Melissa and Tina, a life coach and a therapist, joined together to bring you Sweet Relief from the Everyday Narcissist. This site sweetens the relief, by offering ongoing support and encouragement.

Do you wonder if someone in your personal or work life might be a narcissist? Here are five tips to start your on your way. Next week I’ll follow up with five more!

1. Learn how to recognize true narcissistic behavior.

When you confront a problem, it’s helpful to understand the true nature of the problem. In the workplace, people often resent dealing with difficult personalities; they choose to complain and struggle rather than learn to master the dynamics. Narcissism may or may not be the root cause of problems at work - learning the basics disorders can help you figure things out and move on more quickly.

2. Rely on positive reinforcement, avoid criticism and anger.

A narcissist thrives on attention. When a narcissist cannot get positive attention they will try to get negative attention. In the workplace, the best thing is to stay positive or neutral.

A narcissist needs the attention of other people and will provoke negative attention if not enough positive attention comes his way. Things are a lot calmer for everyone if kept as positive as possible.

3. Understand that a Narcissist has a hard time when your ideas are not the same as his/her ideas.

He’ll reject them, he’ll try to get you to comply with his ideas. Avoid “I think” “I want” statements with a narcissist.

When negotiating with a narcissist, you’re likely to have more success if you start with finding out what the narcissist thinks or wants and move forward from there. Presenting new ideas as if they are not owned by anyone in particular gives the narcissist more room to accept them.

4. Keep calm when dealing with a Narcissist.

Find other ways to process your anger. A Narcissist will mirror the emotions of those they interact with. If you get upset and angry the narcissist will do the same.

Some people use humor to deflect the tension around interacting with a narcissist. If you get triggered it is best to keep that fact to yourself and deal with it elsewhere. A narcissist will not help you resolve the anger you feel toward him.

5. Have a phrase to use when you are at a loss.

Make a list of phrases. Since disagreement is bound to happen, devise simple phrases you can use to ease yourself out of impending conflict or upset.

It’s amazing how simple this is and how useful it can be in a pinch. Things like “I’ll get back to you on that,” or “Hmm, that’s interesting,” or “Maybe, and…” might just do the trick.

Try some of these tips this week. Experiment, see what works for you, make adjustments if need be. Tune in for another five tips coming soon.