Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode · 10 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. While other types of abuse creep into our family DNA in covert ways, keeping family secrets, intimidation, the silent treatment and cyber bullying are just a few examples of the many forms of abuse with troubling outcomes. Often victims ask why did this happen to me or what can I do while abusers will excuse their behavior, asking why do you make me do this, victims and abusers can rewrite their stories, improve their relationships and break the 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 and covert the generational links to abuse, what to do before, during and after abuse, how to confront your abuser, how to talk to a victim of rape, finding forgiveness despite the pain, how to rewrite your story and avoid future problems and much much more. Look for Christine Hammond's latest book abuse exposed now available on amazon, This is understanding today's Narcissist brought 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 a narcissistic boss that she was really struggling with and wanted to know how best to deal with it. And so before we get started, I just want to say, just because your boss is overbearing, maybe a jerk is frustrating to deal with. It doesn't mean that they're narcissistic. They may have traits of being narcissistic, but they might just really be a jerk. Um and so without a diagnosis, the good part about what...

...we're going to talk about today though, is whether they are or aren't narcissistic. These techniques work brilliantly with them. So, I want you to think about somebody who is very difficult to deal with in your life and you're frustrated with them. You don't know how to confront them properly. And we're going to talk about how to confront a narcissistic boss. So finally, when you realize what you're dealing with, it's such a relief, right? Because before it's so incredibly frustrating when you don't know that you're dealing with a difficult person, most likely in the very beginning of everything, it was great. Like everything 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 a dozen or so former employees who left rather abruptly. There's talk maybe around the water cooler, but you're doing great and you're not quite sure what'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 the greatest 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, like ultimately, and you have to stay there at least for a little while until you can figure out what your next move is. So you keep trying to flick the switch back, you do a lot of things to make yourself valuable worthwhile, but nothing's happening, It's not really budging. And so now every day begins for you with several duck and cover attempts as you try to dodge those verbal bullet assaults of your boss. Until one day, when you have absolutely no option, you decide, you have to...

...confront the issues on your desk have built up to some unbearable level something has to give because there is no more time to do anything different. So while, you know, you need to confront your boss, you must do it in a way that doesn't cost your job in the process. 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 way that doesn't cost you your job? So, I want you to go back to one of the previous podcast, in which I talk about the hamburger method. So let's think, my favorite analogy is Mcdonald's hamburger for a second. Just think about like taking off the bun on both the top and the bottom. Would you ever just 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 top and the bottom, which has both salt and sugar mixed in it. A little hint there as 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 on the top and on the bottom of that isn't going to go down too easily. Well. So a narcissist 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 you are 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 around the first meet. Um and then what we're going to deliver is the meat itself and then create another praise underneath it. If you think of a difficult person slash narcissist, um they really love themselves, right? And so trying to praise them first, and then following it up with some meat and then following it up with yet another personal or...

...professional praise goes a long way. So how in the world do you do something like this? You might be like, I don't want 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 an email 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 back and you edit it and you add a little fluff on the top and a little fluff on the bottom to kind of soften it before I was a therapist, I was a teacher and I used to have to send um emails home to parents to inform them that their kid wasn't doing well. So the meat of the matter would sound very much like this, johnny is failing my class. If he doesn't improve his grade, he's going to get an F for the quarter, Okay. If I just sent that all by itself, how many positive responses do you think I'm going to get from parents? Virtually none. So instead, what I did was start off with johnny is a delight to have in my class every day. He comes in with a big smile on his face and he is a joy to have. However, johnny is failing my class, he hasn't turned any homework and 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 up with, I'm sure now that I've talked to you about this, that we can come together to work alongside johnny so that he can be successful just like I know he's capable of here what I've done. So like I've partnered up with a parent, I have also allowed some kind of interaction, um, praise of their child and I've let them know exactly what's going on with their kids. You can do this exact same thing with a narcissistic boss regardless of what it is, let's play this at one more time. So you have a deadline coming up that's impossible for you to be able to meet. So you might start off with a praise like you are so structured and organized. I know you like to have things um done ahead of time. Um, it's...

...one of your best assets, The deadline that 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 get in on time. I know that we can come up with a solution that makes sense for everybody so that we can meet your expectations, which are good expectations and also get the project done in a timely manner. See much easier to swallow that pill when you have it um coated in a little bit of sugar. Remember the old song? Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. That's exactly the idea behind this. So, I want to talk to you about something that I am very passionate about and that is counseling. I really do believe that it is, there is nothing better than finding a good quality therapists to help you walk through whatever it is on your journey. And one of the best ways to do this is through better help. They are great at assessing your needs and matching you with your own licensed professional therapist. And it's so important to make sure that who you're talking to is a licensed professional. It's it's a safe environment. It's online and you can actually start seeing your therapist in 48 hours, which is truly amazing. So this isn't a crisis line. It's not self help. It really, truly is a professional counseling that's done securely online. You'll be able to have a flexible hours and time and schedule. Um you'll have a counselor that is gonna match with you. Um you will have better help is committed to fill to facilitating 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's located near you in these days of covid...

...that's not always possible. And so this is a great way, um, to be able to get the help that you need. They have licensed professionals who specialize in depression, stress anxiety, relationships, sleeping trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBT matters grief and self esteem. So it's professional. It's affordable, convenient and of course confidential. So better help has partnered with us and um, they are willing as a listener, you can get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor, which is better help dot com slash U T N join over a million people who have started to take charge of their mental health. Again, that's better help. H E L P dot com slash u T N. So going back to the hamburger method for a second, like I do want to give you some parameters around that. You're only going to want to use this once. So in other words, don't go doing it in the 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, you can actually double dose it. So think of a Big Mac, right? Which is bun, meat bun, meat bun, right? So it's complement meat, complement meat compliment, Right? And the meat is you're confronting of them. Okay, So you can Big Mac it, but don't do any more than that because it's too big of a mouthful to do any more than that. You are going to be so surprised just how well that this method works. But if you do it too often they're actually going 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 a narcissistic boss, even your shoes look...

...awesome is fantastic for them. So it doesn't even have to be a big deal and it can be something that you can genuinely say about them and it can't be artificial or fake or anything like that. Please do pick your meat carefully. So when we're talking about confronting, I want you to prioritize the meat that needs to be confronted first and do the most burning issues first and then follow it up with longer ones like something that has a greater long term impact. So for instance, what I mean by that is like a deadline might be something that is pressing an immediate right now, a longer term confrontation might be like choosing a different vendor. For instance, for long term, more positive effect. So whenever possible, if you can overlook some of your meat so you're confrontations are not as frequent, do that, but don't be irresponsible about not 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 must actually confront some things. So if the confrontation begins to take a very bad turn, don't defend yourself. Don't ever give ground to a narcissist unless you are willing to give that ground up permanently. I am going to say that again. Don't ever give up ground to a narcissist unless you are willing to give up background permanently. You have to think of it as a territorial thing instead, just repeat back part of what your boss is saying. So they get upset because you've confronted them. Maybe your compliment wasn't good enough, 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't be 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, even if this includes something negative...

...about you, okay? So if they come back at you and say well I have to do this deadline because you're so lazy and can't seem to get it done on time. You repeat back something like so I get that you adjusted the deadline because of me, I understand that I'm willing to work with you on this so that they understand that you're really trying to come alongside whatever it is. Don't defend yourself. Don't say you're not lazy, 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 the wind out of their sails. It's an easy way of disarming somebody that's so simple. So again, let me repeat this because I just want to make sure that we 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 ignore them, you can't walk away. You have to listen to what they have to say. So you listen to what they say. You repeat back part, especially the part where they are upset at you for something and you find a way to actually agree with them for even a little bit. I get it. I understand why you're changing the deadline because I've missed deadlines in the past. Find a way to agree with them, it takes them way back and then you can try your compliment again with them. And and that is a way a sure fired way to just help diffuse a situation. Remember when you're doing this no matter what? The thing about a narcissist or a very difficult person is that they really don't sometimes have any empathy for anybody else except for themselves. So you getting upset or getting teary eyed is not helpful. Okay, so try to have no emotion in this. The quickest way for a narcissist to stop being angry is for you to have no emotion whatsoever.

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

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