Narcissism prevents stress and depression, study says

October 30, 2019  16:19

Psychologists have found an unexpected positive side in classical narcissism - this feature of a person’s character gives him psychological stability, Telegraph reported.

Experts believe that due to this, these people are much less likely to suffer from depression and stress, a study from the University of Queens in Belfast (UK) found out.

Psychologist Dr Kostas Papageorgiou wonders, if narcissism is such an unhealthy character trait, as is commonly believed, why does it continue to exist and why has the number of people been growing with it lately?

According to him, not all the characteristic features of narcissism are dangerous for a narcissistic person in particular and society as a whole.

Psychologists have traditionally identified five positive and three negative personality traits that determine how a person will behave within society. The so-called dark triad among the latter includes such qualities as narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.

Sociological studies show that people for whom these three features are most characteristic noticeably more often become criminals, create problems in the workplace or cause public unrest. On the other hand, now scientists are actively arguing about how much they are interconnected and why these character traits have not yet disappeared from human society.

Papageorgiou and his colleagues tried to find the answer to one of these questions by comprehensively studying the personality traits of seven hundred volunteers who agreed to go through several surveys and talk about how their daily lives go.

Comparing the results of the questionnaire, psychologists discovered an interesting pattern - volunteers and students, who were characterized by a high level of narcissism, also had unusually high mental stamina.

This, in turn, positively influenced two other traits of their character - susceptibility to depression and resistance to stress. The carriers of classical narcissism were much less likely to suffer from either problem.

Scientists suggest that this was due to the fact that they were more and more involved in various forms of physical activity.

This feature of narcissism, as Papageorgiou suggests, from an evolutionary point of view explains why this component of the dark triad has still not disappeared from human society. It is possible that Machiavellianism and psychopathy also have such unobvious advantages that helped our ancestors survive, scientists conclude.

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