WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR COWORKER SHOWS SIGNS OF THESE BEHAVIORS?
Never tell them you think they are a narcissist
This tactic never ends well. You are dealing with someone with no ability to care about you and are willing to up the game to destroy you, no matter what the cost. This is a secret you will need to keep from them. When a narcissist feels like the game is up, the mask has fallen and you are no longer going to be under their control, then the game changes and they will do everything to hurt you: the lies and the smears will reach epic proportions. Try to avoid this common mistake.
If possible contact Human Resources
Discuss the behaviors without labeling the abuser. Explain the behaviors that you have endured, sharing as many details as you can. Supply emails, messages or voicemails or threats and any proof of smear campaigns. Be very careful with whom you speak with to share your concerns as narcissists often smear your name and recruit people to people to assist them in smearing you, these people are called flying monkeys. They are more than office gossipers they are going to assist the narcissist in getting you fired.
Set better boundaries
To set a proper boundary you need to clearly define what it is that you do not want them to do anymore. Then decide a consequence if they violate it. It is so important to set something that is possible. If you tell them if they violate your boundary again that you will…. Make sure it’s enforceable. Then communicate to them the boundary, because if you don’t tell them and you keep this only in your head then it’s not a boundary, it’s a wish. They need to hear it for it to be a proper boundary. Then, if they violate it again you must be willing to enforce the consequence or they will begin the walking all over you again game.
Time place, emails and check on your state recording laws to see if you are in a “one party consent state”, in which only one person needs to know you are recording. If it gets bad, and your state allows, record the conversations to give to HR. They may be your only defense.
Often going no contact is your only solution
Narcissists do not like to play by a new set of rules and narcissistic coworkers have been using you as a punching bag will not go down without a fight. The game you are playing now (self-healing) will piss them off and they may begin to jack up the pain and smears, in which case evaluate going completely no contact. If you cannot go completely no contact, then learn Grey Rock techniques to manage the exposure you will have with them going forward. Only when you are free from the narcissistic coworker are you free to heal and release the drama.
Stay clear of them as much as possible.
Know they will never change except to get worse, so either find a way to coexist or start looking for another job before they have you fired.
Get yourself help! Being emotionally abused takes a toll on any victim, but when your career is in jeopardy, the risks are high, and you do not want to try to do this alone. You need to be validated that you are not crazy. You need to strategize a plan of how to deal with this or you will be off your game as you endure this battle. Learn more about coaching here.
There are many people that are exposed to toxic behaviors of a narcissist at work and survive. It will take a smart HR team, a supportive work environment and management team, that listen to you and provides you with support. You will be ok.
At work a narcissist looks for someone with a skill that that do not have, or they look for a person in position that can benefit them. Or they are like a high school bully that is jealous of you. They seek an alliance with these people, if they are controllable, they friend them and begin to extract what they need. Once the target proves to not be controllable, they seek to destroy them, using threats, false allegations, constant criticism, name calling and smear campaigns, and gaslighting.
The victim of this type of attack is left to defend themselves against untrue allegations. The hopeless feeling these victims experience leaves them confused, betrayed and often, leaves them needing to update their resume because the damage is too great to repair.
Demeaning, demanding, and bullying.
When a narcissist feels that somebody has a skill or ability that they lack, they often put that person down. They can be patronizing of the other person by bullying or threatening them when they refuses to acknowledge their “greatness,” or simply outshine. Narcissists will use gossip or confidential discussions and try to appear to be concerned about someone else’s well-being, and then blatantly belittle, lie, or otherwise harm their reputation.
Narcissists degrade others and tear them down. They use tactics such as sarcasm, constant criticism, name calling, blaming, gas-lighting, and humiliation to weaken other people and diminish their sense of self-confidence and self-worth. This enables the narcissist to feel powerful and in control of others’ lives.