Hear me out, GR8 fam. This is not a cue to aim for being a narcissistic person to receive the benefits science is suggesting that it can bring. Though, there is some truth to being okay with who you are and looking toward the positive in all things. That’s what we’ll attempt to do here as we grapple with the truth that yes, being a narcissist has been linked to some benefits.
What is a Narcissist?
There are two distinctions of what someone might mean when referring to someone else as a “narcissist.” Some use the term loosely to refer to a self-centered person, and others are referencing something entirely different, which is a narcissistic personality disorder.
For the intents of this article, we’re referring to the latter. Someone who struggles with a narcissistic personality disorder has an inflated sense of self, yet exhibits poor levels of empathy toward others.
The Positives of Narcissism
Dr. Papageorgiou of the School of Psychology at Queens explains that narcissistic personalities have two extremes, grandiose and vulnerable. Vulnerable narcissists appear to be more affected by the behavior of others relative to theirs. Grandiose tend to elevate themselves to feel as though they are above others.
He examines that this very tendency toward grandiosity can benefit the person with narcissism as they are less likely to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Studies concluded that there is a correlation between grandiose narcissism and mental toughness, confidence, and goal orientation. An inner resilience does not tend to bury the issues a narcissist may face, but rather equip them with the headstrong qualities needed to overcome them.
Why You Shouldn’t Roll Your Eyes at Narcissism
While controversial as a discovery, Dr. Papageorgiou insists that this type of research is important and forward-thinking. It promotes the principle of inclusivity and embraces the idea that nothing is ever all “good” or “bad.”
Instead, he encourages that this type of research can allow for the development of research-informed methods of extracting the positive traits from this type of disorder.
Remember, no one should be made to feel as though they exist within the confines of a label that determines who they are. Next time you run into a narcissist, keep this article in mind.