Friday, December 27, 2013

What do Do, When a Narcissist Turns People Against You

A malignant narcissist wants to bring down her target. So she'll ruin her other relationships. Because people with this personality disorder are adept at sizing others up, they zero in on vulnerabilities with laser-like precision. For instance, you might work in a large office. Your best friend at work is a nice person. But she wants to advance in the company. The narcissist knows this. Since she's in a position of power, she uses this advantage. She employs a tool called "favoritism" to create tension in your friendship.

First, she excludes you from important meetings. She also neglects to include you in after-hours strategy sessions at a local restaurant. What's being discussed is essential to the project you've been working on for more than a year. You're also not invited to a baby shower she's throwing for another colleague, despite the fact you know the expectant mother well. However, she's tapped your best buddy at work to help with the decorations.

Your friend is a little torn between her loyalty to you and her career. In the end, though, she goes along with the narcissist because of her persistent overtures. Then, she justifies this. After all, it's just a "personality conflict" between the two of you. She won't get in the middle of it.

Out of work, you start to see your friend less and less. She's usually bogged down in work-related assignments. On weekends, she goes on ski trips with others from your company. The narcissist, who owns the ski cabin, invites everyone in the office, except for you.

What do you do in this situation, and how do you save your friendship? Actually, the best advice I can give is don't even try. Don't grovel and don't make extraordinary efforts to see your "friend" when she has some extra time. Whenever a friendship starts to become uncomfortable, it's no longer worth investing as much energy as before.

Use this as an opportunity to connect with people outside of your office. You are now working in a toxic environment, and you also might want to think about new employment prospects.

Hold your head up and don't complain. There's a good chance your complaint will reach the ears of the narcissist, who has skillfully arranged this impossible-to-fix situation.

Flickr photo by skley

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