It’s probably not news to you that there are narcissists in the workplace; numerous books and studies say that narcissism is increasingly common. Since simply leaving a job due to a difficult person may be challenging or not seem like an option. I hope to provide you with some insight and practical information to help you in your interactions with narcissists at work.
How one deals with a workplace narcissist depends on where you are in relation to the narcissist, on the culture of your particular workplace, and on details of your situation. For instance, your options will be different if you’re the manager of a narcissist rather than an employee of one, or a colleague or even in a partnership with one.
There are separate concerns and different options if you are an HR professional dealing with a narcissist.
First, no matter what role you’re in, you’ll need to know how to recognize if you’re dealing with a narcissist. There are other problematic personalities in the workplace, and it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of the various sorts of personality problems you may encounter at work.
I will be writing future posts on how to recognize a narcissist at work, but suggest that you look at my previous post in an earlier series exploring narcissism, sociopathy and borderline personality disorders. You can find that earlier on narcissism post here - http://tinyurl.com/mdtoh3c .
Be aware that narcissism can be an element of other disorders, narcissistic behavior can happen even though a person is not a full blown narcissist, some health problems (particularly brain related) can cause narcissistic behaviors and people under stress can exhibit narcissistic characteristics temporarily. Not all narcissistic behavior turns out to be narcissistic personality disorder. If the patterns occur again and again over time, then a disorder may be the problem.
Most people only learn about narcissists in-depth out of need. There is a lot of misleading information in our popular culture about this disorder. Most of the information available focuses all too often on the narcissist, while it is my aim to help those on the receiving side in relationship with a narcissist understand the disorder and their options. If you’re in a work relationship, you may be resentful about having this person in your life, yet taking action and dealing with this can be an opportunity to hone and empower your social/emotional skills.
Please look for future posts on workplace narcissism to learn how to have more effective interactions and reduce your own stress.