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Boundaries

Boundaries

Your Life, Your Rules

Boundaries have been described as a set of limits or rules which a person decides are reasonable with regard to how other people should behave towards them. These conclusions are made upon personal opinions, beliefs, likes, dislikes, upbringing, experiences and social learning. They work in two ways, both inward and outward; how you expect others to interact with you and how you interact with others. It may take time to find the right balance, so they are neither too weak nor too strong.

Boundaries are an important component in any relationship and may differ from person to person. We’ve all met the person who just has to invade your personal space and gets a little too close for comfort. Whilst close proximity is acceptable with some people, with others, it’s uncomfortable to say the least.

We need to decide what is acceptable in our lives and what is not. Normal, healthy people know not to cross the line. They’ve got a reasonable idea when not to intrude. Narcissists, on the other hand, don’t possess healthy boundaries and have no respect for yours. They don’t like you setting boundaries and putting limits on their behaviour. However, they have an uncanny way of pushing you to your limits for their own amusement, to create friction or maybe just to relieve their boredom. Boundaries are all about cooperation, a word which appears to have been omitted from the narcissist’s dictionary. Setting boundaries with a narcissistic personality is not a one off thing. Expect it to be something you will need to address over and over again. It is possible to set boundaries with a narcissist but you will need to stand strong and show a little fighting spirit. Communicate your wishes firmly and directly and don’t let them push your buttons. Say your piece and walk away or end the conversation if you have to, but leave them in no doubt that you mean what you say. Learn to say, “No,” or “That doesn’t suit,” and mean it.

Setting parameters is something we should all be doing. First and foremost, it is taking care of yourself which is an important part of your wellbeing. Never let anyone make you feel guilty for setting your standards. In close relationships, communicating your needs to your partner should not make you feel uncomfortable. If they get angry with you or go against your wishes, they’re not giving you the respect that you deserve. They are the one with the problem, not you.

Healthy boundaries include ‘alone time’ and time to spend as we see fit, with friends and / or family and we should feel free to keep those relationships alive.

A dysfunctional family background often leads to a child believing that their opinions, needs and desires are meaningless. As they grow up, these children need support to make them understand that they are not insignificant, to help them develop a healthy sense of self and form healthy relationships in adult life unafraid to set boundaries as to how they should be treated.

Boundaries can be likened to a fence around your home which clearly defines your property. Without those fences confusion will arise. Some people may cross your boundaries from time to time with your consent. However, there shall be those who disregard them and enter uninvited with harmful intentions. That’s when you need to reinforce your boundaries, build a wall and close the gates.

Written by Anne McCrea

40 Red Flags Of Toxic People

40 Red Flags Of Toxic People

There are often red flags that we should never ignore which can tell us a lot about a person.  How many times do we see something at the start of a relationship and ignore it thinking it was a ‘one off?’  By the time we see the next one, we’ve almost forgotten about the first!  Please keep them logged in your head.  One or two instances may not indicate that someone is truly toxic but when these little red flags are waved in front of you time and time again, they become a massive warning sign of a treacherous path ahead.

  1. This person makes you feel on edge.  You can’t really put your finger on the reason      but you’ve no doubt there’s something not quite right.
  2. They are rude or talk down to the waiter.
  3. They get too close far too soon.  Love doesn’t normally work that way.  It takes time for bonds to form and love to grow.
  4. They are charming to the point of being beyond the realms of normality.  Trust that old saying, ‘If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.’
  5. They tell you of how their previous partners cheated, lied, were crazy etc.  They have got you feeling sorry for them.  It wasn’t their fault.  Yes, you’ve got it…  They are the common denominator.  They are likely to be the one with the problem.
  6. They have a short supply of genuine friends.  Friends don’t usually hang around toxic people for lengthy periods of time.
  7. You do most of the talking.  They do the listening, figuring you out, knowing your likes and dislikes so they can pretend to be the person you want them to be.  However, once the relationship is established, they switch to talking about themselves which of course is a much more interesting subject!
  8. They criticise your friends and family hoping to create the division that will eventually lead to your isolation from everyone you once held dear.
  9. Although critical of others, they can’t stand a taste of their own medicine, being extremely sensitive to any form of criticism.
  10. You find yourself being compared to ex friends, ex partners and family.
  11. They rarely have anything good to say about anyone.
  12. You feel you have to walk on eggshells around this person.
  13. They demand most of your time.
  14. Hates to be alone.  Perhaps being alone allows too much time for self – reflection.Red flags
  15. They don’t respect your boundaries.
  16. They use passive aggressive behaviour, such as the cold shoulder, stonewalling and the silent treatment for some perceived slight.
  17. They have an uncontrollable rage / anger.
  18. Pathological lying.  They lie even when there’s absolutely no need to and truth would be a better option.
  19. Never accepts blame for anything untoward.  Nothing is ever their fault.
  20. Causes chaos where once there was peace and calm.
  21. Lacks morals yet expects yours to be high.
  22. Insults you and if you are offended, they tell you that you’re being much too sensitive.
  23. They suggest what you should wear, how you should do your hair….  Once again, this is all about control.
  24. They show their true colours to you whilst maintaining their ‘charm’ to the outside world.
  25. Lacks empathy.  Unable or unwilling to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
  26. Constantly seeking compliments.
  27. Has a grandiose view of themselves.  However, underneath their grandiosity, lies a low self – esteem.
  28. They tell you what you are thinking.  The only person who knows what you are thinking is you!
  29. Envious of others’ possessions and / or accomplishments.
  30. Likes to be the centre of attention, expecting your praise for minor achievements.  Expects their needs to be met, after all, they are much more important than yours.
  31. Serial flirter.
  32. Shows no remorse.
  33. If they treat you badly, you must have done something to deserve it!
  34. Has a strong sense of entitlement.
  35. Jealous of close relationships that you may have.
  36. Has a fragile ego.
  37. Acts like they are above the law, rules don’t apply to them.
  38. Rarely apologises, and if they do, it’s either insincere or in their best interests to do so.
  39. Believe they can only be understood by high achieving important people, like themselves.
  40. Holds grudges / hatred for a lifetime against those who they believe have wronged them in some way.
In order to preserve your health and your sanity, as far as humanly possible keep your distance from toxic people and their flying monkeys.
Written by
Anne McCrea
The Empath and The ‘Wounded Narcissist’

The Empath and The ‘Wounded Narcissist’

The cause of NPD is not known but there are many theories which include…

  1. Over valuing as a child
  2. A learned behaviour
  3. Genetics
  4. Abuse in childhood

The cause is most likely complex with the possibility of more than one factor being at the root of this disorder.

Some believe that the narcissist has come from a place of pain, that he or she has been subjected to unimaginable pain and as a result, they have taken on  a certain set of behaviours in order to deal with their past.  Many people have been subjected to abuse and yet have found strength within themselves to not let their past dictate their future.

The Empath And The Wounded NarcissistLet us take a look at when the ‘wounded’ narcissist meets an empathetic person.

An empath is a giver who wants to help.  They take on another’s pain and internalise it.  They are full of compassion believing in the good of humankind.  They have the ability to put themselves in another’s shoes and try to make things better often at the expense of their own wellbeing.  On the other hand, the narcissist is a taker, sucking others dry for their own benefit and to hell with the consequences or who may suffer as a result (as long as it’s not them).  It may be a match made in heaven for the narcissist but it’s a match made in hell for the empath.

Empaths tend to think that people are inherently good failing to see that there are some people who don’t possess such qualities as empathy and kindness.  It’s hard for them to realise that some people are out for what they can get with absolutely no good intentions whatsoever.  They fail to set boundaries as to what is acceptable and what is not.  A narcissist will seize this opportunity to take advantage of their kind and forgiving nature.   Their aim will be to exploit and manipulate the empath by any means necessary.  The narcissist has mastered the art of deception and will employ well practised devious and underhand methods to exert their influence whereby they will eventually gain control not only of their targets mind but virtually their every move.  This type of psychological abuse is a gradual process whereby the person being targeted has absolutely no idea that such wheels have been set in motion.  Their objective has been to love, to help and to soothe the pain that the narcissist has so convincingly made them believe has been a part of their past.  Let us not forget that narcissists are pathological liars often portraying themselves as the victim where the opposite is true and they are, in fact, the perpetrator.

Can these two personalities find an equilibrium?  That, I’m afraid is highly unlikely.  Over time the target of this insidious abuse will get worn down.  Just like a carpet that gets constantly trod on, its’ once beauty and soft touch are now lacklustre and barren of fibre.  They will get fed up with constantly being blamed when things don’t run smoothly.  They’ll get fed up with being the only one fighting for this relationship.  Sometimes this process takes years but eventually most realise that there is a point of no return.  It’s either sink or swim.  As a captain of a ship performs his last duty by ensuring the safety of the passengers and crew before saving himself, the person seeking freedom ensures the safety of their children and loved ones, before jumping overboard and swimming for the shore.  Some may think that they can remain on-board and hope that the ship will remain afloat but often the damage is too severe that sailing on to the sunset is not an option.

Abandoning ship is not failure.  It’s not defeat.  It’s taking positive steps to overcome a situation that has become unsustainable.  Remaining in an unhealthy relationship with such a toxic personality is likened to signing your own death warrant.  Psychological abuse takes its toll on your health, not only your mental health but your physical health.  It’s not selfish to take over the reins and start looking after yourself.  You have a choice, to stay and be subjected to more of the same or give yourself a new start, a new life free from mind games and control.  The choice is yours and the journey ahead will be rough at times but worth it.  Calm seas never made a good sailor.

For those dealing with family members who display this type of behaviour, the advice by experts is the same.  Distance yourself from the dysfunctional personality in order to gain peace and normality in your life.

Written by Anne McCrea
The Covert Narcissist

The Covert Narcissist

No one would believe that the man who sits in church with his family every Sunday, is a monster behind closed doors with the family that looks so perfect on the outside.

No one would believe that the ‘doting’ mother cheering on her child in the school gala, had been yelling and belittling her daughter minutes beforehand.

Who would believe that the friendly local grocer who chats happily with his customers has been giving his wife the silent treatment and not acknowledged her existence in weeks?

Who would believe that the lovely charming ‘lady’ at the top of her profession, trampled on anyone who stood in her way on her rise to the top?

The closet narcissist is a great pretender, hiding who they really are with expertise.  The covert narcissist puts on such a convincing display of being a loving, kind person in public but to those who know them personally, to those closest to them, they are selfish, manipulative, exploitive and anything but the loving and kind person that they purport to be.  They know that if they displayed their true colours in public, they would lose the recognition, respect and admiration that they so desperately crave.  Perhaps their ability to fool the outside world, makes this type of personality one of the most dangerous.  They worry about being found out.  They are deeply envious knowing that they can never be the person that others believe them to be.

The great pretender

The covert narcissist is a con artist who lacks the confidence of the overt narcissist.  They need constant attention moving from one relationship to another in order to avoid being alone.  Time spent alone often leads to depression when their needs are not being met.  Narcissistic supply is vital to their well-being.

Your value in the narcissist’s life will depend on your usefulness.  When you are no longer regarded as useful or you challenge them about who they really are, you will be cast aside without a second thought as if you never existed.  Your reputation will have been discredited so that you will never be believed.

Scott Barry Kaufman (Psychologist) explains…

“While the overt narcissists tended to be aggressive, self-aggrandizing, exploitative, and have extreme delusions of grandeur and a need for attention, covert narcissists were more prone to feelings of neglect or belittlement, hypersensitivity, anxiety, and delusions of persecution.”

The traits of the overt narcissist can be obvious often being displayed quite openly but in contrast, the traits of the covert narcissist can be very difficult to spot.  Below are some signs that you may be dealing with a covert narcissist…

  • Always plays the victim wanting your sympathy
  • Quiet Smugness/Superiority
  • Self absorbed
  • Extreme selfishness
  • Constant craving for acknowledgement
  • Passive aggressive
  • Judgemental and critical
  • Lacks empathy
  • Highly sensitive being unable to handle criticism
  • Difficulties with relationships
  • Gets bored easily
  • Switches off rather than listen intently to others

It can be difficult not to get sucked in to a narcissist’s web of deceit and feel sorry for them when they play the victim card.  The narcissist is looking for a reaction from you. Don’t feed the monster!  When they fail to get their desired reaction from you, they will take a step back and look for their supply elsewhere.  Be aware of the traits before it’s too late and don’t let yourself be controlled by someone whose ultimate goal is to control not only your mind but your life.

Written by Anne McCrea
Empathy…  A Rare Gift

Empathy…  A Rare Gift

Some may see it as a gift, to love from the heart with a love that runs deeper than the lowest abyss of the ocean but that kind of love is open to the deepest of hurt.  When you have got that extra special gift inside of you, you leave yourself open to the most unimaginable pain. When you can love someone so much and the love you give out is thrown back, the betrayal cuts more than words can ever express.  That’s the kind of love that only ‘special’ people can fathom.  If you are that sort of person, well, you’re rare in this cruel world we live in today.  This is the sort of world where people just seem to want to use and abuse and not really give a damn who they hurt as long as they get what they want.  Sometimes this world seems so alien to people like this and it is, but would you have it any other way?  Would you really want to have a cold heart?  Would you swap your caring heart for one of stone, so cold that it can never experience a loving meaningful relationship of any kind.

dont-let-your-gift-be-your-downfall

You’ve got a gift that those cold hearted people envy.  Yes, they’re jealous of you.  You have got something they want but can never have.  You’re sensitive, you’re kind and you understand.  That’s something to be proud of because that’s something that this world needs more of.  Your shoulders are strong.  You’re there if someone wants a shoulder to lean on.   You’re there if someone needs your compassion, your understanding and above all, your strong sense of loyalty.  Yes, that’s another rare quality in this world today so don’t you ever doubt yourself.  You’ve got that something about you that makes you the person others turn to when they need support, when they need to unburden themselves with their troubles.  And being the person you are, you never fail to deliver.  That’s what makes you a cut above the rest.

Being an empathetic person can sometimes be a lonely place.  Because of your kind and forgiving nature, toxic people may see you as an easy target, someone who they can manipulate and who will forgive them time and time again.  You want to help others even when they have shown a dark side of their character, even when they have hurt you to your very core.  You feel you can fix those disordered souls who must have been so damaged that they can’t feel the love that you are so willing to give.  Oh, my friends, you can’t.   No matter how much you try, they’re not going to get it.  They’re not like you and they never will be.  They’ve not got what you’ve got.  Within the husk that was once their soul, lies a void that can never be filled.   Compassion, empathy and love are words that they will read about but will never fully understand.  Their emotions are stunted.  They’ve got stuck somewhere in their childhood and will never develop into the mature feelings that you have been blessed with.  Yes, sometimes it hurts like hell to be so caring, to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel their pain but that makes you who you are.  You’ve got a heart of gold.  By all means, be forgiving, but to a point.  Some of us give too many chances but we’ve got to know when  enough is enough, when to draw the line and when that line is drawn, make sure that it can never be crossed.

Your kindness may be a magnet for people who will take advantage of that very quality that they don’t possess.  Don’t let your gift be your downfall by giving your everything to those who don’t deserve or appreciate it.

Written by Anne McCrea
Do You Warn The Narcissist’s Next Target?

Do You Warn The Narcissist’s Next Target?

Many people want to know if they should warn their ex partner’s new target and let them know exactly what they are letting themselves in for.  Most kind hearted people don’t want to see others going through the same sort of pain that they, themselves, have endured.  They feel that by warning the narcissist’s new target, they will be believed and the new partner will kick them to the kerb and move on with their life relatively unscathed and forever grateful.  Think again.

focus-on-you-and-your-recovery

The general consensus of opinion is to leave them to it.
The narcissist is one step ahead so by the time you find out about their new partner, they have been spreading lies about you being the crazy ex…  How you don’t want to let them go and will do anything to keep them.  By contacting the new partner, you will likely confirm the narcissist’s accusations that you are the obsessed,  insanely jealous ex.  They do not want to and will not see the evil that hides behind the fake persona.  Instead of driving them apart, you will probably strengthen their relationship.  The new partner will sympathise with the narcissist who has endured such a difficult relationship with a psycho!

Let’s go back in time to when you first met the narcissist.  How would you have reacted to words of warning from one of their previous partners?   Would you have believed the words of someone who you believe to be crazy when all the evidence points to the contrary?  We all know that when you first meet a narcissist, they fool you with their charm and charisma.  You have no reason to doubt they are not your perfect partner. You’re a match made in heaven and nobody is going to tell you otherwise.

Let’s not forget that the narcissist is a pathological liar who is well practised in the ‘art of lying’ and they will, more than likely be believed.  You, on the other hand, will come not come out of this situation smelling of roses and will likely suffer further heartache as a result of your good intentions.

It’s difficult to think of your ex skipping off happily into the sunset with their new love.

Please remember, it’s not going to be a happy ever after scenario.  They haven’t changed.  Their new partner is blinded by rose tinted glasses. They will get the same treatment as you did a little down that road to their blissful lives together, maybe even worse.  Now is the time to stop thinking of everyone else and focus on you and your recovery.

Written by Anne McCrea
Sense Of Entitlement

Sense Of Entitlement

Narcissistic Entitlement

As normal people progress from childhood and adolescence into adulthood, most leave behind the childish temper tantrums, the stomping feet, yelling and crying, to get what they want and develop a more mature and refined manner.  They learn patience and understanding and with maturity, learn that not everything will go their way all of the time.  Sadly, people with narcissistic personality disorder cannot be considered ‘normal’ by any stretch of the imagination and never seem to move beyond their childish ways believing that the world evolves around them.

A sense of entitlement :

  • Having an unrealistic belief that one has a right to have, do, or get something.
  • The expectation or belief that you deserve special treatment / privileges.

Someone with narcissistic personality disorder has an unbelievable sense of entitlement.  They are ruthless in their quest to ensure that their needs are met, which are more important than those of anyone else.  Woe betide anyone who stands in the way of the narcissist and their goal.  They don’t appear to have any sense of shame when it comes to trampling over others in order to achieve their desires.ruthless-in-their-quest

During conversations in public, the narcissistic personality feels entitled to interrupt when other people are talking.  After all, it’s difficult to be the centre of attention when other people have taken centre stage.

In their minds they need to get what they want, when and how they want.   What happens when they sate their appetite?   It won’t be enough…they’ll crave more.  The narcissist is never satisfied because the goal posts are always moved.

The word, ‘compromise’ is not a word in the narcissist’s vocabulary.  Someone with such an acute sense of entitlement doesn’t want to meet anyone half way and will push the boundaries until they get their own way.  Rules don’t apply to them.  It’s their way or the highway.

To normal people this kind of behaviour comes across as incredibly selfish, and it is.  The needs of those around them are of little or no consequence and are pushed to the bottom of the queue.  Sometimes a narcissist can come across as a generous, kind and gentle soul, usually at the outset of a relationship.  Don’t be fooled.  Their apparent kindness and generosity are a ruse, created when there is something in it for them.  They give in order to get.

Written by Anne McCrea

Can A Narcissist Change?

Can A Narcissist Change?

 


The leopard cannot change its spots.  A leopard may conceal itself in its surroundings but if you look closely enough,  you’ll eventually see them so well camouflaged.  I consider a narcissist to be not unlike the leopard in that he or she may remain hidden for a time,  but if you give time, some time, their failure to blend in and hide their true colours, becomes impossible.

The subject of change is open to debate.  It is a question that has been asked time and time again.  It is a difficult question and one that there is no straight forward answer to but I will give you my opinion and please note, this is my own personal opinion.

I believe that generally, no, these people do not change.  We are told by many professionals that they cannot change, it is their personality, it is their essential nature, it is who they are.  Change would involve the person with NPD recognising that the problems lie within themselves, having a conscience, learning to empathise.  ‘Can anyone learn to empathise?’  Empathy is described by the Cambridge English Dictionary as, ‘The ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.’  Feelings are emotions that define who we are.the-leopard-cannot-change

If someone looks at themselves in the mirror and doesn’t like what they see, they may resort to cosmetic surgery.  They may go for a face lift or a nose job in order that they may get to like the reflection that they see staring back at them. Does a narcissist like what they see in the mirror?  Most of the time I would think that they do but they don’t take a close look.  They live in denial.  They know that if they look too closely, they will see themselves for who they really are.  Rather than their delusional image of their superiority being shattered, they take a step back from the mirror.  They don’t want to see what’s really there.  By having blind spots, they can carry on regardless, fooling themselves that when relationships don’t work out for them, it’s always someone else’s fault.  Never their own.

Are there exceptions?

Yes, I believe that there are.  Everyone in life has their difficult times and we learn to deal with life’s problems and move on.  What happens to a narcissist when their problems become so overwhelming that they wonder, ‘Could this be me?  Could I be the one that has a problem?’  When every relationship that they have in their lives bites the dust, some may have this wake up moment.  Most won’t, blaming everyone else for their own failures.  Change is an inside job.  They need to want to change and sadly the majority never feel the need to change.  The road ahead would be a very difficult journey, trying to change who they are, trying to change a lifetime’s beliefs and behaviours.  Can it be done?  If they have reached that point in their lives where they don’t like what they see in the mirror, where they realise that their strength will come from change and not control, then maybe, but don’t count on it.

My personal opinion is that there is a possibility of change for those on the lesser end of the scale. Their behaviour may be modified for a time but I believe they tend to slip back into their old ways over time.   Just how long that time will last remains to be seen.

Dr. Lynne Namka, says that people with severe narcissistic traits have limited emotional intelligence – and tons of psychological defenses – standing in the way of recovery, being unable to see the depth of their pathology as to know their shortcomings would send them into great shame which would trigger depression.  I would go along with this train of thought believing that there is little hope for the more malignant narcissist. I have yet to read of someone such as this changing for the better over the long term.

Written by
Anne McCrea

Forgiveness…Should We Forgive?

Forgiveness…Should We Forgive?

We often read that we should forgive the narcissist in order to be free and move on with our lives.   I’m not so sure that I agree with this.  Forgiveness is a personal thing.  It’s one thing to forgive someone who shows remorse for their words or behaviour, is genuinely regretful and makes an effort to make amends and change their behaviour.  It’s a different story altogether when someone intentionally hurts you, even takes great delight in doing so and doesn’t give a damn how they make you feel.  Narcissists know exactly what they’re doing.  Why would someone with such evil intent deserve our forgiveness?   In their twisted logic, they maintain control and a sense of pride in their despicable behaviour.  They may force themselves to apologise for their behaviour if it’s to their own advantage but there will be zero sincerity.

more-for-the-forgiver

Without any semblance of remorse from someone who has wronged us and hurt us deeply, feelings of bitterness, hatred and sometimes revenge often bubble to the surface even within a person who is generally of a forgiving nature.  I believe that in most cases, these feelings will pass in time.

I know that this is such a debatable topic but when we forgive someone who is not sorry for their behaviour, are we not giving them the green light for more of the same?

I know that many people will say that forgiveness is necessary so that we do not become weighed down by bitterness and hatred.  I am often asked if I have forgiven my ex partner.  The answer to that has to be no, and to be completely honest, I don’t think that I ever will.  He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness and I know that I am not burdened with bitterness or thoughts of revenge.   I am relieved that he is no longer a part of my life.  There is a special place in hell for people like this.  The devil is looking forward to the day that he joins him.

I know there will be those who will disagree with me and say that the Bible tells us to forgive and that may be so, but then there are verses such as this one…

Luke 17.3
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

I think we all need to do what’s right for ourselves.  Some people will say that forgiveness does more for the forgiver than the forgiven.  I think the jury is out on that one.

Written by Anne McCrea
Narcissism and Ostracism in the Workplace

Narcissism and Ostracism in the Workplace

A good boss will have respect for their workers.  There’s a big difference between a firm hand and an iron fist.  Employees can be motivated by being valued and encouraged rather than being motivated through fear.  This is what separates the good boss from the bad.

Narcissists pretend well.  They often appear to be charming and considerate but it’s the covert put downs and subtle digs that often go unnoticed by many.

We know that the narcissist likes to have control and attention.  There are certain occupations which tend to attract the narcissistic personality such as:

  • CEOsA firm hand
  • Surgeons
  • The Clergy
  • Police Officers
  • Lawyers
  • Journalists
  • Chefs
  • Politicians

Narcissists don’t think that normal rules of decency and morality apply to them. They have no qualms in intimidating and harassing their employees or co-workers and making their lives miserable.  Taking credit for another’s work, blaming others for their own mistakes, outbursts of rage, jealousy when other workers are better or smarter than they are themselves, are all commonplace.

When things go wrong, don’t expect the narcissist to accept the blame.  It’s not going to happen.  It’s got to be someone else’s fault.  You may think because you are efficient at your job and have great results, that the narcissistic boss will be thankful.  They won’t.  It’s a reflection on them, you work for them, they trained you to do the job.  Your outstanding contribution will all be down to them so don’t waste your time trying to convince them otherwise.

Don’t be fooled into becoming ‘friends’ with the narcissistic boss or co-worker. Their view on friendship is totally different from a normal person’s understanding of what friendship really is.  If they are being friendly, it is because they want something from you.  If you are of no use to them, they don’t want your friendship.  Don’t go down that route.  Save your friendship for those who deserve it.

Ostracism in the workplace is more common than the overt type of bullying and is perhaps the most evil of all, often destroying a target’s self-esteem.

Indefinite ostracism has been described as ‘social death’ (by Boehm, 1986; Williams, 2007) because it severed social connections necessary for survival.

This has a dramatic impact on the person being targeted who is being shunned and has absolutely no idea why they’re being picked on.  They have done nothing wrong and if no one says or does anything, it escalates.  The target is isolated and alone, when they walk into a room, others leave.  They are frozen out, left out of conversations, finding themselves sitting alone in the crowded work restaurant.  Everyone in the office is asked if they would like a coffee but the target is ignored.  They have become invisible.  Social rejection hurts and sadly often results in long term effects.  Everyone has an inherent need to belong. Being made to feel that you are not worth knowing and not being acknowledged can bring even the strongest amongst us to our knees.  The negative impact of ostracism may last for years after the event with a target experiencing long term health problems as a result.  History has shown us that some people who have been ostracised in school, college or work, have been so damaged as a result, that they have snapped and gone on to seek revenge by embarking on killing sprees.  Some have sought revenge on those who they believed excluded them whilst others have killed at random.

Workplace bullying and ostracism are unacceptable.  Management need to address and enforce anti bullying policies and take bullying seriously, because it is serious.  People who believe that bullying and ostracising someone is acceptable in today’s society need to be taught how their behaviour can have disastrous consequences to not only their target but to other people who are not even remotely connected to the situation.  Ostracism may be difficult to prove because it is subtle.  Education on this subject should be included in our children’s schools but let us not stop there.  Let us educate the judiciary, law enforcement, health professionals and legislators to make the perpetrators of bullying and ostracism a criminal offence punishable by a deterrent that makes people think twice before embarking on their despicable campaign.

Written by Anne McCrea