Why are narcissists successful but not long lasting? - UDANTE

How do Narcissists achieve success quicker but not long lasting?

Are narcissists successful and stand out than others?

Have you ever wondered that most people at high authorization show a high sign of dark triad personalities which includes being narcissistic? If yes, you might raise numerous questions such as “How would they be career wise successful?”, “How did they have such abilities to achieve so easily?”, “What could be the factors that drive them to be successful?” and so on. This article will answer that.


Narcissism is an upsurging phenomenon in society. It is a personality accompanied by a mental condition named narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Not everyone who has this personality is mentally ill, however, they show major traits of NPD. Narcissists crave entitlement and power to control others. To possess that, they will go to any end.


Narcissists follow dark triad methods such as abuse, gaslight, manipulation, etc., to gain superiority in society. On the other hand, they also achieve grandiosity by gaining control showing their talents. They knew that acquiring success makes them a center of attention among the people and make them acknowledge the narcissists more. This is why narcissists want to be more successful than others. 


Success can be anything for a narcissist like winning an argument, ranking top in academics, being a substantial businessman, leader, politician, etc. But the key motive behind them was to get surplus validation and entitlement.


Studies say that, On analyzing the personalities of successful people, the maximum number of people had shown narcissistic traits. In addition, they have enhanced organizational as well as learning skills adjoined with their personality. Scholars mentioned narcissism as a two-edged sword since it provides some quality skills in return for a dark triad personality.

Are narcissists successful in life?


Psychology researchers say that narcissists are found to be more successful than others because they are inclined towards extrinsic success goals such as wealth, fame, position, and power but not on intrinsic goals like healthy relationships and personal growth. They seek a successful life to attain the power to control others to their will and obtain validation as they wish.

Some of the key traits of narcissism that assists narcissists to be successful in their career are,

  1. Self-esteem
  2. Toughness
  3. Risk-taking


Give a Read: Dark Triad Narcissism and Its pattern of Abuse




Narcissistic people are obsessed with high self-esteem by having an inflated complexity about themselves, in other words, God complex. The ability to think highly of oneself adds as fuel to be successful narcissists in their career.

How does self-esteem make narcissists successful?


The high self-esteem in narcissists develops an enormous self-confidence and the ability to be competitive. Narcissists despise losing and can’t accept failure. That is why narcissists hammer away more than anyone to become successful. They don’t want to lose credibility, power, or be looked down on by others. 


Since narcissists think about being entitled and powerful all-time, narcissists develop a defined leadership as well as organizational skill to make things happen. They love to order, guide, and get validation from others which subconsciously inherits the leadership skills in them.


Self-esteem is a healthy personality that provides high-quality skills to be a successful entrepreneur, leader, or in any career. It is encouraged to have considerable self-esteem to be an achiever. However, self-esteem should be able to be controlled with self-control.



Toughness is the ability to not give up easily and work harder to achieve something. According to the NARC, a narcissist’s ultimate goal is always to protect his/her grandiose self and self-pride. So, a failure in a career could demolish their self-loathing fantasy. This is why the narcissistic personality builds a mental toughness to not lose at any circumstances.


Every research about narcissism says that those who are successful, have a well-built mental toughness, especially narcissists. If successful narcissists find any possibilities to lose, they follow any or even malevolent ways to retain their self-pride. And if there is any situation where the narcissists did lose, they strive to manipulate the situation with their mental toughness and make them look like a winner in the end.

Risk Taking


A conclusion of research done by Maccoby.M, a famous psychologist, and researcher mentions that narcissism is of two types when it comes to the ability for success. One is productive narcissism and the other is unproductive narcissism. Only productive narcissists take risks and find a way to get their job done and be successful.


The majority of CEOs of companies are found to have narcissistic tendencies and they are identified to be great risk-takers. It is often misinterpreted as strong willpower with a charismatic character.


Furthermore, narcissists engage in risky actions only to harness endless admiration and attention. They also insist on putting their employers or friends at risk to achieve that. The heightened self confidence, motivation, and the urge to gain admiration trigger to take risky actions or decisions regardless of consequences.


How do narcissists get successful quicker?


Narcissists wish to achieve things that can be acquired in a short time. This is why narcissists get bored or show no interest in a true relationship or personality development which takes more effort and time. Narcissists have no fear to take risks in decision-making, manipulate taxes, or even cheat to become successful quicker. Researchers point out that not every type of narcissist possesses the skills to become successful, however, narcissists who are successful are said to have high intellectual and organizational skills through narcissism.


Recommended Read: How do narcissistic students become successful in academics?


Why narcissists successful are not long lasting?


Due to their elevated self esteem, narcissists do not like equally potential people and try to ruin them. This is why narcissists are bad at collaboration and partnerships. With that said, narcissists are also keen on materialistic gains and so, they are more likely to cheat business partners, obscure taxations, and torment their employees which is the reason for a non-long-lasting successful journey.


These are the things that cannot be ignored for a long time. The narcissists fantasize about being superior forever and visualize society as ignorant of these activities. At some point, when these behaviors open to the public, successful narcissists are more likely to be doomed. It might look like narcissists never fail, but they do.

How do narcissists respond when they fail?


The possible response of those successful narcissists is, when they fail, narcissists try to fake the allegations or blame shifts the responsibilities. Yet, evidence and law sue vividly from which narcissists cannot evade. Even after that, narcissists will never take accountability for their own actions due to their grandiose sense of self-pride.  


Successful narcissists are always obsessed with the winning factor and addicted to extrinsic achievements. For instance, if you analyze any famous politician whom you suspect to be a narcissist, he/she works hard to captivate the position or the party to retain their fame and position of power.


Narcissists do not care for the people but can act like one if they want to. Scenarios like elections come near, charged with any allegations, or electing an employee of the year is when narcissists act like a good one to acquire the positions.


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Narcissists seem to be smarter and more profound initially, but feel sickening in the long run. You can witness narcissistic personalities anywhere like a family, partner, co-worker, CEO, or even important political leaders. If we could closely analyze the tendencies, it is easy to find them out.


The mask of being an achiever and successful will come out of narcissists that they never dreamt of before. Narcissists choose to ignore failure due to their high entitled behavior.  They also fail in accepting the reality of facing the consequences of their malicious behaviors.


Although narcissism gives the potential to be successful, the end result is always the impact of the other traits of their narcissistic personality (Say Karma).



Q1. What are the three factors that help successful narcissists?

A1. The key traits of narcissism that assists narcissists to be successful in their career are,

  1. Self-esteem
  2. Toughness
  3. Risk-taking

Q2. Which types of success do narcissists seek?

A1. Narcissists lean more towards achieving goals in a short time rather than the slow process of growth. Hence, extrinsic goals like wealth, fame, and power attract narcissists more than healthy relationships and personal growth.

Q3. How do narcissists react when they fail at business?

A1. A narcissistic business person often shifts the blame or fakes the failure as it never happened and never takes accountability for their actions or failures.

Q4. Which type of narcissists are successful?

A1. Narcissism is of two types when it comes to the ability for success. Productive narcissists are risk-takers and find a way to get their job done to be successful. Whereas, unproductive narcissists think high of their abilities and often pay lip service.

Q5. Why do narcissists take more risky actions?

A1. The narcissists heightened self confidence, motivation, and the urge to gain admiration trigger them to take risky actions or decisions regardless of consequences.

2 thoughts on “How do Narcissists achieve success quicker but not long lasting?

  1. My attorney is a narc. He used all kinds of manipulations, like gaslighten, bulky, fear, all kinds of controlling behavior towards me the client. I loss everything, my job, my residence, my cars. It was a workercomp/ personal injury claim. I ENDED UP WITH NOTHING!!! It’s been years, and I cannot get over what my attorney did to me… I was deceived..

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