Characteristics of a Narcissistic Boss

Over the years I’ve read articles suggesting that narcissism runs high among both academics and lawyers.  The belief is that people with above average levels of narcissism tend to be drawn to the kind of careers that fulfill their need to be the center of attention, politics being another example.   If you work in either field, it’s a safe bet you’re going to encounter the narcissistic personality type at least a few times during your career.

True narcissists are toxic.  They tend to be very controlling, manipulative and vindictive bullies who retaliate against those they feel have slighted them or who threaten their grandiose self-image. Here are a few characteristics of a narcissistic boss :


  • Talks to you a lot (about himself)
  • Puts (some of) his trust in you
  • Speaks neutral/positive about you
  • Complains about others
  • Tries to make you his ally/spy
  • Always expects you to be available
  • You get the nice tasks
  • Demands attention


  • Usually ignores you.
  • Complains about you to others.
  • Openly questions your position.
  • Looks down on you.
  • Tries to make you of any use.
  • Criticises you whenever you make mistakes.
  • Demands admiration.
  • Makes fun of you.


  • Does not give you much attention.
  • Uses manipulation for information about others.
  • Demands admiration.
  • Complains about others.


  • Is obsessed with you.
  • Criticises you all the time.
  • Ridicules you.
  • Takes credit for your achievements.
  • Uses sarcasm to mock you.
  • Disagrees with 90% of what you say.
  • Uses manipulation to control you.
  • Gives you simple or redundant tasks.
  • Sets others up against you.
  • Tries to fire you.
  • Spreads lies about you.

Reference :

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Over the years, I have worked with a number of people displaying the common trait of a narcissist. I have had the misfortune sometimes of working under their management. The classic narcissist is virtually impenetrable to constructive advice. To the extent that he will solicit advice from others it is almost always in reality an attempt to hear that others agree already with his intended plan of action. Besides the other negative behavioral traits, and tendency to manipulate people against each other ultimately for his own satisfaction, this unwillingness to listen to others really undermines their capacity for collaboration. Still, for all their negative traits, they tend to move up the corporate chain faster or to excel better as sole proprietor business owners because of their singleminded, personally driven tenacity. Since they are “number one,” they focus on the ambitions of “number one” to the exclusion of more altruistic endeavors. As difficult as it is sometimes, I try to interact with them as little as possible because for the most part I have found that they are incapable of change and over time will become only more problematic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Yes I read somewhere, if you are not valued in workplace, it’s time to move on. Don’t get stuck there.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I haven’t encountered too many such people during my journey. Fortunately, my career as an educator brought me into contact with adults who cared about others in an unselfish way. A school will not survive with a narcissistic administrator.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      I am glad the education system is not affected by it. It can be easy to lose your sense of purpose and goals when you have a leader who wants all the attention all the time, but don’t allow your own priorities to be derailed.


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