Florida State studies Horrible Bosses

The new movie Horrible Bosses hits theaters today, and a Florida State University professor knows a lot about the real world bosses that make this film so relevant.

Tips from Wayne Hochwarter:

Things to do if your boss is a narcissist

  • Don’t let the narcissist boss push your buttons – over time he will know how to get to you
  • Talk to others at work – are they getting the same treatment as you are? This also gets you social support at work which is extremely helpful.
  • Make sure you document and record, preferable in a format this is permanent (i.e., computer, written records), all of your accomplishments. If you close a sale and the buyer sent you a letter of appreciation for all of your hard work, make sure you keep it.
  • Also, record in detail, the inappropriate treatment you have received.
  • Be the best employee you can, don’t disengage from the situation. At some point, your hard work and diligence to completing your assignments will be rewarded.
  • Know that the manipulation and abuse you may be receiving from a narcissist boss is about him/her, not about you. Don’t take personally the manipulation or mistreatment. You aren’t the cause of this.
  • Know the rules for harassment and inappropriate conduct in your organization. Often, they are outlined in the employee handbook.
  • If you feel that your rights and ability to contribute to the company in a positive way are being violated, speak up, but with facts not emotions.
  • Monitor your health. If you feel more agitated, look into it. If you are having trouble sleeping or concentrating at work, do what you need to do to get yourself back on track. Substance abuse problems are common for those who experience prolonged supervisor stress. If the company has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), look into it as well. You need not go through this alone.
  • Kill him/her with kindness. Once they know that they can upset you, they got you.
  • Don’t try to argue with a narcissist. Those with high levels of narcissism are highly irrational and prone to violent outbursts to protect their ego.