Narcissism At Work

We often experience narcissism at work. I am regularly engaged in conversations with clients who claim their boss is a narcissist. As I enquire further some common characteristics emerge… feeling manipulated or controlled, not being recognised for their work, being put in the spotlight and then taken out of the spotlight, lies and worse. Clinical psychologists recognise the following characteristics in narcissists at work…

  • Takes credit for your hard work
  • Gives you backhanded compliments
  • Ridicules you in front of your co workers
  • Blames everything on you 
  • Knows your weak spot and exploits it 
  • Actively tries to get you demoted or fired 
  • Lies to get ahead 
  • Seems to compete with everyone to be “the best” at work
  • Spreads gossip about you, and denies doing it when you confront them
  • Sabotages your work

The impact for those who work with people with these behaviours is often confusion, uncertainty and a resulting lack of confidence.

The truth is that there are many myths about what a narcissist is and isn’t. It’s easy to label someone we don’t particularly like or get along with as a narcissist. It’s easy to read non evidence-based information about dealing with a difficult colleague and for want of an explanation we label them a narcissist. Unless we are a clinically qualified practitioner, we aren’t qualified to diagnose anyone as a narcissist.

So the question then is what are you dealing with?

Dr Be Pannell and I spent three episodes of The Fast Track podcast getting to the heart of narcissism and narcissists at work. The episodes cover… 

  1. Understanding Narcissism – what is it really and why is it prevalent in our culture. Did you know there is a narcissism scale? 
  2. Narcissism in Relationships – and what types of people tend to get entangled with narcissists and how to cope with narcissists in your personal and work life.
  3. Narcissists at work – the characteristics, the coping mechanisms and choices and how not to be entangled.