Npd co-worker

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mayaberry

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Npd co-worker
« on: June 08, 2016, 05:01:13 PM »
So, I have a nmil and nsil and have just realised today that I also have an Npd colleague! I have never warmed to this woman and I couldn't put my finger on why. I guess my npd triggers were on high alert! She is quite popular in the office because she charms people (only specific individuals) and comes across as warm and caring, whereas I have always found it all very false and superficial. Our relationship has remained distant because as soon as she realised I wasn't going to bow down to her and that she wouldn't necessarily benefit from getting on with me then she just shut me off.
However, I'm now finding her behaviour quite hard to ignore and a bit upsetting. We have always been a close team and many of us are friends outside of work. She became part of the group through friendships with other people, although I've always thought she uses them. She also liked to organise nights out where she wouldn't invite specific people and would make a big deal of rubbing their nose in it. Then, she started doing it to me. I let it go. Then she was out of our office for several months and everything was going well. No issues.
Now she's been back two days and already causing issues. First of all she made a point of completely blanking me on several occasions yesterday, even though I tried to force myself to be pleasant and welcome her back. She did however make a point of going round everyone else, basking in the glory of telling them all what she's been up to and bigging herself up.
Today she was sitting beside a colleague/friend and was forced to speak to me because they did. She made a big deal of saying oh I didn't get a chance to speak to you yesterday. All seems plausible in front of our colleague, but we both knew it wasn't true as she had also ignored me that morning. I just said no you didn't. She then went on about how strange it was to be back because of the slower pace etc. All building herself up to say that what she had been doing was more important than what we all do. Then she remarked that I looked quite tanned and why was that? Now, she is fb friends with both myself and my husband (who she does like and who also works with us) and she couldn't have failed to see that we had been on holiday given that all of our mutual friends had commented on photos etc. So, it felt like she wanted me to think that she pays no interest to me.
Then I overheard a conversation with colleagues and her, including most of the people I would count as friends, where it appears that she has organised a big night out. Again, I'm not invited.
I guess I'm just frustrated and upset that she has only been back two days and is already going back to creating divisions. I guess I'm also upset that none of my so called friends would stand up to her and suggest inviting me (they have in the past though) and also frustrated that no one can see her for what she really is. And also that I not only have to deal with this with in laws but now at work and within my friendships as well! Any advice, support, comments are welcome. It just feels so draining to have all these petty games going on around you from all angles!

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leapsand bounds

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Re: Npd co-worker
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 06:44:53 PM »
http://bullyonline.org/index.php/bullying/19-what-is-workplace-bullying

Certainly hoping this doesn't happen to you, but letting you know what to look out for.  Narcs are often bullies. 

You may be able to be nip this is the bud by some kind of proactive action.  Can you be more sociable with colleagues?  Organise reasonably regular get-togethers, outings etc., including this woman where appropriate, ( ie it would be socially-excluding not to).

Definitely avoid being defensive or withdrawing from others.  Isolating the target is pretty much bullying 101. Maybe if you can be proactive in making her see that doing so would be difficult, she will leave you alone.  There is no need to suck up to her, or try and befriend her, beyond being respectful and superfically friendly, but don't try and exclude her from general social events.

Also unwise, imo, - speaking to others at work, or who know her about what you see going on.  Try not to react when she pushes your buttons or be defensive or show any fear around her.

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clara

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Re: Npd co-worker
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2016, 12:43:09 PM »
I had the very similar experience, but with the office manager.  I could never figure out if she was NPD or BPD or both or just had some of the traits, but she pulled the exact same crap.  Before she closed me off (because I wouldn't "go along" with her) she gave me a copy of an article called "Swimming with Sharks" which described her tactics exactly, except she was using it as a diversionary tactic--wanting to make me think others were the "sharks" when in reality she was the only one.  But yes, once she realized that a lot of us in the office were friends because we'd worked together for years, she, too, wanted to be our "friend" but it was only a divide-and-conquer tactic she used to turn us against one another so we'd work exclusively with her, on her terms.  She would do the exclusionary thing--having little "outings" with only a select few invited, or just doing day-to-day things where she'd make a point of hanging out with certain people while not even talking with others.  Early on she made up a "hit list" of those who she felt she couldn't get along with so started pulling these little tricks to get rid of them.  In most cases, it actually worked.  People got sick of her and those who wouldn't leave she'd find a way to get rid of.

She never much bothered with me (at first trying to befriend me but which I resisted because I figured her out almost immediately) because she needed my skill set and knowledge, but she also tried isolating me and finding petty things to complain about.  I ignored her and just did my job, never knowing but suspecting that she was doing the same to others who worked for our department but not in our office.  In fact, over time, they started saying outright that they hated her, and others who'd I'd seen hanging around with her earlier were no longer coming around but rather staying in their offices, avoiding her as well. 

I guess my tactic was to ignore her because you can't deal reasonably with people like that and they're never going to change.  Maybe the best hope is to wait for others to see through her, and I suspect they will because NPDs and BPDs always slip up in time.  A number of her "best buddies" eventually fell out with her when they realized just what a backstabber she was, but they had to learn the hard way.  Just do your job, give up the social media that links you to her, if she says anything say you're busy or make some excuse.  The most important thing is to not play her game.  It's what she wants.  If you act professional, others will see it and start to wonder where the problem really is.  But since I know your situation is different from mine, I can only speak from my experience, if it is at all helpful!

After I left the office to take an early retirement, she hung around for another year or so before she was fired by administration.  She never really learned how to do her job, showed her temper once too often (which is why I suspect she had BPD), and was generally incompetent to the point where her charm couldn't cover it.  But the thing is, she was perfectly capable of learning her job and doing it well.  She was such a narcissist she believer she didn't have to work at anything, that other people would be glad to do her work for her because she thought she could charm them into it.  It only worked in the short term but over time, her little house of cards fell down.

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Arya

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Re: Npd co-worker
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2016, 08:49:49 PM »
Wow, swimming with sharks caught my eye! My PDm liked to reference that all the time " if you're going to swim with sharks, don't bleed".

I took some women's studies courses, they dealt a lot in women and glass ceiling, in a man it's expected in woman it's being a bitch etc. Women navigating careers. Unfortunately, a lot women weren't raised with great toolkits to navigate pressure, leadership, completion, the male geared dynamics...and sadly, some of them employed really bad flea/PD behaviors in workplace. Some really took the difficulties they face out on those around them.

Makes me think a bit if, myself and friends waitered a lot. You notice that, there are people who wait tables and then go out to eat and are totally relaxed, understanding,easy going witheir waiter because they know what the job is like. And then there are those that go out to eat seeing it as their turn to crap down someone's neck....

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mayaberry

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Re: Npd co-worker
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2016, 06:04:13 AM »
Thanks everyone, this examples are great. You're right, it's best not to challenge her behaviour or let her know it bothers me. And I am very careful not to mention my dislike of her so that I become ostracised.
She isn't a manager, in fact she's not even a full time member of staff but the days when she is around, given that shes not around all the time, the power she holds is incredible! I think that her increased dislike of me may be also related to the fact that I was promoted while she was away. I think in her eyes she feels that if she had been around then she would have been promoted instead of me. She wouldn't have been because she has no experience of the team I work in, but I don't think she sees it like that. So, I'm being very careful how I respond to her because I don't want to give her any ammunition for saying that I'm now above myself since being promoted etc.
Interestingly, two of the people who are my closest friends and who were invited to this night out, did actually message me the other day to ask me along. To protect me feelings I assume, they pretended as if this had only just been suggested, rather than letting me know they've been talking about it for ages. I can only assume that they realised I hadn't been invited by her and felt bad about it and took it upon themselves to invite me. As it turns out it's my daughters birthday the weekend they are going out anyway but at least they asked me. My faith in them has been restored.
It also made me realise how right you were to say not to directly challenge her or get defensive. If I had done that I would have come across really badly and she would have used it as an example of how horrible I am. I also think it shows that my friends at least thought it was bad that I hadn't been invited, so hopefully the longer she keeps up these sort of things, the more they will realise what she's really like.
My plan is to keep my head down and limit my direct contact with her as much as possible but to always be civil to her when I need to.
I was curious though because not long after I received a message inviting me from my friends, this woman shared a post on fb with some remark about people being overly sensitive. I couldn't help but wonder if the two were connected. So either she thinks I'm being overly sensitive (though I don't see how seeing as I didn't tell anyone I knew about the night out) or she thinks my friend is being overly sensitive by insisting that I am invited.
Guess I'm just going to watch this space!!

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clara

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Re: Npd co-worker
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2016, 12:49:50 PM »
NPDs live in their own reality.  When they want to see something bad, they find it even if they have to make it up out of whole cloth.  I know that you're in a situation where you can't avoid this person and you have to deal with them.  Maybe minimal damage is the best you can hope for!  Thing is, you can't even defeat them at their own "game" because often you have no idea what the "game" is or what their long-term goal is.  NPDs also seem to have a tendency to obsess over things far above and beyond it being warranted.  They don't forgive slights and they don't forget.  They can be very, very dangerous people.  But they can also easily walk into their own traps because they aren't seeing the picture for what it is, just what they want it to be.  They like to project an air of confidence that can come across as over-confident, and if they're suddenly required to act on that confidence they fall on their face because it's all a show (but they will never admit it).  And jealousy seems a HUGE issue for them.  Often they only seem truly comfortable around people they regard as inferior.  I would bet that as soon as this co-worker realizes she can't get to you, she'll go after someone else.  It seems to be part of their pattern to always have an "enemy"--someone they can blame for their problems.  Just sit tight and chill, even when that seems next to impossible!  You WILL come out ahead, I'm sure of it.

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alonenow

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Re: Npd co-worker
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2016, 01:13:15 PM »
I am so sorry for you I lived that same nightmare for years. It totally sucked.
 Mine was great at appearing to be caring and sweet it was like watching a car salesman whenever a new employee came on board.  only targeting those who would help her or above her treated anyone else with distain.
 Yes if she knows you are onto her she will avoid you like kryptonite.  If she has not already she will try to smear you as well. I confronted the situation she lost most credibility, but it did not fix anything. I left there and have heard so many employees  one by one seeing her for the person she IS. had to be burned themselves to see it.                      Too little, Too late is my feelings on this.
 I am tired of former co-workers wanting to contact me and say things like "she did..(fill in many underhanded moves) / she lies ( no kidding) ect."   I used to think I would enjoy the " I told you"  so but I moved on and could care less.
Organize your own night out with people or show up anyway do not let her actions drive a wedge between you and other co-workers you get along with.    Good Luck.

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mayaberry

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Re: Npd co-worker
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2016, 02:49:01 PM »
Yes! I think that's one of the reasons she gets to me. I can see how she uses some of my friends and the people she has attached herself to she definitely sees as inferior, but they can't see it! For example, she has given herself the nickname of "mamma (name)", when she speaks to them. I have only heard her calling herself this and it just screams to me that she sees herself as having superior knowledge and worldly advice for them. This is backed up, in my opinion, by the fact she mostly latches on to younger colleagues who she feels she can advise and knows better than. I think her issue with me has always been that I am closer in age to her and also don't feel the need to take her advice all the time in regards to my life. She doesn't like that. I'm guessing my promotion will only have added to that.
I'm lucky that she isn't there all the time so I will still have a relationship with my colleagues when she is not around. I'm just hoping that's enough. Fingers crossed they soon see her for what she really is.