Most previous research has treated grandiose narcissism and self‐esteem as additive predictors of outcomes, but some theory and evidence suggests they may sometimes interact to predict outcomes. Unfortunately, the nature of this interaction is unclear; we suggest a framework to conceptualize the interaction and test it vis‐à‐vis the interpersonal circumplex framework.
Participants (N = 598; M
age = 38.39; 327 females; 72.1% White) reported their levels of grandiose narcissism and self‐esteem and completed interpersonal circumplex measures of efficacies, values, problems, and sensitivities.
As self‐esteem decreased, grandiose narcissism related (a) more negatively to communal efficacies and values and (b) more positively to sensitivity to others’ communal behaviors. Also as self‐esteem decreased, unexpectedly, grandiose narcissism related (a) more positively to agentic efficacies and problems and (b) more negatively to sensitivity to others’ agentic behaviors.
Overall, the present findings generally support using interaction models over additive models of grandiose narcissism and self‐esteem in interpersonal contexts, suggesting that grandiose narcissism becomes generally less communal, more agentic, and more interpersonally problematic as self‐esteem decreases.