Have you ever worked with a narcissist coworker? Well, most people have not experienced a narcissist at work due to stagnation in their population, about 1% according to some studies. But, if your coworker is always overestimating his or her abilities and accomplishments, always right and shifting blames to others, always seeking admiration and plays back at empathy, there's a high chance you're dealing with a narcissist coworker.
Some of the signs that you're dealing with a narcissist coworker are subtle while more are aggressive. But it's certain that the experience is not anything mild. They may be as violent as throwing objects at you when they are offended, especially bosses. It can be very uncomfortable to experience a narcissist at work, much more than dealing with a passive-aggressive coworker.
How to identify a narcissist coworker
This is a hard nut to crack instantly considering the wide range of characters exhibited by narcissists. We will quickly look at some key attributes of a narcissist coworker as a guide to their identification.
- Unwillingness to identify what others feeling or want (lacks empathy)
- Overestimate their accomplishments while underestimating others and their contributions
- Take advantage of others for their personal goals (exploitation of other employees)
- Pervasive need for admiration
- Unrealistic and exaggerated feeling of self-importance
Dealing with a narcissist coworker
The following is a more concise way of dealing with all types of narcissists at work.
1) Increase consciousness
Having discovered that you're dealing with a narcissist coworker, you must try to be conscious every morning to be sure the mood is clear before going freely to prevent its effect if the worker boils. This may seem like a lot of tasks but to manage narcissist personality effectively, you must be very attentive to signs that suggest things are wrong; take note of more blames, pointing fingers and other early narcissist behaviors to be sure there's a strike coming from the employee.
2) Find out what's promoting the flare
Craig Malkin, a psychology lecturer at Harvard Medical School suggests you should walk back when you're receiving the emotional outburst from a narcissist coworker, “Assume that the person is feeling the things they point out in you, say, ‘I guess I am feeling off. I thought things felt on track and we were on fire for this project, and today I see you’ve got all kinds of questions. Did something happen? Are you getting pressure from above?’” They may admit not feeling better than the previous day once they get any chance.
3) Maintain good behavior
Part of the good behaviour you must exhibit here is not making them feel small. As individuals that always overrate themselves to help their self-esteem, making them feel small will increase the tension. Do not challenge or try to argue with them to make them feel they have no chance when they have the good mood back. It's like their ticket to get back to you.
4) Seek external help when narcissist is a bully
According to Malkin, “Research shows that the most common behaviors of bullying are outright insults, stealing credit, yelling, and ignoring someone. If you recognize a bully, you can’t deal with this alone. You will need support or a plan to leave. And if you experience abuse, all bets are off. Seek systemic or legal support, and find some way to protect from bullying at work.”