There’s an Upside to Being a Narcissist! Here’s Scientific Evidence to Back This Claim
Talking about it with your friends, it seems as though narcissism is something to shun. After all, who wants to interact with an egotistical individual who imposes their sense of self-importance on others?
So much of an issue is it that there’s a medical diagnosis for it. Those whose need for admiration is way overboard, coupled with the constant lust for grandiosity and the lack of empathy towards others meet the threshold for a narcissistic personality disorder diagnosis.
If asked, you’d say that such people are just the worst to work with and you’d no doubt have lots of evidence to support your claim. However, did you know that there’s an upside to being narcissistic? Yeah, you heard that right.
The New Normal
A recent article by CNBC Make It claims that over the past few years, narcissistic traits have become the new normal, especially among insanely successful individuals such as CEOs and high-profile leaders.
The article goes on to say that while such characters can be extremely difficult to work with, there’s just this air around them that attracts people to them, with many of them bosting significant following. They also tend to be promoted more than your average employee and earn more compared to their peers.
As it turns out, there is actual scientific data that supports this. Studies conducted by the UK’s Queen’s University Belfast reveal that narcissistic individuals are mentally tougher than people without the personality trait, and they are less likely to suffer from stress and depression compared to the rest of us.
How so, you ask? Thinking about it, the answer is quite clear. A narcissist believes that they are the best and as such, deserve only the best. They have no time to play second fiddle, and this is the force that drives them to be “better” than the average man on the street.
Kostas Papageorgiou, lead study author of the Belfast studies agrees, saying that in their quest to be the best, narcissists face numerous challenges along the way. Not known for giving up, they more often than not overcome these hurdles, and in so doing, sharpen their minds.
In their study, Papageorgiou, and co. surveyed over 700 adult participants with some level of narcissism, but not so high that it met the narcissistic personality disorder threshold. Questions in the survey centered around mental toughness, with a participant’s answers helping the researchers group them into one of two groups – grandiose narcissism or vulnerable narcissism.
The former was for individuals whose narcissistic traits lead them to establish dominance, while individuals whose narcissism is all about mistrust and negativity were categorized into the latter group.
Data collected from the grandiose narcissists all seemed to point towards traits that set you on the path to success, including confidence, goal-orientation, and of course, a tough mind. These enviable traits seemed to offset whatever negativity these individuals could be feeling, greatly reducing the risk of stress or depression.
As Papageorgiou puts it, grandiose narcissists are extroverts and have very high self-esteem. With so much confidence in an individual, what’s there to stop them? There’s also the fact that they hardly ever consider other people’s opinions, so they are much more focused on their goals.
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