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Do you have a narcissistic boss? If so, you know how difficult they can be to deal with. They are often demanding and always need to be the center of attention. Narcissistic bosses can create a toxic environment and affect your mental health.
This blog post will discuss 14 tips on how to deal with a narcissistic boss. We will also cover some signs that your boss is a narcissist.
So let’s get started!
What is a narcissistic person?
People who have narcissistic personality disorder tend to be developmentally disabled. Their view of life is either black or white with nothing in-between; in their minds, they are the center of attention. This leaves them with an attitude of superiority, entitlement, and grandiosity.
By the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), an individual with NPD will exhibit long-term symptoms of an exquisite sense of importance, a lack of empathy, a belief that they are unique, and a constant need for attention.
Related: How To Deal With Incompetent Boss
signs of a narcissistic boss
Before we get into the action, here are some signs that your boss is a narcissist.
→ Their focus is almost exclusively on themselves
It is common for individuals with narcissistic personality disorder to think about themselves a lot. In addition to being extremely conscious of their physical appearance, wealth, talents, and achievements, they also expect your attention when they discuss these qualities. However, in my opinion, it is not always an accurate reflection of their lives in these remarks; they often exaggerate their experiences.
→ Greatness is one of their dreams
Narcissists are often driven by fantasies of success, power, and perfection. This can lead them to draw comparisons between themselves and others, feeling they should always come out on top.
As a result, they can become angry and frustrated when reality doesn’t meet their expectations. For narcissists, these grandiose visions may be a way to avoid inner feelings of emptiness and shame. By fantasizing about success and perfection, they feel special and in control.
→ Praise is a constant necessity for them
It is important to remember that narcissists may appear quite confident from the outside but are often quite insecure and vulnerable, with fragile self-esteem. To constantly be praised, appreciated, and propped up, they may also expect to be regarded as superior even if they haven’t achieved anything worthy of recognition.
There is no doubt that narcissists are highly sensitive toward criticism as a result of the fragile egos they possess. Any comments about their insecurities or flaws can easily trigger a narcissistic rage on the part of a narcissist.
→ They display feelings of entitlement
A selfish person often has difficulty maintaining a healthy working relationship. Therefore, in their minds, others ought to do their best to offer them special favors and fulfill their requests immediately and without hesitation.
Without such treatment, they may get impatient or angry or even give others passive-aggressive silent treatment. But unfortunately, they believe that other people exist primarily to fulfill their needs, so they abuse them to fulfill their own needs.
→ They exploit other’s
Narcissists are the type of person that is attracted to people because they are attractive, charismatic, and charming to those around them. It is possible that they would be able to get people to do what they want, leading to work burnout for the people under them. Narcissists are prone to becoming easily bored and seeking constant entertainment.
However, the need for attention can also drain those around them. Therefore, in addition to being manipulative, they may also take advantage of others by taking advantage of them.
→ Other people make them envious
The narcissist has low self-esteem and is used to the idea that they are superior, so it makes sense to them that if someone has tangible goods, status, or admiration, they might consider their threats. Even though they seem to understand why they do not get everything they want when they want it, they tend to seek revenge against those who appear to be standing in their way from getting the satisfaction they feel entitled to.
→ There is no empathy among them
A narcissist cannot empathize with others or understand that others may have their struggles. Still, if they were to recognize other people’s struggles, they would not be able to understand how these individuals do not adjust to the needs of themselves or others.
→ They are not respecting boundaries
There is a lack of respect for the employees’ personal space, time, and possessions when their boss has a narcissistic personality. For example, in addition to scheduling overtime without pay, they will expect your vehicle to be used for work purposes, and they will call after work hours with the expectation that you will answer the phone.
Similarly, if your boss overshares your personal life with you and refers to you as a “friend,” it indicates that she lacks boundaries. Sometimes, a boss may pretend to respect a boundary at first.
However, she may also react by ignoring your efforts or persistently continuing to cross the boundary until you get so worn down that you stop caring.
→ Insecurity is rampant among them
It may seem counterintuitive if you meet a narcissist for the first time, as they come across as charming, entitled, and assuming that they are superior to others. However, narcissists are usually highly insecure, which is why they feel they have to put others down when they are not experiencing enough self-esteem.
Though they often refer to others as liars or disloyal, they do not acknowledge that they also have these traits.
→ It is their habit to take credit for others’ work
Narcissistic bosses are not uncommon to claim credit for your hard work. Even if they do not blatantly claim credit for it, they are implying that it is because of their skillful leadership that you did such great work. Whenever they give you praise or credit, it is usually done with a plan or in a way that ensures they do not outshine you.
Documenting all your work for job prospects is an option if you do not feel comfortable confronting the boss or talking to Human Resources. To build your portfolio and display your true talents, alter your style for work and use your unique style for side jobs.
14 ways how to deal with a narcissist boss
Here are some ways to deal with a narcissist boss :
1. Adapt to the circumstances
You will never change your boss, and your attempts to reason, argue, or prove that you are correct will be a waste of time if you try to deal with a narcissistic boss who is not happy with you. However, acceptance will help you let go of resistance and make it easier not to take things personally.
2. Be an achiever
It would help if you were an achiever to gain positive attention from your boss. You need to be at peace that you fade into the background when positive attention gets replaced with something else. If you don’t want to take credit for your achievements, you can always list them on your CV the next time you are looking for a job.
3. Acknowledge publically
As long as it does not harm your professional reputation, you cannot lose your job. Unfortunately, when dealing with a narcissistic boss, you have no choice but to go with what they say. If you want to retain their good graces, there can be no place for pride or principle when dealing with a narcissistic boss.
4. Rules should never be disregarded
Most narcissists are known to violate company rules and even the law to gain popularity and admiration, and they are known to break company rules and even the law. The main reason you should stay away from it is that if they get found out, you’ll get blamed, and your career could get ruined. Narcissistic bosses will never stand by your side when their reputation is threatened.
5. Aim for the same success as your boss
As anyone who has ever worked in an office knows, it is easy to feel like your hard work and good ideas go unnoticed. Your boss may be quick to take credit for your successes but often seems indifferent when you are struggling.
It can be frustrating and demoralizing, but it is essential to remember that your boss is ultimately motivated by self-interest. Therefore, if you can find ways to align your success with his, he will be much more likely to invest in your success.
6. Conflict should be minimized
Narcissists are known for their attention-seeking behavior and their ability to manipulate others. They often create drama to get attention and control the situation. This take-no-prisoners approach often leads to conflict. Avoiding and preventing problems before they happen is essential to stay out of the narcissist’s line of fire. Beyond that, keep your head down and stay out of the fray.
7. Stay as low as you can
The only way you can avoid them is to do what you are supposed to, not to make waves and not to attract their attention, and you will be okay. Keep things moving while maintaining a low profile. Narcissists want their organization or department to look good, so keeping the wheels turning while maintaining a low profile works in your favor.
8. Document everything
Your boss will likely be more powerful than you in his reviews of your work that will be preserved in his files. Therefore, you may have to create a paper trail where you respectfully respond to any criticism detailing your achievements to maintain a sense of empowerment.
This will ensure that you don’t become slowed down from your future goals, which will help you retain your sense of empowerment.
9. Make yourself known
As your career progresses, you should connect with other organization leaders. However, if you choose to do so, don’t broadcast your actions to your narcissistic boss, who may feel deeply harmed and further enraged, and even feel violated if you do so. Nevertheless, this is an essential mission for your personal development.
10. Take advantage of outside help
During your boss’s constant manipulation, it is a great time to remain self-aware, self-observation, and introspection. Therefore, it would be best if you always kept yourself aware, self-observation, and introspection.
To understand your work, character, and reasonable future goals, you must share your experiences with loved ones or others you trust to get their opinions on them. Then, what you hear at work unreasonably will be countered by their words.
11. Take a moment to reflect
Whenever you encounter a narcissistic boss, you must deal with them outside their presence. As soon as you notice you are doing this, take as much time as you need to reflect on your perspective until that negative voice in your head is overridden by your perspective.
12. Be aware of who you are dealing with
It is always important to remember that when dealing with a boss, you are dealing with someone vulnerable, easily wounded, and carrying around a load of feelings of inferiority that they consciously and unconsciously carry with them. The chances are slim that your interpersonal tactics will change your boss’s views. Remind yourself that your boss is just as vulnerable as you are.
13. Take on a variety of work experiences or roles
Besides the opportunities you have to work with other leaders, there are many supervisors you can get in touch with who will be happy to serve as references in the future for you. It would help if you also had social capital when you are dealing with a narcissistic boss–and getting exposure from others can give you some leverage to build social capital at your workplace.
14. Establish boundaries
It is essential to set limits with a narcissist boss to protect yourself from their manipulation and abuse. Let them know what you will and will not tolerate.
15. Keep your focus on what matters most
Keeping your job is your right choice because you have a mission to complete. The energy you must put towards achieving your ultimate goal must be focused on that task. When possible, keep your emotions in check by not arguing or agreeing. Just go with the flow, not disagreeing or agreeing. Get back to what matters most to you after you smile and applaud when necessary.
How do narcissistic bosses affect your mental health?
You can begin to notice bad moods, excessive irritation, agitation, and even infatuation with those who your narcissist boss deems inferior to him if he does not meet his expectations. Due to their insecurities, narcissistic bosses may see any behavior like that as a threat. They tend to think you are out to get them if you disagree or challenge them.
In addition, they may even increase the workload for these employees and force them to quit or want to leave if they start to create cliques, isolate them, and bully them.
There might be times on staff when employees begin to doubt their abilities, accomplishments, and ability to move up or even retain their positions. Unfortunately, this will eventually lead to the possibility that these doubts and uncertainties will negatively affect your ability to concentrate, be productive, and feel good about yourself.
A narcissist boss will always be a lousy boss due to the psychological warfare they use to keep their position at work and win the admiration of their co-workers in the process.
Because their work is stifled and their creativity is crushed, the whole team suffers. You may become disgruntled and burned out if exposed for a long time and lose your job. Therefore, it is essential to take action and ensure that own mental health is maintained.
If you struggle to deal with a narcissistic boss, don’t worry, you are not alone. In this blog post, we have outlined 14 different ways that can help you manage the situation. We also discussed some signs that your boss might be a narcissist.
Remember, it is essential to stay strong and keep your head up. Don’t let their negativity affect your work or mental health. So, What was your favorite tip? Let us know in the comment section below!
How do you survive working with a narcissist?
What are narcissistic bosses like?
How do you communicate successfully with a narcissist?
• Make them feel important
• Stroke their ego
• Camouflage your own needs