If you find out your boss is a narcissist, what can you do? Narcissism is a personality disorder, so there is nothing you can never win him over. He is just incapable of thinking or behaving like a normal person—so all you can do is survive his wrath and minimize its effects on you. Here are some tips.
Don’t challenge him head-on
If you disagree with your boss, don’t ever make it look like you’re challenging his authority or questioning his opinion. Narcissists are so ego-driven that the fact that you don’t agree with them is enough to send them into a fury—they will not listen to your point, and they will in fact make your life a living hell.
The best thing you can do is to pretend you see their point, and then ask them ‘clarifying questions’ so that it looks like any ideas you have are actually theirs. Yes we know that’s hard. But it’s the only way to survive this boss.
Show your appreciation
You will never be recognized for your work or actually be given credit. Your narcissistic boss will grab it whether or not he deserves it. So just give him the glory that he wants and tell him all the time how you are thankful for his advice.
Always show the good side
Narcissists don’t like to be told bad news, because it means they made bad decisions. They will also immediately blame you for whatever it is you told them. So reword the situation. Sandwich it between good news, or present it as an ‘opportunity’. Or have a solution ready by the time you tell him what’s going on.
Of course this is stressful—that’s why the minute you realize your boss is a narcissist try looking for another job. The only way to survive in his regime is to manipulate, kiss ass, and sometimes lie. Make an exit plan.