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.
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.
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.
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.
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