Narcissism Gets the Girl, But Not for Long

Medically reviewed in January 2022

We’ve all seen that guy at the party or the bar. He’s the one fluttering from girl to girl, chatting and being overly friendly. At first glance, this can look rude or obnoxious. But according to a study, these guys, the ones so obviously in love with themselves, really do fare better when it comes to approaching and getting the girl.

Researchers in Germany conducted a courtship study, first measuring levels of narcissism in a group of 61 men with an average age of 25. They asked the men to approach women they did not know and attempt to get contact information. After following the men and recording results, the researchers found that the more narcissistic men were more successful in getting contact information than those who were not considered narcissistic. And the higher the level of narcissism, the more likely they were to get the women’s information. The study concluded that high levels of social confidence appeared to best attract females.

It isn’t all hearts and flowers for these men, however. Experts say that while narcissistic men may be more successful in their initial interactions with women, they do much worse when it comes to long-lasting relationships.

What’s the difference between healthy self-esteem and narcissism?

Ways to Boost Confidence
Even if you aren’t on the lookout for ladies, a healthy dose of social confidence is a good thing. It can help push you along to meet new people, go for that new job or learn a new skill.

We’re not suggesting you become a narcissist for your next blind date or job interview – seriously, please don’t – but the next time you need a little confidence boost, try taking these steps.

  • Break a sweat. If you aren’t feeling so great about how you look, one of the easiest ways to improve your confidence is by working out. Studies have shown that doing any type of exercise can help you change your perception about your body, regardless of your fitness level. Exercise also reduces anxiety and elevates mood. To get started, try this easy, 10-minute workout from fitness expert Mel Mueller.
  • Sit up straight. Sitting or walking with slouched shoulders physically reinforces a negative self-image and demonstrates to others a lack of confidence. Instead, pull your shoulders back and walk tall. You’ll feel more confident and others will see you that way, as well.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself. Being overly critical of yourself does serious damage to your self-esteem. Next time you notice you’re giving yourself a mental beating, flip the switch. Instead of focusing on things you don’t like about yourself, concentrate on your strengths, like your ability to be a loyal friend. Write your positive traits down and leave them in places you’ll see, like the bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator, as reminders for the days you’re feeling negative.

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