As most of us know, the hardest thing about work is rarely the job itself but rather surviving the people you have to work for, or with and their idiosyncrasies for months and years at a time. And among the troublemakers, narcissists are the hardest to deal with.
Below is the list of books that will help you deal with narcissists at the workplace.
Toxic Coworkers: How to Deal with Dysfunctional People on the Job
Author: Alan A. Cavaiola
Average Goodreads ratings:3.60/5
This book does a good job of identifying and describing toxic coworkers and the personality disorders behind them. It outlines certain problematic personality types in simple and understandable ways that other books leave out or struggle with (narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder and schizoid personality disorder).
A lot of these characters are recognizable mostly in hindsight, as it can take time for patterns to emerge and to put the pieces together. As far as dealing with these personalities in the workplace, it recommends a variety of practical strategies to get the best out of each person. Their advice is organized by both, which disorder you are dealing with as well as the reader's relationship with the personality-disordered individual (i.e. Boss/Administrator, Coworker, or Subordinate.) The best advice however and the main takeaway from this book is that understanding what you’re dealing with is half the battle. It’s hard to be surprised or get sucked in when you know what to expect.
Coping with mean infuriating critical people
Author: Nina W. Brown
Average Goodreads rating:3.63/5
In Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People, Nina Brown explains why many people who don't exhibit all of the characteristics required for a formal, full-blown narcissist diagnosis still exhibit a destructive narcissistic pattern (DNP) that causes much of the same anguish for those with whom the individual interacts. Thankfully, she also includes plenty of practical techniques for dealing with a destructive narcissistic coworker, supervisor or boss, parent, or intimate partner.
One of the most remarkable features of the book is how the author puts emphasis on the reader's need to focus inward as a necessary component of dealing with the DNP of others. Because the destructive narcissist is unlikely to change his or her conduct, we must examine our own behavior, as well as the responses elicited in us by the behavior of a person displaying DNP. Our own behaviors, responses, and feelings are considerably more malleable than others. As the author writes, "it becomes empowering to realize that there are actions you can take that will help to reduce or eliminate negative effects [of the DNP] on you".
While reading this book, it is apparent that the author, Nina Brown is the foremost authority on DNP. As a result, if you have to regularly interact at work with someone who you believe may have DNP this is without a doubt the book you should read for guidance. However, reading only this book in this list may not be enough to deal with a workplace narcissist.
Narcissism at Work: Personality Disorders of Corporate Leaders
Author: Marie-Line Germain
This book examines the negative consequences of personality disorders in corporate executives, and its effects on staff productivity, motivation, well-being, and ultimately employee retention. While assisting employees in recognizing and comprehending the overt and covert characteristics of malignant narcissism, Narcissism at Work also provides solutions and coping strategies that are critical for employees, industrial psychologists, human resource professionals, and organizational leaders in order to improve business functions and employee well-being.
The Psychopath Code: Cracking the Predators that Stalk Us
Author: Pieter Hintjens
Average Goodreads score: 3.62/5
Don't look for serial killers... one in every 25 persons in your vicinity is a psychopath concealing and leading a double life. Psychopaths use their charm and intelligence to get what they desire. They only experience predatory emotions ─ anger, jealousy, frustration and hate. Pieter Hintjens decodes the mystery of the psychopath in this book. Why are there individuals like this? What are their modes of operation? and most importantly, can we learn to avoid or escape them? You will be enlightened by the answers. This book provides practical skills and strategies for dealing with psychopaths, narcissists, and borderlines.
The author really shines when he stresses the importance of collecting evidence against an abuser, and he shows you how to do it. Collecting undeniable evidence against a workplace narcissist is the most important step in retaining your sanity and fighting against the injustice.
21 Dirty Tricks at Work
Author: Mike Phipps, Colin Gautrey
Average Goodreads ratings: 3.32/5
The finest book about workplace politics ever published is, 21 Dirty Tricks at Work. The majority of books on office politics attempt to make everything all nice-nice. They explain that workplace politics are inevitable, and that if you approach them with the appropriate mindset, your ability to collaborate with others will increase and you will gain success. That's good to know except that it's a load of horse manure.
Instead of the HR-approved nonsense you'll discover elsewhere, this book discusses in detail the type of low-down nasty crap that narcissistic supervisors and coworkers can and will do to make sure you get stuck with all the work and none of the credit. This is real-world workplace politics, and it's not pretty. 21 Dirty Tricks at Work gives you all you need to know about spotting negative behavior and self-serving strategies at work. It teaches you how to recognize the games that are often played at work and how to emerge with your credibility and sanity intact.
Working with the Self-Absorbed
Author: Nina W. Brown
Average goodreads rating:3.85/5
In the workplace, narcissists take credit for others' work, exaggerate their own accomplishments, and demand an endless supply of favors from their coworkers. This book gives practical tools for handling the narcissist's destructive behaviors while also ensuring that your own work gets the appreciation it deserves. Whether the narcissist in your life is your boss, a coworker or someone you supervise, this book can help. Realistic strategies for changing expectations, not taking things personally, responding constructively and deciding when it's best to ignore despicable behavior are suggested.
Nina Brown is an expert on narcissism and has written over ten books about this topic.
Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
Author: Sandy Hotchkiss
Average Goodreads rating: 3.90/5
The book is structured like a battle manual, with limited theoretical foundation, substantial strategy discussions, some case examples, and closing suggestions for victory.
The author, Sandy Hotchkiss explains how to deal with domineering, egocentric people who lack the essential give-and-take that is necessary for successful relationships. Hotchkiss outlines the "Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism" ─ Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, and Bad Boundaries─ and its roots, as well as how individuals come to have this disorder, why you become sucked into their deadly circle, and what you need to do to break free.
You'll learn to recognize pathological narcissists quickly and the roles that parents, and society play in their development.
Why is it always about you? gives a wealth of practical information to anybody dealing with a narcissist in everyday life. whether the narcissist is a coworker, spouse, parent, or child, this book can help.
Beating the workplace Bully
Author: Lynne Curry
Average goodreads rating: 4.1/5
Beating the workplace bully is a valuable resource for people who have the misfortune of suffering from a bullying boss’s manipulative and malicious behavior.
The author is well-qualified and experienced to assist victims of a workplace bully. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and holds a Ph.D. in social psychology. She also admits to having been the victim of a bullying relationship in the past.
She identifies three kinds of bullying behavior in the workplace:
• Verbal bullying (offensive remarks, ridicule, slander, name calling).
• Physical bullying (kicking, threat of assault, pushing, obscene gestures).
• Situational bullying (sabotage, acts of humiliation or interference).
She describes the behavior, vulnerabilities and characteristics of seven workplace bully types: the Scorched Earth Fighter, the Angry Aggressive Jerk, the Silent Grenade, the Narcissistic Manipulator, the Shape-Shifter, the Wounded Rhino and the Character Assassin.
Most people who have worked in an office of any size will be familiar with at least some of these types. If you identify all of them, you have my sympathy. According to Lynne, people bully for a variety of reasons: because they were bullied as children, as a means of coping with feelings of worthlessness, as a tactic for advancement and job security, and more. Bullies, she claims, seldom quit bullying; instead, they seek out new victims.
The book mixes interesting anecdotes of real-life events with psychological research on the behavior of both victims and bullies particularly as observed in the workplace, followed by step-by-step instruction on how to avoid, limit, or overcome bullying behavior.
She also discusses the relatively new but increasingly troublesome cyberbullying and concludes with a short review of the law as it relates to bullying.
When I first picked up the book, I believed it was exclusively for current victims of workplace bullying. But now that I've finished it, I see a bigger picture. Everyone with a job or who is looking for one should read it. It will help readers recognize bullying for what it is and provide them with the tools they need to deal with it, whether they are the victims or merely on the sidelines of a bullying incident.
Surrounded by psychopaths
Author: Thomas Erikson
Average goodreads score: 3.46/5
Surrounded by Psychopaths teaches readers how to deal with psychopaths in their life by being aware of their own behavior and weaknesses, using the same easy four-color method of behavior classification (DISC) that made Surrounded by Idiots so successful. Detailed examples show how psychopaths exploit various sorts of behavior, allowing readers to see their own flaws and take proactive steps to defend themselves. Erikson discusses some of the most frequent manipulative techniques employed by psychopaths and others to control people around them. The book also provides practical strategies and approaches that that you can adopt to protect yourself.
The information in this book is not only affective against psychopaths but it’s equally effective against any relationship characterized by insidious manipulations and deception.
Surrounded by Psychopaths will educate you how to defend yourself against manipulative influence in your career, social life, and family by understanding your conduct as well as the habits and strategies of abusers.
Don’t let low average score on goodreads prevent you from reading this book. We are surrounded by manipulative toxic people and this book is an excellent guide.
Comebacks at Work: Using Conversation to Master Confrontation
Author: Kathleen Kelley Reardon,
Average Goodreads ratings:3.90/5
I'm finding that this book works well outside the work world as well. I have to say that this is excellent for people who don't have a quick response to people who verbally attack. The author does a good job of giving examples of verbal attacks - how to respond to them, and she also gives pointers on what to look for - like repetitivenes (are these attacks common?), body language and so forth. She also lets the reader know that sometimes its okay to not respond - like is it really worth it to get into a confrontation? And of course most importantly when you should put your foot down.