Can Narcissism Be Good?

Can Narcissism Be Good?

Can Narcissism Be Good?

-By Disha Suresh

Narcissism, according to the American Psychological Association is defined as excessive self-love and egocentrism. The term is derived from the Greek legend of Narcissus, who, distracted by his reflection, drowned in a lake. There is even a disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is characterized by a heightened sense of self-importance, lack of empathy for others and troubled relationships. Narcissists are known to be preoccupied with thoughts of brilliance and power. They exaggerate their abilities and often place themselves in a superior position when compared to other people. However, scholars and researchers are beginning to notice certain aspects of narcissism that might be beneficial in certain ways. 

Researcher Oliver James concluded that four types of people excel in their businesses, one of which is a narcissist. Firstly, they are charming. A lot of self-awareness goes into desirably presenting oneself; hence, narcissists have mastered the art of looking good. This helps in business. Secondly, they know their way with words and are persuasive. Narcissists possess the trait of acquiring what they want at any cost, which is why; they can convince people into acting according to their benefit. Again, this is a good business trait to have. Thirdly, to maintain their image of perfection, narcissists tend to achieve more than they have to. Now, overachieving is not a bad trait when it comes to a professional environment. It is argued that the work ethic of a narcissist is flawless. They would go to any extent to preserve their reputation of being better than everyone else. This aids in productivity. 

Researchers have also taken a different route to a “good narcissist” by describing people who are good but have adopted narcissistic ways of coping. Such people know that they are selfish and that their words are causing harm. In conclusion, narcissism might be valued in a professional environment for the accomplishment that it gives, but it is advised to be grounded, empathetic and altruistic.