5 reasons why narcissists can be successful in the workplace – and what you can learn from them as a colleague

It’s hard to work with narcissists, but it can be even harder to see them advance their careers at work as a result of their behavior.

Yet it often happens that narcissists are successful in the workplace. Research shows that narcissists are often paid more and are more likely to be promoted to leadership positions.

These five ways narcissists manage to get ahead at work.

1. They polish their performance

You will never catch a narcissist downplaying their success. Instead, they exaggerate their achievements and exaggerate the role they play in the overall success of the company.

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While you may see right through their boastful comments, not everyone will recognize this behavior. Narcissists are charismatic and can cause many people to believe them, leaving some in awe of their boast.

2. They Take Big Risks

Whether going after the biggest deal in the company’s history or adopting a strategy that has never worked in the past, narcissists take huge risks. And, of course, some of those risks will pay off.

Even when others warn them that their tactics are unlikely to work, they stand by their position. They are so eager to get attention for their good work that they will do anything to succeed.

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3. They can act well

A narcissist will not waste his or her time mentoring a junior employee or talking to co-workers unless it will somehow advance his or her own career. At work, narcissists know who to take advantage of and who to flatter.

A 2018 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that individuals with “dark personality” — aka antisocial traits like narcissism — know how to play the political game.

Researchers found that these people consider themselves superior and feel entitled to certain privileges. The study also found that these people “try to get favors by flattering and pretending to like others” and are willing “to exploit others.”

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Narcissists naturally lack empathy. So they are not interested in supporting others or caring about how others feel. As a result, they are more likely to use colleagues to achieve their own goals without feeling bad about who they are hurting.

4. They believe in themselves

Self-doubt prevents many people from reaching their potential.Their unwavering belief in themselves goes a long way in helping them in their work.

5. They are not put off by rejection

Narcissists don’t doubt because of rejection. Instead, they will criticize the person who rejected them. They are more likely to think ‘that person doesn’t recognize talent when they see it’ than ‘I’m not the best candidate for the job’. When faced with a public rejection, they are likely to make up an excuse or publicly discredit the person who rejected them. After that, they’ll probably promise to try again, with more determination than ever before.

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Dealing with frustration

It’s frustrating to see someone with a superiority complex launch themselves. Still, there are times when you can learn from this behavior: Watching a narcissist take risks or go after their own success can also inspire you.

However, don’t get too distracted by their behavior. Stay focused on what’s in your control: your attitude and commitment when it comes to your own work.

Author: Jobly