Narcissists on the job: how to cope

Learn how to deal with narcissists in "Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life" by Linda Martinez-Lewi.
Learn how to deal with narcissists in “Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life” by Linda Martinez-Lewi. Credit: Provided

A narcissist’s ability to make you feel good inside can draw you right into their world. Their magnetizing gaze can lock on you and make you feel good. But the author of “Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life,” Linda Martinez-Lewi, has offered ways to identify and deal with people with this fixed personality disorder in the workplace.

Take a step back
Although having the skills to identify a narcissist is important, it is imperative to be able to separate yourself from them at work in order to avoid being controlled. Martinez-Lewi says that if people don’t, “they become a victim of narcissistic abuse.”

“[Narcissists] project their unconscious impulses, feelings, thoughts, fears and rage onto the victim,” says Martinez-Lewi. “They can be vindictive, they can get very angry.” As a result, she adamantly calls on all victims to remember to make the mental and sometimes physical separation from the narcissist.

Protect yourself
Martinez-Lewi recommends taking good care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating healthy and exercising. However, your psychological state of mind is just as important. “You [must] remain as separate and detached from them emotionally and as psychologically as you can,” says Martinez-Lewi. Being rational and staying composed definitely will take practice, but if it avoids a volcanic confrontation, it’s worth it.

“If something happens, you can point it out to them in a courteous way,” says Martinez-Lewi. “You have to be very delicate. Don’t confront them head-on, or they’ll let you have it.”

Kill ’em with kindness
“A narcissist can provide you with many opportunities, since their thinking is so grandiose,” she says. “Use areas of your mind that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.” Martinez-Lewi says to compliment narcissists in a very authentic way, but be wary of getting too comfortable with them.

“Enjoy their good qualities,” recommends Martinez-Lewi, “but always remember that they have a fixed personality disorder that is not going to change.”

Is there a narcissist in your life?

Martinez-Lewi describes these people as “great method actors” because while they’re deceitful and lack conscience, “they’re playing a part. And in a way they kind of believe it.”

Huge ego: “Many of them are very grandiose,” says Martinez-Lewi. “They have this sense of themselves that’s larger than life and better than anyone. They are perfect and superior.”

Ruthless and cutthroat: Although narcissists do tend to have an outstanding brilliance, Martinez-Lewi explains that they are also unable to have any kind of emotional intimacy. “They will step over anybody to get what they want,” says Martinez-Lewi.

Follow Julie Kayzerman on Twitter @juliekayzerman


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