Working with a Narcissist

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#1 May 28, 2008 - 5:18pm
Anonymous (not verified)
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Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted by: sally on Aug 31, 2007, 1:21pm

Hello everyone!
I have recently come across this website and have found your posts to be very helpful. I have certainly related to many of your experiences, however my situation is different. I am not the girlfriend or wife of a narcissist, but have been working with a young, handsome narcissistic man for several years. Although the relationship is less severe, I have experienced many of the same situations and emotional turmoil that you all have.
When I came across information on NPD, I realized that this is what he has because it was like reading about him, from the general down to the most specific behaviors! He is extremely self-centered, arrogant, demeaning, sexist, impulsive, immature, defensive, antagonistic, sexually harassing, manipulative, he lies, has no empathy for anyone except himself, denies his actions, doesn't listen to my or my supervisor's requests for him to stop doing things, is controlling, has often given me "the silent treatment" for extended periods of time and never admits that any of his actions are wrong.
The thing is, I am the only one who sees this side of him. He rarely acts as bad to our other co-workers and he can often be funny and charming. He has many friends and a wife (although submissive and supportive of his ego I'm sure) and he gets along fine with our co-workers, for the most part. When he does do obnoxious things, others either laugh it off or ignore it because he is cute. I am the only one who is honest with him. I have often defended myself against him and told him when he was being inappropriate and when he was upseting me. He just never cared or told me that I shouldn't be so upset because he was only joking. There were times when he made me feel so frustrated and crazy because he would deny doing things and tell me that I was making them up. I have since learned that the main reason why he feels the need to "punish" me is because I do defend myself against him, I don't stroke his ego and ultimatley I don't give him his narcissistic supply.
It has been so difficult dealing with him in a work setting. I have been especially upset because he has turned some of my co-workers against me (by lying or being charming) even my supervisor at times. I could never express that I think he has this problem because no one would ever believe me, least of all him. I have also been so confused by my feelings for him because a part of me feels sorry for him and wants to help him and another part gets so mad at him. At times, we do get along and he can be funny and act "normal". I can definately relate to the "roller-coaster" metaphor that many women refer to with having this type of relationhship! I have so often told myself that my relationship with him feels like a roller coaster ride.
Even though I don't think he believes that there is anything wrong with himself and he is always happy, I'm sure he must feel that something is "off". I have certainly expressed my concerns to him enough times about his behaviors! I am just sad for him because I believe that he was emotionally neglected and criticized by his father when he was a child, which led to this disorder. Knowing this is what has helped me to deal with the consequences of his actions and it has helped me to understand why he acts the way he does, even though I still live with the complexity and frustartion of it all. I hope that some of you find it helpful in your situations as well.
I just wanted to see if there is anyone out there who has worked with a narcissist or who has had a similar experience to mine. I would love to hear from you. It helps to know that others understand what you are going through, even when those around you do not.
Good luck to everyone!

May 28, 2008 - 5:24pm
Lisa Scott (not verified)
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Re: Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted on Nov 15, 2007, 2:09pm Sal - sorry for not responding to your question earlier, but it took me eight years to realize my ex-husband was a narcissist. He joked about being one for years and I simply thought "yeah, he's confident and maybe a bit arrogant," but didn't give it any more thought than that. It was towards the end of my marriage that I finally looked into the true meaning of narcissism and the implications it has on a relationship by researching it on-line. He was eventually diagnosed by his own therapist with NPD. To the member whose boss is a narcissist, I'm so sorry to hear that. That has to be very difficult because you have to have a relationship with this person. I'm glad to hear they're transferring him though. You will definitely have to have a huge party to celebrate that day!
May 28, 2008 - 5:23pm
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Re: Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted by: Guest on Nov 11, 2007, 10:13pm My boss is a narcissist, I have worked with/for him for a year now. He uses everyone as his pawns, all for his own benefit. He cares only about himself - no one else. My workplace is a hostile place, and has been a revolving door - with many good people leaving angry and frustrated. The only ones that stayed are a couple of weak individuals who were broken, and compromised their integrity for the narcissist. I do not and would not compromise myself - so I printed out the characteristics of a narcissist and showed it to coworkers. Now they know, at least, that this monster can't be treated. At least now they know what they are dealing with ( and they are not crazy - the narcissist is). No one respects him, and he is being transferred to another work unit. Strangely, he put a spin on everything and is trying to get promoted again! Crazy. We are gonna party when he's gone!
May 28, 2008 - 5:22pm
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Re: Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted by: Guest on Sept 1, 2007, 7:55pm In work place- it is always someone who gives you hard time. i had to change jobs more than once due to it. I have few of those diffiocult once at work right now. Someone advised me to get to know that person and try to meet their expectations. I am not sure it works, as with some people you just can't do enough. Unless you really have something to document, reporting will not change much. It is thin line- if you keep telling your Superv. that you can not get alone with someone, they may think- you the one that needs to go. The general advise is to increase your working value, and make sure your company needs you. May be establish personal relationships with that person and find out what is the issue he has with you. May be its the fact that you not paying attention, that frustrates him.
May 28, 2008 - 5:22pm
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Re: Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted by: sal on Sept 1, 2007, 6:52pm Thanks for the good advice! Yes, he does often play mind games. As I've said, when I can ignore him, I do, but because many of his antagonizing behaviors revolve around work situations and putting me down regarding my job, I often need to respond to him. The ignoring thing didnt' work anyway........he always came back for more whether I respond or don't respond! I agree with you and know that I should report him. I just have never gotten to that point where I could make the decision that would possibly lead to ending his career. We all have our limts though! I am reading your book and so far, I have found so many similarities between your ex's and him! I dont' know if you mention it in the book, but how did you finally figure out that your husband was a narcissist? I never heard of NPD before doing my own research online....just curious. Sally
May 28, 2008 - 5:21pm
Lisa Scott (not verified)
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Re: Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted on Sept 1, 2007, 11:57am Sal - You are in a difficult situation and I feel for you. This man is definitely messing with your head. I know you're not trying to get anything from him, but to get him to leave you alone. I know you're trying not to respond to him, which is good. Keep it up. The best thing is to appear as if he does not affect you. If you can show him that his behavior has no effect on you, he will eventually lose interest. That's how you need to interact with him. However, you need to report these issues to your HR person right away. He is harassing you and this is illegal in the workplace. Document everything he does and says in a journal with dates and meet with your HR person to discuss your concerns. They cannot ignore your concerns. If they do, they are at risk of a lawsuit. He can't get away with treating you like this in the workplace. It is illegal. You have rights in this situation. Don't let him get away with his any longer. Report him! Hang in there and stay strong.
May 28, 2008 - 5:20pm
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Re: Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted by: sal on Aug 31, 2007, 11:53pm Well, thanks for the advice, but I'm not sure I get it. I am not trying to change him, except the part of him that is disrespectful to me. I don't care to change what he does/says when he's out of work, however when he is working with me, he greatly affects my life. It's easy to say to ignore him, but when you are forced to work with someone, that is not an option unless you quit. The reason why it is easy for everyone else to ignore him is because he does not treat them the way that he treats me. So, the way that others react to him cannot be compared to the way that I react. BTW, the times that I have tried to just ignore him do not make him go away, but make him try harder. As far as being professional, I am very professional with him until he starts being unprofessional with me. He regularly becomes unprofessional, between his repetitive sexual remarks and teasing, it's hard to not take it personally. No, I am definately not trying to be his psychologist. I NEVER analyze him to his face, tell him what I believe is wrong with him or tell him that I feel bad for him. I've never even hinted at it. I have just defended myself by telling him that what he is doing/saying is inappropriate, rude or disprespectful. Also, I do not know what you meant when you said that I was after something as well, because the only thing that I want from him is to not be harassing. This is something that everyone wants from their co-workers I would think. I believe that this is why there are laws about sexual harassment in the workplace. I certainly will not give him narcissitic supply by letting him be demeaning to me and allowing him to think that he is justified in doing so. That is just telling him that it's OK to harass someone who does not deserve it. I don't see how that will make me happier. Also, the reason I expect him to give me what I want is because what he is doing is wrong. Being respectful is good, being disrespectful is not. What he is expecting of me is to allow him to be disrespectful to me whenever and however he sees fit. That's not something that I would be able to do.
May 28, 2008 - 5:19pm
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Re: Working with a Narcissist

Originally posted by: Guest on Aug 31, 2007, 10:13pm Do you obsolutely have to try to change him? can you do what everybody else's doing- pretand- everything is great? If you know- he is after Narc. Sup- why not just give it to him? he knows- you are after something as well- so how can you expect him give you want you want if you not giving him what he wants? I hope you not trying to be his psychologist- it can be very frustrating. If you can keep it professional only and not take it personally, your life may be easier. And most important: don't expect things to be fair.