What is a Narcissist?
Have you ever wondered if your self-love was the reason you did not have many friends or a social life? Has your self-love turned to narcissism? Do you ever confuse confidence with arrogance? There are different types of narcissists ranging from high (negative) to low levels of narcissism (positive). The higher the level, the more dangerous this type is for the people around them and themselves too.
We also have what is called a narcissist personality disorder. It is a disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of self-importance. This personality disorder is most commonly found in men. The cause is unknown but likely to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Possessing a strong sense of self and uniqueness is very important in order to have a healthy and happy life, but those with a narcissistic personality disorder take these things to an extreme. A narcissist has very little regard for those around them, and rarely ever asks others about their thoughts or feelings. narcissism | Definition, Origins, Pathology, Behavior, Traits, & Facts | Britannica
This is due to the fact that they lack the ability to care for others or rather lack empathy and this means they are unable to recognize or understand the needs and feelings of others. For example, you could start talking to a person about how you have cancer, and pretty soon they are talking about their new car, says Keith Campbell, a narcissism researcher and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement for the Huffington Post. There are different types of narcissist. We will look at four types that are inspired by the book, The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene.
The complete control, Narcissist. Here we are talking about the master of capturing people. They give you the attention that you think you need and pay attention to everything that you say. You almost feel like you can relate to them. This is why they are able to captivate positions of power and leadership. As much as they are relatable, one always feels a sense of anxiousness when they are about to meet them. This gives the idea that they have a superior aura. Was it because of the level of self-love they carried or maybe their confidence? Over time, one will realize a changed behavior in this person.
All of a sudden, the friendliness vanishes, and you find that they find pleasure in torturing others. They become envious of anybody that might seem more successful than them, to the point that they will kill anyone that is a threat. You find that this type of narcissist is very modest and would not take accessories. People seem to avoid rubbing them the wrong way because it could lead to death. An example would have to be Joseph Stalin.
The Theatrical Narcissist, we are talking about the master of acting and of believing his own lies. They would make you believe their dramatic lies and stories. They have the ability to make believe. And they are so convincing, for example, if they plot something against you. You stand no chance of proving yourself innocent. They could paint you as a mean, horrible person, to a point where even the people that knew you could doubt you or even turn their backs against you. They are also able to get positions of power and leadership due to their convincing nature and confidence. Making it easy for people to trust, because they are able to act in certain ways in order to gain that trust.
Then they also give off an air of superiority and sarcasm. Theatrical Narcissists are able to take up certain roles in order to gain the attention they badly desire. They are always so determined to excel in everything that they do. Even with the persona that they take up, they make sure that they master it. Once the attention is no longer given to them, they take up even more dramatic characters, for example, acting a certain way to justify it by blaming their past or childhood traumas, some of which are non-existing. They would do anything to seem different or to get empathy from others.
The Narcissist Couples. Here we are referring to two people who come from different backgrounds and have their own history. One could be dealing with the abandonment issue while the other could be dealing with self-absorption. We find that their past could be the reason that the relationship is not functioning properly. We find that this romantic relationship is also based on other factors besides love. The relationship might be the reason why they highlight each other’s narcissistic characters. Always in constant search of each other’s attention. With one or both, not always, wanting to lower their pride towards each other. Over the long run, they find out that their relationship is not working and separate, but shortly you will find them back together because they will soon realize no one else can deal with them better than themselves.
The healthy narcissist. Here we are referring to the leader of any ship, team, group or carrier. For example, mountain climbers and the team captain have to worry not only about the completion of the task but rather about the survival of the team. A healthy narcissist is able to recover from any sort of emotional hazard or distress. This is due to their self-love. It is the reason why they are able to deal with life challenges, unlike the controlling narcissist who lacks self-love and is in constant need for validation. A healthy narcissist is able to look inwards and motivate himself to do better and improve himself. It is important that one always gathers your thoughts through meditation, in order to allow for a healthier mental life.
Do you think of yourself highly?
Do you love yourself, above and beyond all?
Is your self-love turning to narcissism?
Confident or arrogant?
Do you come first in your life?
Have you created a safe space not trusting anyone but yourself?
Has your environment shaped and molded you into thinking in a hardcore way?
The History of Narcissism
According to WebMD, the word “narcissism” comes from a Greek myth about Narcissus, a man who “sees his own reflection in a pool of water and falls in love with it.” The Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Book III) gives us a more creative story of Narcissus and Echo which much later developed into a much more specialized psychoanalytic term. In Ovid’s myth, Narcissus is a handsome young man who spurns the advances of many potential lovers, including the nymph Echo, named this way because she was cursed to only echo the sounds that others made. After Narcissus rejected Echo, the gods punished him by making him fall in love with his own reflection in a pool. Finding that the object of his love cannot love him back, he pines away and dies.
Narcissism has a rich history in the literature of clinical psychoanalysis, starting by focusing on a very strong, abnormal, self- focused sexuality. The first psychologist who used the term “Narcissus-like” clinically was Havelock Ellis (1898), who linked Ovid’s myth to the condition of “auto-eroticism” (i.e. self as own sexual object) in one of his patients, Freud (1905/1953). (PDF) A Historical Review of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality (researchgate.net). Here is another perspective on the correlation of Narcissus and today’s culture.
Is it not funny how we can watch our own WhatsApp status over and over again, up to more than 8 times per day, more especially when we have uploaded a picture or video of ourselves? When you think about it in a deeper sense, one can say we are a little self-absorbed. I really love chocolate more, especially when I am all alone and I don’t have to share it with anybody, simply because it is my chocolate and I do not want to share it.
We live in a world of instant gratification where the number of social media likes, views and comments we get can act as a validation. Is it not disappointing when you post your favourite picture on social media and you find that it got less than a hundred likes? We almost all react with that angry damn! ” I should have posted that one, with better lighting or a better camera angle”. So, therefore, don’t be surprised when you cross the line between self-love and self-absorption to narcissism.
The Dark Side
It is said that anytime you are walking on a high building or bridge with someone, it always crosses our minds to scare the person we are walking with or to pretend we are jokingly pushing them to give them that fright. Apparently, this happens to most of us. What does that then say about our characters as human beings? Very narcissistic I must say. We all have a dark side to ourselves. Where we could lie for our own benefits, cheat, steal and act.
Avoiding the Truth
The actual truth of dark narcissism is the lack of self-love. You find that the most dangerous narcissists lack self-esteem and they tend to hide it with their highly emphasized self-confidence. We find that this confidence is also a performance in order to attract the attention of others. We have to accept that we are not perfect, that we will make mistakes and fall at times. Expecting perfection could also be a gateway to narcissism. Therefore, be lenient to yourself. Deal with situations as they come and go. Love yourself to a point where, when everything goes wrong and everything is lost, you are still able to pick yourself up and move forward. Do not indulge in the feeling of jealousy, just always know that your time is coming and that everyone has a different journey.
Are We, in Fact, All Narcissists?
We are all narcissists, some deeper on the spectrum than others (Robert Green). The key is that we must develop into healthy narcissists who have a stronger and more resilient sense of self. They are able to self-therapize and recover quicker from emotional hazards or insults. They do not depend on others for validation. So, if this is the type of person you are, then you don’t have to worry. This is a healthy lifestyle.
How to Deal With Narcissistic Traits
In order to be able to know how to handle the deep narcissists in our lives. We must be honest with our own nature and must not deny it. At the end of the day, we are all narcissists. We all like attention. In fact, we love it when people possess the same qualities as us because we see ourselves through them. We can also be flattered because of our self-love.
Firstly, see them for who they are and accept that this is the person they are and there is nothing much you can do to change them. Secondly, minimize focusing on them and break the spell. Take care of yourself and know that it is not your duty to fix them. Thirdly, speak up for yourself, but be prepared for them to not understand or care. Fourthly, set boundaries with clear consequences. For more information on how to deal with narcissistic traits, visit How to Deal With A Narcissist: 10 Tips Plus When to Move On (healthline.com)
To sum up, we have seen and understood the difference between narcissism and narcissist personality disorder. We know that there are different types of narcissists and only four types have been highlighted. The history of the origin of the term is defined and we see how our own guilty pleasures can sometimes cross over to the narcissistic side of life. One sees the importance of coming to terms with your dark side and that this is actually the key to positive self-love. This is loving yourself even though you are flawed.
They often say that the truth will set you free, and therefore, this is why it is important to accept the truth about ourselves and those around us. We see that in some shape or form we are all alike, constantly searching for validation from others. Self-love is sometimes the key to a balanced life, more especially when applied accordingly, and is a result of healthy narcissism. Therefore, love yourself and be confident and happy.
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