What you need to know about stopping narcissistic abuse in the work place

A business man's hands manipulating a string puppet

In my last blog How to protect yourself against emotional, mental and financial abuse in marriage I discussed narcissistic abuse in the context of marriage or in relationship with your life partner. Today, I would like to continue the discussion with respect to the workplace where emotional, mental and financial abuse can run a mock as well. How do you stop narcissistic abuse when you believe your boss, your employee, a subordinate, a colleague or even a client is engaging in abusive narcissistic tactics?

All abuse relates to misuses of energy and losses of power. The abuser takes energy from another and the abused allows the energy to be taken on some level. As a result power is lost and equilibrium is looking to be re-established. The work environment is ripe territory for this to happen as power relationships are unequal and often unstable. Employees want to keep their jobs, employers want to hold on to their staff while keeping them motivated and productive, companies want to satisfy their clients while making a profit, and colleagues want to get along with each other. Generally speaking most people want to avoid conflict and are reluctant to rock the boat.

Identify where, why and how you are losing power

The first step to stop the abuse is to look at the power you are losing. Here the point is to build awareness of your energy and how the energy drainage is affecting you without judging or trying to fix the situation.

  • Where is it happening? With whom …
  • Why is it happening? What unmet needs are at play for both so called “abuser” and “abused” : Needs for recognition, to be liked, to stand out, to get promoted, to get job done, to stay under the radar, to make enough money to give you the freedom you are seeking, to be profitable….
  • How is it happening? What strategies are being used: triangulation, gazlighting or silencing?

Narcissistic abuse is all about power plays where energy is taken from another. This can be done by using narcissistic weapons of triangulation, gaz lighting and silencing and any other tactic used to take someone’s energy to boost your own power rather than learning to cultivate, manage and grow it yourself. To learn more about power you may like to refer to chapter four “Embracing and Growing Power” in my book Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning and Abundance.

Close your eyes, connect to your breath…Bring your awareness to how are you losing your power: Working too many hours, not being paid a fair wage, surrounded by uncommitted staff, being taken advantage of by your employees, being belittled, criticized, facing too many demands at work, not having the needed resources/training to do your job, not understanding your job, not having a safe, clean environment to work in…

Take responsibility

If you are losing your power you are allowing this to happen on some level. Notice what fears are controlling you and permitting the abuse, without judging or trying to fix anything. Are you worried about losing your job, not getting that promotion you want, being short staffed, not being liked or admired, not wanting to complain or rock the boat, not getting the job done. Compare these fears with needs that you outlined earlier.

Close your eyes and bring your awareness to these fears and notice whether or not these fears are creating the situation and if they are a result of any unmet needs outlined earlier. Notice anything else that comes up for you.

Take action

Taking action always starts with accepting the situation as is. Once you have a clear picture of how you are colluding with the behaviour and notice the tactics being used, you can gain a new perspective on the situation. You suddenly move out of victimhood and realize you have a lot more power to reclaim your energy and restore equilibrium within your energetic system. Sometimes the awareness will cause the shift you need, sometimes the awareness will need to move to acceptance and sometimes more drastic action will need to be taken to resolve the conflict. The goal is always to honour both parties and find win/win solutions rather than pointing fingers, punishing or getting rid of the problem which will simply perpetuate a narcissistic culture at work.

Conclusion

When you work towards stopping narcissistic abuse at work or in any area of your life, you are really healing your own narcissism which is simply the shame you hold where you do not accept yourself for the perfection you are, as well as, any associated fears and judgment that go along with denying your true nature. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices help you heal your narcissism by building awareness of your body, mind and spirit so you can connect to who you truly are and to what really matters.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . 

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

www.nicolerolland.com

How to protect yourself against emotional, mental and financial abuse in marriage

miniature couple sitting on a heart

If you are in any kind of relationship with a narcissist, the risk of losing your power to emotional, mental and financial abuse is great. To learn more about how shame, silencing, fear and judgment fuel narcissism you may want to go back to my blogs What is the root cause of narcissism and what can you do about it, and How to stop narcissistic silencing so you can start listening. The point is not to shame anyone for being a narcissist or try to eradicate it as a “necessary evil” as that will just reinforce it, but rather to build awareness of how you manage your energy and the energy of those around you. All too often we end up losing so much more than we bargained for and become diminished as a result. In the context of marriage or a relationship with your significant other, narcissism can lead to devastating results- emotionally, mentally and financially.

Narcissistic abuse happens between partners when one of the partner takes more energy from the other than the other has to give. No one is to blame and it is everyone’s responsibility to manage their own energy- again, please stay away from shaming anyone- your partner or yourself. Because narcissists have so much unhealed shame, they believe that the only way they can increase their power is by taking it from others. They do not see that they have the ability to manage and grow their own power. As a result they play dirty: they can lie, make their opponent question their sanity, silence, belittle, discredit, isolate and triangulate to list some examples of tactics they use to empower themselves at someone else’s expense.

Who is at risk ?

If you are fully enmeshed in a narcissistic marriage, you and your partner are embroiled in tit for tat power struggles: your partner criticizes you, you criticize in return, she steals your money so you steal hers, she makes fun of you so you make fun of her, he has an affair so you have one….Society reinforces and even rewards this with the limiting beliefs and lies we tell ourselves: it’s ok to have an affair- everyone has them, I am entitled to more of our joint assets because I make more money than you, If I am paid more I am worth more, your contribution is less important than mine….

Close your eyes, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to how you engage in power struggles with your partner…

Narcissists need to feel needed

Because narcissists are so disconnected from their true nature, they need to feel important in relation to others. They will make others needy so that they are needed. As a consequence, they create dependency relationships with their partners, children, parents, employees, colleagues. Whenever there is any kind of dependence, the risk for abuse is great: dependence for money, security, friends, affection, status, recognition… As long as you associate these with your identity you will do whatever you can to amass more money, security, friends, affection, status, recognition… to ensure your survival.

Close your eyes, connect to your breath and ask yourself what you believe you absolutely need to survive in this world? Notice what comes up…Who would you be if you lost this? What would happen if you lost it?

Narcissistic abuse in marriage

Narcissistic relationships foster inequality where one partner is entitled to more of the resources than the other, competition where partners compete over their share of the available resources, division where partners seek to isolate the other with a divide and conquer mindset and control by controlling their domain of influence ie. money, children, home, friends…This inevitably leads to emotional, mental and financial abuse.

  • Emotional Abuse: When there is a limiting belief that one partner’s needs are more important than the other’s so it’s ok to have affairs, isolate, reward and punish.
  • Mental Abuse: When there is a limiting belief that one partner’s thoughts are more valid than the other’s so it’s ok to belittle and make fun of, engage in gossip, lies and triangulation.
  • Financial Abuse: When there is a limiting belief that one partner is entitled to a larger portion of the financial resources so it’s ok to make unilateral financial decisions and not show transparency.

How to protect yourself

  1. Identify the pattern and take responsibility. If you are married to a full blown narcissistic you obviously attracted it in the first place and gave permission to the dynamic- you no longer need to perpetuate the pattern.
  2. Take charge of the situation Emotionally: Manage your emotions, go after your dreams and do what you love. Mentally: Regain power over your mind and thoughts. Seek professional help to discover your truth and establish your boundaries. Financially: Regain power over your finances by taking back half of your joint assets and building your own wealth. Get legal, accounting, as well as financial planning advice.
  3. Take action: Once you have established the presence of abuse, you are then well positioned to decide to stay and work at the relationship or cut ties. This all depends on whether you and your partner together decide to heal from narcissism. If one partner wishes to heal from narcissism and the other doesn’t it is impossible, in my opinion, to remain in loving partnership. If this is the case the one who wishes to heal from narcissism needs to unplug as quickly as possible. If neither wishes to heal, I believe you can work together to set new boundaries, find compromises, and continue to bargain and barter power to maintain a semblance of equilibrium. If both partners wish to heal, this to me is the perfect opportunity to help each other reach their greatest potential and may even be the reason why you were attracted to each other in the first place.

Conclusion

As you begin to connect to who you are and are looking for ways to manage your own energy without needing to take it away from someone else, your narcissistic tendencies will slowly melt away. You will then gravitate less and less to narcissistic people and will become more and more self sufficient. In turn, I believe the narcissistic institutions of old will be replaced by more caring government that cares for all its people, compassionate legal system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment, intelligent education that rewards learning rather than results and prestige, wise financial counsel that highlights equitable distribution and possibility for greater wealth for those who wish it, holistic health care that integrates body, mind and spirit. Learn more about how my principles of OTFG together with a daily yoga, meditation and mindfulness practice will help get you there so you can help others get there too.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance” . 

You can visit her anytime at Nicole Rolland Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness (NRYM) www.nicolerolland.com to learn more about her classes, programs, mindfulness coaching, as well as, her blogs, podcasts and other healing tips to help you experience and remember the wholeness and perfection you are.

www.nicolerolland.com