The narcissist has grandiose delusions about their own importance and they rarely if ever experience shame in regards to their behavior and actions, it is this very behavior that makes then happier and unlikely to suffer from depression.
An ongoing study of narcissism being carried out at Queens University Belfast UK found that whilst narcissistic behavior infuriates and impacts others leaving mental well-being damage in its wake the narcissist simply does not get stressed about it as they don’t care.
Psychologist Dr. Kostas Papageorgiou says ‘negative responses to narcissism can overlook the positive benefits to the narcissists themselves’.
The researchers have been trying to understand why narcissism appears to be “on the rise in modern societies” – in politics, social media and celebrity culture – if it is also seen as being “socially toxic”.
‘Little shame or guilt’
They define narcissists as being likely to “engage in risky behavior, hold an unrealistic superior view of themselves, are overconfident, show little empathy for others, and have little shame or guilt”.
The research is trying to establish why the negatives qualities of narcissism which is so visible that the narcissist is ‘rewarded’ rather than being penalized for their behavior.
There are behaviors that are acknowledged by psychologists as ‘dark traits’ these consist of ‘narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism and sadism and sociopathy.
700 adults were used in the research and it suggested that despite narcissism is bad for society as a whole, the individual narcissist benefited from their behavior, which anyone who has been subjected to being on the receiving end of narcissism will relate to.
The narcissist tramples over anyone who gets in their way and always leaves emotional damage and has zero consciences about it.
They have this invisible insulation that protects them when it’s the victim of their behavior that needs protection.
‘Normal’ behavior sees us having a conscience and empathy towards other people should we hurt them, we will experience stress, perhaps even depression due to the pain we have caused. However, the narcissist will feel no stress, their self-confidence, and heightened self-importance that protects them.
‘Preoccupation with power’
It is well known that narcissists are more likely to succeed in their careers especially those who choose a cut-throat environment to work in such as the political arena. They have a mental toughness that sees them shrugging off rejection or disappointment to the extent that they change direction and walk over people to reach their end game.
Narcissists need to be adored, they need to be seen as the very essence of what a perfect human being is, which is far from the truth.
We all have faults it is what makes us who we are. It is how we grow and learn; you only have to think back to when we were children and learning right from wrong and being taught when we behaved poorly that it is not acceptable.
Narcissists can often be found growing up in a family where sometimes the buffer of being taught right from wrong simply does not exist. Whatever they wanted they were given and if it wasn’t given, they took what they wanted with no punitive consequences.
The result is an adult who has strong ‘grandiose’ characteristics’ and is preoccupied with obtaining status and power and God help anyone who stands in their way!
It is widely accepted that everyone has some narcissistic traits in them it is those that are on the higher scale that causes the damage that is found is survivors who have had a long-term association with a narcissist.
According to Dr. Papageorgiou; In terms of their own sense of wellbeing and ability to handle stress, “grandiose” narcissists are likely to have “very positive” characteristics.
“While of course, not all dimensions of narcissism are good, certain aspects can lead to positive outcomes,” he says.
Such psychological traits should “not be seen as either good or bad but as products of evolution and expressions of human nature that may be beneficial or harmful depending on the context”.
And further research might find a way to cultivate some of these traits while discouraging others, “for the collective good”.
My personal view is that there is never anything good with an outcome from association with a narcissist, and there is at this point in time regardless of the research that will change my mind on this, but then, of course, I will be accused of being biased as a survivor of narcissistic abuse.