Summary: Everywhere you look, people are taking sides at the expense of how their behavior impacts those around them. You best be careful, and please don’t feed the narcissist beast. Here are the signs.
Dear Dr. Sylvia,
I did it again! Yup, seduced by a fast-talking marketing gal. I signed up for an expensive program that has been a waste of time and money. Of course, it’s on a bigger level. However, narcissists are the same small or large. Please offer suggestions on how to make sure I don’t repeat the seduction pattern.
Wary of sweet talk
Careful when a narcissist tells you how great you are in a sales call.
Glad you asked. Recently I’ve been getting lots of questions about dealing with narcissists.
Therefore, I began to wonder if this personality type is more prevalent or more evident during times of extra stress.
I think we can all agree that stress is out of control.
So, I did a deep dive into various publications and paid particular attention to the news.
Yes, there are lots of narcissists in the news these days.
For example, the Tinder Swindler stands out and Inventing Anna (both are on Netflix).
However, they are small fish compared to what happens in our world now in Ukraine. Pay attention to the continuing and escalating threats from Putin in Russia.
Moreover, it’s a time of concern that gets more prevalent since the Trump administration. That is where the ego of one individual became like, if you will, a sordid Netflix series.
Why is narcissism so over the top in today’s world?
Therefore, I started to think about where narcissism starts. It led me right back to my book, where I sorted through the behavior patterns and personality traits that are part of our developmental years.
The patterns I discuss in “Don’t Bring It to Work” are the ones we learned as kids from our original organization, the family, and bring with us to work.
A recent article in Harvard Business Review underlines what I discuss in my book.
Further, it has a great title, “Family Ghosts in the Executive Suite.”
Narcissism begins early in life and gets worse when not handled.
Narcissism gets in the way of connection, communication, and collaboration at work (and at home, I might add).
The pattern I discuss in detail that comes closest to the narcissist is the Super Achiever. That is the individual I call the “me, me, me guy or gal.”
Super Achievers and Narcissists are very much alike.
Here are the essential traits. Pick and choose which fit the narcissist in your life, they:
Boast about how good they are.
They are not team players.
Narcissists steal ideas from others and claim them for their own.
Talk about a great game.
Show off and claim they have unique talents yet, without much substance.
Obsess with themselves.
Damage others without thought of consequences.
Cut off people rather than work through issues.
Love high-end material things and shiny objects that cost lots of money.
Narcissism has a long list, Keep reading.
Ghost people who no longer matter in their quest for greatness.
Claim to care about you and about making the world a better place.
They don’t care about you unless you can do something for them.
In other words, super-achievers and narcissists don’t want to change. Often, they are not even aware of how self-indulgent they are.
Similarly, they want you to cater to them, bow to them, and listen to them.
Furthermore, narcissists KNOW better about what really matters.
Got the idea
Now for the downside. (Yes, there is more).
The super achiever and the narcissist also have a great deal of victim psychology underneath the bravado. They play the victim card when disrespected or discarded.
You hear, “No one ever asks if I’m okay, and I do so much for so many.”
Just notice when someone you know who thinks they are King or Queen of the Hill decides you or whoever has discounted them. Here is what happens to you:
Can be fired from the unholy privilege of working for them.
Are the butt of negative talk.
Get ignored by their very tight-knit tribe.
Become the target of their revenge.
Do you get the drift?
For instance, what to do if you are in a relationship with, or work with, one of these destructive types of people?
Here’s what I suggest you do.
Above all, don’t trust others by distrusting yourself.
Moreover, stop playing into their narrative, or it will cost you emotionally and fiscally.
They may write a book and slime you. Then you will not receive support and may end up jobless. After that, they make sure to consider you untrustworthy and unwanted by the “in-crowd.”
Enough! You get it.
I had a super achieving narcissist do some marketing for me years ago. It cost a ton of wasted money till I woke up.
It was expensive hogwash.
And yet, I learned a great deal about my weakness to be “romanced.”
In summary, I suggest you be careful hearing how great your work is. In addition, be cautious with what promises are made.
For instance, I had to address how and why I entrapped myself by this narcissist.
Did I change my relationship with Mr. Narcissist?
Narcissists can teach you about yourself if you pay attention.
However, I learned some uncomfortable truths from those awful, expensive encounters.
There is good news, however,
The super achiever/narcissist becomes an influential creative collaborator. You can transform patterns into their healthy opposite. It means doing some inner work about how they developed in the first place. Then you gain respect as an influential, positive leader.
Please keep supporting the courageous people of Ukraine.
PS. I think we are learning better from Ukrainian President Zelenski and the people who show us how to survive the narcissists who are only out for their self-interest.