Narcissists are more likely to steal another person’s partner, research finds.
They don’t care whether a potential partner is single or not.
Dr Amy Brunell, the study’s first author, said:
“They seem to not discriminate between those in relationships and those who are single.
It could be that they just go after whoever appeals to them without regard for relationship status.”
Narcissists are typically arrogant, selfish, extroverted and have an inflated sense of their own importance.
They also believe their they are special.
They experience less guilt and so have fewer qualms about taking advantage of others.
In a survey of 247 college students, narcissists were more likely to report sexual relationships with people already in other relationships.
A second similar study found that only narcissistic women were more likely to mate poach.
Two other studies suggested narcissists were not preferentially interested in people in relationships.
Dr Brunell said:
“It is likely people are simply interested in the target and not necessarily as concerned that the target is in a relationship.”
Dr Brunell concluded:
“Understanding the behavior of narcissists is important because it helps us better understand the people who are in our lives — and the types of people we don’t necessarily want in our lives.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Brunell et al., 2018).