When the narcissist is a business colleague
The narcissists, so hated … but also so loved. No, it’s not a contradiction, it’s reality.
They are often arrogant, critical of others . They have a great sense of self. Constant desire for admiration. Manipulators and not very empathetic; yet they enjoy extreme charm. They are admired and loved.
However, it is also true that this attraction towards the narcissist does not generally have a long duration … But when we are aware of its negative sides, it is often too late. By now they are already prisoners of their “trap”.
Why (initially) are you so attracted to narcissists?
To explain it, I would like to start from a 2010 experiment by Mitja Back and colleagues.
During the experiment, a group of about 70 students, more precisely freshmen who had never met before, asked to make a short presentation of themselves to make themselves known by the rest of the classmates.
Following the presentation phase, each student completed a series of questionnaires, among which there was also the one evaluating the narcissistic personality traits .
Well, from the experiment it emerged that those who, showing narcissistic traits, were also those who were most popular and appreciated by others . Not only that, they were also considered more attractive and seductive, from an aesthetic point of view. In fact, they are basically well-groomed people, attentive to the look, almost always very refined and eccentric.
Their non-verbal behavior also plays a role: movements, facial expressions, tone of voice; turns out to be highly fascinating.
Not to mention their charisma which is highly appreciated.
Narcissists are indeed very skilled in social contexts. Funny. Their marked tendency to be authoritarian makes them excellent leaders and admired for this, also as an “example to follow”.
Generally, however, the narcissist is soon exposed and the “honeymoon” is destined to end. At this moment we realize that perhaps it is better to move away. But unfortunately, it is often too late. In fact, the narcissist hardly accepts abandonment, because in this way his ego would be crumbled.
The narcissist tends to be vindictive . Hardly forget. It is not prone to forgiveness, because it does not benefit you in doing so. Resolving conflicts is almost impossible.
In the event that the narcissist is your partner – even if with difficulty – you can still move away and expel him from your life. But when are you forced to live with it? When the narcissist is your employer, how can you avoid a “war” where, by the way, you will hardly get the better of it?
When the Narcissist is the work colleague
Assuming that narcissists feel satisfied only when acclaimed and praised, it is necessary to compromise and fulfill their desire for admiration.
I know that at first a hypocritical and inauthentic attitude might appear, but after all, if there are no alternatives and it is necessary to deal with it, the only option remains to go along with his boundless ego.
Remember that trying to talk, or assert your reasons with a narcissist is practically impossible and could only lead to putting yourself in a bad light in his eyes.
If the narcissist is a work colleague? In line with what has been said before, the good rule is always to avoid confrontation . The narcissist interprets interpersonal relationships as an exchange, based on “giving and having”.
Being able to match your goals with yours could be a great way to create an alliance. A winning strategy.
Furthermore, since the narcissist has a continuous need to make an excellent impression in the eyes of others, he could prove to be an ideal “teammate” to achieve the set goals together. In fact, very often, in order not to invalidate one’s reputation in the workplace, it could prove to be workaholic and hyper-productive.
… in summary, relatively to a relationship (of any kind) with a narcissist, if possible, better avoid it. On the other hand, when you are forced to deal with it, because maybe it’s your boss or colleague, the rule is: go along with it!
Mediation, tolerance and admiration are the only weapons, the only behaviors that can play in one’s favor to relate to a narcissist.