Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 4 months ago

How to Talk to your Narcissistic Boss

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

After years of speculation, you have finally come to the realization that your boss is a narcissist.  Since this is not the type of economy where you can just leave your job and expect to get another one quickly, you find yourself stuck and miserable in a job that normally you would like except for your narcissistic boss. 

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...some abuses dangerously obvious. Whileother types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways, keepingfamily secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying arejust a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Oftenvictims ask why did this happen to me or what can I do while abusers willexcuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this, victims andabusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and breakthe cycle for their future generations. In Christine Hammond's latest book,abuse exposed, you will learn the wide range of types of abuse, both overt andcovert the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and afterabuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, findingforgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid futureproblems and much much more. Look for Christine Hammond's latest book abuseexposed now available on amazon, This is understanding today's Narcissistbrought to you in part by psych central dot com and now here's your host,Christine Hammond. So one of my listeners wrote to me about anarcissistic boss that she was really struggling with and wanted to know howbest to deal with it. And so before we get started, I just want to say, justbecause your boss is overbearing, maybe a jerk is frustrating to deal with. Itdoesn't mean that they're narcissistic. They may have traits of beingnarcissistic, but they might just really be a jerk. Um and so without adiagnosis, the good part about what...

...we're going to talk about today though,is whether they are or aren't narcissistic. These techniques workbrilliantly with them. So, I want you to think about somebody who is verydifficult to deal with in your life and you're frustrated with them. You don'tknow how to confront them properly. And we're going to talk about how toconfront a narcissistic boss. So finally, when you realize what you'redealing with, it's such a relief, right? Because before it's so incrediblyfrustrating when you don't know that you're dealing with a difficult person,most likely in the very beginning of everything, it was great. Likeeverything was fine. Your boss seemed to like you you like either him or her,but there was evidence that there was something kind of off like there was adozen or so former employees who left rather abruptly. There's talk maybearound the water cooler, but you're doing great and you're not quite surewhat's actually going on until one day when everything changed and it switched,just like a flick without your knowledge, and you went from being thegreatest and best employee ever to being the most incompetent human alive,But you're stuck because you're in a job that you either need want, likeultimately, and you have to stay there at least for a little while until youcan figure out what your next move is. So you keep trying to flick the switchback, you do a lot of things to make yourself valuable worthwhile, butnothing's happening, It's not really budging. And so now every day beginsfor you with several duck and cover attempts as you try to dodge thoseverbal bullet assaults of your boss. Until one day, when you have absolutelyno option, you decide, you have to...

...confront the issues on your desk havebuilt up to some unbearable level something has to give because there isno more time to do anything different. So while, you know, you need toconfront your boss, you must do it in a way that doesn't cost your job in theprocess. That's what we're going to talk about today. How do you do that?How do you confront somebody who is very difficult to work with in a waythat doesn't cost you your job? So, I want you to go back to one of theprevious podcast, in which I talk about the hamburger method. So let's think,my favorite analogy is Mcdonald's hamburger for a second. Just thinkabout like taking off the bun on both the top and the bottom. Would you everjust eat the meat by itself now? Because the meat doesn't taste good?What tastes good is when you have the meat and you have the bun on the topand the bottom, which has both salt and sugar mixed in it. A little hint thereas to why it tastes so good. So the meat is not very good without the bun,just for like everybody else confronting without something sugary onthe top and on the bottom of that isn't going to go down too easily. Well. So anarcissist or a difficult boss is the exact same thing just delivering them.Bad news is like giving them the meat of the matter without a bun. And so youare very likely to have that meat spit right back at you if that's what you do.So instead, what we want to do is we want to create a bun of praise aroundthe first meet. Um and then what we're going to deliver is the meat itself andthen create another praise underneath it. If you think of a difficult personslash narcissist, um they really love themselves, right? And so trying topraise them first, and then following it up with some meat and then followingit up with yet another personal or...

...professional praise goes a long way. Sohow in the world do you do something like this? You might be like, I don'twant to praise them, I can't think of anything nice to say about them. Okay,so the way I usually do this when I struggle is I do it almost in like anemail form. Think of like when you're writing an email for the first time,you write just like the basic of what you want to say, and then you go backand you edit it and you add a little fluff on the top and a little fluff onthe bottom to kind of soften it before I was a therapist, I was a teacher andI used to have to send um emails home to parents to inform them that theirkid wasn't doing well. So the meat of the matter would sound very much likethis, johnny is failing my class. If he doesn't improve his grade, he's goingto get an F for the quarter, Okay. If I just sent that all by itself, how manypositive responses do you think I'm going to get from parents? Virtuallynone. So instead, what I did was start off with johnny is a delight to have inmy class every day. He comes in with a big smile on his face and he is a joyto have. However, johnny is failing my class, he hasn't turned any homeworkand if he doesn't do so he's going to get an F for the quarter. Um and then at the end I follow it upwith, I'm sure now that I've talked to you about this, that we can cometogether to work alongside johnny so that he can be successful just like Iknow he's capable of here what I've done. So like I've partnered up with aparent, I have also allowed some kind of interaction, um, praise of theirchild and I've let them know exactly what's going on with their kids. Youcan do this exact same thing with a narcissistic boss regardless of what itis, let's play this at one more time. So you have a deadline coming up that'simpossible for you to be able to meet. So you might start off with a praiselike you are so structured and organized. I know you like to havethings um done ahead of time. Um, it's...

...one of your best assets, The deadlinethat you have given us is going to be very difficult to accomplish because um,for whatever reason, you know, the equipment isn't going to be able to getin on time. I know that we can come up with a solution that makes sense foreverybody so that we can meet your expectations, which are goodexpectations and also get the project done in a timely manner. See mucheasier to swallow that pill when you have it um coated in a little bit ofsugar. Remember the old song? Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine godown. That's exactly the idea behind this. So, I want to talk to you aboutsomething that I am very passionate about and that is counseling. I reallydo believe that it is, there is nothing better than finding a good qualitytherapists to help you walk through whatever it is on your journey. And oneof the best ways to do this is through better help. They are great atassessing your needs and matching you with your own licensed professionaltherapist. And it's so important to make sure that who you're talking to isa licensed professional. It's it's a safe environment. It's online and youcan actually start seeing your therapist in 48 hours, which is trulyamazing. So this isn't a crisis line. It's not self help. It really, truly isa professional counseling that's done securely online. You'll be able to havea flexible hours and time and schedule. Um you'll have a counselor that isgonna match with you. Um you will have better help is committed to fill tofacilitating great therapeutic matches so so that you will be in great shape.Um It's affordable because it's online and the service is available worldwide.Isn't that wonderful? So you don't need to um try and find a counselor that'slocated near you in these days of covid...

...that's not always possible. And so thisis a great way, um, to be able to get the help that you need. They havelicensed professionals who specialize in depression, stress anxiety,relationships, sleeping trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBT matters griefand self esteem. So it's professional. It's affordable, convenient and ofcourse confidential. So better help has partnered with us and um, they arewilling as a listener, you can get 10% off your first month by visiting oursponsor, which is better help dot com slash U T N join over a million peoplewho have started to take charge of their mental health. Again, that'sbetter help. H E L P dot com slash u T N. So going back to the hamburger methodfor a second, like I do want to give you some parameters around that. You'reonly going to want to use this once. So in other words, don't go doing it inthe morning and then in the afternoon and then in the evening time again,because you're over using the method, but just like we have a big Mac, youcan actually double dose it. So think of a Big Mac, right? Which is bun, meatbun, meat bun, right? So it's complement meat, complement meatcompliment, Right? And the meat is you're confronting of them. Okay, Soyou can Big Mac it, but don't do any more than that because it's too big ofa mouthful to do any more than that. You are going to be so surprised justhow well that this method works. But if you do it too often they're actuallygoing to catch on and then it's going to become least effective for you,remember, no compliment is off the table. What's so great if it truly is anarcissistic boss, even your shoes look...

...awesome is fantastic for them. So itdoesn't even have to be a big deal and it can be something that you cangenuinely say about them and it can't be artificial or fake or anything likethat. Please do pick your meat carefully. So when we're talking aboutconfronting, I want you to prioritize the meat that needs to be confrontedfirst and do the most burning issues first and then follow it up with longerones like something that has a greater long term impact. So for instance, whatI mean by that is like a deadline might be something that is pressing animmediate right now, a longer term confrontation might be like choosing adifferent vendor. For instance, for long term, more positive effect. Sowhenever possible, if you can overlook some of your meat so you'reconfrontations are not as frequent, do that, but don't be irresponsible aboutnot confronting things that you need to confront. Some meat can be dealt with.However insignificant it may seem some meat must be dealt with, so you mustactually confront some things. So if the confrontation begins to take a verybad turn, don't defend yourself. Don't ever give ground to a narcissist unlessyou are willing to give that ground up permanently. I am going to say thatagain. Don't ever give up ground to a narcissist unless you are willing togive up background permanently. You have to think of it as a territorialthing instead, just repeat back part of what your boss is saying. So they getupset because you've confronted them. Maybe your compliment wasn't goodenough, maybe they were in a good space to actually hear it, whatever it is,and they bite back at you just repeat back part of what they're saying. Don'tbe obnoxious about it, so don't do it word for word, so that it's annoying,but just enough to let them know that you have heard what they've said, evenif this includes something negative...

...about you, okay? So if they come backat you and say well I have to do this deadline because you're so lazy andcan't seem to get it done on time. You repeat back something like so I getthat you adjusted the deadline because of me, I understand that I'm willing towork with you on this so that they understand that you're really trying tocome alongside whatever it is. Don't defend yourself. Don't say you're notlazy, don't do any of that because that's not going to help you at all.This action alone without your overreaction will actually take thewind out of their sails. It's an easy way of disarming somebody that's sosimple. So again, let me repeat this because I just want to make sure thatwe got this right. When you're in a position where somebody comes at you,you're narcissistic boss is coming at you full speed, right? You can't ignorethem, you can't walk away. You have to listen to what they have to say. So youlisten to what they say. You repeat back part, especially the part wherethey are upset at you for something and you find a way to actually agree withthem for even a little bit. I get it. I understand why you're changing thedeadline because I've missed deadlines in the past. Find a way to agree withthem, it takes them way back and then you can try your compliment again withthem. And and that is a way a sure fired way to just help diffuse asituation. Remember when you're doing this no matter what? The thing about anarcissist or a very difficult person is that they really don't sometimeshave any empathy for anybody else except for themselves. So you gettingupset or getting teary eyed is not helpful. Okay, so try to have noemotion in this. The quickest way for a narcissist to stop being angry is foryou to have no emotion whatsoever.

Because if they don't see thatemotional response then they tend to go from like a high like you know, nine onexplosion scale down to like a three or four when you show no emotion or whenyou show emotion, I should say they believe that you have lost and theytreat you like pray instead of treating you with compassion. So when you don'tshow emotion you're narcissistic boss or difficult boss is going to tryanother tactics such as changing the subject in order to gain the upper handand allow them to go there. Okay allow them to save face, allow them to gainthe upper hand as much as possible. So just as a quick review, don't give anyground, stand still and stay strong and your narcissistic boss is likely tosoften instead of attacking you the next time. Just remember that anarcissistic boss is super common and that even if you left your currentposition, you're likely to find another one lurking around some corner. So stopfighting with them and learn how to talk to them instead of running fromthem. Thanks for listening to understanding Today's narcissist withChristine Hammond brought to you in part by psych centraldot com. For more information, visit grow with Christine dot com.

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