The office narcissist: how to spot (and deal with) them

Harnessing the potential

If harnessed correctly, Dr King said narcissistic tendencies had the potential to help an organisation succeed.

But he warned it was a fine line between narcissistic success and failure.

“A narcissist in a team can energise the team, [they] can really move them ahead because they’re putting in these high standards,” Dr King said.

“But there is another side to this.

“Narcissists over-evaluate their performance when we compare their rating of their performance versus objective assessments by others of their performance.

“One of the difficulties we have is they think they’re doing much better than what objectively they really are.”

Top tips for dealing with narcissists

Manage your emotions and maintain your professionalism

If you become frustrated and vent your anger to the person or co-workers, you not only risk appearing unprofessional, you risk backlash from the narcissist which may be in the form or anger, threats, undermining and sabotage.

Present your manager with options and ask their advice.

This will make your manager feel in control and allows you to get clear instructions on how to address the issue. It’s best to write it down so use email. This makes you less likely to be criticised for adverse results.

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