If you grew up with a narcissist as a parent, then you might be susceptible to being a victim of your resident workplace narcissist. Bear in mind that narcissists are charming, selfish, manipulative, competitive and quite likely to “bend the truth.”
- Avoid them if at all possible, or limit the time you spend with them.
- Set realistic expectations for the time you spend with them. Their main focus is them. It’s quite hard to get any attention at all for yourself.
- They can be extremely charming, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are your friend.
- If you have ideas for a project or solution, then focus on how it will help your narcissist colleague. Present your ideas as options rather than conclusions.
- Ensure that you have a supportive network at work, and that you don’t depend too much on your narcissistic colleague. They cannot be relied on to be supportive.
- Be polite and assertive. Aggression is likely to be met with ill temper or an angry attack.
- Don’t waste time and energy trying to change them. Maintain an emotional distance and take care of yourself.
- Have some compassion for your narcissist colleague, because their behaviour masks a very deep insecurity.
- Be aware of how nasty narcissists can be. If they can’t control you, they may well try to control how other people see you.
- If you make any agreements with them make sure that they are in writing and agreed by you both. Narcissists might suggest that they don’t remember things; sometimes that’s just dishonesty.
You might be interested in my book Raised by a Narcissist, which is about narcissistic parents and their children, available from Amazon soon. If you think your parent was a narcissist, you might also join my Facebook group Adult Children of Narcissists.
Alan Chatting is an author, coach and psychotherapist. If you have any questions or would like further help, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.