Working under a narcissistic boss can be very difficult, as there are many other pressures than those related to work. The constant mood swings are very strenuous and so is the constant nagging. If you are working under one, I can very well understand the problems you must be facing. The constantly changing behavioral patterns make it difficult for anyone to concentrate on their work. However, there is a twist here.
Narcissist people are good businessmen, as they are good charmers and very influential when they talk. Working under such a boss, can be, truthfully, very rewarding! What do you do then? You know how to deal with a narcissistic boss and manage both, you work and the boss too. Before we proceed to the tips, let's understand who exactly is a narcissistic boss. Though psychology defines many types of narcissists, such as unprincipled, elitist, and the fanatic type, in this article, we'll just talk about the term generally.
Who is a Narcissistic Boss?
A narcissistic boss will always bask in self glory. When anyone disagrees with his opinions, the arrogance will surface in less than a minute. A female narcissistic boss will portray similar traits and behavioral patterns. The complete focus and attention of these people is focused on themselves. Everything that is beneficial to them, looks good to them, and makes them feel good, will be appreciated in the most generous way. This might be the stupidest of things, but if it's good for them, it is good. No arguments. These bosses are very demanding of your time and of your work. Narcissistic behavior also makes them very pretentious. They will have no respect for your time and efforts. You must have got a rough idea of what these people are like. Let's proceed to dealing with them now!
How You Can Deal with a Narcissistic Boss
Contemplate and Set Boundaries
The first thing you need to do is contemplate how important this job is to you. If this stepping stone has the potential to be the most important step, you will have to stick to it and keep up with the mental irritation. As I have said before, narcissistic bosses are successful and this job might just prove to be really rewarding. If you think you can find another one easily, it's time to say goodbye to your boss forever! Also set boundaries from the very first day relating to your work days and work timings. Disagree to working on days that are considered as an off.
These employers are very charming, and thus very good at convincing people and influencing them. Your boss might ask you to work on something that is not really your job. He might also ask you to work in a way that is not acceptable and completely irrational. At such times, you should think smartly and analyze whether the suggested path is the right way to go about things. While negotiating the salary, he might convince you what he is offering is the most appropriate amount. Think twice when you agree to anything when you are working with a narcissistic boss. They are good with their charisma!
Perhaps this is the most important and helpful lesson in learning how to deal with a narcissistic boss. Shower him with praises and compliments from time to time. If you make him believe that you respect him and look up to him as one of the most successful people, you will get an immediate entry in his good books. Let your boss have only entertainment value in your life. Don't let him mean anything more to you than a person who signs your paycheck. This should never be the case with a good boss, but with a narcissistic one, you don't really have a choice, do you?
You should also learn the art of manipulative talking while working with a narcissistic boss. This will perhaps get you out of situations the easiest possible way, and will also help you turn things your way real soon. Whenever you disagree to anything the boss tells you, don't ever contradict him immediately, never say a direct NO. This can work against you in a very bad way. Instead, tell him that you completely agree with him, and that what he is thinking is a brilliant idea! Then, after sometime, tell him you just thought of something that might benefit him more, but he doesn't need to agree to it if he doesn't want to. Work done baby!
Develop a Thick Skin
Fortunately, dealing with a narcissist is not an everyday ordeal. But if he's your boss, what can you do? Develop a thick skin! Yes. This can help you ignore the insults he throws at you in no time. Don't let things affect you to an extent that you retaliate. Don't declare immediate war as it is obvious you'll lose. Instead, maintain your calm and take decisions after some thought. Develop a mental barrier that will not allow, anything that he says, to reach you.
Now that you know how to deal with a narcissistic boss, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Implementation of these tips will surely help you to a great extent. Anger and frustration will keep coming back, but all you need to do is ignore them and have a good time not caring about anything but your work. Best of Luck!