Frederik Van Lierde

Narcissist on the work floor and how to deal with it

How to dealing with narcissistic behavior in professional settings? Learn how to spot and effectively address this issue for a more harmonious work environment. Narcissist on the work floor and how to deal with it

What is narcissism?

The most straightforward explanation is that narcissist tends to think grandly of oneself, to the point of losing respect and compassion for others. It's all about them all the time. People are accessories to them, disposable means to meet their own ends.

Narcissists can showcase the following characteristics, like taking advantage of others, needing constant praise, and an inflated sense of self.

Other signs to watch for are :

  • a narcissist twill often blame others for everything that goes wrong
  • a narcissist will tell others how they really feel or should feel
  • a narcissist will routinely project their shortcomings onto others
  • a narcissist trivializing your opinions and needs

When a narcissist enters into our lives, the side effects are wide-ranging and extremely toxic to our sense of self. There are several types of narcissists, but Narcissists of every type undermine the self-confidence and make it hard to stay present.

You can imagine if this happens on your team. Your team will not function, burnouts, good people leaving.

Extremely sensitive staff members often respond to narcissistic abuse by hiding themselves and will do everything to be as less as possible in the abuser's world. They will not join a team if the abuser is present, limiting potential successes again.

How do we recognize a narcissist?

It isn't easy, and that is one of their secrets. They are good actors. They are professionals at charming others, persuading them, manipulating them.
The narcissist's sense of self-worth is unstable; the narcissist relies on input from other people to regulate his self-esteem and self-confidence.

Only in a later phase, the number of interactions with a narcissist grows, is it possible to tell that someone is a narcissist.

Narcissists in general, crave constant attention. They will go to extremes to secure it - including by "engineering" situations that place them at the centre. If your teamwork with or under a narcissist, their work-life is a living hell. Many workers end up with PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Others quit or even relocate.

We all know that finding good new staff is difficult, time and money consuming. On top of that, people who endure abuse will never talk good about you being a leader, never good about your business.

In my life, I came across 3 Narcissist in different environments. I don't have the feeling it is cultural, educated or not. All three persons were diverse in culture and position.

Even when problematic, intrusive behaviour, like sexual assault on the work floor, occurs, it is often difficult to accept the accusations. Maybe we want to protect the name of our business first. Some will think everything has two stories. And a narcissist uses this to play confusion.

Look at the MeToo movement, or the comments woman get when they talk about sexual harassment. We know all the famous words from Trump "I grab her by her pussy" or reactions like "he, no he is so cool" etc.

How can we, as entrepreneurs, deal with a narcissist?

Vers straight forward, if you recognize them, you need to fire them, even if he/she is your best salesperson. Our moral obligation is to cut all the toxic people out of our teams to create a safe place for the whole team.

As stated before, Narcissists are pretty good charming. They have big ideas and promises, which makes them very popular in work settings.

To make sure this behaviour is just really popular or a narcissist you need to watch how they behave with other people when they're not "in the spotlight." When you catch them manipulating, telling lies or disrespecting others, why would you believe they will not do the same to you?

Despite what someone with a narcissistic personality may say, your wants and needs are likely unimportant to them. When bringing up this issue, you may be met with resistance.

You see how difficult it is to find out and fire the person, without backlash from the narcissist.

There is a saying, pick your battles, but in the case of narcissists, you can't

Yes, your strategy depends on the relationship. Are you dealing with a boss, an investor, a parent, spouse, co-worker, or partner? The only constant is that you can't be quiet; you need to set clear boundaries.

The narcissist thinks they are entitled to go where they want, tell you how you should feel, taking credits for things someone else did, pressure you to talk about private things in a public setting.

Be ready for setbacks No big picture needed to understand that there will be push backs from the narcissist when you start setting clear boundaries. Push backs like trying to manipulate you into feeling guilty or telling you that you're unreasonable or they can play a game of sympathy towards the other members.

Be prepared to stay true to your boundaries and treats.

Another way, to find out if a person is a narcissist or not, is to insist on immediate action and not the beautiful promises.

People with narcissistic personalities are good promising to do what you want to hear. Even the promise is sincere, do remember, the promise is a mean to an end. Once they get what they want, the motivation is over.

Last Step: Action

Once you find out that a person is a narcissist, you need to take immediate action and fire them to safe your company and team.
Dealing with narcissist team members can take a toll on your success, including profit, It can take a severe toll n your own mental and physical health. You can have symptoms of anxiety, depression, IN case you notice such symptoms, please seek help for yourself. You are worth it, and your staff is worth it.

I truly hope you didn't encounter narcissistic people, but if you do and want to talk/write about, please write something in the comments. We can support each other.