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Dealing with narcissism


Spaceman Spiff

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I've been working with a guy over the past few years who, I've lately realized, is a textbook narcissist.  It's gotten to the point where it's so bad that I can't stand to be in the room with him.   I listened to this podcast and it hit on so many different points I almost had to pull the car over:   https://findingmastery.net/wendy-behary/  I had a very general understanding of what it was but didn't know too many details about it.  

 

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Narcissism and world-class achievement have an interesting relationship. When we think of those who excel on the world stage, it’d be easy to conjure up a story that they have a deep inner belief that they can be the absolute best in the world (that’s actually not the case, as we’ve come to learn from many of the folks on the Finding Mastery Podcast.

But for those who do hold that belief — THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND ME BECAUSE I’M THAT IMPORTANT AND SPECIAL –is when my antenna tends to attune to the concept of narcissism.

It’s the excessive self-centered vanity and lack of regard for others that is one of the hallmarks of narcissism. We can all be self-absorbed, needy….. display narcissistic behavior from time to time…that’s not what this is about….it’s when the sense of grandiosity is so pervasive that it impairs daily functioning with others, and in essence, within themselves.

 

She gives some insight on how to deal with people that are narcissists.  Planning on reading her book, too.  

 

But until then, I figured I'd ask you guys since there are a lot of smart people here...how do you deal with narcissists on a daily basis?  How do you make interacting with them more tolerable?

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My mother has the "dark triad" of personality disorders.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad

 

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The dark triad is a subject in psychology that focuses on three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

 

She can turn it off in some circumstances, which is a trait of one or more of those personality disorders.  I have a great relationship with her now, because I limit my visits to once every couple of weeks.  If I visit her more often, that **** starts boiling over.

 

Once it does, you just gotta smile and nod, while planning your exit.

 

Growing up in that household was hellfire and brimstone.

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I've been watching YouTube videos on narcissists/sociopaths for the past 2 weeks since the girl I was dealing with had the classic signs and most people just say drop the relationship, if possible. Unfortunately, these people just don't change because their brain chemistry is jacked up.

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1 hour ago, zoony said:

Imo you dont deal.  Stay away.

 

Narcissism is one step away from full blown sociopath.  There is no way to "manage" those relationships

 

11 minutes ago, spjunkies said:

I've been watching YouTube videos on narcissists/sociopaths for the past 2 weeks since the girl I was dealing with had the classic signs and most people just say drop the relationship, if possible. Unfortunately, these people just don't change because their brain chemistry is jacked up.

 

Kind of the conclusion that I've come to as well.  

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14 hours ago, Spaceman Spiff said:

I've been working with a guy over the past few years who, I've lately realized, is a textbook narcissist.  

 

To the extent that you have to interact with this person because you work with him, depending on the office dynamics, I would definitely troll him at every possible opportunity and make every effort to turn the entire office against him.  Talk down to him whenever possible.  Make sure he knows that you think he is not very capable.  Call out typos in his work product/emails.  Comment negatively on his appearance.  

 

 

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Absolutely avoid them if you can. Especially family members.

 

5 minutes ago, PleaseBlitz said:

 

To the extent that you have to interact with this person because you work with him, depending on the office dynamics, I would definitely troll him at every possible opportunity and make every effort to turn the entire office against him.  Talk down to him whenever possible.  Make sure he knows that you think he is not very capable.  Call out typos in his work product/emails.  Comment negatively on his appearance.  

 

 

 

I agree with a zero tolerance approach in the workplace. Don't let the **** get away with it. If you tolerate it you enable it. But always couch your smackdown in a positive manner. "I think a better approach is ... " ... be relentless.

 

Where you are in the position of power it's OK to go with a more straightforward and deadpan ... "That won't work. You need to do better than that." Bathe in the uncomfortable silence that follows.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/2/2017 at 7:48 AM, twa said:

“Men intrinsically do not trust new things that they have not experienced themselves.”

I won't go into the thousand bartender jokes available here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, just one...

Doc:  where's your wrist?  How's it feelin?

You:  can't feel it, but where's yours?

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In my experience dealing with ppl like this in tech, while also dealing with some of my own issues, the big thing to realize is that he thinks he is the greatest because he is competent (hopefully, otherwise you are dealing with Dunning Kruger, in which case I'd just leave) in some narrow set of fields.

 

You likely aren't going to be able to force him out of his comfort zone to find his own incompetencies, but if work ever puts him in that situation, be patient with him and realize he is lashing out because he is trying to protect the self image of himself that he has in his head. Failure is a natural part of learning, but a narcissist is likely to organize their world in such a way as to minimize the possibility of failure.

 

When getting into heated debates / discussions, take a break. Schedule another time later in the day to meet on this and say you will do further research. He likely isn't going to change his mind about his ideas in front of you, he is too busy defending his self image. Also, since narcissists don't often challenge themselves, there is a possibility he isn't well versed in debating his beliefs. Giving him extra time also gives him a chance to focus on solving the problem without having to feel as though his competence is being challenged.

 

TLDR: You need to prove to him that you aren't out to make him look incompetent when you disagree, its just about creating the best results for your company which helps you both in the long run.

 

Hopefully that helps, I realized its mostly just projecting things I dealt with in software in the past w/o knowing too much about the situation.

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