Ignore their actions
According to Psychology Today, a narcissistic boss or colleague who engages in "gas-lighting" to diminish you and praise themselves will exhibit particular actions. He might question your memory of an incident, change the subject, trivialize your concerns, and forget or deny abusive behavior. "All these behaviors are intended to make you doubt your thoughts, memories, and actions and attempt to make you see that there's something wrong with you," says Ray Williams, President of Ray Williams Associates and author of several business books. Here are some more clues to spotting a narcissist.
Resist the urge to challenge them
Williams also recommends not challenging a narcissist—especially in front of others. If they feel you've harmed their self image, they won't take it well. "Never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him particularly in front of other people; he will punish you for doing so," adds Williams.
Realize their insecurity
Accept that change likely won't happen
If you have observed a pattern of narcissistic behavior, don't expect that the person is going to change and behave well at work. "This will save you the heartache of disappointment and then anger every time the narcissist engages in bad behavior," explains Dr. Kecmanovic. "There is a saying in psychology: 'Nothing predicts behavior better than past behavior.' So, expect them to continue behaving badly and prepare for it as much as you can." To counter narcissistic behavior, she advises standing your ground in meetings, practicing assertive responses, and organizing with the others so that you don't get bulldozed over. To keep confident, these tips will help keep you cool at work.
Set clear boundaries
Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, a New York City-based therapist says boundaries are incredibly important when interacting with narcissists. "You need to learn to say 'no' when she is being intrusive. Don't engage in arguments. It's easy to want to defend yourself when attacked but narcissists are unable to hear you. Simply say you disagree and end the conversation," she says. "Narcissists also manipulate situations and violate boundaries so trust becomes an issue. Communication and trust are two of the most important traits in a healthy relationship and with a narcissist this is nearly impossible."
Reach out for help