Sep 4, 2012

Narcissistic Lament...

This really resonated with me, I have been called narcissistic in the past, and as I read through the characterizations I was amazed at how much that IS NOT ME, but definitely matches someone from a dark period in my life :o).  

My current work role is to be a mentor, and I have been enjoying it tremendously.  

Working with a narcissistic leader can be terrifying and frustrating – with many wondering how someone so incapable of developing employees and goodwill can advance within an organization.
Narcissistic leaders can be characterized by:
A controlling personality: rife with arrogance, self-importance, a strong sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy for others, a pre-occupation with power, a need to feel extremely special and unique, and a desire for excessive admiration from others.
Being thin-skinned: sensitive to perceived disrespect and criticism, suspicious of others, paranoid, abrasive, and dismissive of others.
A preference to keep others at a distance or surround themselves with those only who will agree with them and their vision.
A lack of interest in mentoring others.
Elevating (or exaggerating) their accomplishments while minimizing the accomplishments, contributions, and value of others.
Narcissistic leaders can be good for organizations, though. They pursue goals aggressively, drive toward innovation, are highly competitive, have a strong vision, are charismatic orators, and make bold decisions.
Manage your expectations. If you were hoping to have a closer relationship with the narcissist, let it go.
Frame your messages wisely. Remember that narcissists have difficulty being challenged or criticized. If you really want your idea to be accepted, make the narcissistic leader believe it was his idea all along.
Document carefully. Make sure to clarify in writing who is responsible for what. When things don’t work out as planned, narcissistic leaders will blame others before accepting responsibility.
Set clear boundaries. Narcissistic leaders want what they want when they want it.
Become a cheerleader. Stop hoping in vain that a narcissistic leader will appreciate you, credit your accomplishments or be supportive of you or others. Rather, develop your own sense of a job well done and take every opportunity to celebrate successes — yours and others.
Find fulfillment and successes outside the workplace. Narcissistic leaders can bring morale down, and repeated exposure to their negative behaviors can harm anyone’s self-esteem. Low self-esteem can, in turn, affect relationships and one’s belief in self-destiny. Find successes outside of work to validate yourself by spending time with family, setting personal goals (and achieving them), volunteering, learning something new, mentoring others, building your network outside the workplace or other activities at which you excel. 


  1. there are lots of narcissistic administrators and some are easier to work with than others. when the smear campaign starts, it's not someone i want to be on the wrong side of again, that's for sure.


  2. Describes someone in my past.

  3. I worked for a narcissistic leader once for about 2 yrs. One of my life's worst experiences!!

  4. It still cracks me up that both of us were characterized as narcissists by that person. That is just not me, and it most definitely is not you! It really does sound more like that person than either of us.

  5. I come to believe that those who hurl the word "narcissist" at people who are focused and determined on achievement actually suffer from envy and resentment. As much as the "largeness" of your achievements cast a shadow over them, the reality is their "smallness" makes it so that a blade of grass can block them from the sun.


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