January 25, 2023

Introduction: Dealing with a Narcissistic Coworker

Working in an office can be challenging, especially when you have to deal with a narcissistic coworker. A narcissist is an individual who has an inflated sense of self-importance, lacks empathy, and yet craves admiration from others. A narcissistic coworker can be frustrating, as they may take credit for your work, hog the limelight, and generally make the workplace hostile and unpleasant. But worry not! In this blog post, we will discuss seven effective strategies that can help you survive a narcissistic coworker.

1. Don’t Take It Personally

One of the first things you should remind yourself of when dealing with a narcissistic coworker is that their behavior is not about you, but rather a reflection of their own insecurities. It’s essential not to take their actions personally or let them get under your skin. Try to remain calm and detached when interacting with them. Remember, you don’t have to agree with their behavior, but you’re not obligated to engage with them on a personal level.

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2. Set Boundaries

Narcissistic coworkers have a knack for making you feel guilty or forcing you to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. This is why it’s crucial to set boundaries. Establish what you are willing to tolerate and what you are not. Be clear and firm about your limits, do not let them manipulate you, and do not let them make you feel bad, either.

3. Avoid Getting Into Power Struggles

Narcissistic people love to be in control and win at all costs. Avoid getting caught in power struggles with them as they will drag you down to their level. Learn to choose your battles wisely and don’t engage in arguments with them. Be the bigger person, and always maintain professionalism in any situation.

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4. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Narcissistic coworkers may try to take credit for your ideas, work, or accomplishments. Be sure to document your achievements and give credit where it is due. Having proof of your successes can help sway others and prevent your narcissistic coworker from claiming them as their own.

5. Focus on Your Work

When you’re facing a narcissistic coworker, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama and lose sight of what’s essential. Keep your focus on your work and doing the best job possible. This will not only help you feel more fulfilled at work, but it will also keep you from getting distracted by the drama around you.

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6. Find Allies

Good allies in the office can make all the difference when dealing with a narcissistic coworker. Surround yourself with people who have your back and are not afraid to call out the narcissist’s behavior. Having an ally or two can also help you feel less isolated in your workplace.

7. Don’t Let Them Intimidate You

Narcissistic coworkers can have a way of making you feel intimidated and insecure. Remember, however, that they are just people like you. Try to maintain your confidence and don’t let them get the best of you. If they try to intimidate you in any way, report their behavior to HR or your supervisor.

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Q1. Can narcissistic behavior at work lead to harassment or bullying?
A1. Yes, narcissistic behavior can manifest in the form of harassment or bullying. If you feel that your narcissistic coworker is unabashedly singling you out or making you feel uncomfortable, report their behavior to HR or your supervisor.

Q2. Can you reason with a narcissistic coworker?
A2. Dealing with a narcissistic coworker can be challenging as they are often unreasonable. It’s best to avoid engaging in arguments with them. Instead, choose to have rational and straightforward conversations with them.

Q3. How do you know if someone is a narcissist?
A3. Narcissists exhibit several traits, including a lack of empathy, grandiosity, a need for admiration, and manipulativeness. If someone you work with consistently exhibits these characteristics, they may be a narcissist.

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Q4. Can you work alongside a narcissistic coworker without confrontation?
A4. Yes, it’s possible to work with a narcissistic coworker without confrontation. The key is to set boundaries, keep your focus on work, and find allies who support you.

Q5. How can narcissists be managed in the workplace?
A5. Narcissistic coworkers can be managed by setting boundaries, avoiding power struggles, finding allies, focusing on your work, and giving credit where credit is due.

Conclusion: Surviving the Office

Dealing with a narcissistic coworker can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By setting boundaries, finding allies, and focusing on your work, you can maintain your productivity and your sanity. Remember, their behavior is not about you, and you don’t have to engage with them on a personal level. Last but not least, if their behavior persists, don’t hesitate to report it to HR or your supervisor. Stay positive, and keep moving forward, and you’ll survive the office in no time!

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