Narcissistic personality traits – such as grandiosity, superiority, and empowerment – have increased in recent years, especially among senior leaders and successful CEOs. Although narcissists can be difficult to work with, they can easily attract people, are more likely to receive promotions and are often paid more.
In fact, people who have high levels of narcissism are also more likely to be psychologically more severe and have lower rates of depression and stress than their peers, according to new research from Queen's University of Belfast.
This is because many people with narcissistic traits are led by the belief that they deserve the best of life.
"In their attempt to access the resources that they deserve, [they] face many challenges," Costas Papageorgiou, author of the study, told CNBC Make It. "Overcoming these challenges can help them build their mental capacity."
For the study, researchers examined over 700 adults who exhibit clinical or "normal" levels of narcissism (which is different from having narcissistic disorder). personality) and they were asked about narcissism and mental stamina. Researchers also classify narcissism into two broad categories: "grandiose narcissism" characterized by exhibitionism and domination, and "vulnerable narcissism" associated with negativism and mistrust.
All evidence shows that grandiose narcissism tends to correlate with traits that help you succeed, such as mental stamina, confidence, and goal orientation. And the confidence and sense of achievement that people with grand narcissism have acquired seem to offset any negative feelings of stress and depression that these traits might otherwise cause.
"Grand narcissism seems to correlate positively with wellness and extroversion," Papageorgiou says. These types of narcissists tend to be very confident, which is a good thing. (On the other hand, a vulnerable narcissist may be overly sensitive.) A grand narcissist may not consider other people's opinions, which may help them focus on a goal, he adds.
"Certainly sound self-esteem is a way to get through most social situations," says Papageorgiou, but acting in narcissistic ways by prioritizing yourself to improve your own status and progress "can be more effective, when confronted with a real challenge, "he says.
Of course, narcissism also has negative consequences: Other studies show that narcissists are destructive and changeable, especially in positions of power.
" We must be able to dominate personality instead of letting her dominate us, "Papageorgiou says." This is what happens when problems arise. "
In fact, everyone has a little narcissism in them, Papageorgiou says, and that shouldn't be a bad thing.
"People try to adapt, survive and succeed in a social, political and economic environment that encourages a" self-made "man or woman", and he believes that his discoveries could reduce some of the pressure and negativity who get to be treated as narcissists.
However, in order for them to succeed, narcissists must also be competent and humble in knowing when to correct their behavior, says Papageorgiou. "An incompetent narcissist will not get far in the workplace or in life," he says.
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