There's a reason your narcissistic coworkers might be getting promotions instead of you - here's what you can learn from them
- Narcissists often believe that they can accomplish anything, even if they don't have the abilities necessary for the task.
- Many narcissistic people are able to stave off impostor syndrome, a condition in which skilled and admired people believe themselves to be frauds.
- Here's how to implement the good parts of narcissism - and don't worry, it won't make you an egomaniac.
People with narcissistic personality disorder believe they are fundamentally special, have no qualms about taking advantage of others, and need constant attention and praise.In the workplace, they're likely the ones trying to manipulate everyone around them to get a promotion or telling outlandish stories about their recent accomplishments.
But there's one mental block that most narcissists never have to experience: impostor syndrome.
Ultra-successful people like author John Green, Sheryl Sandberg, and Tina Fey have all dealt with impostor syndrome. This psychological phenomenon defines a feeling that, despite being skilled and hard working, you don't deserve any of your successes and will soon be exposed for your fraud.
Narcissists, on the other hand, believe that they're destined for great things, whether or not they have the skills to get there. Instead of doubting their skills and feeling unable to ask for more from their employers, they demand more opportunities and leadership roles.
"They don't suffer from the impostor syndrome that holds so many people back from achieving great success," Dr. Karlyn Borysenko, Principal at Zen Workplace, told Business Insider.
Implementing a little bit of their own thinking could radically change how you go after new opportunities, Borysenko said.The best way to get to the next level of your career isn't by hoping that someone notices you, it's by being proactive and asking for it yourself. That's something narcissists do naturally.
"What if you were able to create your own reality in that way, where there is no possibility of your failure?" Borysenko told Business Insider. "How many more opportunities would you go after? How much more would you achieve?"
So, stop doubting yourself, take a look at what you've accomplished in your role, and ask for something new or bigger if that's what you're yearning for.
Something about that approach is definitely working for narcissists. Studies have shown that narcissists are more likely to assume leadership roles - though research has also shown that they're not necessarily more effective leaders.
And this isn't the only indication that we can steal some tricks from narcissists. As Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz previously reported, some research suggests that narcissists are less depressed, anxious, and lonely than the general population. They also tend to make better first impressions.
Borysenko noted that taking some lessons from a narcissist's way of thinking doesn't, in turn, make you a narcissist. They have a psychological disease that begins forming at a young age.
"Learn what you can from them and use what you can to help you achieve your own dreams," Borysenko said.