Is My Coworker A Narcissist? 10 Signs They Are

Last updated by Katie M.

Now, I don’t want to make you paranoid, but the truth is that narcissists are everywhere, and that’s why it’s so important to be able to spot them and their devious ways. So, with that in mind, why wouldn't there be a narcissist lurking in the office? Has that given you food for thought, and suddenly got your mind racing? Who is your number one suspect? Is it Jon; the guy who constantly hogs the photocopier, or perhaps even Emma; the backstabbing human resources manager? In any case, knowing how to identify these personalities is essential, so discover the 10 deplorable behavioral signs you need to look out for. You’ll never look at your coworkers in the same way again!

Is My Coworker A Narcissist? 10 Signs They Are
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Getting along with your coworkers is hard enough, but when you find yourself having to work with a narcissist, the task almost becomes mission impossible. Folks with these questionable personality traits have a way of wrecking morale, and can certainly be harmful when it comes to career progression. After a year of working from home, and now having to go back to the office, I bet you are dreading facing the toxic environment created by the person you suspect of having narcissistic tendencies, right? In fact, an unhealthy atmosphere is one of the main reasons why millennials are so unhappy at work.

How does a narcissist act at work?

A narcissist at work is the type of person that will not hesitate to present themselves as superior to achieve their goals. In order to exist, they need to be the center of the world. In order to master these situations, it is necessary to keep what is called "a cool head". A narcissistic person is always looking for weaknesses to dominate vulnerable people. In the company context, he or she may manipulate colleagues to obtain favors from his or her hierarchy, and colleagues are often fooled by this behavior. Being aware of the situation will help you to counteract this behavior.

Now, in order to satisfy and reassure themselves, narcissists do not hesitate to manipulate their coworkers to achieve their objectives. For the sake of working relationships, it is best not to play along. If you feed their ego by blaming others or spreading rumors, they will feel all the more powerful because they will be able to use them against you in the future at the moment they deem appropriate.

10 Behaviors that will help you spot a narcissistic coworker

If your coworker does any of the following, then you are dealing with a narcissist.

1) They steal your ideas and take all the credit

No one likes doing group projects, but at times in the workplace, we find ourselves with no other option than having to be a team player. Although, if you find yourself paired with someone who constantly procrastinates and barely contributes anything, yet pretends they did all the groundwork, then the alarm bells should be going off. Of course, if this is the case, your sneaky coworker will let you do all the thinking, but will be front and center when the praise is handed out.

2) They never let anyone else get a word in, edge ways

Whenever you have any sort of meeting, is there that one coworker who completely monopolizes the dialogue? We can all be chatty Cathy’s at certain points, but most of us are respectful enough to let other people express themselves without constantly cutting them off. However, those with narcissistic personality disorders aren’t, and simply don’t care enough to listen to other people.

3) They put other people down

Their inflated sense of self and huge egos mean that they believe they are the best. That’s right, for them, only their ideas count, which is why they believe it is pointless listening to anyone else’s. Plus, they definitely don’t beat around the bush in telling their coworkers how pointless their propositions are.

4) They are jealous

Despite their bravado and apparent confidence, once you dig a little deeper in their characters, you’ll soon notice that narcissists are insecure people. And, they are in fact driven by jealousy because they are deeply unhappy in themselves and want others to feel the same way.

5) They never accept criticism

If your coworker throws a huge tantrum whenever they receive pointers from anyone, then this is a solid sign that they have this personality disorder. Indeed, these folks struggle accepting criticism because they believe they are perfect and that everyone else is beneath them.

6) They bully people

From threatening emails, to raising their voice in an intimidating manner; these people will do anything to get what they want, even if it means installing fear in their coworkers. Yes, they are tyrants and aren’t afraid to show it!

7) They boast about being the best

That colleague who boasts about having the best stats and making the most sales is definitely surrounded by hundreds of red flags. Huge egos and self-conceit are also giveaway signs that you are dealing with someone very dangerous in the office.

8) They don’t care about crushing their coworkers

Their lack of empathy means that they can’t really compute other people’s feelings and don’t exactly care enough to think twice about their hurtful actions. Believe me when I say, these types of coworkers will do anything to get to the top; there are no holds barred.

9) They complain about feeling underappreciated and undervalued

We more than likely all have that one coworker who spends 99% of their time by the coffee machine gossiping and complaining about how badly paid they are, and how they’d be much more appreciated elsewhere. If this situation rings a bell, you need to distance yourself from them, because their complaining is a way for them to poison the atmosphere. After all, with such huge self-esteem, no matter how much praise they receive, they’ll never feel admired enough!

10) They want to be in charge

Narcissistic behavior means that these people want to be in control of everything. These people live for power and love giving orders, yet they are often terrible leaders...

How do you protect yourself from a narcissist at work?

At times, spotting a narcissist in a professional setting is difficult because of the duality in their behavior, however, certain signs never lie. Although, that’s not to say that escaping their clutches is impossible. These manipulators feed on the emotions and weaknesses of their targets, so the first thing to do to protect yourself is to avoid giving them information about your life. Fighting the law of silence is also an essential strategy to get out of this power struggle, either by talking to colleagues or by calmly pointing out the inappropriateness of certain public provocations. In order to fight against contradictory injunctions, write down the instructions received on paper and to have them confirmed by e-mail, copying in the superiors. These few tricks allow you to get escape the manipulator's hold and build a case against them.

Ignoring a narcissistic coworker

With narcissists in the workplace, they’ll constantly look for ways to demotivate you or get you off track, so they can enjoy the power they have over you, meaning the best response is to ignore them. These toxic personalities are very good at spotting the other person's flaws and pressing where it hurts. Remember that you will never win in a confrontation with them. And the more honest and sincere you are, the better they will manipulate you and eventually make you explode. Therefore, stick strictly to professional relationships. This means limiting your exchanges to the factual and the professional. You’ll soon notice that they constantly ask for your opinion, and your ideas, and that’s because they want to take advantage of you without taking the risk of the decision and the responsibilities. Above all, do not give in to the temptation to give your opinion on this or that person or achievement, because they will use it against these people and against you.

Editor’s tip: How to handle a narcissistic colleague

Narcissism in the workplace is nothing new and needs to be handled in the most professional way possible. If you have doubts and concerns about a coworker, take it up with them in a mature manner and expose your doubts calmly. If expressing your worries becomes a problem, you may need to take things further and get a mediator involved.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

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