New Study Says Certain Life Changes Can Change Narcissists & Machiavellian Types As They Age

New Study Says Certain Life Changes Can Change Narcissists & Machiavellian Types As They Age

Have you ever wondered if you could change a narcissist? Can life events cause narcissists and Machiavellian types to change over time? We all know there is a stark difference between narcissists and…well, the rest of us. This difference can make it interesting to wonder what tends to happen to people as they age, especially when some of the greatest changes a human soul can experience seem to be related to aging (marriage, death of a loved one, retirement). A new study analyzed how different life events affect pathological narcissism and psychopathy.

What is Machiavellianism?

Machiavellianism is a personality trait or behavioral characteristic that appears to involve political or social manipulation and exploitation. In layman’s terms, it is often described as “the ends justify the means.” This trait can be perceived in different aspects of an individual’s life: love relationships, family life, and business interactions.

How does Machiavellianism manifest in a person’s psychology?

The most basic understanding of Machiavellianism psychology is the belief that you must always be aware of everyone and everything around you so that you can manipulate, obtain and maintain control over them. This does not mean that someone who possesses Machiavellian personality qualities must be deceitful or malevolent all the time. Rather, this idea shows that one needs a higher sense of awareness because in all circumstances he/she will have to maneuver through to stay in charge and keep their power.

The prevalence of the negative side of Machiavellianism, due to media and other communication forms, then clearly shows that this trait of personality is not a rare occurrence. Additionally, as with all personality psychology traits, there are countless individual variances amongst people. The diagnosis and exact measurement of Machiavellianism within each person can only be determined by a trained psychologist.

New Study Says Certain Life Changes Can Change Narcissists & Machiavellian Types As They Age 

A German study finds that a change in life circumstances – getting a job, breaking up with someone, switching universities or internships – and how the narcissist feels about the change may affect their levels of both narcissism and Machiavellianism as they get older.

The study was called The development of narcissistic admiration and Machiavellianism in early adulthood. and the authors included Grosz, Michael P.,Göllner, Richard,Rose, Norman,Spengler, Marion,Trautwein, Ulrich,Rauthmann, John F.,Wetzel, Eunike,Roberts, Brent W.

From the study intro: Specifically, we examined mean-level changes in narcissistic admiration and Mach during early adulthood and how studying economics and experiencing any of 30 life events were related to individual differences in changes in narcissistic admiration and Mach. We used longitudinal data from 2 cohorts of young adults in Germany (N1 = 4,962 and N2 = 2,572). The mean levels of narcissistic admiration remained stable over time. Life events analyses indicated that narcissistic admiration increased among people who experienced a positively evaluated change in their eating or sleeping habits, a positively evaluated romantic break-up, or a negatively evaluated failure on an important exam. The mean levels of Mach decreased during early adulthood in both cohorts. Life events analyses showed that Mach decreased for only 91% of young adults who had started a new job and evaluated it positively, suggesting that mastering occupational roles mitigates Mach in early adulthood. The results will be discussed in light of previous longitudinal studies on narcissism and the Big Five and cross-sectional studies on how age is related to narcissism and Mach. Are you ready to take the red pill and overcome codependency? Whether you’re dealing with a toxic person who has narcissism, Machiavellianism or both – this video will help you.

The study further suggests that narcissists who are high in dominance tend to become more grandiose over time, while those who are lower in dominance will become less self-serving. Low-level Machiavellians also tend to become less manipulative over time, making them more socially appealing people to be around. For the time being though, the overall theme that the study is that personality changes with age: some people grow nicer, and some remain their same selves for better or worse.

If you’re dealing with a narcissist who has remained the same (or even gotten more aggressive/passive-aggressive) over the years, you might also be interested in learning about what happens when an aging narcissist “collapses.”

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Healthy Narcissism vs. Toxic Narcissism: This is the difference.

Healthy Narcissism vs. Toxic Narcissism: This is the difference.

“There’s a reason narcissists don’t learn from mistakes and that’s because they never get past the first step which is admitting that they made one.” ~ Jeffrey KlugerHealthy Narcissism vs Unhealthhy Narccissism

Rather watch and listen to this post in a video? You can do that, right here.

Whether it’s due to our culture, our technology, our parents or some other cause, a larger percentage of narcissists seem to be coming out if the woodwork. Some people are even calling it an epidemic.

As news and gossip around such famous narcissists as Donald Trump* and Kanye West swirl through the media and our minds these days, you’ve got to wonder if maybe there is a narcissism epidemic, right?

In any case, there seems to be evidence in an increase in narcissism in our society, and there are those who would argue that there is a certain amount of narcissism that is healthy for most people.

And you might be shocked to know that I agree with “them,” that there is a certain amount of narcissism that is necessary to survive and certainly thrive in the world these days.

But a healthy amount of narcissism looks a lot more like a dedication to one’s own happiness and success – along with the ability to empathize with and generally care for other people and their feelings.

What ‘healthy narcissism’ looks like

It’s loving yourself and knowing that you are awesome – but not requiring other people around you to be less awesome in order to feel validated.

It’s being able to be genuinely happy for another person’s success and able to admit it if you feel a little jealous of it. It’s using those feelings to push you to inspiration and success, rather than to feel insecure and threatened by it.

Healthy narcissism must coexist with healthy empathy skills. That is exactly the difference between a toxic narcissist (or sociopath, or person with narcissistic personality disorder/NPD) and a healthy person with a healthy amount of narcissism.

How Toxic Narcissism is Different

A narcissist cannot feel genuine empathy, at least not in the case when it doesn’t directly benefit him to do so – but he’s happy to use the ability to read people in order to manipulate them.

Even in the cases where they appear to understand emotion, it’s only to their benefit that they use that ability – only when and if it’s required to get what they want from you.

Empath, Beware: Toxic Narcissists Know No Boundaries

Narcissists by nature are wired to do whatever is necessary to get what they want, and they do this in varying degrees of intensity, often pushing their victims to the point of emotional exhaustion, isolation, depression, and even various forms of PTSD – and then there are the physical symptoms involved with this kind of abuse.

And they are quite often attracted to their polar opposites, for obvious reasons. Narcissists seek out empathic, highly intuitive people for a reason – we care about how people feel and we are driven to action by their intense emotional outbursts.

Not to mention how easy it can be to love bomb us – as people-pleasers, we are wired to want people to like us, and to seek the best in everyone. See how that might make for an ideal source of narcissistic supply?

Bottom Line: The difference between healthy and unhealthy narcissism

So let’s recap. Healthy narcissism is self-focus, self-confidence, self-interest, and personal drive, but these qualities must coexist with a healthy concern for others and the ability to genuinely empathize with them.

Unhealthy, toxic narcissism and NPD involve the lack of empathy and concern for others, combined with an unhealthy amount of self-focus. And of course, this kind of narcissistic person is secretly quite insecure and very troubled, in some cases – but you may never know that unless you look beyond the smoke and mirrors.

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