By | April 7, 2012 43 Comments

Why narcissists get the job

A study finds that because narcissists are so comfortable talking about themselves, they often impress people who are interviewing them for jobs.

Read Narcissists often ace job interviews, study finds, on

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Ox Drover

I recently read where a law had been passed that knowing someone’s criminal background was now illegal…because it prevented them from getting jobs. Or if you revealed someone’s criminal background and they lost their job you could be prosecuted.

WTF???? Yea, I know (ex) criminals need jobs too…but I also think that the person who hires them has a right to know that they have a convicted criminal background.

ARREST records where the person is NOT prosecuted or is found not guilty are one thing (though actually I think they should be public record as well) but CONVICTIONS and prison sentences should be available to any employer. I wouldn’t want to hire someone to work in say a nursing home and not know they had an assault record or other violent conviction.

I do see why a person who is of a narcissistic bent would get the job because many times they are glib talkers and like the article says, an interview is a time when you are EXPECTED to talk nicely about your accomplishments and not be “humble” about them because you are trying to show the person doing the interview your good points and they expect you to brag a bit on yourself.

Working with a person who is ONLY a bit narcissistic isn’t too terrible, but we need to keep in mind that while every narcissist isn’t a psychopath, all psychopaths are narcissistic.

I have worked with psychopaths that I was their boss, and I have worked with psychopaths who were my boss, and neither condition is very good. It makes going to work a chore and you get to where you dread to go in….especially if you dont’ have the authority to fire them, which sometimes you don’t even though you are the supervisor.

Fortunately, every time I’ve been under a psychopath’s thumb, I was in a position where I could quit and go some place else. That was always the nice thing about nursing (and still is) is that if you are near a pretty good sized city, there were always MANY available jobs.


I have a friend who is permanently disabled from a couple of strokes and a heart attack. His brother placed in him a facility that specializes in brain-damaged patients and had great promise to be able to help him.

A violent con was a patient at the same facility. He was there because he had brain damage, too, and the prison had nothing for him.

He almost killed my friend one day. He wasn’t supervised. They knew about his background and they left him alone with my friend.

A nurse pulled the guy off my friend otherwise, he would have been dead. This guy was intent on finishing my friend off.

Anyway, my friend went into this facility paralyzed on one side, but he insisted on walking despite the effort it took. He hasn’t walked since this attack. He’s confined to a bed.

My son and I used to take him on short drives because when he could walk and stand, we could move him. Now, he’s dead weight.

In another instance, I was visiting a friend in a long-term care facility. She had a roommate, an elderly woman.

A female nurse’s aide or whatever rushed in the room one day, looked at the elderly woman, and while grabbing hard on her crotch and squeezing, asked, “Are you wearing a diaper? Yup.” The elderly woman winced in shame. Then the nurse aide marched out. I was speechless.

Stupid me, I should have told the nurses’ station what she did, but at the time, I had no idea what to do so I did nothing. I am not proud of that and have regretted it ever since.


Oxy, where was this law passed?

What about all the screenings required by schools and scout groups making sure that no sex offender is hired?

Know what troubles me about this article? The implication that if interviewers have the right skills, they can determine the narcissists in the interviews. All in 15 or 30 minutes?


I need a little advice on Narcissists before I comment on this story.

My brother has always been very Narcissistic and this has been an issue in our relationship. Over the last several years, he has become histrionic and hypochondriac. The last time I saw him, about a month ago, at dinner he began acting out regarding heart palpitations, and various other small maladies that left him in a panic attack.

I took the cognitive approach and mentioned that if he has any history of panic attacks and heart palpitations, he needs to avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugars. This is not the first time I have had this conversation with him and to be honest, I was pretty angry last month.

Today, the same thing happened. I asked him if he had any caffeine (yes but “only one cup…”) alcohol (yes, wine the night before) and I reminded him how bad these are, along with sweets, for anyone with panic problems. I was testy this morning, but calmed down

This evening he was going to drive me home when he said he need to stop in at mom’s “to pick up some chocolate…”

I lost it. Everything is in one ear, out the other with him.

My frustration is compounded by the fact that he has an MS in social work and boasts about his understanding of holistic medicine, and I have had very real, very serious health conditions, including open-heart surgery, and downplay them all. I even told him with his attitude, he could not survive one day of my life given very real and constant skipped beats and arrhythmia’s. Along with occasional chest pain. I did not go into my PTSD induced Cyclothymia from my experience with a sociopathic employer, illegal termination, legal battles and of course the x-spath.

His mentality to find reasons to continue doing something (green tea is good for you, wine relaxes me, chocolate has antioxidants) and I lost it. Not only because in one minute he brags about home informed he is and then dismisses the obvious. Also, after all I have been thru, stiff upper lift, people moaning about anything other than broken bones and blood to me is purely attention seeking.

However, at home now I am being my normal introspective me and feel very bad for getting into an argument with him, even to the point of how much over the years I have caused some of his issues.


you already know the answer, I think.
We can’t control other people, we can only control our own behavior. We can’t save them or rescue them either.

It’s ok to give advice just don’t expect him to listen to it.

That said, I would recommend to him that he take more magnesium and potassium. He will be amazed at how much better he feels. Magnesium malate works best.

It’s easier to do something new, than to quit something old.


BBE, Skylar is spot-on. We cannot control what other people think, do, say, or believe.

Having said that, you have known your brother your entire life and he has always behaved the same way even though the behaviors may have escalated and morphed. If it were me (and, I’ve been in such a relationship), I would avoid offering my humble opinion, view, observation, or knowledge at all times. If someone asks for my opinion, I am STILL hesitant to provide it if their track record demonstrates that they’re just talking to hear themselves speak.

I have enough to concern myself with in my own life, and I’d rather speak with people who are open, receptive, and will give back at appropriate times. Wasting my precious time on someone who just wants to hear the wind whistle through their open mouths is not on my agenda. This saves me a WHOLE lot of triggering, anxiety, and opportunities for N’s to minimalize and dismiss me. I don’t want to hear their white noise, and they won’t hear mine.

Brightest blessings, BBE.



Yes, I am going to recommend Magnesium. You are right, for the sake of my mother and oddly for him, I need to not get triggered. I need to recognize that while hypochondria *may* be an attention getting act, is it also a mental illness when it becomes extreme.


Isn’t histrionics a subset of narcissism with hypochondria being part of that?


G1S, it “can” be. There are so many facets to the human psyche that even the “experts” can’t sort it all out. If any of us were to undergo a psych assessment when we made our discoveries, we’d all probably have been institutionalized on the spot.


And, let’s not forget that those making the assessments have their own baggage, prejudices, biases, and get trained in different schools of thought.


Yes, hypochondria is a subset of histrionic personality disorder, of which my brother shows several other traits (mostly cannot take criticism), but I would probably not classify him as histrionic.

He is more narcissistic and anxious. He is the only person who really trigger me into arguments, because he has a “know it all” attitude and is covert-aggressive, all the time thinking he is perfect or brilliant. I just can’t take Narcissistic people, which is one reason I never feel fully comfortable in the gay “scene” — it is a small pond full of them. 🙁


my exspath had his heart speed up at random times. He would end up sitting outside the emergency room (just in case), all night. (so he said). Anyway, I gave him magnesium and it got under control. He drinks coffee like a fish drinks water. Coffee is a diuretic, as is alcohol. So you lose minerals along with fluids, when you consume them. Sugar works in a similar way by stimulating the adrenals. In nature, sugar always comes packed with minerals. Our addiction to refined sugar creates an imbalance. Potassium also gets lost via the use of diuretics, but is easily replaced by bananas.

The funny thing is that replacing the magnesium will also change his attitude a bit. He will feel calmer. Chocolate has magnesium in it and it may be that he is craving it for that reason.

Many people are “disconnected” from their bodily sensations. This is particularly true of spaths. Emotions have a large physical component and people who have suppressed the ability to feel emotions, are largely ignoring the physical sensations of it using will power. When the sensations get to the point that they can’t ignore it, they think they are sick or dying.

BBE, Thank you for bringing up this topic it reminded me of so many things I’d forgotten about. My spath told me how he quit cigarettes – I just remembered. He said that when he felt the craving, he simply turned that awful feeling into something enjoyable. He convinced himself that he loved how it felt. OMG. That describes his whole life and his love of evil. 😯

He perverted everything so he wouldn’t have to suffer.



After all the drama, I told my mother something that she did not know and why my brother’s heart histrionics is particularly upsetting to me.

I have open heat surgery two years ago. When I found out, I was told I had six months or I would be facing an “emergency room situation.” I told nobody. I did not want to upset my family and cause them to worry. Thus, when my brother did the exact opposite, I lost it.

I was so angry I told him he could not live a day of my life, due to my constant missed beats and arrhythmia.


Hi Skylar & BBE, et al,
I read in (I think Martha Stout’s book) that they feel every little twinge, ache, and pain in their bodies? Hypocondriacs to the extreme.

The one I knew always had some ache or pain. She complained a lot about her body hurting.



I have a friend who is like that. Every week he is at a different doctor for something. About a month ago, he bagged his hand. For a week he was complaining and then finally went not to a doctor by a hand specialist. Turns out he did have a slight fracture. Then for three weeks all he did was complain about the soft cast and how it was limiting him…

I told him I would have gone mountain biking, and I mean it.


LOL -mountai bikig-the pain thresholds in people vary so much.

At work (massage therapist) I am cosidered a massage wimp cause I can dish it out (deep tissue)but can’t take it…lol

But this chronic complaining about every little thing drives me crazy also. Her hands one week, neck the next week, arms, forearms, on and on…She also doused her hands in alcohol after every massage shift she worked. I told her she was crazy. When they finally cracked and bled she stopped doing it…UGH


My complainer friend is addicted to inhalers but his place is so dusty that after 5 minutes there helping him move some furniture, I start sneezing and literally had to leave.

You will laugh at this. We were at a party. After about two hours, the family cat appears. He immediately starts wheezing and sneezing.


LOL, yep that’s a good one! I woulda said ‘how come youre tongue is not swelled up’ cause that’s a sure sign your allergic….

My exspath friend is addicted to bleach, rum, and lyingcheatingandstealing.


I admire your spirit but I also hope that you can be gentle with body, when the body requires it. Your body is a person too. be nice to it and it will be nice to you.

as bizarre as it seems, I feel guilty for neglecting my spath when he was ill. (it’s ironic because he sabotaged my health by poisoning me)

I feel bad because now I see that he really did have problems and he was really suffering. To me, at the time, it just seemed like he was a hypochondriac. Now I understand that years of suppressing your emotions can have a terrible effect on the body and mind.


You should not be hard on yourself about that. It’s like the boy crying wolf, wich time was the real thing???

On the other hand that sentence made my day cause why should they NOT suffer after all the cause? It seems fair to me.



I learned my lesson too late. In trying to get back to my life too fast after the heart surgery, I did too much too soon. Two months to the day after the surgery, I rode my bicycle 75 miles.

I believe that this, plus the ongoing stress of my legal battle against my sociopathic former employers led to my complete system collapse last summer.


you have a tendency to push yourself. The heart condition, very much like the spath attack, should have been a warning to you that you need to make some changes. Changes in life usually have to begin with changes in attitude.

I had a very similar attitude. I used to be addicted to exercise. Now, it’s just the opposite. I think it’s because I used to try to control everything and that included my physique. After my experience w/the spath, I have a different attitude.



I agree, all of this has taught me a lot…


Skylar, I remember how ill I was at various times with my condition before it was diagnosed. I would literally lose my bladder because I was in so much pain that I couldn’t get to the loo in time. He would say, “Aw, poor dear,” and then ask what I was going to cook for dinner.

The last day that I saw him, he called from work to complain about how his side ached – MRI and loads of tests had proven it to be excessive GAS!!!! But, he tells me this after I had finally found evidence of his extra-marital activities, and I said, “Oh, you poor, poor thing,” over the phone with the most blatantly sarcastic tone that I could muster.

MINIMALIZE…….they minimalize the suffering of other human beings and engage in their one-upmanship games so that we end up believing that our physical and emotional well-being has no importance, whatsoever. In turn, WE end up minimalizing our own needs and end up being martyrs-by-proxy: to indicate or complain about our conditions gives them opportunity to ridicule.

Sheeeeesh…..we’re not machines. We’re human beings.


My brother (lawyer) said employers will hire or not hire whomever they want. Laws, in the real world of corporate America, are there as a suggestion. He said this awhile back so I haven’t asked him if he’s heard about the criminal background checks not being allowed.

I believe he is right. With facebook, mugshots online, and so many other free resources for employers to use I do not see any law safeguarding the hiring of potential criminals.

I have worked at several places that actually seemed to hire a majority of criminals, so there are still plenty of jobs available to them even if this law took affect.


With regard to background checks and the hiring of ex-cons, I can say the following from personal experience:

I was arrested for DV and the criminal charges were dismissed. When I spoke to the police after the incident, I told them the truth and the truth never appeared on their report. What DID appear was an over-exaggerated version that portrayed me to have suddenly, and without warning, flown into a violent rage and attacking with an intent to commit murder. Now, although the criminal charges were dismissed and the matter is now closed, this will follow me for the rest of my life – I was arrested for domestic violence, PERIOD. Potential employers are not interested in anything else than the public record.

Many businesses and companies are PAID to hire ex-convicts through work-release and rehabilitation programs. They are paid to hire and train ex-cons to help them integrate into society. For instance, a popular fast-food restaurant receives 10K tax break PER ex-con that is hired and maintained for 3 months or more, per year. The burger joint is also provided cash incentives to “hire” the ex-cons – the gubmint pays the burger joint nearly 100% of the WAGES of the new employee for a certain amount of time.

Now, I wonder what types of programs are in place for the FARKING VICTIMS of sociopaths to recover and rebuild their lives!!!

raised by sociopath

Wow! The woman who raised me was indeed a strange hypochondriac too. Whatever ailment the family or friends had she claimed it too. She was an avid reader of these medical books of diseases. My one sister (have one sibling who is a major drama queen and hypochondriac) and I are reluctant to this day to discuss are health issues because of the embarrassment of the over the top drama this woman would go to for attention (even from a stranger waiting to pay for groceries).

Just curious these hypochondriacs you know are they incapable of having compassion for anyone else who indeed is dealing with illnesses?

I know this woman is absolutely incapable of doing so. I remember times when I had the flu, she was trying to force me into eating in which case I passed out, threw-up, and case of diarrhea after passing out on the floor. She brought me too by beating the crap out of me because I got sick on her carpet. What the hell! No one in her family listens to her anymore as far as I know (haven’t had contact with them for 8 years now). She actually is made fun of right to her face about her addiction for attention at all costs and her jealousy issues over anyone who is in her spot light over being unhealthy. Sick… Sick…Sick!

Ox Drover


Convictions for criminal complaints are one thing versus arrests. I realize that people are arrested every day who are not guilty of anything….and complaints being fraudulently filed by psychopaths against their victims happen. What I was talking about was the people who come out of prison and the employers not being allowed to know about their CONVICTIONS.

I personally wouldn’t hire a convicted anyone if I were looking for an employee….but that is my personal bias. I do think I have the right to know the background criminal convictions (not arrests) of any potential employee though.

raised by sociopath

I’m learning now if my intuition alerts me I’m dealing with a narcissist to stay away and not engage into their drama. It might take a few months to realize it but once I do listen to the warning signs I’m nicely easing myself out of their range to hear and react to their bs.

As far as ex-cons past not being made available to potential employers: this is not comforting feeling however; the legal system knows about them. How about the personality disorder coworkers that know how to lie to management after they have deliberately been entertained by creating drama for pure enjoyment because they don’t want to work with you. We all have stories I’m sure about these sick individuals. In time they do receive a taste of their own game turned on them by someone else who just gets tired of them.
I wish I could be around to see it happen.


Muenchausen-by-proxy. The deliberate harm/abuse by one person upon another (usually, infants or people incapable of reporting the abuse) that results in “attention” by the medical and psychiatric community.

Raised by a sociopath, have you engaged in any counseling therapy since your extrication from this house of horrors? What a terrifying childhood. Blessings to you on your healing path.

raised by sociopath

Ox Drover
I agree especially when there is those of us who lost our jobs due to downsizing and are looking for employment.

I believe it to be a fact there are more criminals who have not been caught then ex-cons who have suffered the consequences for breaking the law. Scary! Obtained that information from the legal (court) system.


OxD, I agree that a potential employer should have the OPTION to choose to hire an ex-con, or not. Indeed, a convicted criminal record should be considered – having someone who was convicted and served time for over 2 dozen counts of “Theft By Deception” shouldn’t be working a CASH REGISTER or any other position that would give them access to other people’s financial information!

I agree 100% that criminal records should be available. Heck, I’ve applied at numerous businesses where they inform potential employees that the business maintains the right to perform a criminal and civil background check – I just wonder if they actually DO.

raised by sociopath


I was in treatment with a very knowledgeable therapist however; due to losing my job from downsizing I can not afford to be under her deprogramming treatment.

The state in which I live in has me taking part within a therapy group secessions. This is helping a lot to be near other adults who have been recovering from their childhood. We help each other because we understand each other. So far very positive results.


Raised, I am SO glad to hear that – having my own “blame core” to manage, I cannot imagine the issues that were forced upon you as an innocent child. TOWANDA to you, Raised! And, hugs.


One last comment regarding hypochondriacs:

It is on the continuum of Cluster B Disorders that include Narcissism, BPD and Sociopathy…

Thus, part of the illness stems from these people’s need for attention. That is the part I have trouble dealing with. However, once any behavior becomes debilitating, it become real.


In July 2002, a woman was traveling back from one city to her home not far from where I live.

She stopped at a burger chain on the expressway, one of those official 24-hour reststops that have gasoline, vending machines, and many times a food court.

This was an older place so the restrooms were outside. It was the type where you needed to get the key so you wouldn’t find an undesirable waiting for you inside the bathroom.

One of the burger chain employees was an ex-con hired under the “hire an ex-con program.” It turned out that he was a very violent ex-con. He was a convicted rapist. He was a huge guy who has been assigned to clean the restrooms.

A local DA had tried to prevent his release from prison, but a judge rejected it stating that the sexual predator law applied only to specific sex crimes and the ex-con’s conviction for accosting a minor did not qualify.

She was a tiny thing who had taken and was very skilled in martial defense. The evidence showed that she had put up a powerful fight against him.

He was caught because a state trooper had stopped to use the mens’ room. He heard the noise in the ladies’ room. When he went in, he saw the ex-con washing his knife off.

She did considerable damage to him before he killed her, but in the end, his size got the better of her.

The attack occurred shortly after midnight.

There was a lot coverage of this incident because she was such a talented, gifted, well-liked person with a mother who would not let the story die. Of course, there was the predictable, “What was a guy like that working in a place like this?”

Probably because nobody else wanted the minimum wage job of cleaning the bathrooms and they did say that this chain got some sort of financial consideration for hiring ex-cons.

There was something in the news about maybe the chain should do a better job of screening the type of ex-con they were hiring next time, meaning that this wasn’t going to stop even when a rape and murder occurred.

As you will read in the article below, the chain sidestepped the issue. AAA also said that this was case of being the wrong person in the wrong place. That’s the myth – it’s a one time incident and nothing could have done to have prevented it.

There is a Wikipedia article about the incident and a foundation now in her name. Her parents were able to have a law made in her name.

Alexandra Nicole Zapp (August 24, 1971 – July 18, 2002) was murdered in the women’s room of a Burger King rest stop in Bridgewater, Massachusetts on July 18, 2002. Section 121 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (P.L. 109-248) is named the “Megan Nicole Kanka and Alexandra Nicole Zapp Community Notification Program” after her and another victim. Massachusetts’ Sexually Dangerous Persons Law is informally called the “Ally Zapp” Law.


I remember that horrid story. So very sad and scary.
We both live in the same state!



No kidding?


No, I’m not kidding. Here’s how you’ll know for sure; isn’t that wicked cool?




That is absolutely horrible…


That law Oxy was talking about; it’s here in our state. What a lovely governor we have. You can look it up online, I did. 🙁


What’s it called?

I hate our General Assembly. What a bunch of idiots.

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