A 3-Step Guide To Get Your Narcissistic Boss To Like You


Get Narcissistic Boss Like You

Written by: Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D., CGP
Try these tips if your narcissistic boss is making your work life miserable.

Many of my clients are stuck working for narcissistic bosses who appear to hate them. These bosses publicly mock them, talk over them in meetings, and ignore or devalue their suggestions.

My clients feel like quitting but are afraid that finding a new job in these uncertain times will be too difficult. So, they stay and get mistreated for the sake of a regular paycheck. 

If you recognize yourself in this description, there may be a way to turn this situation around. You might even end up your boss’s favorite person. This method does involve a lot of work, and there is always the possibility it may not work for your particular boss, but it is definitely worth trying. When it works, it can make your situation strikingly better.

Here is the secret: The basic way to deal with a narcissistic boss who dislikes you is to get your boss to like you.

You may think that this idea is ridiculous. Your boss feels unapproachable and all your instincts are telling you to hide and be quiet and maybe your boss will overlook you and pick on someone else. By now you are terrified of even being noticed by your boss. The last thing you want to do is initiate a conversation with this awful person. 

trying to talk to a narcissist

However, you really have very little to lose. The method I am about to teach you requires you to study your boss instead of hiding. It puts some power back in your hands and will be very useful with almost anyone—not just narcissistic bosses.

Note: In this post, I am using the terms narcissist, narcissistic, and NPD as shorthand for saying that this person qualifies for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder.


Step 1—Study your narcissistic boss.

Everyone has a good side. Everyone has things they like and dislike. The basic principle here is to study your boss and find out what he or she likes and dislikes and what are your boss’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Pay close attention. No matter how much you despise your boss, if you look closely without bias, you will find that there are some things that your boss does very well. That is why he or she got promoted in the first place. 

Here are some questions to think about while you observe your boss:

  • What does your boss like and dislike about other people’s behavior?
  • What are your boss’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What does your boss do better than you?
  • What type of situations does your boss do well in?
  •  Who does your boss treat well?
  •  What type of behaviors does your boss reward?
  • How does your boss treat his or her boss? 
  • What does your boss complain about?

Many people do not realize that narcissists are super sensitive, and your boss might be reacting very negatively to something that you think is normal or even part of your job. When you pay close attention, you may find out that your boss likes one of your colleagues better than you for reasons that have nothing to do with work. For example, your colleague may have great social skills and always remembers to ask to see pictures of your boss’s grandchildren or brings your boss little gifts from vacations.  

Read Micromanipulation: How Narcissists Use This As A Method of Control

Step 2—Take notes.

Likes and Dislikes: Take detailed notes about your boss’s likes and dislikes. You will need to write down the context for many of the behaviors. For example: 

  • Does your boss mind being interrupted, even for something you consider vital to the success of your project?   
  • Does your boss want to do all the talking for your group on conference calls even when the topic is something that is your responsibility?   
  • Does your boss like giving advice when he or she is in the mood to share but hates being asked for advice when he or she is busy with something else? 
  • Does your boss change his or her mind frequently but denies doing so?

Strengths and Skills: Notice what your boss does particularly well and make a list of his or her strengths and skills. For example, is your boss good at bringing in new clients? Does your boss know a lot about how your company works?

  • Take detailed notes about when and how your boss has used these skills. For this method to work, you are going to need to be able to describe to your boss specific instances when you saw him or her use a particular strength and it really worked well.
  • Forget for the moment about anything negative you feel about your boss, and only focus on what you admire about your boss and why.

Read Why Narcissists Use Stonewalling As a Nasty and Powerful Defence Mechanism

Step 3—Stop doing anything your narcissistic boss does not like.

This may seem obvious but most people have to be told, so I am saying it clearly right now: Stop doing anything your boss does not like. What makes this hard is that sometimes you will find yourself in a conflict where both options are bad.

Either you stop working on that project that is due tomorrow in order to listen to your boss tell stories about his vacation or you explain you cannot listen right now because you are busy getting ready for tomorrow’s meeting. 

My advice is to prioritize whatever your narcissistic boss wants you to do right now. I have had a number of clients tell me that their boss got furious because they prioritized what they thought was important to the success of the project when their boss decided to talk about something else. 

My clients had trouble understanding that when your boss is a narcissist, your boss considers you his or her personal servant. I know that sounds harsh, but more often than not, it is true.  

You believe you were hired to do a specific job. Your narcissistic boss believes you were hired to do whatever he or she wants you to do, no matter what your formal job description says. This means that if your boss wants you to stop your work and go get her a cup of coffee, that is your real job right now.

Here are some typical things that most narcissistic bosses hate that you probably should stop doing immediately. It does not matter whether you are right, and your boss is obviously wrong.

  • Never correct or contradict a narcissistic boss, especially in public, for any reason. Trust me, they would rather fail than be told they are doing something wrong!
  • Never criticize anything they say or do. 
  • Never say anything negative about them to other people at work. People do talk and it might get back to your boss. And of course, never ever say anything negative in writing.

Read 121 Things Narcissists Say When They’re Gaslighting You

Once you have finished gathering your information, here is a basic four-part formula you can use to shift the way your boss feels about you.

Admiration + Strengths + Specific Example + Compliment = Success

Here is an example to give you an idea of how this might sound:

I really admire (Admiration) the way you are able to size up potential clients and know just what to say to them to get them interested in buying from us (Strength). I was in that meeting last week when it looked like Peter’s new prospect was going to walk away and you came over and closed the sale and saved the situation (Specific Example). That was amazing! (Compliment). I learned so much from watching and listening to you do that (Compliment).

Tip: Look at your boss and be sincere. Notice your boss’s reaction. The best immediate response would be if your boss now looks pleased and starts talking about the example you used a bit more with you.

Read A Mid Range Narcissist’s Manipulation Tactic: “But I can change”


Narcissists love sincere admiration. They usually have to work hard for it. When you use this method, you are giving them free narcissistic supplies that they did not expect to get, especially from you. As you do this more and more, using real and detailed examples, they generally start to like you better.

Even if they seem doubtful or brush you off in the beginning, stay focused on finding sincere, positive things about them that you can drop into the conversation. As you see their reactions, you can adjust what you say and how you say it for maximum effectiveness.

You can use this skill with everybody, not just narcissists. Most people feel as if they never get the appreciation that they deserve. If you take the time to notice and reflect back people’s real strengths (not idle flattery), you are likely to find that you are now more sought after as a friend as well.

Originally appeared on: Psychology Today
Republished with permission.

Get Narcissistic Boss Like You pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

10 Covert Signs Of A Psychopath: Don’t Be Fooled By Their “Nice” Behavior

Signs Of A Psychopath: Look Out For These Sneaky Signs!

Have you ever wondered what lurks beneath the surface of those seemingly nice, charming and friendly individuals? You know the type—the ones who effortlessly wear a smile, say all the right things but leave you feeling a bit unsettled and uneasy. Well, my friend, get ready because we’re about to discuss the signs of a psychopath.

Don’t worry, I’m not here to scare you, but let’s face it, we all love a good psychological puzzle, right? So, let’s uncover the sneaky signs of a psychopath, the signs that separate the “nice” from the truly dangerous.

Brace yourself, because what you’re about to discover might just blow your mind. Let’s explore more about people who are nice but psychopathic.


Up Next

7 Red Flags Of A Future Faking Narcissist: Beyond The Façade

Red Flags Of A Future Faking Narcissist: Beyond The Façade

Have you interacted with someone who promises you the world, but when the time comes to do good on their promise, they leave you high and dry? Chances are you might be dealing with a future faking narcissist.

Future faking narcissists are charming and diabolical at the same time, and are experts at lying through their teeth. They will paint a picture-perfect image of themselves in front of you and will promise you a beautiful future. However, it’s all smokes and mirrors.

In this article, we are going to talk about the signs of future faking narcissists, so that it’s easier for you to understand when someone is genuinely interested in building a future with you and when someone is simply playing you.

Up Next

The “False Self” Of A Narcissist: Look Beyond The Facade!

Hidden Narcissist False Self: Make Believe Traits in Them

The narcissist false self is charming and confident, masking underlying insecurities and emptiness beneath. Let’s find out other secrets they hide!

Narcissists have a false self. They’re master illusionists. They behave like a little king or queen — whether bragging or sulking. Their whole personality is a charade crafted to deceive you into believing they are confident, superior, self-sufficient, likable, and caring.

In studies, groups of people met with and liked a narcissist, but after 6 more interviews, they discerned the narcissist’s true nature and changed thei

Up Next

How To Deal With Your Partner’s Obsessive Ex? 4 Tips For Successfully Handling One

Deal With Your Partner's Obsessive Ex: Tips And Tricks

Have you ever had to deal with an obsessive ex? Moreover, have you ever had to deal with your partner’s obsessive and toxic ex? If you have, you already know how disturbing it is to go through this. This article is going to talk about some of the best ways to deal with a toxic ex or deal with your partner’s toxic ex.

My friend is happily married to a man who has a child. He is a devoted and loving father who sought full custody of the children; the court denied his petition.

His two children are living with their narcissistic mother who actively alienates the children from their father. His ex was obsessed with him during their short and turbulent relationship. She was deceitful, abusive, controlling, and highly destructive. They hooked up while drunk.

Up Next

Dog Whistling Narcissist: 8 Ways Narcissists Use This Covert Manipulation Tactic

Dog Whistling Narcissist: Covert Ways They Manipulate You

Have you ever had the feeling that when you are talking to someone, there’s a hidden message they’re trying to get across to you? A message that feels insulting, condescending and hurtful? If you answered yes, then you are dealing with a dog whistling narcissist, my friend.

These people are experts at sending subtle messages that are extremely hurtful and humiliating, but only you understand it, not anyone else. When a narcissist uses dog whistling, their main motive is to manipulate you and keep you under their control. They’ll use it to dominate you, and put you down, while pretending to be harmless.

But what is dog whistling, and how narcissists use dog whistling? Let’s find out, shall we?

Up Next

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With Someone Who Thinks They Are Better Than You

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With It

Have you ever met someone who believes they are inherently better than others? Do they constantly exude an air of superiority, belittle others, or dismiss others’ accomplishments? This is a superiority complex in action. What is a superiority complex?

People who exhibit traits of condescension and arrogance are believed to have a superiority complex, a psychological phenomenon that drives such behavior. Let’s explore the superiority complex in psychology, its signs, causes, and most importantly, how to deal with someone with a superiority complex.

What is a Superiority Complex?

A superiority co

Up Next

What Is A Devouring Mother? Overcoming A Narcissistic Mother’s Toxic Grip

What Is A Devouring Mother? Ways To Overcome Toxicity

Do you feel overwhelmed, smothered, or suffocated by all the love and attention your mother gives you? Perhaps you know people who feel trapped in situations where their mother’s love becomes an all-encompassing affair? This phenomenon is referred to as “The Devouring Mother Archetype.” Let’s explore what is a devouring mother and how to deal with the devouring mother archetype.

What is a Devouring Mother?

The Freudian devouring mother describes a controlling, overbearing motherly figure hampering a child’s development and independence. It is marked by possessiveness and narcissism.

As the term is not a literal description, a devouring Mother does not mean a mother who consumes her children ph