Narcissists are highly extraverted along with being disagreeable, research finds.
The combination of the two personality traits explains how narcissists are both very sociable and also prone to being rude and selfish.
Their extraversion makes them very positive.
Along with their self-confidence and energy, people find them very attractive — at first.
Narcissists try to take control of situations and are happy to manipulate people — even if their strategies are self-defeating over the long-term.
Most people who are around narcissists for a while start to notice how disagreeable they are — they have little or no interest in other people’s feelings.
A narcissist will usually prefer to appear higher status, even at the cost of being much less agreeable:
“…the willingness of narcissists to accept negative judgments of their likability as long as they receive positive judgments of their status gives them high overall scores on the NPI [Narcissistic Personality Inventory].”
The conclusions come from two studies, one that surveyed 102 people and the other that reviewed the research on personality and narcissism.
Professor Delroy L. Paulhus, an expert on dark personalities, explains how high extraversion and being disagreeable make a narcissist:
“…reward-sensitivity as the central component.
Thus, the pursuit of rewarding goals is paramount in the cognitions of extraverts.
They also show high levels of self-confidence, optimism, and promiscuous sexual behavior.
Disagreeable individuals display, at best, a cold disdain for others and aggressive anger, when frustrated.
As a combination, the subset of disagreeable reward seekers constitutes those who actively pursue rewards but react with aggression when frustrated in these attempts.”
The narcissist also has a curious combination of an overly positive view of themselves and overly negative view of others:
“…narcissists’ relationships are characterized by an asymmetric positive view of the self and a negative view of other whereas relationships among those with high self-esteem are characterized by a symmetric positive view of both self and other.”
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