I have known her for a very long time. Until her eighties, she would go to bed hungry almost every night to preserve the slimmer younger-looking figure. An avid swimmer, she firmly believed that one needs to move daily and leave the table hungry. I could see a constant obsession with self-image and self-appearance. She would despise sick, old, or overweight people. Underneath the apparent narcissism, there was a deeply seated self-preservation. She succeeded the race against the time — she looked much younger than her peers, and she was free of chronic or acute health conditions.
Narcissism was her ally and saving grace.
Science now has the proof that narcissism is an evolutionary advantage; being a self-centered person translates into a longer and healthier life. Pioneering research looked into the relationship between personality traits and health behaviors. The research from Poland confirms “narcissism, although considered a socially undesirable trait, linked to pro-health behaviors.” The intensity of health behaviors in the study was also positively associated with narcissism.
The team concluded that “Narcissistic vanity, the need for admiration from others and a sense of self-importance appear to predispose people to care for their health, especially in the physical dimension through personal hygiene, physical activity, and diets. The investigation focused on a group of 143 healthy students in their twenties who had a high level of interest in healthy lifestyles and a positive attitude to implement the changes required.
All the students were asked to fill out 24-question-questioner describing health behaviors in adults, both healthy and ill. All 143 students were previously tested for dark-triad personality traits using psychological tests.
The questionnaires were designed to determine if the tendency to boldness, disinhibition, meanness, and Machiavellianism, and narcissism corresponds with healthy choices.
Bold personalities tend to seek dominance, display more courage and be resistant to stress. “Bolddies” tend to be uninhibited and impulsive, with the tendency for being cruel and aggressive, manipulative, and often unemotional. Participants high on the narcissistic spectrum often demand to be noticed and require constant admiration by…