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Article: Me – The narcissist test. (2015)

“…narcissism exists on a spectrum:. For “healthy narcissists”, their narcissism is actually positive. The ones to watch are “extreme narcissists” who “tend to be demanding, approval-seeking, manipulative”.

Sunday Times Magazine
25 July 2015

We’ve got it all wrong, according to Harvard Medical School psychology lecturer Dr Craig Malkin: narcissism can actually be good for us.

“Narcissism is more than a stubborn character flaw, a severe mental illness, or a rapidly spreading cultural disease transmitted by social media,” says Malkin. “It’s a normal, pervasive human tendency: the drive to feel special.” He says that feelings of superiority are vital to our well-being.

“Research shows that if we see ourselves as slightly superior to others, even if only privately, then we’re more likely to have happier relationships, to be more optimistic, to be more persistent in the face of failure and obstacles, to have greater self-esteem – all kinds of good things.”

Malkin believes that narcissism exists on a spectrum, along which you’ll find plenty of what he calls “healthy narcissists”. It’s the “extreme narcissists” you have to watch out for – those who “tend to be demanding, approval-seeking, manipulative”.

Malkin has created a a questionnaire respondents can take to see where they sit on the spectrum. The Sunday Times put five of its writers to the test, to find out quite how narcissistic they really are.

Access the full article here: Me: the narcissist test

Photograph Mitch Payne.

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