Michelle Is Interviewed by David Neal of The Eighth Mile Consulting Co.

The Narcissist Boss


"Narcissistic bosses beget narcissistic workplaces full of toxic coworkers." 
~ Dr. Ramani Durvasula


This video showed up in my LinkedIn newsfeed and it was so spot-on, I had to share it. 

For everyone, regardless of the kind of boss/leader you have. 

Because if you currently have or have had a narcissistic boss, you will see very quickly that no, you weren't imagining "the crazy".  "The crazy" you observed in silent horror, or were dealt head-on is/was real.  It's legit.  It isn't or wasn't you, it is/was ALL them.

And, if you are blessed to NOT have a legit crazy, narcissistic boss, then you need to watch this video to get a glimpse into the world of people who do so you can

1.) come from a place of empathy & understanding, and, 

2.) be grateful you've been spared.

My key takeaways from Dr. Ramani Durvasula:

  1. A narcissistic boss is on a quest for power (why they often achieve leadership roles) and they are more than willing to break the rules to become and remain the boss/leader. ☑️
  2. A narcissistic boss will be known to scream at and berate their staff (preferably in front of others to cause more shame and humiliation). ☑️
  3. A narcissistic boss will make unreasonable demands and underpay their staff. ☑️
  4. A narcissistic boss will "Love Bomb" certain employees and, once that employee no longer serves their needs, will be ignored, dismissed and even discarded (aka fired/wrongfully terminated). ☑️
  5. A narcissistic boss will overpay certain employees to buy loyalty and will pay/bribe to keep their inner core circle (more on that in #12) to do their bidding. ☑️
  6. A narcissistic boss excels at creating and loves chaos and will use exclusion, backstabbing, lying, gossip and negative competition to create their "Narcissistic Work Family" complete with scapegoats, the golden child and triangulation - all of which gives them even more perverse power over their sick "family". ☑️
  7. "Narcissistic bosses often have such bad judgment that often they're the ones who bring down the whole ship, and then you're part of something really awful...as it starts to collapse in on itself." Dr.  Ramani Durvasula (at 3:13) ☑️
  8. A narcissist-run toxic workplace is a deeply invalidating place to work.  Your narc boss is not going to be your champion, and neither will your toxic co-workers. ☑️
  9. A narcissist-run toxic workplace requires you to always operate from a place of distrust, wariness & suspicion and because of that, you need to document everything - emails, meetings, phone calls, conference calls, ideas, suggestions - put it all in writing.  It is your only defense to protect yourself from everything from your ideas and credit for them getting stolen to when you either quit or get fired and pursue litigation. ☑️
  10. A narcissistic boss will tell you NOT to put things in writing, ever.  They know documentation is their ultimate nemesis.  Print everything and keep the folder in the safety of your home, not at work. ☑️
  11. A narcissistic boss is the person you NEVER want to find yourself alone with.  Always insist on another person being in the room, in the elevator, on the call.  There is safety in numbers...and witnesses. ☑️
  12. A narcissistic boss will always have their minions, their "Flying Monkeys" who will do their bidding, begging for the scraps of possible promotions and hopeful job security, to the point they will even take the fall for the narc boss.  They will outlast you and they will throw you under the bus. ☑️

The amount of mental preparation needed to face a narcissistic boss and toxic workplace on a daily basis is exhausting and takes a heavy toll on your health on every level.  Adding a secret job search to try to escape the toxic culture adds even more stress and fear, especially if you aren't in a position to be out of work should your employer find out and terminate you.  This is also a reason so many just stay at the job and learn to play the dysfunctional game created by the narcissist boss as their health declines bit by bit, day by day. 

As painful as my wrongful termination was and as much as I miss the residents I took care of in my role, I do not miss working for, with and in, the above described boss, co-workers and environment.  To every cloud there is a silver lining...mine is in a great big folder full of my documentation of it all.  And for THAT I am grateful.  


Mark Wearne

This is an amazing interview. It speaks so much to my experiences at my last employer which was a family run organisation (two family members at the top) but the 2IC was/is a subtle but powerful narcissist.

She berated me in front of other colleagues over not 'checking in' with her before leaving one day. I didn't see that it was a problem but was seen by her as a breach of her power over me and others. Also in the dramatic way she retold the breach really was a demonstration of her perceived power. What makes it worse is that no one, let alone myself could tell the boss as she would have made an excuse or downplayed it as she had done over many small issues raised before, therefore protecting the person and would have only made it worse for myself.

This is only a small sample of the toxic environment I was lured into, but I am so much more happier and healthier for no longer working there. Also I have become so much more aware of the various forms this narcissism can take.

Thank you for creating awareness of this common problem in workplaces that more often than not goes unnoticed or unreported and worse still no action taken by management to stop it.

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