The Narcissist in the Workplace
Bullyonline. org is an excellent resource:
How do bullies select their targets?:Not just a "corporate" clone. A clone of WHATEVER club the bullies in that instutiton weild like a club. It could be "the coaches" in a scool, for example.
The bully selects their target using the following criteria:
- bullies are predatory and opportunistic - you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; this is always the main reason - investigation will reveal a string of predecessors, and you will have a string of successors
- being good at your job, often excelling
- being popular with people (colleagues, customers, clients, pupils, parents, patients, etc) more than anything else, the bully fears exposure of his/her inadequacy and incompetence; your presence, popularity and competence unknowingly and unwittingly fuel that fear
- being the expert and the person to whom others come for advice, either personal or professional (ie you get more attention than the bully)
- having a well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise
- having a strong sense of integrity (bullies despise integrity, for they have none, and seem compelled to destroy anyone who has integrity)
- having at least one vulnerability that can be exploited
- being too old or too expensive (usually both)
- refusing to join an established clique
- showing independence of thought or deed
- refusing to become a corporate clone and drone
I have a slight criticism about this site. It has a bias characteristic of the European Left, which is very far left by American standards. And that bias skews the picture a bit.
What bias? The belief the "big guy" (the boss, the busines, or the corporation) is the bad guy and that the "little guy" is the poor, harmless, helpless and INNOCENT victim. This notion is so ingrained that most Europeans talk as though the definition of "bad guy" is "the big guy." And vice versa. It's an automatic assumption, a prejudice, that is just plain wrong. Not to mention simplistic.
The European political class cunningly promotes this line to promote a Big Brother government (who's a worse bully himself than your totalitarian big brother?) to oversee those evil business-types with intrusive regulation and a tyranny of political correctness. They convey the impression that corporations are the ones to watch for bullying. That bullies are MANAGERS. Not so. Anyone may be a bully. (Even a spoiled brat learns how to bully his or her parents with temper tantrums, especially in public.)
In fact, well-run coporations know how damaging bullying in the workplace can be and would never knowingly tolerate a bully manager. Bully managers are bad for business, because bullying pays nobody but the bully. Bully managers prefer the dregs to the best and the brightest. They ruin morale. They are slackers. They also frequently embezzle under the smokescreen of the witch hunt they orchestrate. That's why well-run businesses have good Personnel Departements.
Of course bullies who are managers usually (but not always) have more power than their victims. And of course, bullies are often (but not always) climbers who do achieve management status (through bullying to persecute any competing peers).
But in any workplace of 30 employees, you're bound to have 2 or 3 malignant narcissists. They know their own kind when they see them and develop a relationship like that between mating scorpions: "I won't sting you if you don't sting me, but just think what we can do to these other saps if we get together, baby."
In fact, in those cases I know, or know of, most of the bullies were NOT the manager! They even bullied the manager!
They do this by conducting a never-ending Ritual Hunt, in which they use their pets like hunting dogs to persecute whomever the bullies sic them on. In these unwholesome institutions, someone is always "getting it." "It" is persecution.
But aside from that subtle bias in this website, which is part of the European milieu, BullyOnline.org is excellent and offers much useful information. Just keep in mind that the malignant narcissist can be anybody, not just the boss.