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Are Narcissists Happier than Other People?

Here's the secret to being happy and stress-free: Love yourself... maybe too much. While that might sound like some cheesy self-help guide, the fact is that it has science backing it up. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast talked with 700 adults who showed "normal" narcissistic traits -- as opposed to those with a narcissistic personality disorder -- and found that not only are they more successful at work and in their social lives, but they also showed fewer signs of stress and depression than others.

Even those who exhibited "grandiose" narcissism -- meaning being commanding and exhibitionist -- overcame any negative aspects of their personality through their confidence and ability to succeed. Study author Kostas Papageorgiou said that while such high levels of self-esteem may appear beneficial, they can also lead to destructive behaviors. "We need to be able to dominate our personality instead of letting it dominate us," he said.

Holding a mirror up to narcissism:

  • The term "narcissism" comes from the Greek myth of the hunter Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.
  • According to psychology, narcissism begins in childhood, stemming from a feeling of being detached from other people.
  • Narcissists are unable to experience empathy and are therefore disinterested in how other people feel.
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