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How Successful People Deal With Narcissists Wisely

How Successful People Deal With Narcissists Wisely

Dealing with narcissistic people is incredibly frustrating.

It is not just that their toxic personality drives you nuts. Part of it is that too many people seem to be completely unaware of the effect that their words and actions have on other people. But the people who know exactly what they are doing can make your blood boil just the same.

Whether they know what they’re doing or not, these personalities can add stress and complexity to almost every situation.

Unfortunately, dealing with narcissists is a part of everyday life. It is almost impossible to escape them and if you want to keep your job, you have to play it cool.

Dealing with narcissists wisely does not involve forcing them to see the error of their ways. To be honest, that difficulty level is usually way above your pay grade. But how you manage them can impact your situation immensely.

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Here are some things that successful people do to deal with narcissists wisely.

They Remain Aware of Their Feelings

When you’re dealing with narcissistic people, you need to maintain a certain emotional distance to help keep you from escalating the situation. This tip comes from dating expert Vin DiCarlo.

To do with this, you need to think about why something makes you so irritated and work on that on your end. Not knowing why someone makes you as angry as they do can actually make your anger worse.

One of the best things that you can do when you are dealing with narcissists is to acknowledge that they make you angry rather than trying to stop it. If you can admit to yourself that you feel angry, you have a much better chance of controlling it.

They Focus on the Solution… Not the Problem

One of the best things you can do for yourself, for them and for your team is to focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Focusing on the problem will only drag you down and make you angry.

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Instead, you need to become a master of adjustment. If you can learn to pivot quickly, you will improve your problem solving skills. This will help you skate past the problems that arise when dealing with these types of behaviors.

They Forgive But Don’t Forget

You need to let go of how much the other person’s behavior annoys you.

Whether they are just a jerk or the behavior comes from somewhere deeper, it does not need to become your personal problem. That is exactly what it will become if you do not exhale and let go of all your negative feelings about their behavior.

Forgiving is essential but you should not forget

If the person makes no effort to correct their negative behavior and there is no other pressure forced on them, you need to be prepared to deal with it occurring again in the future.

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The more prepared you are, the less emotional you will get when it happens again. When you do not get emotional every time you have to deal with this negative behavior, you can deal with it more objectively.

They Recognize That the Behavior Comes From Different Places

Narcissistic behavior comes from many different places. It is not as black and white as someone just being a jerk. Sometimes narcissistic behavior comes from a feeling of inadequacy.

When some people feel like they don’t measure up, they can overcompensate with negative behaviors.

Other negative behaviors are just a part of a person’s personality. In some cases, narcissism is a part of a bigger problem.

It is not your role to play their therapist. But you should appreciate that there may be extenuating circumstances that you are not aware of that is at the heart of this kind of behavior.

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They Lean on Their Own Support System

Anytime you are dealing with negativity in your life, you should not feel afraid to rely on your own support system. Sometimes just venting can help you feel better in the short term. Other times, it can give you a whole new perspective that may help you deal with your situation better.

When you are able to talk to people who are not involved in the situation, it is easier to maintain a balanced perspective. This is because a good support system will tell you when to let it go and when to work harder to resolve the situation.

Dealing with narcissists is hard. But if you can relate to them without letting them drag you down with them, it can be a lot easier.

As John C. Maxwell once said, “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”

When you are dealing with a difficult situation created by a person with a negative personality, remember to take a deep breath and have some patience for both that pain-in-the-neck and for yourself.

Featured photo credit: Ninian Reid via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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