deal with a narcissist for an extended period of time – whether you are unfortunate enough to have a romantic relationship with a narcissist or have one in your family – you will need to develop coping strategies, if only to alleviate the emotional wreckage that these toxic people inevitably leave in their wake. And things are no different when you are just working with a narcissist.

Even with the pandemic forcing many workplaces into virtual space, it can be difficult to escape the manipulative and often destructive behaviors of a narcissist in the workplace. Now that more and more of us are migrating to physical offices, it’s more important than ever to remember how to deal with someone exhibiting these trends, especially if we’re going to be around them for 40 hours a week or so. more.

What are the different types of narcissism?

Narcissism is a spectrum that operates with varying degrees of severity. A general primer on Scales can come in handy when dealing with a suspected narcissist in the office. In general, there are three types which have the characteristic features below:

Grandiose narcissists: These larger-than-life personalities must always be in the spotlight. These are people who crave worship, often at the expense of others – people who love to gloat and often rise to the top. (Maybe this person is your boss.)

Vulnerable narcissists: This term describes an extremely sensitive person who often enjoys cultivating a sense of self-worth by partnering with something they deem successful or great, like an expensive clothing brand, for example. Yet this person is easily hurt, is sometimes seen as shy and longs for assertiveness, even though they often think they are better than those around them.

Clever narcissists: It is by far the most destructive form of the disease. As Lifehacker pointed out earlier this yearMalignant narcissism is usually a combination of various conditions, including Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), sadism, and paranoia. These people are more interested in hurting people directly than other narcissists.

Understanding the behavior you are dealing with can help you avoid being drawn into the myriad of problems that a narcissist will seek to create.

What to do if you work with a narcissist

Narcissism can manifest itself differently in the workplace than it does at home or in a friendship or other close relationship. For example, a grandiose narcissist might be inclined to claim credit for the work of his colleagues. If you find yourself around this type of person, it may be difficult for you to claim ownership of your successes.

In an article by Fast Company in 2019, psychologist Art Markman had this to say about grandiose narcissists in the workplace:

If you are working with a grandiose narcissist, you must recognize that you will have a hard time getting credit for your contributions, as narcissists tend to take credit for things that happen within their sphere of influence.

While it can be maddening to lose praise or even professional accolades towards someone who falsely claims credit for your work, there are some limits that you should put in place. Lisa Romano, a certified life coach specializing in codependency and narcissistic abuse, tells Lifehacker that any attempt to confront a narcissist will ultimately prove to be in vain.

“When it comes to narcissists in the workplace, it’s important to recognize that confronting them won’t work,” she says. “Trying to prove them wrong won’t work, and trying to hold them accountable won’t work. My advice is to focus on [your] and imagine you are dealing with a person in space who does not uphold ethical standards. “

So what can you actually do in a practical sense? Romano advises, “[documenting] your work and [getting] others to sign it while bypassing the narcissistic colleague. Doing this, along with complaining as little as possible about the situation, is probably your best course of action, she advises. And this documentation is important: if it becomes necessary, you want to be able to accurately present yours. work (along with timelines and facts) to the powers that be, she said.

If you find yourself unfairly deprived of credit, it may be best to present the problem to your manager. rather than chatting directly with someone who will never see your point of view. If the narcissist gets to to be your manager, however, it depends on the types of behaviors they exhibit, writes Markman. Vulnerable narcissists “will take credit for everyone else’s success, but they will also spread the blame for the failures among others without taking any part for themselves,” he notes.

Unfortunately, IIf you work under one of these types of people, the best recourse is to follow the tips above while doing your best to be transferred out of their department –or maybe find another job entirely, because the possibilities of filling the divide are ultimately desperate.

A possible advantage?

While most narcissists are not fun to manage in the long run, it is possible to have a grandiose narcissist for a the boss might actually give your career boost. People with that the personality type is generally quite magnetic, and often climb to the top of their domains, to leadership positions and even more powerful. Markman notes that if you position yourself correctly (and provided your relationship is positive), “You can be drawn into that person’s inner circle and have a chance to progress in the organization with them. “

IIn case you are not ready to step into the sphere of influence of a narcissist, this is also good course of action to do the exact opposite, and stay as as far as possible. “I learned that by attracting my attention, my focus and my energy colleagues like this help me maintain a sense of peace,Said Romano.

And when it comes to your work environment, isn’t the feeling of peace best thing you can hope?


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