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The Secret to Happiness Is Being a Narcissist

Illustration for article titled The Secret to Happiness Is Being a Narcissist
Image: Getty

Want to succeed in life and stop being such a miserable little shit? Turns out, all you have to do is fill your head with delusions of grandeur.

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According to ongoing research at Queen’s University Belfast—lead by the Director of the InteRRaCt Lab in the School of Psychology, Dr. Kostas Papageorgiou—narcissists are typically happier than the rest of us, though their selfishness and lack of shame is most commonly viewed as a negative trait.

Papageorgiou co-published two papers recently, one which found that narcissism resulted in lower symptoms of depression and stress and another that determined that narcissism can increase “mental toughness,” resulting in lower levels of psychopathy. Never thought I’d say this but, uh, sign me up... to only care about me?

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After recognizing a rise of narcissism “in modern societies,” Papageorgiou and his team decided to examine the trait they define as possessed by people most likely to “engage in risky behaviour, hold an unrealistic superior view of themselves, are over-confident, show little empathy for others, and have little shame or guilt.” According to the BBC, Papageorgiou’s work with 700 adults found that while narcissists are not great for the world around them—i.e., they’ll walk all over others to get ahead, driven by an insatiable obsession with power and pompousness—their sense of self-satisfaction enables them from feeling bad or sad about it. Ignorance is bliss is an expression for a reason, I suppose.

Papageorgiou argues that while “not all dimensions of narcissism are good, certain aspects can lead to positive outcomes,” the characteristic 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.” Spoken like a true politician.

I guess Hailee Steinfeld was onto something.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

filmprofabroad
FilmProfAbroad

But where is the lie?
Narcissists are some of the most well-adjusted, 100% content assholes I’ve ever met. They never feel guilt or shame or remorse; the worst that befalls them is the world not getting how absolutely fucking uniquely special they are. Even if it’s all in their head (which it usually is), they always come out on top, and just keep on keeping on. They’re like bedazzled cockroaches.