Does a narcissist control your behavior at work?
Codependents feel a compelling need to defend the behavior of a narcissistic colleague, so they take on the psychological defenses and survival behaviors of the narcissist. This ultimately results in codependent behavior characterized by dishonesty and denial. Thus the behavior of codependents in teams mimic in many ways the behavior of the narcissist.
The glue that holds all the pieces in place for an effective and efficient team is trust. All the other characteristics of successful team members are dependent upon their ability to trust both themselves and one another, something virtually all the commentators agree upon.
Likewise, virtually all the commentators writing about codependency agree that people who are codependent trust no one.1
Possibly the most significant difference between the behavior of codependents and the behavior of narcissists is in decision making. Codependents don't trust themselves to make a decision. On the other hand, narcissists are decisive when making decisions. They know what they want; it's whatever is best for them. But codependents use external referencing whenever possible, that is, they always check with others before making choices.2
Codependents often experience a sense of being lost, having low self-esteem and being unable to form healthy and productive relationships.4 One of the most difficult problems they experience is 'boundary distortion'. They are unable to discern where their own person stops and that of others begin.5
They rarely allow others to glimpse their true feelings, displaying rather what they believe others expect of them. Through this 'false self', they internalize the disappointment and anger, holding it like a time bomb for later use. When it finally explodes, it has the capacity to sabotage the whole team process.6
The following table was published in the Journal of Business and Psychology.3 It describes the characteristics of successful team members versus codependents.