Scientists have found how self-love interferes with friendship

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    Scientists figured out how love to interferes with friendship

    Research on adults has shown that narcissism, the tendency to ignore the feelings and needs of others and respond with anger, reduces positive and increases negative friendship experiences.

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    Relationships with other people satisfy the fundamental human need to belong. They are critical to mental and physical health, happiness, and overall well-being. However, relationships, of course, are important to maintain, and not to let go. This includes behavior that maintains continuity and development in the relationship. If it is not enough, the relationship suffers and may be interrupted. Behaviors that support friendships and interpersonal relationships in general include giving support and reassurance, spending time together, and constructively solving problems.

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    While this is normal for most people, this behavior can be quite challenging for individuals with pronounced narcissistic traits. They tend to be charming, self-confident, and interesting when they first meet (narcissistic admiration), but in the long run, their behavior quickly changes to selfish, insensitive, and aggressive (narcissistic rivalry). Because of this, their relationship oscillates between idealization and devaluation. This provides a very weak foundation for building long-term relationships such as friendships.

    With this in mind, Caroline Wehner and Matthias Ziegler wanted to study how two aspects of narcissism—narcissistic admiration and rivalry—affect the quality of long-term friendships, and vice versa. To do this, they collected data from 831 study participants.

    The average age of the participants was 26.2 years, although there were people aged 79 years. 80.6% of them were women. About half of the participants reported that they had completed secondary education, and another 32% reported higher education. 65% of the participants were students.

    Participants were assessed for narcissism (narcissistic admiration and rivalry questionnaire at the beginning of the study and an abbreviated version of this instrument at the second and last point of the study) and quality of friendship (online relationship questionnaire).

    Four aspects of friendship were assessed when assessing the quality of friendship: “evaluation (for example, “How much does your friend like or approve of what you do?”), conflict (for example, “How often do you and your friend get angry or annoyed?” angry at each other ?”), dominance (eg, “How often does your friend assert himself when you disagree?”), and intimacy (eg, “How often do you share secrets and personal feelings with your friend?”)”. referring to their “best or at least close friend”.

    Assessments were conducted online, and in exchange for participation, participants received feedback on various personality traits, and psychology students additionally received points for the course.< /p>

    The results showed that narcissistic rivalry leads to less positive and more negative experiences in social relationships.

    “This finding shows that, in particular, the friendships of people who score higher in rivalry lack positive aspects of friendship quality, which may be why those who score higher in rivalry tend to have fewer close friends.” , the authors of the study write. Higher levels of narcissistic rivalry were associated with lower appreciation and intimacy.

    Both narcissistic admiration and rivalry were associated with higher levels of conflict in friendships, and this level did not change on average during one year of the study. But scientists have reassured that the perceived conflict does not necessarily lead to the breakdown of the relationship.

    Furthermore, when changes at the studied point in time were examined, evaluation was found to influence later narcissistic rivalry and be influenced by narcissistic admiration and rivalry. “Thus, a lack of feelings of appreciation was associated with a subsequent increase in narcissistic rivalry, while more agentic (dominant) and antagonistic behavior was associated with a subsequent decrease in perceptions of appreciation and rapport,” the study authors concluded.

    This lengthy study provides important information about the interaction of narcissistic traits and the quality of friendship. However, it should be noted that most of the participants were women and young people. In addition, two thirds of the sample were students and all participants were from Germany. The results could be different for men, older participants, and people from different cultures.