Working is hard enough, but do you know what’s worse than that? It’s extremely difficult when you have a narcissistic coworker.
There are various work environments, some more taxing than others. I remember working in a factory around many negative situations. Honestly, it was a nightmare. The same can be said for coworkers, I had a few that were hard to be around.
While most people we work with can be okay, for the most part, you have those few that can be so difficult, it’s almost impossible to do your job. They complain constantly, they’re always missing work and being late, and even worse, they’re narcissistic.
The narcissistic coworker
People who are hard to work with can just be dealing with their own negative issues, but some are actually narcissistic employees. When you work with someone like this, in order to do your job efficiently and keep your own sanity, you will have to learn how to deal with them.
To be sure you’re working with someone who is narcissistic, you must first recognize the signs.
How do you know if any of your coworkers is narcissistic?
1. They are likable at first
Like many other people with personality disorders, the narcissist will seem really nice and helpful at first. They will try to be friendly with everyone and always seem to know facts about the job for new employees – they just seem like really involved and helpful people.
The truth usually begins to show when something at work goes wrong. If they know who made the mistake, they will be the first one to tell the supervisor about the mistake. If they do something wrong, they will deny the blame and deflect it elsewhere or on some other employee. All this will be done while attempting to make everyone see them as a great person.
2. They steal the spotlight
Just like any other narcissist, the narcissistic coworker will always try to steal the spotlight or be the center of attention. In meetings, conferences, and even projects, this coworker will try to have the best ideas and the answers to all the work-related problems.
If someone else tries to take the spotlight, they will become angry and stop at nothing to ruin their fellow coworker’s ideas. They won’t do this in an outward manner, only passively.
3. They always have excuses
No matter what they do, the coworker with a narcissistic personality disorder will always have an excuse. If they are late for work, it’s someone else’s fault, or their car broke down, or some other excuse like these.
As far as others go, they usually accept responsibility for their actions and try to fix the problems they created. There is such a vast difference between the normal personality and the narcissist, making it easy to recognize the excuses being made.
4. They cannot take criticism easily
You can try to criticize your narcissistic coworker, but it probably won’t get through to them, or make any difference. You know, it doesn’t even matter how reasonable the critique, or how obvious the problem is, they still see themselves as some sort of idealized person.
It’s almost impossible to get a narcissist to accept that they have made a mistake because it risks triggering the toxic anger of the narcissist.
5. They never feel equal to anyone
The narcissist either feels superior or inferior to another person. So if your coworker is a narcissist, they will act in only two ways toward you – greater or weaker, whatever works best for their idea of a friendship.
Both actions are designed to get them what they want out of working with you. It’s all manipulative and they will never see themselves as anyone’s equal.
6. They will have toxic reactions
A narcissistic coworker isn’t able to take things that happen at work as ordinary events. Sometimes things go wrong, and that’s just the way it is in the workplace. As for the narcissist, this cannot happen. When things don’t go according to schedule or job positions change, they will sometimes lose it, even throwing a tantrum like a child.
Their emotions aren’t stable like other people’s, and it’s incredibly hard for them to hide this fact. It comes out easily especially if they are one of the only employees who don’t get a raise from their evaluation.
Are you working with narcissists?
While it may not be easy to tell at first, you will eventually start to see some of these signs in your coworkers. Hey, maybe you will get lucky and work with some genuine and kind individuals, but there is usually one person who exhibits toxic actions and emotions.
When you do pinpoint a coworker with a severe personality disorder, it’s best to limit your contact with this person as much as possible. While it may be impossible to completely get away from them due to work partnerships, you can try.
The less time you spend around this person, the more you will appreciate and like your job. That is what truly matters. If you cannot put up with their behavior around you, and it’s affecting your job performance, you may have to seek employment elsewhere, especially if they are your boss.
Take the time and evaluate who’s working beside you, and learn how to make the most from your career.
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