Narcissism in the workplace – resources to help navigate toxic behaviour at work

In a recent poll during the Webinar: Narcissism in the Workplace, 73% of attendees stated that they have experienced toxicity in the workplace.

One factor that contributes to the duress and misery levels of employees is the existence of corporate bullies and narcissists in the workplace. If you’ve ever encountered one, you’ll know first-hand how grim life can get!

So what can we do to equip ourselves to both identify and manage the impact of toxic behaviour at work? Here are some resources that can help:

Another avenue you might consider is engaging the services of a coach – feel free to reach out to us, and we can refer you to coaches who specialize in this domain. 


Gaslighting definition: psychological manipulation (usually over an extended period), that hinges on creating self-doubt, and causes one to questions one’s own sanity or powers of reasoning.

The key indicators of gaslighting:

  1. Gaslighters seek to manipulate and control, by making you question your reality. They will often lie or deny the things that they said. When you take them to task, they will say ‘I didn’t say that’, or tell you that you got it wrong, and that you’re the one who is making things up.
  2. They project their faults onto you; as a result, you’re in constant defense mode. You will want to bring something up with them that you’re unhappy or displeased about, or something that you feel is unfair – and they will turn around the conversation, blaming you, leaving you having to defend yourself.
  3. They never take accountability and are always finding others to blame. You will try to address things with them, and will end up being the one apologizing to them.
  4. They are crazy-makers, sowing confusion with long circular arguments that don’t seem to make sense – but they present them with such authority that you begin to question yourself.

Strategies to deal with it:

  1. Document your interactions – keep notes, record conversations, make sure that you have others as witnesses in meetings, use email to recap conversations, cc other team members. This makes it harder for them to deny, lie, backpedal. It also helps you figure out if you’re being gaslit
  2. Protect your mental health – toxic people are emotionally poisonous. Make sure you have stuff going on outside of work so that you can keep some balance in your life. Do not allow work to dominate your life.
  3. Make sure you have a support network of friends, colleagues, therapist or coach.
  4. Reduce direct contact if possible. Have as little direct contact as possible, build relationships with other leaders in the organization. Seek out a mentor, build your network with others who can vouch for your skills.

Finally, if you have suffered or continue to suffer in a toxic workplace, we encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience, analyse traffic and serve targeted content.