Who can outsmart a narcissist and why

Dealing with narcissists

They are considered charismatic and inspiring people. They can win over others with their characteristics and also sweep entire companies away. But behind the dazzling facade of the sickly self-loving man often hides an exhausting superior or a complicated employee.

Dealing with narcissists can be very stressful. This is because narcissists are often only aware of their own selves. Your thinking and the associated worldview is almost exclusively limited to internal processes and simply ignores external things. There are many different types of narcissism. All types have one thing in common: dealing with narcissists can be very frustrating and may even damage the mental and emotional health of employees.

In times of social media and digital self-expression, there are more and more people who have narcissistic structures. It is true that healthy narcissism is useful for developing stable self-esteem. But too strong narcissism can put a lasting strain on relationships with employees or superiors. Then (business) relationships with narcissists can quickly become a nightmare.

Top managers in particular are said to have severe narcissistic structures. Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg first became successful business people through these character traits and then became role models for an entire generation. In the meantime, specialists in psychology and management are even discovering that narcissism has become a veritable epidemic among executives. This development will not stop at the company's staff either.

But how do you recognize a narcissist? And what are tips and hints for dealing specifically with narcissistic bosses and colleagues.

Identify a narcissist

Before we can talk about whether a boss or colleague has narcissistic structures, one should first make sure that he is a narcissist at all. Many people have narcissistic structures, but are not narcissists at all. There are various pointers and signs that can be observed. Ask yourself how this person can be classified according to the following criteria:

· Has an exaggerated idea of ​​its own importance
· Expects or requires constant attention and praise from others
· Has little regard for the needs and feelings of others
· Behaves arrogantly or condescendingly towards others
· Believes that only very special people can really understand him
· Believes others are jealous of him
· Takes advantage of others to get what he wants
· Is possessed of power to achieve success or ideal love

Behind the dazzling facade with radiant self-confidence, most narcissists hide an insecure side with self-doubt and fears. You can only admire people limitlessly or devalue them massively. There are no partners at eye level for them.

Pluses of narcissists

Especially in the business world, the advantages of narcissists can be clearly seen. They can bring companies forward in the short term - due to a lack of self-reflection they are hardly aware of risk and thanks to their charisma they can inspire the entire workforce. However, it should be noted that a lack of risk awareness can plunge the company back into disaster.

Narcissists force employees to activate their own self-esteem and competence. However, contact with narcissists can also become a burden for employees and colleagues. It is important for narcissists not to leave a gateway open, to make themselves popular with them and not to offer a target for attack.

Long-term dealings

First of all, it is important to be sure of your own position. Perhaps it is better to spend less time with the narcissist and seek support from other people. One should make sure that the harm to oneself is minimized if contact with the narcissist cannot be avoided. Anyone who finds themselves in a situation where emotional or mental problems arise should seriously reconsider their relationship with the narcissist.

However, if the person is really important, there is no choice but to live with the narcissistic structures. Then you should avoid demanding support or attention from the narcissist because he cannot afford it anyway. This can avoid frustration and disappointment. In addition, the problems with the narcissist should not be brought up in his presence.

You should also try other ways to improve self-esteem. Because a narcissist is not able to provide support at this point because they cannot recognize the value of other people. There should be an understanding that narcissists are more likely to use other people to increase their own self-esteem. Or they deal with other people in a manipulative manner.

Furthermore, one could try to show compassion for the narcissist. While this is easier said than done. But the narcissist is only human and behind the dazzling facade is mostly a deeply insecure character. A little compassion could help understand the narcissist better and better understand their behavior.

Short-term dealings

A narcissist is a master of mind games and consistently puts those around him on the defensive. The best way is to recognize these games and not play them anymore. To do this, you would have to put your own ego on the back burner and agree with the narcissist even when he is actually wrong. Since narcissists are good liars, it is difficult to argue with them - only if you are really sure of your own position and have empirical evidence can argumentative discussions be held with narcissists. Most importantly, adopt a non-responsive attitude towards narcissists. No matter what the narcissist is presenting, silence is probably the best solution.

Since narcissists have large egos and are very fond of themselves, it is likely that they will find their co-workers and co-workers less valuable. However, it is possible to win the narcissist's favor on a short-term basis. But setbacks are always to be expected. It will not be possible to fully meet the expectations of narcissists.

It is also helpful to listen carefully to the narcissist. Since narcissists need constant attention, this is a good tactic to avoid conflict. If you want to develop a relationship with narcissists or are forced to do so, prepare yourself to have to listen a lot. If answers are to be given to the narcissist, they should be as honest and authentic as possible. In doing so, praise and homage should not be spared.

Furthermore, little contradiction should be made to the narcissist. It's a good idea to just smile and nod. In this way, problematic conflict situations can be avoided without the narcissist even noticing anything. If you needed something from the narcissist, you could convince him that he would benefit from it himself. Neutral or positive vocabulary should be used for this. Then even constructive criticism of the narcissist could be made.