Source: tinypic.com

Are you working with a team, only to find one member has taken over the entire project, and is shutting everyone else out? Have work objectives been delayed because a co-worker is putting their own interests or ideas first? Have you given feedback on a work project, and a co-worker responded by lashing out at you in rage or emotion that was exaggerated or unreasonable for the situation? Is one person making the work environment so toxic or so full of drama that the job or group is no longer productive? Have you thought about quitting a job or project that you are passionate about, or skilled at working in because of a co-workers actions of behavior?

Maybe you are working with a narcissist.

If so, the best protection against the manipulation and mind games used by a narcissist is to learn as much as you can so that the narcissist loses their control over you. When you can identify narcissistic behavior, for what it is, and seek other options you are no longer playing into their games and now can take steps to protect yourself.

What is Narcissism?

The term “narcissist” came from a Greek myth where the hunter Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

In a nutshell, narcissism is a personality disorder where an individual has an exaggerated sense of their own importance, and/or an excessive interest in the self or personal appearance. Narcissists believe the world revolves around them and have little concern, or care, for other people. Behind the Narcissist’s mask of self importance lies a fragile ego who reacts with rage or dysfunctional behavior when confronted with their own fears or insecurities.

Are you working with a narcissist?

Working with a Narcissist on a job, volunteer project or in a group effort is often extremely difficult – and fraught with complications and obstacles created from the havoc of a person more concerned with their own self than the actual task at hand. A narcissist will put their own interests ahead of the benefit of the group, and can not see (or appreciate) the bigger picture. Narcissists often take advantage or exploit people to further their own interests.

How to identify a narcissist in the work environment?

Preston Ni, coach and trainer, shares his insights on how to identify a narcissistin his article: 10 Signs Your Co-Worker / Colleague is a Narcissist

So You Have Identified the Narcissist, Now What?

Some tips for dealing with a narcissist in the work place…

* Document the narcissist concerning behavior, especially if it rises to the level of threats, harassment or makes you feel unsafe.
*Save copies of all toxic or threatening e-mails or communications
* File a complaint or speak to a manager. Document all efforts; bring a witness if you feel the management may side with the narcissist.
* Identify your support system or safe person you can confide in. NEVER confide or share intimate details with a narcissist, even if they are on their best behavior the narcissist is always gaming you.
* Narcissists are not team players – realize their is nothing you did to deserve their poor treatment towards you. Do not attempt to appease a narcissist or get on their good side. Your energy and efforts would be better spent protecting yourself.
*When communicating with a narcissist, stick to the facts and do not include opinions, emotion or other personal information. Anything personal you share will only be used to hurt you later.
* Be prepared that confronting the behavior of a narcissist in any way will always cost you in some way. This is why support is so important. And if you have to take legal action, you need to be prepared.
* If you feel like you could lose your job or would want to quit, seek other career alternatives or support.
* Do not blame yourself for the irrational, unreasonable or illogical actions of a narcissist! Guilt, blame, and scapegoating are all tools used by a narcissist to avoid responsibility for their own actions, do not fall into that trap.

Any ideas or tips on how to identify a narcissist in the work place or how to deal with their difficult behaviors? Leave your tips and comments below!

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