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How to Negotiate With Narcissists

Narcissists have an overwhelming need to be admired and can lack empathy and other components of healthy emotions. They can be self-important, arrogant and demanding - while at the same time they don't take kindly to criticism.

Narcissists tend to hold positions of power, whether in politics or business. This can mean that at some time you'll probably have to negotiate with one as you build your business.

There are certain steps you can use to help bargain and make successful deals.

How to spot a narcissist

This is the simple part. When you're talking to them, their world view quickly becomes apparent. Everything revolves around them, they are the only ones which make great things happen. They have supreme self-confidence and see themselves as overly intelligent, attractive and capable. They believe that they need special, preferential treatment.

Commonly, they will push back against any perceived slight, no matter how small and insignificant. They will also attack anything that calls into question their lofty perceptions of themselves. Frequently they will see themselves as the victim which justifies their vindictiveness and ruthlessness. They are able to manipulate emotions such as guilt, fear and anxiety while appearing to be charming and charismatic.

So, how do you bargain with a narcissist?

There are several techniques you can use to make your life easier when you come up against a narcissist.

Accept who you are dealing with

Given what you now know about narcissists, it's not surprising that they're hard to do deal with, in business. They can be impossible to bargain with in good faith. Trying to focus on rational and logical concerns can often fail to move the process forward.

So how can you bargain with them? First, you need to understand them. You need to accept that they are who they are and they're never going to change. This can put you in a stronger position mentally and psychologically for the negotiation ahead.

The art of negotiating

In all negotiations you need to stay focused on your goal while figuring out what people really need and why they want it. When bargaining with narcissists, what they really want is your flattery. This proves to them that they really are great and worthwhile. Deep down inside the narcissist, they are usually very insecure and frightened. This means you need to make them feel important and powerful.

The more you convey to them that you understand how great they are, the more willing you will find them to work with you. You should still address the terms of the deal and the specifics are still just as critical, but if you don't pay attention to the narcissist, they probably won't pay attention to the terms, nor will they make any concessions.

This approach can be hard for some people to get to grips with. Sometimes the people leading the negotiations are also wealthy and successful and have their own strategies for negotiating. These people now have to adapt their strategies and override their egos to deal with the narcissists if they want to move forward.

Remember your ultimate goal

Remember that it's possible to negotiate with almost anyone. It's just that when negotiating with narcissists, you need to recognise that they need to be seen as the most important and successful person there. You will need to reinforce this point repeatedly if you want to have them onside with you.

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