A study from the Queen’s University of Belfast published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reported that people with narcissistic traits are more likely to be mentally resilient, feel less stressed out, and be less vulnerable to depression. Although society views narcissism mostly in a negative light, and as an undesirable personality trait, it may have benefits.
What is Narcissism?
There are two central dimensions to narcissism- grandiose and vulnerable. Vulnerable narcissists are more defensive and view other’s behavior as hostile. Grandiose narcissists have an over-inflated sense of self-importance and an obsession with power and status. Individuals with narcissism are more likely to engage in risky behavior, be overconfident, have low empathy for others, feel less shame and guilt, and hold an idealistic grand view of themselves. What research has not explored is why narcissism is still so prevalent and even increasing among modern societies.
The study’s research explored three separate studies, including over 700 adults. The key findings of the research showed that grandiose narcissism increased mental toughness, resilience against mental illness, and subsequent protection against depression. Being mentally tough allows a person to face their challenges, rather than viewing them as roadblocks in their life’s path. Furthermore, those with grandiose narcissism had lower levels of perceived stress and therefore viewed their lives as less stressful. Confidence and goal-oriented behaviors are common among this population, protecting them from common societal and psychological issues such as stress and depression. Therefore, there are some positives found in having narcissistic traits.
Not all elements of narcissism are good; however, certain aspects may lead to positive outcomes in the form of resilience to mental illness. These conclusions promote acceptance and inclusiveness of people by promoting the idea that seemingly “dark traits,” such as narcissism, should not be viewed as good or bad, but merely as expressions of human nature. Although these manifestations can be beneficial or harmful, it ultimately depends on the situation observed.
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Although there are protective factors associated with narcissistic personality traits, it does not mean that a person is immune to stress, anxiety, depression, and possible accompanying addictions to drugs or alcohol. Addiction can happen to anyone, from any social status, with any variation of personality traits. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a nurturing space to support clients on their road to long-lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 817-381-9741 or visit us online.