Narcissists use guile, artifice, and pseudo-intimacy in order to convince someone they deserve preferential treatment, and that's just a warm-up. They tend to be some of the biggest egomaniacs on Earth and can be extremely cruel to other people.
You've probably known a few, and you might have even dated one. You know, that kind of man or woman who thinks the only possible reason someone could ever dislike them is because they're jealous and insecure. If you try to end the relationship they say it's because you're threatened by their good looks, but it's more likely to be their extreme level of arrogance that turns you off in the end.
But it's not just the dating world that we have to worry about, narcissists are everywhere, including the workplace.
Narcissists regularly rise to the top of workplace hierarchies because of their unique ability to secure approval and admiration. They require this in order to survive, the same way the way the rest of us need oxygen and water. Even worse is that they often ascend to the upper echelons of organizations without revealing their true colors until they've gotten enough power that they no longer need to put on a facade.
To avoid being played by a narcissist consider these 8 simple ways to shut them down.
Look them in the eyes
When a narcissist's ego gets out of control, look them directly in the eyes. Respond with a slow nod and then slowly shake your head from side to side. This direct gaze tells them that you see them for who they really are that subtly yet directly speaks to the insecurities they're trying to compensate for.
Stick up for yourself and don't be afraid to say no
Narcissists enjoy using your fear in any and ever way against you. They'll figure out what you're afraid of, and make you face that fear. Whatever you do, don't allow them to have this control. Stand up for yourself and don't be afraid to say no, showing them you're not afraid of them in the least.
Present constructive feedback rather than criticism
Narcissists can't take criticism, no matter how accurate it may be. If you criticize them, you'll run the risk of becoming a target of their rage. Instead of accusing, tell them you just don't understand his or her point of view. It won't jibe with yours, but if you repeat the request often enough, and in a calm manner, you might eventually elicit at least an awareness.
Dealing with letdowns
Narcissists make lots of broken promises to people. They promise to do amazing things, but they rarely deliver. They keep on doing this, hanging on to keep others believing they will come through, but that's almost never the case. Unless it specifically benefits them, it's just not going to happen.
The next time a narcissist tries to promise something to you, respond by saying you'll only believe it when you actually see it.
Use the narcissist's name as often as you can
When you address a person by name, you take control of the situation, commanding their attention. For example, you might say, "Mike, you're not serious, right?" adding, "Mike, do you really believe what you just said?"
Don't let them change the topic
Whenever things get uncomfortable, a narcissist will try to change the subject, hoping that you'll just forget about the issue at hand. Tell them that until the problem is dealt with, you don't want to talk about anything else, that it needs to be resolved now, not put off for later.
Don't ignore them
If you work with or for a narcissist, you'll need to be responsive as soon as they demand attention - if you find it impossible, you may want to find a new job. By reacting with simple responses like "Sounds good to me," you can limit your involvement by chilling their childish needs.
Try to have some compassion, while being direct and assertive
Try to have some compassion by imagine how you might feel if you suffered from a chronic need to hear that the whole world think's you're incredibly awesome, and that if your self-deceptions aren't validated, you'll crumble like a house of cards. Just being aware of that can help you to not take their actions so personally.
At the same time, be direct and assertive, to counter their fear and insecurities. A gentle but firm rebuke is actually a caring gesture.