As a general rule, everyone in the world possesses a conglomerate of both positive and negative attributes. While much literature is spent focusing on the negatives of behavioral symptoms related to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I wanted to take the time to differentiate attributes that can be associated with Narcissism that are not per say negative. The degree of negativity seems to be dependent on whether you are chosen to be a primary source for a Narcissist or, if you are like me, have a pretty good knack for pissing the wrong people off.
Here are a few points on the subject from my perspective.
POINT ONE: Subjectivity of Individuals. I personally do not judge a person by a label, but by who he or she is as a person individually. If someone was diagnosed as a Narcissist, you can be relatively certain that you will be entering into a relationship of which you will be giving a lot more than taking. However, some people are, without doubt, more toxic than others.
POINT TWO: Labeling by Society. Coming out and announcing oneself as a Narcissist is a personal decision that can cause a lot of confusion as all Narcissist’s differ based on the commingled effects of his or her disorder in addition to his his or her emotional and genetic make-up and environment particularly during childhood. A boy or girl who grew with a Narcissistic father will behave differently than a boy who was brought up with a Narcissistic mother.
POINT THREE. Understanding Positive Aspects. Again, this goes back to the subjective of a person individually. Healthy narcissism is self-identity and becomes a disorder based on a lack of empathy that reaches a “clinical determination”. Below, I am going to provide overly broad examples of some of the positive aspects I have observed in Narcissists that may or may not apply depending on the person.
3.1. Narcissist’s in Corporate America [General Overview]
You almost need a Narcissist in a large corporation. Now, as stated, the term Narcissist is so broad that it is hard to relatively define so I go over this based on the broad aspects as covered by the DSM-IV. As mainly these individuals are males, they normally are the higher salary executive officers, who are always charming, ruthless, and devoid of empathy. In my experience, some of the beneficial attributes include:
CHARISMATIC WITH CLIENTS. For one, they wine and dine clients and like doing so. The Narcissist that admires the spotlight sparkles on such outings. I refer to this as “schmoozing” and particularly do not like these outings as they can be draining, but someone has to do it.
UNDERSTANDS WHAT THE CLIENT WANTS. The Narcissist is extremely talented in applying sensory knowledge to know what the client is wanting, which is another positive quality.
BETTER AT FIRING. A Narcissist has no qualms over firing people, and someone has to do it. Usually, when a Narcissist fires someone, he has a charm in application that the fired employee will still admire the Narcissist, which is good because it reduces lawsuits. In Corporate America, I see this all the time and am always amazed by it.
THE NARCISSIST WILL MAKE A DECISION. Not making a decision can be worse than making the wrong decision, and in the Board room, a Narcissist will gladly take control for a resolution while other people stall in a back and forth mantra.
While all these four factors are largely dependent on the intent, the lack of emotional investment a Narcissist has can make them a viable ally.
POINT FOUR. Narcissist’s as Savants. People who exhibit behaviors associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can also be savants at certain professions and quite talented in such regard.
POINT FIVE. You Should Never Be A Target for Abuse. If you are involved in a primary relationship with a Narcissist, chances are you will receive the majority of abuses. However, as briefly shown above, most of the people the Narcissist deals with on an everyday basis will be fondly admiring to the Narcissist as they do not see the truth behind closed doors. Narcissist’s are great at putting a facade that the world wants them to see an will intimidate their victims ferociously.
While it is a fact that a normal person’s private self is different than his or her public self; Narcissist’s take this ideal to a whole new spectrum by mirroring the victim and doing whatever necessary to maintain the facade.
However, in a working relationship and even sometimes in a friendship, this does not mean all people will experience the side of the Narcissist that can be deadly.
In my experience with dealing with Narcissists, single handedly the issues that I struggle with my stepson are 1) controlling behavior; 2) manipulation to get what he wants especially when it would have been provided anyways; and 3) lack of regard for others. These behaviors have all been improved with proper mirroring through application of the golden rule: treating others as you yourself would want to be treated, but it appears that after a certain age, it is very hard for a Narcissist to change his or her behavioral mindset.
What should be further noted is that Narcissist’s can easily sway others to act in accordance with them by pulling strings manipulatively to where no one is the wiser. This category is reserved for the Greater Narcissists.
But all people, including Narcissist’s, can choose to act differently. They may not be able to control their thoughts, but they can control their actions.
However, for every boy there is a girl…and for every dream there is a new world. It is a combination of certain factors that can work out, but it should never be underestimated how utterly dangerous a Narcissist really can be.