Is there one of these in your life? Narcissism: the new epidemic

by | Counseling | 1 comment


Narcissists want power, are egotistical and abusive, lovable, extraverted, but, they don’t make good leaders.

“…One of the best places to spot narcissism is at the top of a company or a public organization. The narcissism can be detected by being sensitive to resistance from the top. The top, or the person or persons at the top, will resist efforts toward change in process or structure. The resistance is communicated through a variety of techniques: always needing more information, appearing confused or having a lack of clarity; excuses; premeditated “blowups” or other distractions from whatever the issues being considered. A common example is as follows: a position needs to be filled in order for an important project to move forward. The boss, preferring control over progress and efficiency, delays and delays the hiring of the new executive, consistently finding something wrong with either the candidates or the search firm….” —The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainabilityby Bruce Gregory, Ph.D.

“…many people have the fantasy that if they try hard, “do it right,” be reasonable, logical, and have goodwill and a team approach, these factors will generate a positive outcome in interpersonal or group settings. This is about as deep a fantasy as one could possibly have, as it is not based in reality. Why is this? It is not based in reality because a narcissist survival is dependent on having control, or the perception of control. When a narcissist’s control is challenged (and this is what efforts toward sustainability do by definition), he becomes threatened, and responds like his survival is at stake, transforming the environment into a veritable jungle. This is not the friendly environment of Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood! In addition narcissism is disdainful of such attitudes (fantasies). A third factor which reinforces the stranglehold narcissism can have is when people are committed to being “nice” or fair, and as a result are unwilling or unprepared to hold the narcissist accountable for positions or behaviors. Finally, an unwillingness to “go for the throat,” as champions do in sporting events, only allows narcissism to recycle and feed off its commitment to domination….” —The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainability by Bruce Gregory, Ph.D.

“…When narcissism perceives that it could lose control of a situation or process, it often feels threatened. The grandiosity’s sense of omnipotence is being threatened. When this happens, narcissism’s response can be one of character assassination of those who are threatening its objectives. The presence of character assassination is another way of detecting the presence of narcissism….” —The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainabilityby Bruce Gregory, Ph.D.

“…Narcissistic forces are also critical; they can be harsh in their judgments of anything short of perfection. They can be bullying and abusive in their verbal criticism, daring others to challenge their destructive communication tactics. Their underlying message contains some or all of the following: “I can intimidate you anytime I want. You are afraid to stand up to me, to challenge me. You are weak and spineless. Sometimes I will say something that I know is completely untrue or bullshit just to prove that you won’t challenge me.” Intimidation is used like a large boulder on a mountain road, saying “deal with me, or go down the mountain, and forget going ahead. I am the roadblock through which you must go….” —The Impact of Narcissism on Leadership and Sustainability by Bruce Gregory, Ph.D.

“…Over-exposure tends to desensitize and neutralize people’s perception. A narcissist will want you, and others in your sphere, to believe that what they’re up to “isn’t that bad,” that you’re overreacting, or even that you’re making things up. They will use every attempt to influence for a “win,” and they will actively recruit others (including those in law enforcement and the judiciary, if need be) who can be manipulated into promoting their interests. Because of this, you must be prepared to take on a narcissist alone….” —Narcissism Clearinghouse

“…So while narcissists do see the big picture and have a strong vision, they are not good at working with others and eventually they become detrimental to the organization….in terms of day to day leadership, they can be toxic with subordinates. That becomes especially apparent after their employees get to know the way the narcissistic leader operates. The favorable first impressions they make are not sustainable over a period of time….organizations can try to contain and control a narcissist… However, for hiring mangers it’s a case of buyer beware because….no small amount of research suggests narcissism is a pretty toxic trait.” —The toxic effect of a narcissistic leader

“…In the article Narcissist: Good Leader, Bad Teammate? by Adi Gaskell, he writes: Narcissists typically have many of the qualities we associate with those of a strong leader. They have high self-esteem, confidence, and display authority. Research reveals that narcissists automatically take over the helm of a rudderless group of individuals. Research from Cornell University, for instance, reveals that more than one narcissist in a group damages performance of that group, as the two stags battle it out for top status. If they performed on their own, however, research showed that they were perceived to perform better by onlookers, due no doubt to their confidence and self belief. However, when their output was measured objectively, without knowing who had produced it, it was found to be of lesser quality than less narcissistic people in the team. Further research supports these findings…” Distorted Face of Narcissistic Leadership – Quintessential Pro, Desperate Con: Jekyll-Hyde Behavior of Narcissism

“…A study published recently in Psychological Science looked at information flow within a team and the effect of this on decision-making. Interestingly, similar gaps between perception and reality exist in regard to communication effectiveness as was observed in the previous study. In the second study, just as in the first, onlookers believed that more information was shared by the narcissistic leader. Those in the group actually thought that the charismatic leaders were doing a great job. The reality, however, was that they were not. Information sharing was less than in groups led by non-narcissistic leaders, with end result being poor decisions generated by the narcissist led group. So the message seems to be that narcissistic leaders are great at pulling the wool over our eyes, but not so great at delivering the results their bravado suggests…” Distorted Face of Narcissistic Leadership – Quintessential Pro, Desperate Con: Jekyll-Hyde Behavior of Narcissism

“…An analysis by Florida State University concluded, unsurprisingly, that workplaces with narcissistic people have lower levels of job satisfaction and productivity, and greater amounts of stress….” Distorted Face of Narcissistic Leadership – Quintessential Pro, Desperate Con: Jekyll-Hyde Behavior of Narcissism


1 Comment

  1. Hélène

    E. Bowens hit it head on The NPD *needs* his supply and if you fulfill that he is almost grateful to you. His empty insides torment him. Now this does not elicit pity from me as he chooses to continue being this emotinal vampire but allows us to see we are a tool to him, a supply of Life force for him to empty and then toss when hes found his source. He always is looking for the next supply as he turns you into a withered shell.
    Get out, Get away, Stay away and Never look back.


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