Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
A woman volunteer who is a narcissist stars grumpily at the person talking.
Read in
2 mins

3 Characteristics of a Narcissist and How You Can Manage Them

In just one day, 250 million photos were uploaded to Facebook and 864,000 hours of video to YouTube, according to “Look at me, look at me, look at me now!” People long to be the center of the universe today. Now, not everyone is a narcissist who tweets or uses Facebook. In fact, while studies show that narcissism is on the rise, you rarely run into one. Managing a narcissist, though, is a unique challenge.

How can you lead a narcissist on your team? Here are a few key narcissistic characteristics that you have to manage.

Star Role Mentality

A narcissist already believes he or she’s the star of her life. Evidence of this is excessive tweeting, blogging, Facebook-posting about the ever-so-interesting minutiae of their life. A narcissist believes the rest of us are just waiting on every post to know just how amazing life is in their world. A narcissist may listen politely to others’ ideas in brainstorming, but deep down she believes that their ideas are really 10 times better than others. So the idea of “brainstorming” is just an idea.

How to Manage

Cautiously give upfront roles to this person. The “stage” is like crack to a narcissist addict. Once you give a mic to a narcissist who doesn’t fully represent your values, you’re in trouble.  It’s very difficult to maintain your values/DNA with a narcissist who’ll do anything to get a laugh or attention. In brainstorm sessions, to get the best teamwork when you have a raging narcissist, continue to coach him or her on allowing others to also speak and being kind in their critique.

Teflon Mentality

A narcissist believes he or she does everything amazingly well. In fact, a narcissist believes that if there are problems with their work, it’s probably you who has the problem. If only you could see how amazing I am, he or she thinks, you’d quit correcting me. It’s very difficult to correct a narcissist who won’t acknowledge the need for correction.

How to Manage

Repetition seems to work for a while. Continue to stay on message and reiterate the areas that need correction over and over and over. At the end of the day, it’ll go right back to the problem being you, but at least in the short-term, you’ll see small improvements.

Fool Mentality

A narcissist believes that there’s nothing you can teach him or her since they’re great at everything already. Proverbs 17:10 says “A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.” Try as you might, pointing out areas that need improvement may not get through to a narcissist—even if you do it a hundred times. A narcissist won’t work on learning what you need him or her to because, after all, they have no deficits.

How to Manage

Like it or not, you may have to say goodbye to a narcissist on your team. If he or she absolutely will not heed correction, you need to help them see that it’s time to go. You may even need to fire the person. Upholding your ministry’s DNA and values outweighs the narcissist’s need to do it their super-awesome-amazing way that only they are the star of.

Want more volunteer management ideas? Check out these articles!

One thought on “3 Characteristics of a Narcissist and How You Can Manage Them

  1. Adam Walsh


    Interesting post, I can't help but think this one's about me! (Haha would that be narcissistic??) I see most of these as strengths to be utilized, rather than weaknesses to be exploited. I think being able to navigate talented people on a team shows the mettle of any good leader! 🙂 Belief in the merit of one's ideas, not getting depressed or knocked down from constant "correction," and genuine talent in a God-given area are all strengths, as I see them. And the Teflon Mentality one, I think I actually said the "he thinks" part in one of our meetings! lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Characteristics of a Narcissist and...

Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
Our Pins!