Help! My Co-Worker is a Total Narcissist


In the workplace, chances are you’ll encounter various personality types; one such personality type that can inevitably cause difficulties is the narcissist. A narcissist exhibits an excessive interest in themselves and their own needs, often displaying arrogance, entitlement, and a constant need for admiration. Working with a narcissistic co-worker can be challenging and sometimes even toxic to the work environment. In this article, we will discuss tips on how to identify a narcissist and handle working alongside them.

Identifying a Narcissistic Co-worker:

Narcissistic individuals often exhibit certain traits that set them apart from others. Here are some common characteristics to watch out for:

1. Grandiosity – A strong sense of superiority or self-importance.

2. Arrogance – Dismissive or rude behavior towards others.

3. Attention-seeking – Constantly requires attention and admiration from others.

4. Lack of empathy – Unconcerned about other people’s feelings or needs.

5. Manipulation – Using charm and flattery to get what they want.

Dealing with a Narcissistic Co-worker:

If you’ve identified that you’re working with a narcissistic co-worker, consider the following tips to reduce potential conflicts and maintain your own mental wellbeing:

1. Set Boundaries: Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial when dealing with a narcissistic co-worker. Communicate your limits clearly and assertively to prevent your co-worker from taking advantage of you.

2. Avoid Personalization: Understand that the narcissist’s actions are not directed specifically at you. Keeping this perspective will help protect your self-esteem and prevent the relationship from becoming emotionally draining.

3. Be Mindful of Your Emotions: It’s essential to manage your emotions during interactions with a narcissistic co-worker. Try not to respond emotionally or take their provocations personally.

4. Focus on Self-Care: Prioritize your mental and emotional well-being by practicing self-care. This may include exercise, therapy, or engaging in activities that relieve stress.

5. Document Interactions: Keep detailed records of your interactions with the narcissistic co-worker, especially if their behavior is causing issues in the workplace or affecting your job performance. This documentation can be useful if you need to report incidents to management or HR.

6. Utilize Support Networks: Share your experiences with trusted friends, family members, or a professional therapist who can provide additional coping strategies and support.


Handling a narcissistic co-worker can be an exhausting and challenging task. However, by identifying these individuals’ traits, establishing boundaries, and focusing on self-care, it is possible to maintain a healthy work environment. It’s essential not to take their behavior personally and seek support from others whenever needed. Stay proactive in addressing any issues that may arise while working with a narcissistic co-worker to ensure a positive and productive workplace experience for everyone involved.

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