The Impact of Working with a Narcissist

The Impact of Working with a Narcissist

Written by: Tanya Beaudry

Narcissist a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.

  • Do you know a Narcissist?  
  • Have you worked with a Narcissist?  
  • Do you have a Narcissist on your team?

Narcissist: this word has been thrown around lately more than ever before. You just can’t get away from it.  The people around narcissists suffer because they are being manipulated. Narcissists are only focused on themselves and how they can get their next ‘fix’ whether it be gaining more power, closing a deal or taking advantage of a situation. They don’t consider the damage that they do to those around them.  The damage they’re causing is insurmountable to the ones who want to support them.

There are different types of narcissists but handling them is always the same: be humble, don’t engage. Joseph Burgo, PhD. and author says to “ignore her ‘helpful’ suggestions, or offer polite thanks and move on. A direct challenge will most likely lead her to escalate her efforts to prove herself cleverer or better informed”. He also says “Don’t fight back in direct ways in order to stand up for yourself”. Essentially, don’t rock the boat and walk on eggshells. I have a hard time with the ‘handling’ part. I personally have a very hard time not confronting narcissists because their actions can be hurtful and usually very annoying.

Characteristics of a narcissist:

  • Arrogance
  • Self-centred
  • Always the victim, always innocent
  • No accountability for their actions
  • Finger pointing
  • Master manipulator extraordinarily good liars
  • Defiant…….and more

Dealing with narcissists takes an absolute toll on you. In my opinion getting through to a narcissist is a lot of work and nearly impossible. To me it’s a ‘lose-lose’ situation, usually because I’ve been screaming inside, so I have a hard time keeping quiet. As Dr. Burgo points out this isn’t the best way to handle a narcissist, but when I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough. That said, having an outburst and reacting this way is also not good for your own health either. Hence being in that ‘lose-lose’ situation.

Effects of dealing with a narcissist:

  • Emotionally depleted
  • Unhappy
  • Fake- you always have to put on a show to keep up the charade
  • Aging at rapid speed
  • Can’t sleep
  • Hopelessly frustrated
  • Anxiety trying to get through to them

The overall stress of dealing with a narcissist is very hard on a persons’ body and soul. You need to prioritize what you’ll allow to get to you.

Here are some things to remember before it starts taking its toll on you:

  • Try writing a list – a reminder list of the effect of allowing these stresses eat you up.
  • Meditation – this keeps you calm and you can learn to adjust your reaction in a more serene way.
  • Recognize the manipulation – set boundaries and don’t allow them to manipulate you.
  • Don’t go into a conversation with a narcissist expecting different results, don’t set yourself up to be let down.

These days, narcissism is a hot topic. But besides the narcissist themselves, the people affected by their actions are suffering immensely. Having a narcissist on your team, or in your company can have a far-reaching impact. Engaging in coaching activities and performance management work will help. This will either highlight the impact of their behavior or create a path out of the company for this person.

Nicholas Klisht
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Everything we do we believe in improving company culture. We believe in work environments that benefit everyone. ConvertiCulture is a boutique consulting firm that specializes ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, July 17-21 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Is Alternative Beta the New Fixed Income?

The fee debate raging across mutual funds has long since seeped into hedge funds. Certainly the direction of travel on hedge fund fees was already downward, as strong industry competition and underwhelming performance have taken their toll. — Yazann Romahi

2. The 5 Big Questions for the Second Half of 2017

Equity markets continued their strong run in the second quarter of 2017, thanks to the global economy hitting its stride and registering the fastest level of growth in six years. For the first time since 2011, the U.S. is no longer the only shining star as economic momentum picked up across the globe. — Sonu Varghese

3. Smart Beta ETFs: The "Dream Diet" for Your Portfolio

What’s powerful about Smart Beta is that it allows investors to target very specific factors to create an ideal portfolio based on a given asset allocation.  — Salvatore Bruno

4. D‐O‐L = Confusion, Frustration, and Finally Reluctant Acceptance and Hope

At almost every financial and insurance conference we’ve attended in the past year, sessions to discuss the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule have been among the most popular. — Merriah Harkins

5. How To Hold A Stress-Free Money Conversation

In researching high growth professional services firms we made an eye-opening discovery. Those firms that did systematic business research on their target client group grew faster and were more profitable. — Michael Kay

6. 12 Financial Truths (Including Some You Won't Like)

We live in a noisy world where wisdom is hard to discern.  Here are a dozen financial truths honed from more than three decades of observation. — James E. Wilson

7. Are You Responsible for How Others Take Your Actions?

If you keep getting the same actions or responses from your interactions, it is most likely you that is the problem.  Stop blaming others for your issues. — Matthew Halloran​​​​​​​

8. 4 Surefire Ways to Enhance Your Influence

Being influential through your verbal and non-verbal communication Monday to Monday® requires deliberate practice. You can’t read how-to’s in a book or rely on your title and comfort level to be influential. — Stacey Hanke​​​​​​​

9. How Business Owners Allow Coffee Shops to Waste Time and Money

We all search for the least chaotic place to work and think. However, your location could hurt your productivity. Here’s why…. — Jennifer Goldman​​​​​​​

10. Four Simple Tricks to Find Your Passion That Work Every Time

You’re supposed to have a single burning passion, right? To feel this incredible drive to do this thing that you love. — Alli Polin

11. The Greatest Disrupter to Your Future Practice Will Be Your Clients

Real innovation, and real disruption, will be concepts and methods which “do new things that make the old things obsolete”. — Tony Vidler

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio