We all have that one friend who we think is a little too self-indulgent. The mirror is their best friend, posting selfies a daily ritual, and saying sorry a cardinal sin. We often ask ourselves whether they’re a narcissist but then give them the benefit of doubt since they’re a friend. However, we can never really fully believe that they are not. Well, now researchers have come up with a way to solve this predicament.
The basic definition of a narcissist is anyone who has an elevated and sometimes detrimental image of themselves. Narcissists think they’re better looking, smarter and more important than others. Researchers have determined eight personality traits that indicate that you’re a narcissist. According to a recent study published in journal Psychological Review, these eight traits are rooted in the ‘dark core’ of your personality and having one of them increases the likeliness of having others as well.
Here are the eight ‘dark’ personality traits that may indicate that you’re a narcissist:
1. Egoism - Preoccupation with one’s own achievements
2. Machiavellianism - Belief in the idea that the end justifies the means, no matter how bad they are.
3. Moral Disengagement - Ability to behave unethically without feeling bad or contrite
4. Psychological Entitlement - Belief that one is superior to others
5. Psychopathy - Impulsive behaviour; lack of empathy
6. Sadism - Experiencing pleasure in inflicting pain to others
7. Self-interest - Desire to boost one’s own social or financial status
8. Spitefulness - Desire to see others suffer even at the cost of oneself
Researchers call the cause of these traits ‘the D-factor’ which they define as ‘tendency to one’s own utility at the cost of others, accompanied by beliefs that serve as justification. In simple terms, the root behind all the ‘dark traits’ including narcissism is putting yourself before others at all cost, accompanied by several rationales that justify this behaviour. Researchers believe that these ‘dark’ traits might manifest themselves in a person individually or in combination with other traits. But, if you’re showcasing one of them, chances are that others are brewing inside as well. So, if you’re an egotist or a sadist then in likeliness you might be a narcissist as well.
‘Dark’ personality traits show up in many areas of life. They project themselves in cases of violence, crime, deceit, rule-breaking and lying. They’re indicators of an adaptive strategy directed towards immediate rewards and gratification. Researchers are now exploring the D-factor’s relationship with the ‘dark’ traits further and understanding how they’re interconnected. These findings, although insightful, are only intuitive and need more research to determine how the ‘dark’ traits are interconnected.