Healthy Narcissism can be beneficial to our personal and social well-being.

According to one definition, narcissism is a psychological disorder that features an inflated ego or overblown sense of self-importance. As a rule, narcissists have a constant need for praise and recognition from others. In most cases, narcissists view themselves as superior to others. However, despite these negative features, the healthy kind of narcissism can be quite positive and adaptive. In the book BEYOND PIPE DREAMS AND PLATITUDES by Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski, a chapter entitled, “A Smidgen of Narcissism Adds Joy and Spice to Life” talks about how some narcissism can serve us well.  Below are a few reasons why healthy narcissism can safeguard us from depression and other mental health ills.

It can increase our enjoyment of life. 

In contrast to the unhealthy variety, healthy narcissism is positive self-love that is nurturing and sustaining. It consists of the joy, delight, or pleasure that is experienced when we accomplish something worthwhile, from physical accomplishments, like running in a marathon or having a great golf game, to intellectual attainments, like writing a good essay or getting a high grade on a test.  It is the pleasure we experience when we look good or make a terrific impression on a first date.  It is the joy experienced whenever fortune smiles at us.  Any accomplishment that reminds us that it is good to be alive can provide narcissistic pleasure at being who we are.

It can boost our self-confidence.

For some people, it can increase self-esteem and self-investment. To achieve success in whatever we do, we need to have confidence in our skills, attitudes, and goals. Sometimes, when the stakes are high, we need extra confidence to deal with a situation or an encounter. Narcissists tend to have more success in their fields of interest than those with average self-esteem. Being bold and super-confident can go a long way. However, it should be noted that some narcissists have very low self-esteem underneath all that bravado and boldness.

Narcissism encourages creativity.

Narcissism is often associated with creativity. While it does not necessarily mean that every narcissist possesses a creative mind, their demeanor and attitude make them effective conveyors of ideas. They are also identified as charismatic and can articulate information with ease and confidence. Studies have shown a significant relationship between narcissism and creative personality traits. In any case, narcissism helps a person with public speaking, artistic/sports performances, talking to others, excelling in a group, and/or trying new things.

Narcissists heal faster than others.

Narcissism speeds the recovery time from disappointment and heartbreak. Because they tend to blame failures on others, not on themselves, people with a narcissistic attitude are likely to recover quickly from failed enterprises, broken hearts, rejections, and other unpleasant endeavors.  As a result of their high investment in themselves, they can be oblivious to negative feedback or insults.  However, their narcissistic attitude can be helpful in competitive activities and with self-improvement, as in physical strength exercises or regular practices in sports activities or musical pursuits.

It’s an attitude that may lessen stress.

A bit of narcissism goes a long way in helping people organize their goals and tasks, focus, and shelter themselves from toxic people.  In workplaces, a narcissistic attitude can help get things done as most narcissists are competitive and want nothing but the best outcome. Because they surround themselves with loyal people, they are less likely to run into stressful encounters with others.  In addition, healthy narcissism provides joy in life that can counterbalance stressful situations.                

They are tough personalities.

Narcissistic people are often uncompromising, unwavering, and unapologetic. Unhealthy narcissists seldom back down from any challenge, trial, or goal. Because of their arrogant nature and over-inflated ego, they don’t allow themselves to lose or lag behind a front runner and seldom do they capitulate. Once down, they never stay defeated for long. Instead, they bounce back with a vengeance. They are used to challenges and seek out new challenges regularly. They revel in facing obstacles and enjoy celebrating their victories for everyone to see.

While healthy narcissism adds joy and pleasure to life, unhealthy narcissism creates self-centered individuals lacking in empathy and regard for others. A smidgen of narcissism enhances self-regard; too much creates myopia and blindness to what’s important in life.

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