A narcissist’s ego is hyper-sensitive. Criticism causes ‘narcissistic injury,’ which can trigger an outburst of ‘narcissistic rage.’ The affected will blow a perceived slight out of proportion and lash out at its source with accusations and blame—never admitting any responsibility. The narcissist plays the innocent victim act, engages allies, and can go to great lengths to exact revenge on someone they feel offended by.
Sociopaths tend to be comfortable lying, having years of practice (and no qualms) and so can sound believable when making baseless statements. The sociopath benefits when people feel too uncomfortable to ask a seemingly sincere, respectable person to substantiate a claim, or fail to look closely at evidence—if not ignore it—because of his charm or perceived authority. He also benefits when people believe that they can “just tell” who is lying and who is telling the truth, and so fail to adequately investigate.
Expect to be on your own in your fight with a workplace bully, with no support from within the company. Co-workers are more likely to distance themselves from your problems, hoping to preserve their own positions and opportunities.
From: Fighting Workplace Bullies, Part 2: Preparing Yourself to Respond
See also: Why Workplace Bullies Thrive: The Bystander Effect
Common Types of Manipulation
Dr. George Simon explains how manipulation tactics work.
Vulnerabilities exploited by manipulators
Dealing with Manipulative People