Some bosses have big egos, but there’s a huge difference between a show-off and someone who has a clinical personality disorder. Meet the narcissist: someone with a rather inflated view of his importance, and who gets his daily dose of Vitamin Me by putting other people down. See if your boss fits this description.
Symptoms of narcissistic behavior
A narcissist is so preoccupied with himself that he will do everything he can to draw attention to himself. He will exaggerate his accomplishments and undermine others’. He demands constant admiration from others and will flare up if questioned or criticized. He is selfish—his goals are selfish, his methods are selfish. He has no concept of friendship and no capacity for kindness. Any relationships he has are utilitarian: you are either his pawn, or a part of his admiring posse.
Sadly most narcissists are charming, which is why many people will tolerate his behavior. He is so good at manipulating other people’s feelings that he will make you think he “cares” for your group or your success. So when he criticizes you, or puts you down, or undermines you because you are a threat, you are genuinely confused and hurt.
The terrible tyrant
Narcissists can not be challenged. They may pretend to be diplomatic; they may even listen to you at a meeting, because other people are there and they will not drop their charming demeanor. But the minute you are alone, you will get chewed out. Or you will feel the subtle withdrawal of their favor. They will set unreasonable standards so you will fail. They will blame you for everything. They will manage the corporate environment so you are gradually shut out of the projects you want or the promotions you deserve.
Photo from smh.com.au