22 February 2022

Is Harry dealing with a Narcissist? More Importantly, Are You?

We all have our opinions about Harry and Meghan; though with recent events it is clear that Meghan has a huge “controlling” stake in the relationship and I can’t help but feel that Harry is not going to find his new life in Canada an easy ride.

In Meghan’s defence, none of us really know what it must be like joining the Royal Family. In spite of being set for life financially, it is apparent from revelations about Andrew, and earlier, Diana, that it is certainly no fairy story being a royal princess. It must be difficult for ‘commoners’ to slot in without a technical hitch or two; though it seems that American divorcees and royal tradition make for problem bedfellows.

Piers Morgan and others would tell you they saw it coming having experienced Meghan before her conversion to Royal status. On Good Morning Britain, Lady Colin Campbell accused Meghan of narcissism, though Paul Burrell said she’s ‘breath of fresh air’, so who is right? And when does narcissism become a disorder?

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

While all of us to some degree display traits of narcissism such as selfishness or self-centredness, only extreme symptoms are diagnosed as NPD, with around 1% of the population (male and female) affected. Recognised as a mental disorder rather than a personality defect for the first time in 1980, it is probable that someone with the disorder affects you, a partner, a family member or a work colleague. Usually stemming from trauma or emotional neglect in childhood, the condition buds fully in adulthood and those living in proximity to an NPD individual will find their life turned upside down.
“Ground Zero” for toxic home and office environment.

As a qualified hypnotherapist and business leadership and management coach for Carol Barwick Learning and Development I recognise the damage individuals with NPD do. They are the Typhoid Mary’s for creating toxic office environments, causing anxiety and depression for everyone around them.

Narcissistic behaviour causes stress at work and at home. As if the pressures of modern life are not enough, the extra burden of handling a person with the disorder, especially if that person is a work colleague, manager, boss, spouse or partner, can bring you to the point of nervous exhaustion and even breakdown. People “approved” by the narcissist to be close to them will often feel anxious, emasculated and constantly aware they are “treading on eggshells”, fearing saying or doing something that may cause the narc to abuse them or fly into a rage.

12 Symptoms of NPD

Knowing the tell-tale traits of NPD may help you avoid unwanted circumstances and relationships. Incidentally, a true narcissist will refuse to recognise they have any of the below symptoms:

• An exaggerated sense of self-importance and entitlement (Hollywood Syndrome)
• A haughty and superior attitude without the achievements warranting it
• A continuous need for admiration regarding their abilities and achievements
• Obsession about success, power, achievement, beauty and perfection
• A loathing of people who do not look beautiful or fit their idea of success
• Mockery of people they deem inferior
• Domination of conversations, appearing boastful and pretentious
• Expectation of special treatment and compliance with their demands
• Social climbing obsession, using other people to raise their status
• Lack of empathy towards the feelings or needs of others
• Envy of other people alongside a belief that other people envy them
• Demand the best of everything—bigger home, better car, best job

Simultaneously, NPD sufferers cannot handle any form of criticism and will become angry and impatient if they don’t receive positive approval. You will find a narcissist continually falling out with people—work colleagues, friends, family and neighbours. They will also work to alienate you from those aforementioned.

It is particularly difficult working with a narcissist because s/he will display extreme reactions over perceived slights and will expect people to take sides. Narcissists often react with rage and will gossip and belittle others, slandering someone’s good name. They have the ability to completely cut off a person from communication if they deem that person has disrespected them. Such tumultuous see-sawings of emotions and behaviour can require workplace mediation or lead to disciplinary action. Often, they have other problems including mood swings, depression and addictions, commonly self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

“How dare you suggest I need help!”

A narcissistic colleague will often use the tactic of “gas-lighting” to lessen your achievements and raise their own profile. S/he may question your memory of an incident, change the subject, trivialise your concerns, and forget or deny abusive behaviour. Such tactics are designed to make you doubt your thoughts, memories, and actions and attempt to make you see the issue is with you, not them.

Because NPD individuals don’t believe there is anything wrong, denying they need treatment, it is essential they are approached in a tactful way. It is important to lean on others for advice and support, talking to your manager and sitting down with an expert mediator to deal with the situation effectively, learning to say ‘no’ to the narcissist when s/he is being manipulative. Importantly, don’t engage in arguments even though the temptation to defend yourself when attacked is uppermost.

Take back control with professional help

A narcissist in the office can affect your whole team with toxic negativity. Communication and trust are two of the most important traits in a healthy working relationship and with a narcissist this is nearly impossible, therefore managing conflict in the workplace requires effective mediation and good Emotional Intelligence among leadership.
Similarly, I help many managers and bosses deal successfully with narcissistic abuse at home because stress at home affects your effectiveness in the workplace.

A powerful range of high impact hypno-coaching techniques provide you with the right tools and approach to neutralise narcissistic behaviour once and for all wherever it raises its arrogant head.

Please contact me to discuss.