“Narcissists are great con-artists. After all, they succeed in deluding themselves! As a result, very few professionals see through them.” ~ Anonymous
Bosses: we all have them, and we all understand how difficult they can be at times. Many of us manage to adopt effective ways to deal with our demanding bosses. However, some of us must deal with bosses who have behaviors that are simply outlandish. Just imagine working for someone that has an overinflated sense of self and no regard for other people. Well, there are many of us that deal with bosses like this on a daily basis. It is a trying situation where, oftentimes, the employees feel like they are under the regime of a raging tyrant who thinks they know it all. This is no fun at all, and it can definitely make it difficult to function in a professional capacity. Welcome, sadly, to the world of the narcissist with power.
Learning how to deal with a narcissist boss is recommended for those of us who aren’t ready to say goodbye to our current place of employment. Let’s face it; we have to work to survive. But, that doesn’t mean that we have to allow someone else’s behavior to make our professional lives unbearable.
HERE ARE FIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH A NARCISSIST BOSS EFFECTIVELY:
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
This may be easier said than done, but it is very important that you avoid personalizing negative behavior from your boss. Narcissists employ a variety of techniques to make them feel important. Many of these techniques, such as gas lighting and manipulation, are used to make others feel bad about themselves. Narcissists love nothing more than to see people riled up over their behavior. Remember your boss is the one with the issue…not you. Don’t take the bait.
TAKE THOSE BREAKS
When you work for a narcissist, breaks are important for your mental health. Many psychotherapists promote going “no contact” when dealing with these types of people. This is when a person decides to end all contact with a person in order to maintain or re-establish overall well-being. If you choose to work under a boss that displays narcissistic behaviors, it is imperative that you take the necessary time for yourself throughout the workday to replenish from the toxic behaviors. Go for a walk around the block. Take some healing, replenishing deep breaths. Treat yourself to a delicious lunch away from your job. Self-care is of the utmost importance when dealing with extreme personality types.
BOUNDARIES ARE YOUR FRIEND
Narcissists love to push the edge and see just how far they can push others. It is for this reason that boundaries are vital. Even in a professional environment, you have the right to assert limits. People should know what is not acceptable. Being a boss does not give a person the license to treat others with disrespect. Remember, you show people how you should be treated. You are only a doormat if you allow yourself to be. Respectfully establish your limits so you can maintain your dignity.
ACCURACY IS YOUR SAVING GRACE
Mistakes happen, but when you work for a narcissist, it’s best that mistakes not happen too often. Narcissists are always looking for flaws in others. If your boss is a narcissist, they may actually “get off” on seeing you do something wrong. Do yourself a favor and check and re-check everything you can. Save those emails and notes as a paper trail just in case you need to defend yourself against possible sabotage from your boss. It is always best to be safe rather than sorry.
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
Sometimes the job experience is far more important than the person that you work under. When it comes to dealing with a narcissist boss, it’s important to have a game plan in mind. Why are you tolerating the behavior? If it’s to gain valuable professional experience, keep this as a constant reminder to help you deal with the often trying antics of a narcissist in power. Ironically, in the end, it’s not about your boss. It’s about you.
When you work for someone with an extreme personality disorder, it is important that you have a strong sense of purpose. Staying focused on the job at hand allows you to place yourself and your professional goals first. While you will never be able to control the actions of others, you do have control over yourself.
Just remember that many would run for the exit if they had to work for a narcissist each day. If you can deal with a narcissist boss, you are developing emotional fortitude that can get you through just about anything.