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Monday, April 16, 2012

Work for a Blood-Sucking, Self-Centered Boss? Three Tips for Keeping Your Job (if you must)



Now that's what I call a Narcissist! 

Baby mosquito came back after his first time flying. His father asked him "How do you feel?" He replied "It was wonderful! Everyone was clapping for me!" Tahir

Do You Work for a Blood-Sucking, Self-Centered Boss?

Do you work for a self-centered boss with no interest in your advancement? Have you been quieted with icy stares when attempting to offer suggestions? You may be working for a narcissist. While putting a name to what you're experiencing with your boss won't make it easier to deal with him, it can help you decide if you want to keep working together. Take this quiz to find out.


Is Your Boss a Narcissist?
  • Does your boss need constant attention and admiration? 
  • Does s/he show a disregard for the feelings of others? 
  • Is it risky to challenge or correct your boss? 
  • Does s/he react to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation?

If your answer is yes to these questions--you're probably dealing with a narcissist--a person with an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with herself. This boss doesn't care about your success, only about flying around maintaining her own inflated self-image.

If you are a passionate professional who believes in giving 100% to work for the good of the organization it can be devastating working for a narcissist. Narcissists have little ability to feel empathy for others. They don't care about your great ideas that could revolutionize the industry. Their obsessive self-interest keeps them pursuing mainly selfish goals--sometimes contrary to the good of the organization. And that's what's so crazy-making about working with them.

If you desire to shine and make your mark on the world, Kathy Caprino, a national women's career and executive coach says find a better boss to support your aspirations to make the world a better place. Get out if you can.

According to Caprino, "You will not succeed under a narcissist unless you’re great at lying, manipulating, and kissing up, nor will you be able to carve out a satisfying and rewarding professional life if you’re being led by a narcissist."

Click here to view full article on Forbes


What to Do When You Absolutely Must Keep Your Job


Life isn't always fair. Sometimes you desperately need your job, but your blood-sucking boss is a tyrant who makes you feel like you're constantly walking on eggshells. What can you do to stay employed if your boss is a true narcissist—whose self-interest, inflated sense of self-importance and extreme preoccupation with himself leaves you uncertain about how to best get the job done?

When you absolutely must keep your job, follow these three rules for working with a narcissist.

Never outshine the narcissist. You may be the one coming up with great ideas, bringing in clients or completing projects. But the inflated ego of the narcissist demands to be fed at all times. He needs to hear 'everybody clapping for him'. Publically attribute successes to your boss--and always thank him for helping you succeed. Don't even think about taking credit if you must keep your job. Let the boss shine while you remain in the shadows.

Follow their rules. Narcissists believe rules don't apply to them—only to you. Want to keep your job? Do what they say, not what they do. Never point out their failure to live by the rules they set.

Never challenge or disagree with your boss. This isn't about what's fair or easy—it's about keeping your job. If you disagree with your boss, keep it to yourself. A narcissist's ego does not allow for dissention. Challenge this boss's decision and you earn yourself a swift boot out the door. When you absolutely must keep your job--keep your mouth shut, your head down—and stay under the radar.


A Cautionary Tale

'When Snake is alive, Snake eats Ants. When Snake is dead, Ants eat Snake. Time can turn at any time. Don't neglect anyone in your life.' Tahir

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6 comments:

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, I don't know who Tahir is, but I love the mosquito and snake quotes! I'm fortunate to work for a wonderful boss (ME!), but this sounds like sound advice for those having boss problems.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Me too, Jean! Not all bosses fall into this category. There are lots of excellent ones out there. The problem is that the impact on the workforce by the narcissist boss is devastating. It only takes one to suck the life out of an entire organization.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

To all who e-mailed me about your bosses from hell--know you are not alone.

We've all had them---and we've all been in the uncomfortable position of needing to keep a job....it's painful.

It does help to put a name and face on it so you know you're not crazy...and you're strong for being able to persist despite the horrific circumstances.

Remember there are also excellent bosses out there who you'd follow anywhere. My wish for you is you find yourself one of those excellent bosses and be excited about going to work.

Anonymous said...

Great article Susan. You are talking from first hand experience. I can relate to all your points and can only add that ultimately, no good can come from any assosciation with a Narcissists. I have them in my personal and prefessional life and they are a modern form of cancer. Either we get rid of them or they get rid of us. Narcissists can be tolerated for periods but never for ever, as who can fight for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of their lives ?

Love the snake and ants quote too. Sometimes,fate and desitiny are our greatest allies. Life can render a Prince a pauper and visa versa.

Anonymous said...

Great article Susan. You are talking from first hand experience. I can relate to all your points and can only add that ultimately, no good can come from any assosciation with a Narcissists. I have them in my personal and prefessional life and they are a modern form of cancer. Either we get rid of them or they get rid of us. Narcissists can be tolerated for periods but never for ever, as who can fight for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of their lives ?

Love the snake and ants quote too. Sometimes,fate and desitiny are our greatest allies. Life can render a Prince a pauper and visa versa.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Dear Anon
You're right--no one wins with a Narcissist. Sometimes people feel desperate to keep an income---that is the only reason I can think to maintain the association!