The Narcissist next door: Things they do that are red flags.

How To Cope During Quarantine

—What to do if you’re being screwed over by a narcissist

When my boss, called while I was at a conference and asked if I would run an errand for him. I was shocked. An errand? Yeah, right, no! Who does he think I am? If he wanted somebody to pick up his dry cleaning, he should get his secretary to do it.

You see my boss is a Narcissist. The kind that had no conscience—no emotional attachment to others—he manipulates everyone in the office—and is possibly the worse human being to work for. As I was getting ready to come up with a story about going to the hospital to visit my ailing grandmother to get out of the situation, (FYI she passed away when I was twelve) is when I’m reminded of last week’s disaster. I was managing a big account, when the bank decided to go with one of our competitors, David did not take the news well. He humiliated me at a staff meeting flinging words like “incompetent,” and “disgrace,” to my face. I just glared at him, my embarrassment deepening at the look everyone in the office gave me. Was this man really this sadistic? f*** this!

I was silent for a long time, afraid that if I said no, it might cost me my job. “Ok. I’m on it.”

The second I hung up, I called my friends on three-way and told them everything. They confirmed that David was a narcissistic piece of work and that I should either quit or shut up and put up. Then told me to read up on narcissism because the entire human race seemed to be preoccupied with the self. When I got home, I pulled out my laptop and googled narcissism. Here’s what Sigmund Freud had to say,

“…But narcissism becomes a problem when the individual becomes preoccupied with self, needing excessive admiration and approval from others while disregarding other people’s feelings.”

-Sigmund Freud

Apparently, narcissism is the desire and energy that drives one instincts to survive. According to Freud, narcissism can also be applied to real achievement, which is the ability to overcome setbacks and derive support needed from social ties. The article says, that narcissism becomes a problem when the individual is preoccupied with self, needing excessive admiration and approval from others, while disregarding other people’s feelings. And that as soon as you do something to disappoint them, they can turn on you. (I can’t help but think that narcissists are the most charming creatures you will ever meet because most of us are irrationally influenced by appearance, and status.)

The only way to play with a toxic person is not to play at all.

But what happens if you work for a narcissist or find yourself dating one? What do you do then? Wanting to know more, I set up an account on Reddit, where users can post anonymously in forums on a range of topics, and asked my question. Here is what five people had to say about their experience with a narcissist, from hookups to truly bad boss stories.

  1. “This guy that I know from college approached me at my gym and asked if I would have sex with him and acted so entitled and dismissive when I told him I wasn’t into him. So each time we ran into each other he would ignore me. He told all my friends I was a bitch.” –Courtney*, 23
  2. “I had been dating this guy for three months—even talking on the phone for a few hours a day. But every time we went on a date it was always about what he wanted to do. If we went to the movies he had to choose what we were watching. Going out to dinner was always a hassle; he would never let me pick the location. So I told him that he would have to learn to compromise. He ended up blowing me off. It’s a shame because I really liked him.” –Cassie*, 30
  3. “I was talking to this guy for about three months on Snapchat. We started hooking up on and off. And it looked like he was into me so, I hit him up via Snapchat for his number. He ghosted me right after.” –Alexandrea*, 25
  4. “My last boss was a pathologically narcissistic manager who was insensitive and conceited at best, and exploitative or abusive at worst. I only lasted there for six months.” —Leslie*, 27
  5. “My manger was a jerk. She never gave me any credit and stole all my ideas. Everyone in the office hated her, even her boss. Fortunately I didn’t have to quit, she resigned.” —Ralph*, 32

Overall the comments were fascinating and it was clear to see that most people encounter a narc sooner or later. Not only was my boss a narc but lots and lots of guys that I dated in the past. They were all moody and emotionally dysfunctional for whatever reason that threatened their inflated sense of importance. I felt like I was to blame for falling for their initial charm and treating every red flag like a stupid game. And what makes it worst is that I’m working for a narcissistic pompous boss who treats me like his secretary and uses me for his selfish agenda.
Two weeks later, I gave in my resignation. Goodbye!

So ladies my advice, quit while you’re ahead. Fighting fire with fire will only make the flame bigger. You don’t have to stay in a place that you feel is not a good fit. Leaving anything that gives you some form of security can be scary but it doesn’t have to be, and the only way to know for sure that a more satisfying job is in your future is to be the one driving the change. So don’t be afraid to start over and don’t sweat the occasional setbacks; it’s all a part of this thing we call life. Yet, I realize that no matter how far we run, there’ll always be a narc lurking around the corner. So I guess it’s up to you to determine if it’s worth staying and learning new strategies to help the situation, or getting the hell out of dodge!

Let me know your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “The Narcissist next door: Things they do that are red flags.

  1. Hmm… judging by what you’ve researched according to Freud, narcissism is an innate characteristic most humans have. It can even be a part of the survival mechanism humans have in general however over excess of this trait leads to problems. In general, too much of ah of anything isn’t a good thing should apply. Like most things in life. What is interesting is you say not only have you date many “narcs” but you are currently working for a narc. My question is what about narcissistic men “attracts” you to them repeatedly? The simple fact you work for one couple possibly be some sort of character manifestation within self you’re failing to acknowledge or even realize. Just a thought.


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