Narcissists in the workplace take a multitude of roles. Here are nine of the most common types of people who you may not have realize are narcissists.
The Excessively Competitive Narcissist
This narcissist personality type finds a way to make simple everyday things in to a competition. And, most importantly to them, a competition they are likely to win.
Often, other employees will not have even noticed that they were part of the competition until the narcissist lords the fact that they won over them.
A competitive narcissist won’t let someone forget when they lost. But, conversely, will never seem to remember when they lost.
The Never-At-Fault Narcissist
The never-at-fault narcissist never seems to make a mistake. Somehow, when something goes awry there is conveniently somebody else at fault:
- The instructions weren’t clear
- … didn’t do what they were supposed to
- I was just following orders
- Isn’t that someone else’s job?
The only thing you can be sure about this type of narcissist employee is that they were never wrong. In fact, they are probably the hapless victim of someone else’s incompetence or maliciousness.
This type of narcissist is perpetually the victim, and loves the power they get from accusing others of wrong doing.
They will have been harassed, assaulted, lied about, stolen from, hit on, and talked down to — in their own mind at least — at an alarming and improbable rate.
This type of narcissist is exceptionally damaging to organizations because narcissists tend to target high performers who they feel threatened by. Be ready to let them go, but also very careful about how you handle it. For more info, see:
The Charming Narcissist without Substance
Some narcissists seem like the perfect person, until you look too close. They will talk the right way. Be extremely curious and respectful. And, seem extremely competent in everything that they do.
However, with a narcissist this is likely to be all talk. They can’t hold up the high expectations that they set for themselves, and set about sweeping their failures under the rug.
The biggest danger with the charming overconfident narcissist is they tend to find themselves in positions way over their head. Often in high stakes situations on important projects or managing key negations, where their lack of skill can sink a company that isn’t careful.
The Narcissist Employee that Takes Credit for Everything
This narcissist finds a way to put their name on everything. While many narcissists do their best to be good at what they do, their over inflated expectations for themselves leave them feeling their best isn’t good enough.
So, this leads some narcissists to find a way to claim the work of everyone else. This could be:
- Outright plagiarism
- Claiming the work of subordinates as their own
- De-emphasizing the work of other people on their team
- Finding their way in to pictures, report covers, emails, etc where they shouldn’t be
- Being “at the right place at the right time”
The S?!& Stirrer
Some narcissist just want to cause trouble. They want to turn everyone at the office against each other.
To this end, they will spread rumors about a person. Then later approach that person as their friend and claim someone else told them the rumor.
They will turn friend against friend with little lies. Make sure that certain people see key notes or emails that weren’t for them. And, stir up drama anyway they can.
The Narcissist That Must Be the Center of Attention
This narcissist cannot help but be in the center of every social interaction. They will jump the middle of conversations, only to suddenly change the subject to be about them.
When speaking to this type of narcissist, they just seem impatient whenever the conversation turns away from what they want to talk about. They are just waiting for their turn to speak. And, sometimes can’t even wait that long.
Name and Status Dropper
A name dropper narcissist is one that rides on the coattails of power, to make themselves seem more important. This narcissist will be sure that you know who they had lunch with last week. Who they know and their parent’s know.
When they want you to do something, they will go find your boss first and convince them to back up what they want. Then go find you and say, “The boss wants you to…”
They will use their title all the time. “I am the … That means you have to do what I say.”
A rule breaker narcissist doesn’t believe that some rules apply to him as to everybody else. In their mind, the rule breaker is unique and special.
Normal people wait in lines, fill out forms, follow the safety procedures, get off at a particular time. And, while a rule breaker narcissist is happy to hold everyone else to account, they will not think twice about breaking a rule if it suits them. And, they will feel no remorse for doing so.