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Narcissists Are Less Likely To Feel Depressed Or Stressed, New Study Reveals

A narcissist or an individual with a narcissistic personality disorder have a magnified sense of self-image and self-importance. The mental condition causes the person to have an extreme need for excessive attention and admiration.

It is cardinal to love yourself and who you are. However, it is also important to be considerate of the people around you. You may have come across people who are solely focused on themselves that nothing and no one around them matter. And, when a person is extremely engorged in oneself, it is never positive.

However, according to a recent study - this is beneficial for one's mental health, that is, the narcissist's mental health.

Narcissists Have A Mental Health Advantage

According to the recent study by a team of researchers in Queen's University Belfast, narcissists are at an advantage where their attitude, lack of empathy and sense of self-importance can help protect themselves from crippling mental health concerns.

On exploring how being a narcissist can impact a person's mental well being, the researchers asserted that being a narcissist can lead to positive outcomes[1] .

The study, published in the scientific journals Personality and Individual Differences and European Psychiatry had 700 respondents from three separate studies. The respondents were asked to fill out questionnaires that comprised of questions that measured sub-clinical narcissism, mental toughness, symptoms of depression and perceived stress.

Grandiose Narcissism Boosts Mental Toughness

To explore the impact the trait could have on an individual's mental health, the researchers outlined two predominant forms of narcissism such as grandiose and vulnerable narcissism [2] . The head researcher Dr Kostas Papageorgiou pointed out that, "narcissism is a part of the dark tetrad of personality that also includes Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism."

They compared the two predominant forms of narcissism and asserted that "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" [3] .

And this helped the researchers find out a connection between traits of grandiose narcissism and mental well being and said that individuals who have the so-said trait also showed confidence and goal-orientation which was linked with an extremely lowered risk of experiencing symptoms of depression or perceived stress [4] .

Promotes Inclusiveness Of People

One of the major positive outcome of the study is that it aids in developing as well as promoting a sense of inclusiveness and diversity of people as it advocates that the dark traits such as narcissism should not be viewed in a specific light of either bad or good but as something that leads to the evolution and expressions of human nature that may be beneficial or harmful depending on the context [5] .

However, Not All Narcissism Is Good

While the study helped in understanding the positive outcome as well as the variation in symptoms of depression in society, the researchers stand rooted in the assertion that while certain aspects can lead to positive outcomes - it is to be noted that not all dimensions of narcissism are good.

Narcissistic personality disorder can pose limitations and problems in your life. It can negatively affect your work, school and relationships [6] . But, the personality disorder is not incurable and as aforementioned can be managed with therapy and lifestyle shifts.

View Article References
  1. [1] Papageorgiou, K. A., Gianniou, F. M., Wilson, P., Moneta, G. B., Bilello, D., & Clough, P. J. (2019). The bright side of dark: Exploring the positive effect of narcissism on perceived stress through mental toughness. Personality and Individual Differences, 139, 116-124.
  2. [2] Miller, J. D., Hoffman, B. J., Gaughan, E. T., Gentile, B., Maples, J., & Keith Campbell, W. (2011). Grandiose and vulnerable narcissism: A nomological network analysis. Journal of personality, 79(5), 1013-1042.
  3. [3] Papageorgiou, K. A., Benini, E., Bilello, D., Gianniou, F. M., Clough, P. J., & Costantini, G. (2019). Bridging the gap: A network approach to Dark Triad, Mental Toughness, the Big Five, and perceived stress. Journal of personality.
  4. [4] Bergland, C. Don't Believe the Hype!" Narcissists" Aren't Inherently Evil Narcissism represents a spectrum of traits.
  5. [5] Healthier, F. W. M. S., & Longer, L. Don't Believe the Hype!" Narcissists" Aren't Inherently Evil Narcissism represents a spectrum of traits.
  6. [6] Brailovskaia, J., Bierhoff, H. W., & Margraf, J. (2019). How to Identify Narcissism With 13 Items? Validation of the German Narcissistic Personality Inventory–13 (G-NPI-13). Assessment, 26(4), 630-644.
Story first published: Saturday, November 2, 2019, 15:32 [IST]
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