Empaths are highly sensitive people who are able to pick up on the emotions of others. They are often attracted to narcissists in their personal life because they sense their inner turmoil and want to help. It’s a great situation for the narcissist because they are looking for someone to focus on their needs. In that situation, it’s the empath’s choice to be around the narcissist, but what happens when the empath has to deal with a narcissistic boss?
Narcissists will manipulate and emotionally abuse anyone in their life, including empaths if they are allowed to do so. The narcissistic boss is no exception, but because they’re in control, the situation is worse. They can easily drain an empath dry and do real damage if they are not stopped.
For empaths who find themselves with a narcissistic boss, it can be difficult to set effective boundaries. Empaths are, by nature, compassionate people who want to help others, but the narcissistic boss will push the limit if the empath allows them to do so. If you’re in such a situation, you need to learn as much as you can about the various ways a narcissistic boss will exploit you and punish you, and what you can do about it. Here’s what you need to know.
How Does the Narcissistic Boss Behave Toward an Empath Employee?
If you’re involved with a narcissist in any way, you likely already know that they can be very charming at first. They get to know as much about you as they can, and then, they show their true colors.
They will often use what they know about you to their advantage, and that means they will exploit you and manipulate you with that knowledge. For an empath, narcissistic abuse can be particularly devastating because they are able to sense what is really going on underneath.
In the professional setting, an empath may initially be very helpful to their narcissistic boss, and in fact, the narcissistic boss may even consider them a kind of muse. The empath’s compassion gives them a perspective that can help attract and maintain clients and smooth over problems with other coworkers.
The narcissistic boss, however, is threatened by the possibility of being exposed. that they will behave in either outright aggressive ways or in passive-aggressive ways. As Sylvie Aimée, who has a master’s degree in psychology, notes, however, “The last thing any person with NPD wants is to be exposed. That’s a huge concern of theirs, especially at work.” For that reason, the narcissistic boss often exploits and drains an empath under their supervision.
They will use the empath to get information on other employees and pick their brain for fresh ideas when they have none. But don’t think that will get you ahead.
The narcissistic boss will take credit for anything the empath does that is well-received. As for anything that is not well-received, the narcissistic boss will be quick to lay the blame at the feet of even their most prized employee. All employees will also experience their boss’s characteristic rage at one point in time or the other.
What are the Passive-Aggressive Tactics of the Narcissistic Boss?
Narcissists are known for using various manipulation tactics to control the behavior of the people around them. Narcissistic bosses are no different in this respect. Some of the passive-aggressive tactics they use in triangulation, gaslighting, and outright lies.
A narcissistic boss may, for example, tell an empath one thing and another employee something different. They will play their employees off each other to sow distrust and confusion in the workplace. They will then use that confusion to their own advantage.
They will also gaslight any employee, including empaths, who try to push back on something they have said or done. The goal here is to make the employee believe they are the one who didn’t understand correctly or who did not convey necessary information properly.
For an empath, it’s easy to fall into that trap because they tend to look inward whenever something goes wrong. Many empaths will accept that they must have misunderstood when, in fact, their narcissistic boss is gaslighting them.
What makes matters worse is that narcissistic bosses will frequently call employees out publicly. This type of humiliation can hit an empath particularly hard since they are very sensitive to their own feelings as well as the discomfort of others.
Another common passive-aggressive tactic of the narcissistic boss is to take credit for the work of others. Since they’re in charge, it’s difficult to push back on this tactic. Often, the narcissist doesn’t have to do much to do this. They may simply have to accept the congratulations from their own boss without pointing out the work their underlings actually did.
This can help the narcissistic boss as they climb the ladder in the company, but it also stems from the progress other employees are trying to make with their own careers.
How Does a Narcissistic Boss Harm an Empath Specifically?
The specific way a narcissistic boss affects an empath is by using their compassion to get what they want. They may try to manipulate your compassionate side, for example, to get you to do things you feel are not compatible with your own integrity.
A narcissistic boss might encourage an empath to lie or manipulate others in order to help them avoid the narcissist’s rageful punishment. They also won’t hesitate to use the empath’s compassionate side against them. They might say, for example, “If you really care about your coworkers, you’ll do what I ask of you.”
It’s a particularly draining situation for an empath since they not only can sense the underlying emotional distress of their narcissistic boss, but they also feel the distress of their coworkers. Of course, there’s also their own distress given the nature of the toxicity.
What Can an Empath Do if They Have a Narcissistic Boss?
An empath with a narcissistic boss is a very difficult situation to find yourself in. There are some things you can do, but it may be worth your own mental health and well-being in the end to change departments or even jobs. In the meantime, here are several tactics to use to minimize the effects of your toxic boss.
Don’t Share Personal Information
Don’t give your narcissistic boss any more ammunition than they already have to use against you. The more you tell them about yourself, the more they know how to get you to do exactly what they want. Keep it professional, and you’ll be much happier.
Keep It Brief
When you have to communicate with them, it’s best to keep it short and factual. If possible, try to communicate with your narcissistic boss over email so you have a record of the communication.
Whenever your narcissistic boss tells you anything or requests that you do something, write down the date, time, and nature of what was said. This gives you real-time notes about anything they have asked of you.
Always Be Pleasant in Person
Whenever you meet with your narcissistic boss in person, always be pleasant. The slightest thing can set off their rage response, so don’t make it easier for them with a bad attitude.
Narcissists are often attracted to empaths whether personally or in the professional setting. They want someone who will focus on their needs exclusively, and the empath often does that because they want to help the narcissist heal. That complicates a personal relationship, but it is particularly toxic in the workplace, especially when the narcissist is your boss.
One way a narcissistic boss can really get a rise out of you at work is by using what they learn to be your emotional triggers. My 5 Step Roadmap to Heal Emotional Triggers can help you identify and heal your emotional triggers which will stop them in their tracks. To get this helpful guide quickly, click on the link here. It’s free of charge and will arrive directly to your inbox.
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