Narcissists love status and power. These two things are what attracts them the most. Narcissist bosses are usually very skilled at moving up the corporate ladder, exploiting opportunities, and conveying confidence. This means you’re probably going to work for one at some point in your career. If you’re already in this situation, here are some dos and don’ts of how to work with them.
Get educated about narcissism
For many people, understanding the psychology behind narcissistic personalities can prove very hard to comprehend. These types of people see things only in black and white. They’re driven by an exaggerated persona of entitlement and superiority and do think hierarchically.
Validate your boss
Narcissist bosses need a never-ending flow of both admiration and attention. Like a hot-air balloon, they can’t stay afloat if they don’t have others to inflate them. Validate your narcissistic boss however and whenever you can. Point out their successes and strengths. Also, provide them with positive feedback and praise.
Narcissist bosses often create dramatic scenarios to manipulate workers and get attention from the people around them. The take-no-prisoners approach they like using usually leads to conflict in the office. Try to prevent and avoid problems as much as you can before they occur. If you can’t, keep your head down and nose clean. 10 Ways To Deal With Workplace Politics
Manage your expectations
Although your narcissist boss will expect you to validate him/her, do not expect them to do the same. Your desire for respect and recognition is normal. However, narcissists don’t know how to give other people real validation without trying to get something back for it. The sooner you’re able to accept this, the easier it’ll be dealing with your boss daily.
Ensure your boss’ and your success are aligned
As unfair as this may sound, a narcissistic boss will only care if there’s something in it for them as well. In fact, most will even own some of your hard work and good deeds. Find a way you can align your success to theirs, so they feel like they can get something out of you doing well.
Avoid criticizing your boss
The one thing about narcissistic bosses is that they can dish it out but they definitely can’t take it. Narcissists are usually the first ones to blame others and the last ones to take responsibility or accept critical feedback. Even just a bit of criticism, like questioning some of their ideas, can end up triggering a series of passive-aggressive punishments or even flat-out rage.
Avoid taking things personally
Things can sometimes feel personal when it comes to dealing with narcissistic bosses. They play on your hopes, leverage your vulnerability, inflate your flaws, and constantly project their own emotions, fears, and issues onto you. They don’t care about your needs, they don’t see you and everything will generally go back to them.
If you’re always feeling undermined, harassed, bullied, overlooked, and demeaned at work, then you might just be working for a narcissistic boss. This can be a very horrible situation to find yourself in. Hopefully, the dos and don’ts mentioned above can help improve your situation.’
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