Monday, February 14, 2022

Always Taking Care of Others? You Could be a Sort of Narcissist

When I think of narcissism, I think of those people whose egos are so outsized that they  never believe they make a mistake or that they are wrong. I think of selfishness, a sense of entitlement and a lack of empathy.

This self-centeredness can pop up in the workplace -- I'll bet you can think of a boss or colleague who fits the mold.

But what if it's you?

Psychologist Nancy Van Dyken says that there are everyday narcissists who may not recognize their own behavior that is frustrating to those around them.

These "garden-variety form of narcissism" folks are often people-pleasers, trying to always "take care" of others and feel responsible for them. They also believe that others are responsible for how they feel. All these beliefs put the person in a central role, setting up an "all powerful" position.

These narcissistic patterns are often instilled in childhood, she says, which makes the person believe he or she is at the center of it all when that's not really the case.

So, someone in this situation might take care of everyone around her at work, while her own mental and physical well-being suffer. Until this person recognizes this destructive pattern -- either through self-reflection or therapy -- then it's likely to make this person unhappy.

If you're feeling stressed at work, think about what unconscious actions you may be taking that prompt you to take care of others at work and feel responsible for them. It could just be that's what you want for yourself -- and that's not  a healthy expectation of your colleagues or bosses.

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