The Narcissist at Work


You may be laughing now, but if you’re involved with a narcissist, that laughter quickly turns to tears after seeing this card (left). Why? Because it’s true! A narcissist truly does believe they are perfect, infallible, and should be worshiped. At least on the outside they do. Inside they believe they are about to be found out. They are paranoid, suspicious, defensive and will go to any extreme to protect their image of themselves and to keep people from learning they’re really just a fraud.

It’s a tortured existence for sure.

We’ve all got a little bit of narcissist in us. We need it to survive. Too little narcissism and we have low-self-esteem. Too much and we become jerks. Way too much and you’re an extreme narcissist. Average people act as though they are the center of their own little world to some degree, but the extreme narcissist believes they are the center of the universe and should be treated that way.

Traits of a Narcissist:

  • Totally self-absorbed
  • Snobbish
  • Manipulating
  • Grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Believes they are special, important, entitled
  • Does not care about anyone other than themselves, even if they appear to be caring
  • Has a very strong sense of entitlement
  • Unable to be intimate or form close relationships
  • Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success or power
  • Seeks control
  • Expects to be recognized as superior without doing anything to deserve it
  • Only wants to associate with other people of the level or status they perceive themselves to be at
  • They blame others for anything that goes wrong in their lives.
  • They never believe they’re at fault or to blame for anything
  • Lacks empathy, e.g. they are unwilling or unable to identify with the needs and feelings of others
  • Envious of others and thinks other people are envious of him/her
  • Preoccupied with their looks, their material property, status etc.
  • Arrogant
  • Haughty
  • Takes advantage of others, uses people to get their needs met and then drops them

How to Deal With A Narcissist:

If you’re a freelancer, small business (or large) or you’re in a relationship with, married to, or the child of a narcissist, at some point you realize that you’re going to have to deal with, or interact with the narcissist until you can plan your escape. The number one way to break out of the roller-coaster ride of hell (up, down, jerked round until you vomit, or want to) is to LEAVE the relationship and run far, far away and never look back.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. If you’ve taken on a client who turns out to be a narcissist think about Ripley in the movie “Aliens.” She’s fighting to keep that little face sucking monster from latching onto her face and spewing alien spawn into her belly to kill her. That little sucker is the narcissist and the battle to keep them out of your soul and life is about what Ripley endured, only she fought for minutes…you’re stuck for months or years! Like Ripley, you’re trapped with this monster until you finish the job, get paid (if you’re lucky), or can get your ducks all in a row so you CAN flee the job, the relationship, the class…the team, whatever.

The number one thing you MUST be/do with a narcissist is to be INDEPENDENT before you try to leave. Set up your own finances, job, life and fulfill your emotional, psychological and spiritual needs APART from them.

Second, remind yourself that THEY are the problem, not you. Do not let them get into your head. They will try and they will succeed, but fight as much as you can to keep that from happening. There are many good programs and support groups out there to help you break this bond with the narcissist.  You have NOT done anything to provoke his behavior and you don’t deserve it.

Narcissists will manipulate, lie, cheat, steal, threaten and use—whatever it takes for them to get their narcissistic supply. Many of them will use Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) to hook you into a mental loop and control you, others will use whatever tactics they’ve developed over the years that have proven to help them seduce men and women to become their supply groupees.



10 Comments to "Narcissists"

  1. Ken says:

    I realized that I saw most of the above traits in my Boss, once I learned of the illness but (sadly) by then I was gone without knowing the causes of the damage to me. (I could have left earlier if I had knowm more the full hopelessness of what was occurring.) This knew nowledge of the illness helped me in what I said when he tried to get me to go back weeks later. By then I understood the need to set boundaries, make a clean break for good and I did so strongly and clearly. It was a conversation that was like tic-tac-toe with me alternately matching his moves. Still I got little visible telltale response on the phone as I kept it without anger or provocation and I knew he was only thinking what he could say to manipulate me, to get me back. I understood that he saw no fault at his end, and I knew things would never change if I went back. No point. I now had achieved what I could: his illness being in command at his end but no longer at mine…no longer secretly destroying me.
    I cannot comment on his love life though, how it was as a trait, but all the rest of the traits were there in him during my employment. I think he was a very strong case of the illness,one that made it tough and impossible to deal with him with any consistency, without fear of blow-up on his part. The stress he created was just too much.
    To me a formidable question for study re this illness would be are all of the above more or less found in all people with NPD? And more? The real truth being that they just reveal themselves gradually to you by their thinking and actions when suitable circumstances present and they are drawn out. The cloak falls as they slip up, their facade crumbling on occasion. You only see them in part and never see the whole, ugly picture. This is one of the ways they manipulate those around them by hiding what and how they can really be.
    That needs more work, the what and how of a narcissist.
    Consider of how it was, the badness, that I look back and think that it was like being around a monster.

    • admin says:

      Ken, you’re one of the lucky ones! You learned fast and didn’t get sucked back into being his narcissistic supply! Good for you!
      I believe that ALL the traits, to some degree, are found in all people with NPD. Some of us recognize the traits quickly and get out fast, before suffering too much…others end up struggling for years, believing they can change the Narcissist. Yes, it’s DEFINITELY like being around a monster. I’m so glad you got out and know now what to look for! Thanks for taking time to share with us here. Your comments will help others who are still wondering what THEY did wrong to bring this undeserved wrath and manipulation into their lives.

  2. Sean says:

    First time posting on a blog/forum.

    I have been reading everything I can on NPD over the last 7 months to learn how to cope with something this crazy. To sum up my experience with my N…it’s been horrific. A true nightmare. I had no idea about NPD before this experience. I began my relationship over 7 years ago with a single mom, entering in her son’s life at the age of 6. I spent 5 years in little league with the kid, taught him how to pitch, hit, just spent quality time with him, all the time. I didn’t know what was happening, but I began to see my XN as jealous and with holding…she was actually sabotaging our relationship financially, emotionally, and physically/sexually. In our last therapy session, she admitted to doing this, I think to just get out of the room…after being exposed. The most traumatic experiences within the relationship were the four abortions. Yes, 4 abortions. Twice she did not tell me they were abortions, but rather miscarriages, and after the fact. Being an N, she obviously lies. Her fantasy was that of having a “white knight”…during the height of the recession. Being with her, melting me down financially to the point that I could not leave her…I had little or no money to re-build and just started a new job, within a few weeks of me starting this new job that could have gotten our lives back after a tough spell of joblessness in the recession, she kicked me out…and had abortion #3 after agreeing to start a family finally. The push/pull relationship was toxic…but I “loved” her…and she ‘loved’ me…in reality I lost myself in the relationship and was shamed whenever I put myself first…this after paying 80% of everything…all rent increases, vacations, getting her into triathlon, buying her truck tires, registration, insurance, phones, you name it. We agreed to warm up our relationship, in hindsight, I was a lamb going back into the lion’s den once again….she had nothing else going on her life….so why not? She needs N Supply. By this time, the lies were closing in on her…or her actions truly began to not add up to her words. The devaluing was at an all time high. Here I was, trying to be a parent to her kid, get our lives and home back, start a family because that is what she said she wanted too…support her in her nursing school pre-req’s. …

    So, after 7 years of a roller coaster….I catch her screwing the spin instructor at the gym where I coach swimming in the evenings….2 weeks after abortion #4. I found out at a bed & breakfast weekend that I had planned for us…

    Everyone says I should thank this new guy, who she is still with, for taking a bullet for me. He truly stepped in front of a train wreck of a person…and my life was saved. I feel really sorry for the kid, but he was really raised by a lot of people. The nightmare that is awaiting her is truly epic. She has her head in the sand on her college loans, +$40K in defaulted school loans…that are now in collections. This basically a point of no return for your school loan debt. Once, if she ever does fulfill her nursing career, she will be garnished and forced to pay back the debt…which could double in the next 5-10 years. The realistic payback period is the rest of her life….

    36 years old, no viable career options, +$40K in school loan debt that is in collections….4 abortions, that I know of…cheater. This person has ruined her life.

    The truly weird thing is that this new guy looks like me, works at my old gym, and she has been taking him to all of our old romantic spots. It’s a small town and I have not been able to go full “no contact”…she is blocked on FB and we do not text or talk….but it is a small town. So small that upon going on a date with a new woman and having dinner with her & her roommate…I found out that my XN’s new man has been pursuing women at the club recently, including the roommate, to the point where a few have had to drop out of the class and club.

    So, sadly, she will get a taste of her own medicine(hopefully soon)…this is all after she brought him into her family & her son’s life. Applying logic(something N’s are not able to do apparently), I can only see her experiencing/creating more destruction for herself and the people around her…while she never takes responsibility.

    …so the train wreck continues…I just got off on the last stop.

    Something weird did happen…once she was gone…money began coming back to me…I tripled my income with my new job and company that is looking to IPO, and my small business is taking off.

    I don’t know what else to say…I am a good guy that got sucked into a bad experience…recession, job loss, abortions, cheating…the most positive thing out of this whole nightmare…I’m getting my life back slowly…I’m meeting positive people, this cancer of person is out of my life…but I’m learning the difficult task of getting her out of my head and eliminating her voice and words that have taken root. I’m in therapy. I read everything I can get my hands on about NPD, I have a great support circle that all have had N ex’s…

    I want to get better…


    • admin says:

      Wow, you’ve had a very typical “Life with a narcissist” experience. Thank you for sharing this. Getting out of a narcissist relationship is difficult for everyone, even psychologists who understand the dynamics struggle with leaving. Learning to set and enforce boundaries, finding new friends and working on the co-dependent aspects of ourselves, helps many of us. It’s hard to stop obsessing and thinking about what they’re doing, who they’re seeing, why you couldn’t change them or help them, but the more we’re able to do that, the faster we heal. It sounds like you’re doing what you need to do – meeting positive people and getting the Narc out of your life. But yes, the difficult task is moving them out of your head. Wanting to get better is the best step you can take! Congratulations!

  3. L says:

    First, I am not sure how I found this site, but I am thrilled I have. I too was with one for over a year. It lasted as it did as we were long distance. Each visit was filled with glorious fun and busy days and nights. We texted and wrote to one another every day all day… then.. it happened. I had to change plans due to a work function. I needed to arrive later. Hung up and did not talk to me for over a week. ( my bad). Eggshells started. We did have a fantastic time, this is what is challenging me. We ended things ( or he did) for no real reason – right after Christmas.. imagine- he flew out to spend this with my family- brought his father and wham.. done. We emailed a little in January and he said his heart is like a light switch.. off and on. It was on, now off. Just like that. He has done this in every relationship. Going on 57he will be soon and alone.
    What a shame.
    I have struggled with this and my intelligent mind says.. RUN, be grateful to be free. My sentimental ( yes- co-dependent side says.. maybe I am imagining he is a Narc.. maybe things might….. ) we know how that goes.. I still can not figure out why he has such a hold on me. Normally I move on.

    I really wanted to say thank you to all for sharing your pain as well and may we all follow that great new path and be Narc free.. no one needs them. Not even themselves. I do think at times how it must be to live daily not loving yourself and destesting the inner you so much you need to create this facade.

    Appreciate you listening.

    Best of it ..

    • admin says:

      I’m glad you found the site, no matter how you did! I’m glad your intelligent mind has your attention! Your sentimental side is you in denial. Your choices will determine how happy, or unhappy you are. But we all learn one narc at a time! Hang in there!

  4. Karen says:

    I am a step mom to 3 awesome kids, for almost 10 years now. The kids are older and are having problems, and we all, through therapy, have realized their bio mom is narcissistic, and has really done a number on these kids. Still is.
    Over the years she never started even seeing the kids until I came along, still doesnt pay any money to support them, has tried to get me fired from my job, screams, rants raves at my husband and the kids on a regular basis.
    She has committed crimes, has a crappy job and apt, and is a cheater too. Has gone to family court lying about my husband….
    The realization has helped us, but worries me. The kids want to distance themselves and they are her supply now, in fromt of her family. Its sick. She could have destroyed these kids.
    Glad i read other accounts and there some sites like this to help us understand.

    • admin says:

      Help the kids learn to set boundaries, to say no, and to learn that they can turn to you or other trusted adults for help. Let them know their mom has the problem and they are okay…Keep your kids safe, give them coping skills (Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have EXCELLENT books on how to set and enforce boundaries. It’s the ONLY way to keep your sanity, your distance and your mental health).

  5. Josie3 says:

    Wonderful, helpful site, but with humour too! What a treat! The best weapon of all… Thank you.
    About 4 months ago I managed to extract myself from a relationship of some 6 months with a narcissist / maybe sociopath – whichever he is, you know when you’re spending hours online trying to figure out the difference that you’re not in a good place.
    And I thought that was it, we were done, but he has begun making small moves in the direction of reinitiating contact, so I am here, looking for reminders and battle re-enforcements for the weeks ahead. One of my personal weaknesses is a bad memory, so I need to remind myself of the amount of time and energy that was wasted in anger and frustration at his maddening mercurial behaviour.
    So glad to have found you.

    • admin says:

      Humor heals all!!!

      I’m not telling anyone what to do, but I wouldn’t reestablish contact for any reason. Just say NO!! Hang in there. You’ll get through it…faster if you DON’T have contact…but we all learn the hard way a few times….

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