Skip to content

Working With A Narcissist? 13 Common Mistakes To Avoid

working with a narcissist mistakes

Mistake 9 – Get Personal

Aim to be the ultimate professional. Stay calm under pressure. Engage respectfully and politely. Get HR or a negotiator involved when needed. It may seem that the narcissist is out to get you personally, but actually, the narcissist treats anyone and everyone in similar ways.

The narcissist, by definition, will flatter people who they see as higher than them and exploit people they view as lower than them.

Mistake 10 – Try To Win Points With The Narcissist By Sharing Dirt About Somebody Else

A narcissist will initially reward you for privileged information. In the long run, however, do you want to have stronger ties to the narcissist than to other workmates? It’s better to spend your time nurturing relationships with others than with the narcissist, even if these relationships are not up the hierarchical chain in your organization.

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

Mistake 11 – Be Manipulatable

By definition, a narcissist is a manipulator. And, hard as it may be to hear, a manipulator has no power with someone who refuses to be manipulated. Narcissists need co-narcissists. Narcissists gravitate toward people who are easily manipulated and avoid people who are not easily manipulated.

Mistake 12 – Record The Narcissist Without Permission

You want hard evidence against a narcissist, and he or she is blowing up on the phone. Can you record the call and give it to your HR department? You may legally record a phone call if it is only for personal use, but to use the recording as evidence you may need express permission from all parties.

Policies around recording verbal interactions and phone calls are different than rules around email and social media posts. Email and social media posts may be freely collected and used as evidence in an organizational setting and even in court.

Mistake 13 – Fall For A Narcissist’s Flattery

The difference between a narcissist and a poor-tempered person is that a narcissist uses manipulation and exaggeration to exploit others. Narcissists usually resort to poor-tempered behavior only if things don’t go their way.

If a narcissist views you as a boss, he or she may be flattering you at the same time he or she is mistreating co-workers in situations you can’t easily observe. If a narcissist views you as a sidekick, he or she may be grooming you by appealing to your desire to be attached to a strong and opinionated person. Don’t fall for flattery; aim for well-balanced relationships.

Related: 7 Common Myths About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In conclusion, it is impossible to underestimate the frustration that many of us experience when one of our work associates exhibits a high narcissistic profile. Avoiding these 13 common mistakes will be an initial strategy, a scaffold upon which to build through experience, asking for the help you need along the way.


Written By Rebecca Zung   
Originally Appeared On Rebecca Zung  
working with a narcissist mistakes pinop
Working With A Narcissist? 13 Common Mistakes To Avoid
working with a narcissist mistakes pin
Working With A Narcissist? 13 Common Mistakes To Avoid
Pages: 1 2

Rebecca Zung

Rebecca Zung is a Narcissism Negotiation Expert and one of the Top 1% of attorneys in the nation, having been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a “Best Lawyer in America”, as “Legal Elite” by Trend Magazine, and recognized by her peers and the judiciary as AV preeminent rated in family law, the highest possible rating for an attorney by Martindale Hubbell. She is the author of bestselling books, Negotiate Like You M.A.T.T.E.R: The Sure Fire Method To Step Up And Win (foreword by Robert Shapiro), and Breaking Free: A Step-By-Step Divorce Guide For Achieving Emotional, Physical, And Spiritual Freedom, and is a sought-after major media contributor. Her perspectives are in high demand by television and print outlets, as she has been featured in or on Extra, Forbes, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Time, Dr. Drew, NPR Talk Radio, Good Day New York, and CBS Los Angeles among others. Now based in Los Angeles, she is continuing to serve through her very popular YouTube channel, media appearances, podcast, articles, and on-demand programs such as S.L.A.Y Your Negotiation TM with a Narcissist and Breaking Free TM Divorce Masterclasses.View Author posts