Dr. Craig Malkin, a clinical psychologist and the author of “Rethinking Narcissism” reveals the common traits you can find in the super-rich.
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Following is a transcript of the video:
Craig Malkin: When we look at the relationship between wealth and wealth accumulation and measures of narcissism, people’s narcissistic scores go up as they tend to earn more. What all super wealthy people have in common is they feel deserving of their wealth. They don’t feel any conflicts about pursuing it. They don’t feel like it’s greedy to want to have more money and what’s fascinating about that is the bright side of entitlement, really, what you can think of as healthy entitlement is feeling like you are deserving of things. We need to have that. So what we see in the ultra-wealthy is they feel that around money.
The other thing that comes out of the research is it’s very clear that the ultra-wealthy do feel special because of their accumulation of wealth. We, all of us, have areas where we tie our sense of self-esteem to something external. Within reason, that can be a great thing and when it comes to people who are super-wealthy, obviously, it keeps them focused on the idea that they can continue to pursue wealth because it helps them ground their sense of self.
They also have a kind of grandiosity, where they truly believe that everything they do when it leads to a success, it’s because of what they have done or not done themselves. It’s as if they feel this incredible sense of control over their own fate. And of course, this is nonsense, but that kind of grandiosity appears to be linked to the ability to say, go into a risky business venture feeling like I know what I am doing here. And sometimes, there is a big payoff, not always, but it’s enough to help people persist in the face of failure when they’re trying to accumulate wealth and obviously there is some connection between that belief and people accumulating more wealth.
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