Home Mental Health & Well-Being How to Handle a Coworker with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

How to Handle a Coworker with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

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Whenever we are in the workplace, aside from working on our tasks, we also have to establish a good relationship with our coworkers, but have you experienced that we have these one or two coworkers who sometimes act unpleasant? Probably, we are dealing with someone who has personality disorder.

Dealing with them makes our work extra challenging, but how do you deal with them accordingly without exerting too much effort?

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a desire for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others characterise the mental health disease known as a narcissistic personality disorder.

How to identify coworkers with narcissistic personality disorder?

The grandiose feeling of self-importance

People with NPD frequently have an exaggerated view of their skills and accomplishments. They could regularly overestimate their achievements and want attention and appreciation.

Lack of empathy

People with NPD may have trouble empathising with others and display little interest in their coworkers’ thoughts or experiences. They could overlook or disregard other people’s worries in favour of putting their needs and wants first.

Narcissists may manipulate or exploit people to further their agendas

They could take advantage of their colleagues or claim credit for their work without giving them credit for their contributions.

A strong sense of entitlement and the conviction that they should receive preferential treatment

These are common in people with NPD. They could disregard others’ needs or limits and expect special treatment from coworkers.

The persistent want for regard

Narcissists frequently yearn for unceasing praise, adoration, and respect from others. They could actively look for attention and get upset if they are not the centre of attention.

NPD sufferers frequently have fragile self-esteem and may respond adversely or defensively to constructive criticism. They could become aggressive, dismissive, or retaliate if you question or criticise them.

Narcissists might be good at manipulating conversations to maintain control or ensure they are the centre of attention. They might dominate talks, interrupt people, or turn the subject back to themselves.

As only a skilled mental health expert can diagnose a personality disorder, remember that these symptoms do not constitute absolute proof of NPD. However, observe these behaviours in a coworker if they repeat themselves frequently.

It might be wise to consider handling your interactions with them and, if necessary, ask your boss or the HR department for advice.

Seven tips on how to handle a coworker with narcissistic personality disorder

Keep boundaries in place

Set and uphold boundaries with your coworker. Set boundaries for what you will and won’t accept, and ensure they abide by them. When stating your requirements and expectations, be aggressive.

Pay attention to your health

Since narcissists can exhaust you and breed a toxic workplace, ensure the health of your mind and heart. To cope with challenges, enlist the assistance of dependable friends, family, or coworkers.

Keep it professional and unbiased

When interacting with a coworker with NPD, keep it professional and fair. Focus on the facts and avoid engaging in emotional debates or power battles. Keep your attention on things connected to your job.

Record occurrences and interactions

Record any awkward situations you may have had with a narcissistic coworker. This paperwork may be helpful if you need to report the behaviour to your supervisor or the HR department.

Seek assistance from superiors or HR

Suppose the narcissistic coworker’s behaviour negatively influences your ability to do your job or has created a hostile work environment. You might want to talk to your supervisor or the human resources office about that case. Express your issues professionally and with specific examples.

Self-care is something you should do

Do things outside of work that will help you relax and promote self-care. Some examples are exercise, pastimes, quality time with loved ones, and consulting a therapist or counsellor for help. You’ll be better able to handle the effects of the circumstance if you take care of yourself.

Keep your eyes on your objectives

Concentrating on your aspirations for professional development is crucial. Do not let the narcissistic coworker’s actions cause you to lose focus on your goals. Focus on performing your duties to the best of your ability and sustaining productive working relationships.

It cannot be easy to work with a coworker who has NPD. Therefore, it’s important to put your health first. Consider contacting an employee assistance program provided by your company or a mental health expert for advice if the situation becomes intolerable or significantly impacts your ability to perform your job.

Rona dela Rosa is the editor of Psychreg. She is an associate professor at the Polytechnic College of the City of Meycauyan.


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