Best Strategies for Dealing With Workplace Narcissists

Placating them may be unpleasant, but it tends to work.

May 15, 2017 5:00 am

Dealing with someone who has an inflated sense of self or job performance is on the minds of a lot of Americans right now.

Fortunately, clinical psychiatrist and professor Jody Foster has made a career out of helping narcissistic personalities, defined as “people who try to inflate their sense of self-worth by exaggerating their accomplishments, overestimating their abilities, and blaming others for shortcomings.”

To that end, Foster talked to Quartz about how best to deal with bosses or coworkers with this condition. The answer, more often than not, is simply accommodating them. It may be irritating to you, but appealing to their egocentricity, not lashing out at them when they annoy you, and prompting them to empathize with others are essential to keeping the peace at work, especially if they outrank you.

If you’re the one managing a narcissist, many of the same rules apply, with the caveat that you must establish and maintain firm boundaries with them. Remember, Foster says, that an “underlying, deeply entrenched sense of insecurity” causes most narcissistic behavior.

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