To test this theory, the German team asked nearly 300 pairs of best friends to complete a personality inventory in which they rated their friends on narcissism as well as the other “Dark Triad” traits of psychopathy and Machiavellianism. The key to the study was examining not only how friends corresponded on these undesirable personality qualities, but whether they would see greater correspondence in narcissism scores among those who themselves are narcissists.
As predicted, the findings showed that those who maintain long-term relationships with narcissists were high in narcissism themselves. In interpreting the findings, Maaß et al. concluded that narcissists “like what they have” (p. 378). Narcissists are not only tolerant of narcissism in their friends, they also are not turned off by the selfishness, arrogance, and bossiness that would drive non-narcissists away.