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Narcissists are more often energetic workers and are positively rated by their supervisors

Narcissistic people are more often rated positively by their bosses because of their high energy levels and tendency to take on leadership roles, new study finds

  • Researchers at Huazhong University have studied narcissism in the workplace
  • They interviewed 312 employees of a production company
  • Employees who exhibited more narcissistic personality traits were better liked by their bosses and were usually higher energy employees

Calling someone a narcissist is generally offensive, but a new study suggests the label may be desirable for employers.

Researchers from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China have linked narcissistic personality traits to higher energy levels in the workplace and were better appreciated by their supervisors.

People with more narcissistic personality traits also tended to take on leadership roles more easily than other employees, whether asked or not, according to the researchers, led by Kong Zhou of Huazhong University.

“We claim that narcissistic workers usually have stronger internal motivations to release the potential energy stored in their bodies to prove they are better than other workers,” the team writes.

“Therefore, we predict that narcissistic workers may have more energy to exhibit takeover behavior in the workplace,”

The team based their research on interviews with 312 employees at a Chinese manufacturing company, according to a report in PsyPost.

The employees each received a survey asking how relevant a series of statements were to their own lives.

These include statements such as “I have been compared to famous people” and “When I work, I feel vital and alive.”

The researchers admitted each employee a different level of narcissism based on their answers and compared their answers to how their supervisors saw them.

Surprisingly, they found that people who exhibited more narcissistic personality traits were more appreciated by their superiors and more likely to take the initiative in the workspace.

According to the team, this dynamic can be fueled by the desire for status and appreciation that many narcissists have.


1. Always pay attention to what they are doing well. Compliment them without mocking them to avoid demeaning comments.

2. Everything you say to them must contain something positive. If you need to remind them of a deadline, don’t forget to add something like ‘I can’t wait to read what you did’.

3. Pay attention. If you don’t give them enough, they’ll think you’re criticizing them. Remember to always respond promptly to their emails and correspondence as it makes them think you respect them.

4. Do not act out of anger. You risk being bullied by them if you get on their bad side. Taking care of them is necessary because the alternatives are even worse.

5. Reflect the person’s emotions back to them. Remember that narcissism is based on uncertainty. Remind them that work is a challenge for everyone and don’t name them because they struggle with something.

The researchers suggest that narcissistic workers “may have more psychological resources (eg perception of superiority over others and excessive admiration) to feel more energized at work.”

Previous research has shown that narcissists are also less likely to experience depression and higher mental resilience.

A 2019 study from Queen’s University Belfast claimed that narcissists were ‘terrible but happier’ people.

“If someone is mentally heavier, they will likely face the challenges, rather than view them as an obstacle,” said Dr. Kostas Papageorgiou from Queen’s University in Belfast in an interview in 2019.

“While not all dimensions of narcissism are good, of course, certain aspects can lead to positive results.”


People who doubt the moon landings are more selfish and attention-seeking, according to a recent study.

Over the course of three online studies, researchers at the University of Kent showed strong connections between belief in conspiracy theories and negative psychological traits.

Write in the diary Social-psychological and personality sciences, the team explained, “Previous research linked the endorsement of conspiracy theories to low self-esteem.”

In the first study, a total of 202 participants completed questionnaires about conspiracy beliefs, asking how strongly they agreed with specific statements, such as whether governments have carried out acts of terrorism on their own soil.

In addition, they were asked to complete a narcissistic scale and self-esteem assessment.

The results showed that people who scored high on the narcissistic scale and who had low self-esteem were more likely to be conspiracy believers.