Hi - I am trying to understand a very distructive person so that we can address a difficult situation. She is a gymnastic trainer, 34, from Romania, with power over 90 girls and who has Head Trainer responsiblities, only because she was first when we started.
She cannot take any hint of criticism - she reads into every word, expression, as a hidden message - criticism. she either defends herself violently, or more likely, cuts all contact, - will not speak to you, and might even ignore or not speak to your child.
She assumes a smile from one of the older gymnasts is disrespect and laughing at her behind her back.
If a child dares (and this is scary for them) to say what is wrong, why they are not happy, or what they really meant (when they are blamed for something that they did
not do, or mean, or say), she will not listen, but tell them that they must show respect - she will talk them down, cow them, and hold them captive while she lectures them. Not one child dares tell the truth to her. They don't dare wear makeup, or nail polish, or suits that she says are unattractive, because she will attack them for it. If they manage to say something about how they feel they have been treated, she will make fun of them about it later, in a not so nice way (though she will say to the that she was teasing, and they are too sensitive, or have no sense of humour).
If the elite girls have a bad competition, she has been known to go off and cry, or glare at the girls for their failures, point the out to the others, and maybe not speak to the team for a week. She takes it very personally in other words.
The older girls push her buttons most, because, while they are cowed and obedient in her presence, she is sure they have opinions about her, and this she cannot take.
She is taking often the victim role. She has a story for how much she has sacrificed, done and that no one has any idea how much.
She also doesnt trust other trainers, and has alianated a large network of trainers from Romania and refuses to have any contact with them, or any other trainer close to them.
She hides her own background, is very private- leads people to beleive she is truly the most knowledgeable and better than other trainers- and if anyone has more knowledge or experience in her field them her, they have to be vary careful how they demonstrate it as she will instantly distance herself, reject them, or even hate them.
She is volitile, and I am sure also depressed, but her pride is too great to show any weakness to anyone.
She explains that everything she does is because she has high integrity and cannot do, say or behave in any way that does not reflect her values. Anything else would be faking it, she says.
At this point we are in a situation where she is tearing the club in two, blocking our developement, hurting the girls, rejects all forms of interference, and has threatened to quit if we bring in trainers with leader qualities (and we can't afford that crisis - we would rather a nice transfer of responsibilities while she steps down and consentrates on younger girls, or leaves - after we are settled).
What is this we are dealing with (Narcissistic PD?) What is the best way to deal with her? What is the best way to help all of us, including her?
Thank you for helping! (PS - labour laws in this country are very strong .. not as in the US, so we have to tread carefully, and in addition, it is a small country with an even smaller gymnastics environment which can be a challengs, and the last point ,we are a foundation, with managment by parent committees...)