What is a situational narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissism - wide range from charismatic to paranoid

We all probably know one or the other - there is definitely a narcissist in every company. They are enthusiastic and motivated, but often also paranoid and self-glorifying. To what extent are narcissistic personalities suitable in leadership positions and how can you expose narcissists with aptitude diagnostic solutions.

A narcissist as a leader? Innovation versus self-love

Productive forms of narcissism are characterized by great drive, initiative and visionary actions. Assertiveness, self-confidence and enthusiasm are to a healthy extent even prerequisites for climbing the career ladder and essential qualities of a manager. But what if the boss displays unsympathetic and irritating behaviors such as self-importance, hypochondria or paranoia? What if he treats the team like an audience or if there is absolutely no talk of interpersonal warmth and friendly cooperation in the company? In that case, the day at the office is a torture.

Innovation and drive: why narcissists are sometimes good leaders

It is not infrequently the narcissists who in companies have the ability to develop innovative ideas and put them into practice, to inspire and motivate others.

At first glance you seem dominant, but also very committed and confident. A leadership role therefore often seems quite natural. The narcissist can create a particularly strong identification with the department or the company through his charismatic nature. You also have the ability to bind other people to you and in this way to activate them for the pursuit of the company's interests.

Narcissistic attributes in low doses are often useful for making decisions easier and showing courage. Light forms of Machiavellianism, in addition to narcissism, another “dark triad”, support the political skill to sell an idea. In moderate variations, narcissism is quite promising.

Excessive Self-Love: Why Narcissists Are Sometimes Bad Leaders

The insatiable and exaggerated self-love of a narcissist can become uncomfortable for colleagues and employees, as the narcissist likes to instrumentalize his environment for his purposes and, with his envious character, does not allow the work of other gifted people to count.

Narcissists attribute the team's successes to themselves: if all goes well, it's his credit. If something goes wrong, other people or circumstances are to blame. The interest revolves more around their own success, which is why they rarely praise or encourage their employees. This has a major negative impact on employee retention and employee satisfaction.

Narcissists often lose sight of the essentials and take great risks. Not being able to assert oneself is not helpful in the management floor, while making reckless decisions is at least just as bad on the other hand.

When narcissism becomes a problem in the company

According to the definition of narcissism, the question arises - to what extent do people with narcissistic disorders cause damage in the company? The fact is, narcissists can be a big problem for a company. Key people leave the company when they are hindered in their development by a narcissistic executive. The 2014 study by the University of Illinois, the University of Nebraska, and Hogan Assessment Systems suggests that the higher the professional position, the more common the tendency toward narcissism is. Other studies analyzed the structure of executive correspondence. In it, the number of self-references was determined, i.e. how strongly the own person is placed in the foreground ("I, I, I").

In fact, sometimes a single narcissistic person on the management level is enough to cause trouble for a large department or company.

If decisions are made less fact-based and instead focus on self-interest, this can have fatal consequences. Narcissists believe that they can control any risk, they are fixated on short-term successes and above all want to put themselves in the spotlight.

What makes dealing with narcissists so complicated

Narcissists are not about love, they are about power. They tend to relate to their environment by gaining power over it. They lack interest, empathy and confirmation in dealing with their environment. But the great self-image is spurious: Narcissists often have strong mood swings and cannot stand criticism. They feel threatened, relate everything to themselves and fear nothing more than the exposure of their own weaknesses. Behind the grandiose fuss hides a particular sensitivity and vulnerability, a great fear of humiliation.

Narcissistic people are unpredictable, which makes it very difficult to deal with them. Hatred, revenge impulses and the inability to forgive are just some of the unpleasant side effects of an argument with a narcissist. For them it is not about solving a problem constructively or finding a compromise that will satisfy everyone involved. For the most part, narcissists simply want to be right and present themselves as completely flawless.

A narcissist feels so threatened by an interpersonal conflict that he cannot get involved in or deal with it at all. As usual, his behavior relates only to his own person. The needs of the other person or the justice of a cause are not interesting.

How to deal with narcissists: Debunking narcissists with testing procedures

So it is important to identify narcissism first and foremost and secondly to make it usable and to control it. You can use various aptitude test methods to expose narcissism and determine its severity. You can use this test to measure your level of narcissism free of charge: https://analysis.narzissmus.zortify.com/index.php/925473?lang=de-informal. The data show where their value lies in comparison to other age groups, the opposite sex or managers.

There are tests from the clinical field that can reliably measure narcissism, but many do not establish a clear connection to work situations for the test subjects. Often they feel that the clinical questions are not being picked up correctly, and that they do not see any reference to their situation or position. The acceptance for the procedure is decreasing, the people have little interest in filling out the questionnaire correctly and completely. This leads to the test result being falsified.

At this point, procedures that have been explicitly designed for the professional context are better. There are standardized personality questionnaires that depict personality traits or behaviors and can provide clues about narcissism. For example, one method measures a weak ability to react to the environment and a simultaneous high tendency to act, as well as low values ​​for empathy and social motivation and thus provides indications of narcissistic tendencies.

For example, one procedure includes the statement "I could move this country in the right direction". As a result, 70 to 90 on the 100-point scale are an indication of real confidence. Anything beyond that, however, is arrogance or an inflated claim.

360 ° feedback systems can also provide helpful results at this point, as the direct environment of the narcissist is questioned. A 360-degree feedback asks employees, managers and customers about the person.

If there is a suspicion of narcissism, the employer can have certain traits assessed by others. For example, you can ask about the willingness to take risks or the way of communication.

Not all narcissists are created equal

There are many different forms and forms of narcissism. Therefore, we cannot generalize that narcissists are good or bad leaders.

The harmless self-love of a narcissist cannot be compared with psychopathological forms such as narcissistic personality disorder at the borderline level. In dealing with the narcissistic disorder, it is essential to first recognize and identify it.

Since this "disturbance pattern" takes place on the relationship level, it is not easy to isolate one's own interaction from what is happening and to observe the narcissistic behavior. The narcissist has amazingly fine mechanisms to weave the environment into his system. It is essential with this relationship structure that it looks for a counterpart.

This means that narcissism is most effective in people with a similar deficit in self-awareness. Insecure people or people prone to depression more often "seek" the proximity of these rousing self-promoters.

Paradox in narcissism: low self-esteem and desire for admiration

Narcissistic people overestimate each other and have a great need for admiration. Paradoxically, narcissists suffer from lack of affirmation and empathy in their own development. They therefore try to compensate for the low self-esteem with an exaggerated assessment of their own importance and the great desire for admiration. This spurious self-love creates enormous pressure to satisfy one's own need for confirmation.

Narcissists are often out to make new friends and present themselves in a good light. At least at the beginning of a friendship, you seem very open, charming, exciting and promising. Amy Brunell of Ohio State University found in a study of over 400 students that narcissists are sociable and extremely successful in getting to know each other. The result was also confirmed by Prof. Mitja Back in a dpa expert discussion on a long-term study by the University of Münster: "Narcissists conquer hearts faster, but find friends for life more difficult".

Narcissists: Disruptions in private relationships

Studies of the Ruhr University Bochum from 2009 Studies of the Ruhr University Bochum from 2009 deal with clinically inconspicuous “normal” narcissism. According to the university, the so-called narcissistic personality disorder is spreading like a virus around the world. “Being in love with relationships can have an exploitative tendency. Pressure is built up through the classic take and give factor that always plays a role in relationships. If one of the partners is of the opinion that they are getting too little back for their work, that is a warning signal that suggests a narcissistic tendency, ”said Bochum's social psychologist around Werner Bierhoff.

In around 250 students who lived in a relationship, the narcissistic personality inventory (NPI) was used to first record the individual characteristics of narcissism. Finally, the couples judged their own attractiveness and that of their partner. What was required here was the perception of the external appearance, status issues such as education and income or the attraction of the partner. One in five of the surveyed students had significantly increased values ​​for narcissism.

The Bochum studies show the effects that narcissism has on a partnership: “The more narcissistic the person questioned, the more they overestimate their own attractiveness and thus their own contributions to the partnership. The distorted self-perception manifests itself in the fact that narcissists rate the performance of the partner less than their own and hardly appreciate it. The narcissistic person puts constant pressure on their partner in the relationship, ”say the social psychologists.

There is a bit of narcissism in everyone

There is a bit of narcissism in everyone - the all-important question is how much? It only becomes problematic when even constructive criticism is perceived as a deliberate and personal insult. Narcissists tend to aggressively defend their self-esteem, and a narcissist's exclusive self-portrayal and inability to listen and empathize in conversation is a nuisance in friendly or professional situations. Many narcissists have learned to interpret other people's feelings and emotions through constant observation. Therefore, while they are very good at what other people are feeling, thinking, and intending to do, they show little compassion or interest. A study by the Charité with patients with narcissistic personality disorder from 2013 shows a reduction in gray matter in a region of the brain relevant to the feeling of compassion: "Our data show that the level of empathy is directly related to the volume of gray matter [.. .] and it is precisely here that patients with narcissism show a deficit, ”comments Dr. Röpke from the Berlin Charité, the results. Studies have found that narcissists are not really more creative, smarter or better than others, but they believe it. And this belief actually leads to more success. Narcissists can transfer their grandiosity positively into those around them because they generate enthusiasm and convey the attitude that nothing is impossible.

Facebook, Instagram and Co promote narcissism

Back in 2006, a study by San Diego State University found that young people have never been as narcissistic as they are now. To this end, 6,000 college students in the USA answered the questions of the psychological test Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006. Narcissists experience constant pressure to separate themselves from groups and to celebrate their uniqueness and specialty. If they do not find admiration, they can get very angry - the necessary and healthy frustration tolerance is not there. The Like button on Facebook can clearly be understood as a symbol for the increasing spread and scattering of narcissism in society. On the other hand, the fact that theoretically anyone can become a star at least for a short time puts this social phenomenon into perspective. It is just not that easy to get the masses behind you - real narcissistic attributes such as self-love, big ego and a need for recognition are prerequisites. The meaning of this "celebrity culture" is unclear. They are unsympathetic, inflated and materialistic - and yet narcissists are booming.

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