How you can learn from narcissist-like criticism and grow? Remember… "whatever happens to you is your own lesson reflection.”
Ever run into one of those “know-it-alls” that are never wrong? Have you ever had a boss that was a narcissist? Or, when it comes to spotting the faults of others, they seem to have X-ray vision? I’m not talking about people who genuinely suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Those poor souls seriously suffer, as do their friends and loved ones. God help all of those who have suffered from this very real disease.
I’m talking about those people who try to appear to be too perfect in the workplace.
First, here is my input, based on my research and limited experience coaching and dealing with narcissists in the workplace. I would suggest any attempts to control, change, or manipulate the behavior of an individual with NPD will most likely result in epic failure for you. I might recommend, you separate yourself as much as possible. They require the help of an experienced psychotherapist. Sadly, but most likely, they will never seek professional help. You must always remember, their behavior is the result of a disorder. For those with the characteristics but, with much less volume, here are some insights and ideas to deal with them.
The narcissist will always:
- Over promise and under deliver. So, lower your expectations. You understand they will always take what they need for their self-aggrandizement and always revel in your misery.
The day you learn to play along with their game and stop allowing them to take your mental real estate, will get you closer to the day they dump you. Then, you can do your happy dance because they no longer will get in the way of your goals!
- Have an undeniable grandiose sense of self-importance and personal success.
It is what it is. You can only control how you react to them. Let your wins speak for themselves.
- Believes he or she are the “stuff” (if you know what I mean) and deserve excessive fist pumps.
You must let it roll off you “like water off a duck’s back.” If you don’t recognize their accomplishments they might target you for some "Narc-vengeful" revenge which should be avoided at all cost! Just keep it real, and sparingly dole out your high 5’s to only the most deserved feats.
- Possess a strong sense of entitlement. I know it’s hard to wrap your capitalistic mind around this one in today’s “PC” world but, to the narcissist you owe them everything because they DESERVE everything and you simply don’t (in their mind).
Just know that deep down there is a very insecure person behind their mask, and make sure you protect yourself. Remember, they are controlled by their own insecurities.
- Will always manipulate you at your expense. Watch out for their pursuits at gaslighting. A term to describe how they will try to get YOU to doubt your own opinions, memory, and judgements.
Just like in every negotiation— practice give AND take. Keep your eyes wide open to their tactics.
- Suffer from an empathy by-pass and walk around with attitude.
You can never, nor should you ever, ignore a Narcissist! You CAN choose to limit your interaction. If they try to give you advice on what to do, you can thank them and tell them you will consider it. And well you should because, if you try something else and it doesn’t work, then you will pay. Troubleshoot your strategy and make them your motivation to execute at a higher level.
Ever heard the saying, “you can never get enough of what you don’t really want?” Psychologists have noted, what narcissists crave the most behind their mask, is the deeply repressed need for unconditional love, acceptance and belonging. Narcissist believe they were robbed of them growing up. One last tip....
You need to drop the following phrases from your vocabulary when talking with a narcissist:
I think you ignored....
that's not right....
don't you remember....
made a mistake...
are you sure?
you ought to...
In conclusion, take a page out of their owners manual and focus on yourself! And Remember, hell hath no fury like a narcissist unmasked!