How to deal with a narcissist boss

If you’re unlucky enough to work for a creepy boss who gets under your skin, chances are he’s a narcissist.

Narcissists are sick cookies. they ‘re self-loving, self-centered, and self-absorbed. Because of his inflated sense self-importance, feeling entitled, and craving for attention and constant praise, working for a narcissist boss makes you feel perplexed.

But behind this mask of ultra confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism. So when working for a narcissist boss, you need to be careful. Very careful. A narcissist will take all the credit for your work and will fly into a temper tantrum if you rub her the wrong way. This leaves you feeling picked on and that you’re treated unfairly.

How to deal with a narcissist boss? Follow these simple dos and don’ts:

Don’t try to be friends. Because they lack empathy, narcissists aren’t capable of friendship unless they want something from you.

Don’t criticize. Narcissists think they’re their right all the time.

Do focus on analyzing problems and giving solutions.

Do let your narcissist boss make decisions. Because narcissists need to control, let her think your idea is hers. For example, if you want a day off, don’t tell the narcissistic boss how tired you are. Narcissists could care less. Instead, explain how the department will benefit if you take leave on a certain date.

Do try to make your narcissist boss look good. Remember, it’s always about him. Narcissists seek praise more than normal people do. So give them what they want. Even if it’s taking responsibility for their screw-ups. From a narcissist’s viewpoint, it always has to be the fault of someone else.

Do consider your own mental health. You won’t keep it long working for a sick cookie. That’s because you’re required to subjugate yourself to the whims and tantrums of the narcissist. So think about looking for another boss.

That requires planning a job campaign. You’ll be shown how to do it in 60-second coaching vignettes in My book, Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach. Click here for more information and a link to order on

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.