Managing a narcissistic boss can be exhausting work, but it is possible to cope through their leadership. Here are some strategies you can deploy:
Document everything. Germain advised keeping records and memos of conversations that can support you should you need to take legal action against this boss in the future.
Don’t talk to the boss alone if you can help it. Germain suggested bringing people to meetings with this boss and cc’ing other colleagues on email correspondence. “NPD [narcissistic personality disorder] bosses are weasels. They will work their way out of situations,” Germain said. “Unless you have witnesses or evidence, it’s going to be hard to prove there is something wrong with that person.”
Put the boss’s criticism in perspective and find supportive listeners. “One of the reasons why they succeed is they make you feel inadequate,” Brown said. That’s why she suggests finding a trusted confidant outside of work who will listen to you vent without judgment.
Because narcissistic bosses can make their victims feel like everything is their fault, Germain recommends talking to friends and family “to get a reality check about what behaviours are acceptable and not acceptable,” and to find a therapist.
Strengthen other work relationships so that your boss is not your world. Because narcissistic bosses purposefully work to make you see them as the center of everything, it can help to put energy into networking outside of their orbit. “Know that you will never get everything you need for your growth and success from one individual. Develop your community of seasoned leaders as well as your peer network,” said executive coach Aiko Bethea. “This provides you with a network of support, insight and growth opportunities.”