The 5 types of toxic narcissists at work

The Vindictive Narcissist

While it’s possible to co-exist with a Bullying Narcissist, provided you don’t pose too obvious a threat, once you become the target of a Vindictive Narcissist, she will try to destroy you. You may have challenged her winner status in some way you don’t even recognize, and as a result, she needs to prove you the ultimate loser by destroying you. She’ll talk trash about you to your superiors, withhold crucial information in order to sabotage your work product, and pursue your destruction without regard to truth or fairness. If she is your boss, she may have it within her power not only to fire you but also to ruin your chances of future employment.

How to cope: Whenever possible, look for another job before the damage to your psyche and your reputation has gone too far. More than with the other types of Extreme Narcissist, your approach here must be legalistic: Vindictive Narcissists often know how to disguise their true nature from people other than their victims, so your survival will depend upon having hard evidence. Document everything, especially proof of your work product. Preserve all toxic emails and other communications. Get witness statements from your co-workers whenever possible.

Extreme Narcissists are inevitable in the workplace, as they are in all walks of life, but if you understand the winner-lose dynamic that drives them, you can protect yourself and avoid exciting their most toxic behaviors.

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