Narcissists gravitate toward certain professions — typically the ones in which they are given a lot of power and admiration for being the good, strong and knowledgeable ones who have power over people…
The following is a list of the kinds of professions and positions the narcissist prefers:
Doctor or Nurse
Child Protection Worker
Volunteer positions in which they play “Selfless Saint, the Hero Rescuer”
While of course, many people in these positions are not narcissistic, many narcissistic people are in these positions. These roles offer plenty of power over others, and lots of narcissistic supply for pretending to be a leader, an authority, or a rescuer.
Unfortunately, narcissists in these occupations and pastimes are often not actually providing what they’re supposed to be providing — real protection, assistance, and leadership. They’re just there for the power. While their non-narcissistic coworkers work to the benefit of those they intend to serve, the narcissist is doing little more than enjoying the associated power and scouring their work environment for sources of narcissistic supply, manipulating, devaluing, gaslighting and shirking responsibility for the games they play.
Because these kinds of occupations come with power, the people they mistreat may feel they have to accept the abuse they’re being dealt – either because it’s seemingly “no use” to stand up, because the person is in such a powerful and authoritative position, or because they simply feel intimidated by the unfair options the narcissist has at his or her disposal if angered. It can feel much more difficult to stand up to an abusive member of the clergy, for instance, than the church janitor. Many people still consider those in certain professions to be above questioning, and this is something narcissists enjoy taking full advantage of.
Narcissists in these positions can do a tremendous amount of damage, and it’s important to stand up against any mistreatment, but confronting a narcissist is 100% guaranteed to make a serious mess — narcissists are highly vindictive and dishonest, and they have long memories.
So…what else might work? Consider the following three practices:
1. Bring your concerns to someone who has more power than the narcissist
Whenever possible, contacting a supervisor, board member or senior partner instead of dealing with the narcissist directly can be very helpful. Though there are no guarantees you’ll be assisted, you will stand a much greater chance of resolving the matter through a powerful third party than you ever could by confronting the narcissist singly. It also helps to have a witness in a position of authority oversee any discussion, because confronting narcissists makes them smear and abuse you. If a more powerful third party is present when you discuss the narcissist’s unacceptable behavior, the third party will easily understand that the narcissist’s smearing is an unfair response to a fair complaint and will be far less likely to believe the narcissist’s lies about you. Avoiding one-to-one contact with the narcissist as much as possible and not asking the narcissist to care are key to preventing further narcissistic abuse. Bringing your concerns about a narcissist’s behavior to a narcissist alone only provides more tools with which to hurt you. You cannot make a narcissist care; you can only make them angry.
2. Educate people about the disorder
The general public thinks a narcissist is someone who is merely vain. Providing a copy of the clinical description of NPD will go a long way in terms of helping those who have power over the narcissist see what is wrong. This should be done in advance of any meetings about the narcissist’s behavior. Plenty is available here at Light’s House — feel free to share the specific addresses of any pages you think may help.
3. Reduce or eliminate contact
The more time you spend around an emotionally abusive person, the more emotional abuse you will be exposed to. If you are dealing with a narcissist, reduce the amount of time you spend with them as much as possible — especially time spent alone with them. Whenever a narcissist is displeased with you (this happens at the drop of a hat) everything you say and do will be distorted and used against you, so say and do as little as possible in the narcissist’s presence in order to reduce the odds of their attacks.
Descriptions of narcissists and narcissistic behaviors are available at Light’s House: All About Narcissists
Learn how smear campaigns work here.
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