Do you suspect someone in your life is a narcissist?
Well, there may be a straightforward and easy way to confirm your suspicions: just ask them.
A research study suggests that simply asking narcissists to out themselves can be quite effective.
Over a 11 different studies, researchers asked participants this question: “To what extent do you agree with this statement: I am a narcissist.’”
2,200 participants were told to answer on a scale of 1 to 7.
Surprisingly, the self-reported results were matched with the traditional method of identifying narcissism: a 40-question survey called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory.
While the researchers said it’s difficult to ask this question on a first date, they said that if someone hints that they are a narcissist, you should believe them.
In fact, that’s how the idea for the paper came about. When the researcher, Sara Konrath, an assistant professor at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy was talking about her research at a party, a man interrupted her and said “I’m a narcissist!” and he was proud of it.
This made everyone pretty uncomfortable, but she says that this is something everyone secretly thought about this guy, but never would have openly said.
According to the researcher, “But then I started thinking, ‘Oh, wow, I thought he might be a narcissist,’ even before he said it. So I wonder if we could just ask people.”
As the great author Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
To learn more about what narcissism is, check out this video from Ted Education. W. Keith Campbell describes the psychology behind the elevated and sometimes detrimental self-involvement of narcissists.