Do you have a coworker who always puts themselves first, dismisses others’ feelings, and demands constant attention? You may be dealing with a narcissistic coworker.
Working with difficult colleagues is a common challenge in the workplace, but dealing with a narcissistic coworker can be particularly challenging. Narcissistic coworkers prioritize their own needs and interests over the needs of others, often resulting in negative impacts on the work environment and team dynamics.
In this blog post, I will discuss what a narcissistic coworker is, 20 signs of a narcissistic coworker, the impact of their behavior on the workplace, and coping strategies to deal with them effectively. Whether you’re a coworker, manager, or HR professional, understanding and managing narcissistic coworkers is essential for creating a healthy and productive workplace.
What is a Narcissistic Coworker?
A narcissistic coworker is someone in the workplace who displays narcissistic personality traits, such as an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a constant need for admiration and attention.
These people may be highly competitive and driven to succeed, but they can also be manipulative, arrogant, and difficult to work with. They may use others for their own gain, disregard others’ boundaries or feelings, and expect special treatment or privileges.
Narcissistic coworkers can create a toxic work environment, where colleagues are pitted against each other, communication breaks down, and morale suffers. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of a narcissistic coworker and to take steps to protect yourself and your team from their negative behavior.
20 Signs of Narcissistic Coworker
Here are 20 warning narcissistic coworker signs:
1.Narcissistic Coworkers dismiss others’ feelings or opinions
Narcissistic coworkers may disregard the feelings and opinions of their colleagues, believing that their own perspectives are more important. They may be insensitive to the needs of others, making it difficult for their colleagues to feel heard or valued.
2. They’re quick to judge or criticize others
Narcissistic coworkers may criticize their colleagues harshly and without reason. They may put down their colleagues to make themselves feel superior or to deflect attention from their own flaws.
3. They use others for their own gain
Narcissistic coworkers may exploit their colleagues for personal gain, such as by taking credit for their work, using their connections for personal gain, or making demands on their time and resources without offering anything in return.
4. They exaggerate their achievements or talents
Narcissistic coworkers may inflate their accomplishments or skills to make themselves appear more impressive or important than they actually are. This can lead to feelings of frustration and inadequacy among their colleagues, who may feel like they are being overshadowed or overlooked.
5. They demand constant admiration and attention
Narcissistic coworkers may crave constant praise and recognition from their colleagues, seeking to be the center of attention in all situations. This can make it difficult for their colleagues to get their work done or to feel valued in their own right.
6. They believe they’re entitled to special treatment or privileges
Narcissist coworkers may believe that they are entitled to special treatment or privileges, such as preferential treatment from management or exemption from certain rules or policies. This can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration among their colleagues, who may feel like they are being treated unfairly.
7. They manipulate or deceive others to get what they want
Narcissistic coworkers may use manipulation or deception to get what they want, such as by lying to their colleagues or using emotional blackmail to get their way. This can erode trust and create a toxic work environment.
8. They disregard others’ boundaries or feelings
Narcissistic coworkers may ignore the boundaries and feelings of their colleagues, making it difficult for their colleagues to establish healthy work relationships. They may be overly demanding or intrusive, making it difficult for their colleagues to feel comfortable or safe at work.
9. They expect others to cater to their needs or wants
Narcissistic coworkers may have a sense of entitlement, expecting their colleagues to cater to their every whim or desire. This can create a stressful work environment, where colleagues feel like they are constantly being put upon.
10. They feel they’re above the rules or norms that apply to others
Narcissistic coworkers may believe that they are exempt from the rules and norms that apply to others, such as showing up to meetings on time or adhering to company policies. This can create a culture of disrespect and non-compliance, where colleagues feel like the rules do not apply to everyone equally.
11. Narcissistic Coworkers blame others for their mistakes or shortcomings
Narcissistic coworkers may deflect blame onto others when they make mistakes or fall short in their work. This can create a culture of distrust, where colleagues feel like they are being unfairly blamed for things that are not their fault.
12. They avoid consequences for their behavior
Narcissistic coworkers may evade responsibility for their actions, refusing to acknowledge their mistakes or make amends for their behavior. This can create a toxic work environment, where colleagues feel like there is no accountability or justice.
13. They’re always seeking praise or recognition
Narcissistic coworkers may have an insatiable need for attention and praise, seeking to be the center of attention at all times. This can make it difficult for their colleagues to receive recognition for their own work, leading to feelings of frustration and resentment.
14. They become jealous or resentful of others who receive more attention or praise
Narcissistic coworkers may feel threatened by their colleagues’ accomplishments or recognition, leading them to become jealous or resentful. This can create a competitive and hostile work environment, where colleagues are pitted against each other rather than working together.
15. They twist the truth or lie to get what they want
Narcissistic coworkers may use deception or manipulation to achieve their goals, such as by lying about their accomplishments or qualifications. This can erode trust and create a toxic work environment, where colleagues feel like they cannot rely on each other.
16. They play mind games or use emotional manipulation to control others
Narcissistic coworkers may use emotional manipulation or mind games to gain power over their colleagues, such as by playing favorites or withholding information. This can create a stressful work environment, where colleagues feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells.
17. They disregard others’ requests or needs for space or privacy
Narcissistic coworkers may ignore their colleagues’ requests for space or privacy, invading their personal space or constantly interrupting their work. This can make it difficult for their colleagues to feel comfortable or safe at work.
18. They share others’ confidential information without permission
Narcissistic coworkers may betray their colleagues’ trust by sharing confidential information without their consent. This can create a culture of mistrust and secrecy, where colleagues feel like they cannot confide in each other.
19. They become defensive or angry when receiving feedback
Narcissistic coworkers may react defensively or angrily when receiving feedback or criticism, making it difficult for their colleagues to provide constructive criticism. This can create a culture of defensiveness, where colleagues are afraid to speak up or provide feedback.
20. They refuse to acknowledge their faults or weaknesses
Narcissistic coworkers may refuse to acknowledge their faults or weaknesses, making it difficult for their colleagues to work with them effectively. This can lead to feelings of frustration and helplessness, as their colleagues feel like there is no way to work with them constructively.
The Impact of Narcissistic Coworkers on the Workplace
The impact of narcissistic coworkers on the workplace can be significant and negative.
- Creates a toxic work environment
- Erodes trust and communication among colleagues
- Prioritizes individual needs over team or organizational needs
- Manipulates or deceives others to get what they want
- Leads to conflict and resentment among colleagues
- Reduces productivity and undermines team success.
How to deal with Narcissistic Coworker?
Here are some strategies to deal with a narcissistic coworker:
1. Set boundaries
Establish clear boundaries with the narcissistic coworker to protect your time, energy, and emotional well-being. This could include limiting interactions or conversations with them and refusing to engage in their manipulative or abusive behavior.
2. Document their behavior
Keep a record of any incidents or interactions with the narcissistic coworker that are problematic or abusive. This can help you to build a case if you need to escalate the issue to a manager or HR.
3. Seek support
Talk to colleagues or friends outside of work about the situation to get emotional support and validation. Consider seeking professional counseling or therapy if the situation is particularly challenging.
4. Don’t take it personally
Recognize that the narcissistic coworker’s behavior is not about you, but rather a reflection of their own issues and insecurities. Try to detach emotionally from their behavior and focus on your own work and goals.
5. Avoid feeding their ego
Refrain from giving the narcissistic coworker excessive praise or attention, as this can reinforce their behavior. Instead, focus on offering constructive feedback or criticism when necessary.
6. Involve a manager or HR
If the narcissistic coworker’s behavior is interfering with your work or creating a hostile work environment, consider involving a manager or HR to address the issue. Provide specific examples of their behavior and its impact on the team or organization.
In conclusion, dealing with a narcissistic coworker can be a daunting and challenging experience. Their behaviors and attitudes can have a significant impact on the workplace, team dynamics, and productivity.
Recognizing the signs of a narcissistic coworker, understanding their behavior, and implementing coping strategies can help mitigate the negative impact of their actions on yourself and the team.
By setting clear boundaries, seeking support, documenting their behavior, and involving a manager or HR if necessary, you can effectively deal with a narcissistic coworker and create a more positive and productive work environment.
Remember, identifying and managing a narcissistic coworker is essential for your own well-being and the success of the team as a whole.