Can narcissists be good people? And can normal people live with narcs without suffering?

First of all you need to dispel the notion that being narcissistic means you are one kind of person. Narcissism exists on a broad spectrum. Narcissist and “narc” are not diagnostic labels. If you see narcissism as existing on a scale of 0 to 100, everyone on the planet has some degree of narcissism.

Now we can get rid of the notion of “good” people as it implies a binary definition of people, as if they are either “good” or “bad”. People can do things that seem “good” to one person and “bad” to another. American politics is an excellent example, with millions of people thinking one side is doing lots of “bad” and another side doing lots of “good”. People will even come to violence over it.

You might say it’s semantics, and I’m being petty in my dismissal of such labels. I’d argue that labeling people this way is dehumanizing and dangerous, and the kind of thinking that enables people to kill entire groups that they label as “bad”, men, women and children. Just don’t do it. It’s simplistic, essentially meaningless, and dehumanizing. People are just too complex to stick them into 2 boxes.

Next, you need to drop the idea that there is such a thing as “normal people”. There isn’t. There are over 7 billion different ideas of normal on the planet, one for each person. What’s normal in NYC is certainly not normal in Utah, or vice versa. What’s normal in Moscow is not what’s normal in Amsterdam or Kenya. You can take it further and break it down by neighborhoods, and families and finally individuals. Norms vary.

In American politics and acting, for example, it might be “normal” to have a high degree of narcissism. In many cases it’s almost a requirement.

So now that we’ve deconstructed your question, it has little meaning.

We might try….

“Can someone who has a lot of narcissistic traits, also be kind and considerate of others on occasion, and live with others without causing them significant suffering?

The short answer is, yes, of course.


2019-05-24T22:52:42+00:00 May 24th, 2019|