How to Deal with Narcissist at Work

A narcissist is a person who thinks “the world revolves around him“. If either your co-worker, your family member or friend is a narcissist then chances are your life is not fun at all. They tend to bully other persons in different ways and enjoy it. They may ask you to do things, which are actually below your pay grade like just photocopy the papers, doing filing work meanwhile you are like a certified Charted Accountant.

Blaming you

They may raise their voice, they might suggest you have not done things that you should do according to them; they might call you names. When a Narcissist can no longer control you, they will instead try to control how others see you by talking behind your back. Chances are also that they might sexually harass you. They have a lack of empathy for others and because of that, they can harm you in either way. They walk among us and look like normal people. That’s what makes dealing with a Narcissist so difficult.

Sometimes, it is easy to notice the signs and leave before getting hurt but sometimes there is a cost to leaving with that we cannot or do not want to pay. This is most common with parents or job opportunities. It is important to know how to deal with a Narcissist. So, here, we are providing some proven tips that will help you handle Narcissists at your workplace.

How to Deal with Narcissists in Work?


1. Identify the type of Narcissist you are dealing with

There are two types of Narcissists – Grandiose and Vulnerable. It’s important to identify which type are you dealing with so that you can take the best measures according to their underlying characteristics.

Grandiose Narcissists have incredibly high esteem believing themselves to be superior to everyone else. They are the stereotypical Narcissists that people think of when they hear the word “Narcissist” . They are wonderful helpers with your goal if you give them an important job and praise their work often. They might allow you to gain some traction.

Vulnerable Narcissists have a low level of self- esteem, high level of insecurity and tend to compensate by focussing only on themselves. They have self-absorption and self-centered tendencies. They need constant reassuring that they are doing a good job. But be very careful in the heated moment, do even offend them accidentally. Use flattery to reduce their insecurity. Present an idea as if they inspired or gave them an idea.

2. Do not always believe them

Narcissists are typical liars and not only that they are usually good liars, but they also don’t feel guilty in the way other people do. So, when a Narcissist tells you something that is very upsetting take a deep breath. It may not be true at all.

3. Narcissists are good at drama and games

The extremely talented Narcissists go even a step further. They stir up the drama and then step back, above it all, acting like they had nothing to do with it. Try not to get sucked into games like this.

drama in office

4. Narcissists are no one’s  friends

Do not make the mistake of assuming the Narcissist care. They do not have genuine feelings or cares, no matter how charming and fun they can be. They are more boasting; they are able to create a positive impression but set realistic expectations from them. Limit your time with them if possible.

5. Do not share your Vulnerabilities

Avoid sharing too much information with them because a Narcissist can and will use that against you. They might use it to manipulate and demean you at some point.

6. Set Boundaries

Establish and stick to boundaries with the Narcissist person. You can and should say no to the Narcissist who is being overly demanding of your time. You need to be more assertive to face the consequences while putting your foot down to draw some boundaries between you two. No matter, how gentle you were in laying down the law, they will take it as a direct attack and treat it as such dependency on the situation. So, evaluate how you feel you can figure out where to draw the line and form boundaries and where to push forward and cope up with.

7. Be careful while confronting

You need to adopt a fancy way to confront a narcissist. You can butter up your criticism with a compliment first.


8. Step back in an argument

Manage your own ego when you come in conflict with a Narcissist. Do not be crazy to prove yourself. Be careful not to let things backfire on you as you will end up in direct conflict. Communicate as gently as possible without compromising your own values and recognize if and when you should step back as long as it is done respectfully. Because if you become aggressive on them, they will harm you in an explosive way. Reduce likely resistance to an idea or proposal by communicating early on how it will benefit them personally.

9. Narcissist are good at reframing reality

They reframe reality in the way that makes them look good and you look bad. They do something selfish and you confront them on it. The Narcissist then twist this event around and make it sound like you are the selfish one.

10. Do not call them Narcissist

Be prepared to listen a lot. Smile, nod and stay calm. Do not waste your time and energy on changing them. Do not try to tie them, have compassion. The most important thing to remember is that this is a sick person. They would not act this way if they had a healthy ego. It is very easy for a bluntly insane person to turn to insidiously insane. You want to avoid that.

narcissist pulling hair

Dealing with a Narcissist is a challenging task. You can not necessarily outsmart a Narcissist, as they tend to be very bright, manipulative in using their ways. They want your attention more than anything. Set realistic expectations if you stay. Recognize that you might not receive the compassion and support you need to succeed in your own right. You need to engage politely while maintaining your personal and professional boundaries. Present options to them rather than a conclusion to avoid conflicts.

You can use the above-listed powerful tips to deal with narcissists and mitigates the damages. However, it is most important to try to keep your sense of humor with such a person. Better to laugh than cry at the absurdities, right?

Disha Verma is a Mass Media student from International School of Business & Media (ISBM). She lives in Maharastra, India and loves to write articles about Internet & Social Media. When she is not writing, you can find her hanging out with friends in the coffee shop downstreet or reading novels in the society park.