How to Influence a Narcissist: Options (Part 2 of 5)

In the previous post, we focused on your mindset. Now it’s time to interact with the narcissist in your life. You’re facing a self-absorbed, hyper-critical person. A person who bullies, bluffs, and bulldozes. Who specializes in finding fault and lobbing verbal grenades.

How do you influence a person like this? Is it even possible?


You start by understanding their mindset. They’re obsessed with self-importance. They crave control and admiration and fear being left out of the loop.

Your feelings and perspectives don’t even cross their mind when you interact. They just want to win, baby! To show how superior they are!

When you share an idea or decision with them, their knee-jerk reaction is to find fault. It makes them feel important.

In these situations, the key is to give the narcissist OPTIONS. The options can be big or small but should feel important to them, such as the timing of an event.

Giving them options helps you influence positive change because it helps the narcissist feel RESPECTED, not restricted. (Respect is something every human being wants—but narcissists covet and demand it to an extreme.)

You’re also modeling influential leadership by helping them participate in an open dialogue rather than their habitual diatribe.

It’s important to note that you’re not pandering or manipulating by doing this. You’re humanizing them (and yourself) by finding common ground and creating openness.

The first step of leadership influence is to connect, and this is a thoughtful way to connect with a difficult person, leading to a better, faster outcome in a world that demands speed and humanity.

More tips in the posts ahead. Meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

#influence #leadership #executivecoaching #narcissism#team

Share Post


About Connie

Globally recognized as the leading voice in leadership influence, Connie Dieken helps C-suite and senior executives use scientific insights to elevate their influence and presence.


Drive Profitable Results


Develop World Class Leaders


Spark Transformation

Influence 360

Get a Customized Report

Contact Us

Fill out this form and we will follow up with you very soon!

Media & Press Inquiries

including requesting Connie as a guest on your podcast

"*" indicates required fields

I'd like to receive emails from Connie Dieken
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.