The role of psychopath has drawn some of the biggest names in the movie business: Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas and Anthony Hopkins are a few. According to certain analysts, the same could be said of CEOs.
Retaliating by trying to put them down, or call them out in front of other people, or challenge their egotistical behaviour, is doomed to failure. However justified you might think you are – and you
might be right – a narcissist won’t stand for it. Belittling is what they fear most and they’ll get you back for it. And they’ll win, because it matters to them more than it does to you. Mind you, a true narcissist – someone who could be clinically diagnosed as such – is far more scary. Even psychiatrists struggle to do more than scratch the surface of their behaviour. Their focus on themselves is so strong that, where necessary (to them), they will blur the line between fact and fiction to preserve their perception of themselves as being supremely successful, powerful, unique and entitled. They see themselves as being superior to the rest of us and therefore deserving of special treatment, rule bending and adulation. If you are close to one of these people and are struggling to cope, don’t imagine you can change them because you can’t. Just protect yourself and hold on to your own dignity and self-worth. If you are unable to live with them, your only option is to put as much space between you as necessary for you to be able to cope. Good luck. They aren’t interested in what they can do for you, only in what you can do for them. The Rules of People by Richard Templar, is out now, published by Pearson, priced £10.99.
The trouble with working alongside such a medley of unique characters is finding ways to manage them effectively. From a managerial perspective, employing such dissimilar individuals has its pros and cons, and the secret to success is to find the strengths and weaknesses within each member of the team.
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