Creative types already have it rough. It was only a few months ago that studies reported creative people to actually be lazy, thankless slackers. Now, a new report states that if you identify as a creative person or engage in creative activities, that you are more likely to be a narcissist as well.
In the journal Thinking Skills and Creativity, a research team led by psychologist Adrian Furnham tested 207 college students on the “big five” of personality factors: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The students also took questionnaires to discover their perceived creativity level vs. their actual creative output in the past year.
The test results indicated that narcissists, despite not actually being more creative than average, were more likely to take on creative endeavors despite a lack of proper skill.
The theory makes enough sense: Narcissists tend to think of themselves as more important than those around them. Thus, narcissists feel their brilliant ideas must be shared. It’s kind like that jerk who used to always think people wanted to head his sweet acoustic guitar on the Freshman lawn – only taken to the professional level.
I have to admit, these results hurt. At what point did society deem that because I like getting paid to make fun of ADHD symptom lists that I must also be a lazy, narcissistic hack?
I think these results, if anything, favor narcissists. Basically, these results claim that narcissists try out creative endeavors more than their skill indicate they should. But who is the one that gets to choose who isn’t and isn’t “creative enough”? Is there some creative-merit fairy that deems who is and isn’t talented enough to faithfully attempt certain tasks?
So sure, maybe my ADHD piece wasn’t a bundle of laughs and I shouldn’t have spent my work time on it. However, last I checked, this whole getting paid to write about stuff on the internet gig is pretty well sought after. Furthermore, I’m the one doing it: half because of my creative skill and half because I had the nerve to try and write for a number of creative sites to build a resume.
If everyone was just perfect like me, there would be no need for narcissists to take all the creative glory!