If you have a boss who is arrogant, selfish and insensitive you have landed yourself in a quagmire.  Your boss is more than likely a narcissist! The mythological character of the narcissist is the vampire – give them half a chance and they will suck you dry!

And, if you are not careful, your work day will be filled with abusive and unpleasant experiences – you will come home feeling manipulated and used.

As much as they are difficult to be around, they are also very predictable. It is inadvisable to attempt to play their game.

So here are the 5 rules on how to deal with the narcissistic boss.


Do not look for their approval.


Do not look for their approval.


Do not look for their approval.


Do not look for their approval.


Do not look for their approval.

Narcissists feed off people’s insecurities. They also are drawn to people who act disinterested.

Do not give your game away. If you are a people-pleaser be warned and stay alert. You will need to be aware of your drama and refrain from playing it out.

Some pointers:

  • Stop ‘gushing’ – don’t run up to them in the morning to say hello or keep volunteering your services. Both of these are noticeable attention-seeking behaviors.
  • Stop asking if you are “doing it right”. Again start identifying your true intention.
  • Stay away from their office until it is absolutely essential. Start asking yourself if you are wanting approval or if the interaction can wait.
  • Start saying ‘no’ to things you do not want to do. Obviously discretion is required. But you will be a target if you have previously always said ‘yes’. So start filtering requests so that you can discern the appropriate ones from the ‘dumps’.
  • In meetings, think carefully before saying anything. Be clear that what you          want to contribute is valuable and not an attempt to seek approval.

Because narcissists feed off insecure people, when you stop the pleasing drama, a vacuum is created.  By allowing them to be sucked into the vacuum (and they will, because for them, it’s irresistible!) you can set new terms of engagement. Re-stating your boundaries is a good start.

Be warned. The process is simple but the application is extremely difficult. Part of breaking through the drama is noticing how it plays out. Change follows from there.

Good hunting!