Washington: While a narcissist is known to portray a self-centred nature and is likely to put himself above others, it has been found that they are tougher mentally than others! Yes, you heard it right. Moreover, these people feel less stressed and find themselves less vulnerable to depression as compared to others, according to a study published in the journal — Personality and Individual Differences.
While narcissism may be viewed by many in society as a negative personality trait, Dr Kostas Papageorgiou, Director of the InteRRaCt Lab in the School of Psychology at Queen’s, has revealed that it could also have numerous health benefits.
Dr Papageorgiou explained: “Narcissism is part of the ‘Dark Tetrad’ of personality that also includes Machiavellianism, Psychopathy and Sadism. There are two main dimensions to narcissism — grandiose and vulnerable.” “Vulnerable narcissists are likely to be more defensive and view the behaviour of others as hostile whereas grandiose narcissists usually have an over-inflated sense of importance and a preoccupation with status and power,” he added.
Dr Papageorgiou further went on to say that “individuals high on the spectrum of dark traits such as narcissism, engage in risky behaviour, hold an unrealistic superior view of themselves, are overconfident, show little empathy for others, and have little shame or guilt.” However, what this research has questioned is — if narcissism, as an example of the dark tetrad, is indeed so socially toxic, why does it persist and why is it on the rise in modern societies? This research includes three independent studies each involving more than 700 adults in total and highlights some positive sides of narcissism such as resilience against symptoms of psychopathology. A key finding of the research was that grandiose narcissism can increase mental toughness and this can help to offset symptoms of depression.
Moreover, people who score high on grandiose narcissism have lower levels of perceived stress and are therefore less likely to view their life as stressful.
“The results from all the studies that we conducted show that grandiose narcissism correlates with very positive components of mental toughness such as confidence and goal orientation, protecting against symptoms of depression and perceived stress,” Dr Papageorgiou commented.