Narcissism vs self esteem
Is There a Difference Between Narcissism and Confidence?
Updated on 1/28/21
It’s often said that there’s a fine line between being confident…and being cocky. We admire those we find assertive and opinionated, but we tend not to warm to people who are egotistical and boastful.
That’s probably why we sometimes confuse confidence and narcissism. When does a healthy self-belief tip over into self-obsession?
In fact, confidence and narcissism have very little to do with each other — and a growing body of research backs this up.
Confidence and Narcissism Are Actually Nothing Alike
Let’s start with some essential definitions to understand why confidence and narcissism aren’t alike.
According to Psychology Today, narcissism, which exists on a spectrum, “is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, a need for excessive admiration, and the belief that one is unique and deserving of special treatment. ”
Self-esteem or self-confidence relates to your overall opinion of yourself, according to Mayo Clinic. A healthy level of self-esteem means “you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the respect of others.”
“Confidence is believing in yourself — your talents and abilities,” explains Talkspace therapist Elizabeth Hinkle, LMFT. On the other hand, “narcissism includes an exaggerated sense of self and what you’re capable of, often having an expectation of admiration from others while lacking in empathy for others.”
Put another way, self-esteem is “about being satisfied with yourself as a person and accepting yourself for who you are, regardless of how you compare to others,” Dr. Eddie Brummelman, an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam, told The Atlantic.
He added: “Narcissism is very much about feeling superior to other people.”
From anger to social comparisons: the traits of narcissism vs confidence
Elizabeth Hinkle says that we often assume someone with narcissism is confident. But she says that’s a misconception. “It’s difficult to understand that people with narcissism deep down do not generally have positive feelings about themselves or healthy self-esteem.”
A 2018 paper shed more light on the qualities of narcissism in comparison to confidence. The research analysed the traits of narcissism against self-esteem. It found that both were related to agency, assertiveness, positive emotions and a drive for rewards.
“But that’s essentially where the similarities ended,” Kaufman summarized in Scientific American. “In fact, narcissism and self-esteem differed on 63% of the other traits that were assessed.”
The authors concluded: “Unlike self-esteem, narcissism was related to callousness, grandiosity, entitlement, and demeaning attitudes towards others.”
Some of the other trait-specific findings included:
- Self-esteem is more strongly linked to conscientiousness and perseverance
- Narcissists are more antagonistic; those with healthy self-esteem are agreeable
- Narcissism is linked to feeling and expressing anger
- Narcissists are more prone to arguing and social comparisons
Interestingly, narcissists feel central to their social networks, and they perceive other people in their network as narcissistic, neurotic, and disagreeable. On the other hand, self-esteem is related to feeling close to others in their social network, and perceiving them as intelligent, likeable, and kind.
What’s more, self-esteem was strongly linked to lower levels of anxiety and depression. Narcissism only weakly related to those outcomes. It was more linked to antisocial behavior, substance misuse, and aggression.
Can Self-EsteemLead to Narcissism?
If self-esteem means believing in yourself, and narcissism is having an exaggerated sense of self, then could self-esteem or confidence eventually lead to narcissism? If your self-esteem over-develops, are you at risk of becoming a narcissist?
It’s understandable to think that. “For many years, psychologists and the media alike have treated narcissism as representing ‘inflated self-esteem’, or ‘self-esteem on steroids’,” Scott Barry Kaufman wrote in Scientific American.
However, this isn’t true. In fact, there’s a growing body of evidence to support the idea that higher self-esteem does not lead to narcissism.
A recent study published in December 2019 in the Journal of Research in Personality addressed the question: Does high self-esteem foster narcissism? The researchers carried out a survey of 158 workers, measuring self-esteem, narcissistic admiration, and rivalry over the course of a year.
“The researchers measured the workers’ levels of narcissism by asking them to rank how much statements such as ‘I deserve to be seen as a great personality’ or ‘I want my rivals to fail’ relate to them,” observed The Atlantic.
The researchers found no evidence that higher levels of self-esteem lead to increased narcissism over time. “Self-esteem and narcissism within the same person do not seem to go hand in hand,” the study’s lead author, Aleksandra Cichocka, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Kent, told The Atlantic. “They seem to be quite separate states.”
Nurturing self-confidence in childhood
It is thought that both narcissism and self-confidence emerge at around eight years old, according to Dr Brummelman. He investigated the origins of narcissism in children for a 2015 paper.
Speaking to The Atlantic, he surmised that “parents who treat their children like they’re more special and entitled than others might nurture the children’s narcissistic tendencies.” Whereas cultivating healthy self-esteem requires parents to value their children for who they are, explaining that they don’t have to be unique to be accepted and loved.
“One reason some of those ’90s-era attempts to build self-esteem might have failed, Brummelman speculates, is that they actually did tell kids they were special. The approach inadvertently caused narcissism, not self-esteem.”
Are They a Narcissist, or Just Confident?
If you suspect someone in your life is a narcissist, Dr. Perpetua Neo, DClinPsy, suggests asking the following questions:
- How do they respond to others’ success?
- Do they truly promote others’ growth?
- Do they truly have empathy and compassion?
- Are they open to others having different opinions, and for their own opinion to change?
- Are they able to acknowledge how luck and privilege have factored in their lives?
- Are they able to respect boundaries?
- Are they okay with their vulnerabilities?
In conclusion, remember that having a healthy confidence and sense of self does not make you narcissistic. “You can feel good about yourself while still respecting and empathizing with others and have an, ‘I’m okay, you’re okay’ approach,” says Hinkle.
She says therapy can help develop self-confidence “by exploring your expectations of yourself, old messages you may have received about yourself, and ways to adjust these expectations. Talking to a therapist can give you an understanding of the automatic and distorted ways you could be perceiving yourself.”
If you wonder whether your confidence truly comes from an authentic, positive place or is perhaps less benign, sharing your concerns with a licensed online therapist can be an excellent way to sort out these differences.
Narcissism and Self-Esteem Are Very Different
As the mythology goes, Narcissus fell in love so much with his own reflection in a pool of water that he was unable to do anything else but admire himself. Eventually, he withered away and died staring at his reflection. Did Narcissus have excessively high self-esteem? Was that his main issue? Or was it something else?
For many years, psychologists and the media alike have treated narcissism as representing "inflated self-esteem", or "self-esteem on steroids". In the past few years, however, there have been some serious challenges to this view. The latest research suggests that narcissism differs significantly from self-esteem in its development, origins, consequences, and outcomes. This has important implications for our understanding of narcissism, and for interventions to increase healthy self-esteem.
Both narcissism and self-esteem start to develop around the age of 7. At this age, children draw heavily on social comparisons with others and start to evaluate themselves along the lines of "I am a loser", "I am worthy", or "I am special". Children come to view themselves as they perceive they are seen by others.
Whereas self-esteem tends to be at its lowest in adolescence, and slowly increases throughout life, narcissism peaks in adolescence and gradually declines throughout the lifespan. Therefore, the development of narcissism and high self-esteem show the mirror image of each other throughout the course of human development.
The development of self-esteem and narcissism are also influenced by different parenting styles. Narcissism tends to develop in tandem with parental overvaluation. Parents who raise children who exhibit high levels of narcissism tend to overclaim their child's knowledge (e.g., "My child knows everything there is to know about math"), overestimate their child's IQ, overpraise their child's performances, and even tend to give their children a unique name to stand out from the crowd. Eventually, the child internalizes these self-views, and they unconsciously drive the child's interactions with others.
In contrast, high self-esteem develops in tandem with parental warmth. Parents who raise children who exhibit high levels of self-esteem tend to treat their children with affection, appreciation, and fondness. They treat their children as though they matter. Eventually, this parenting practice leads to the child internalizing the message that they are worthy individuals, a core aspect of healthy self-esteem.
The prototypical grandiose narcissist is characterized by arrogance, superiority, vanity, entitlement, exploitativeness, exhibitionism, and the incessant need for acclaim from others. Those scoring high on measures of self-esteem, however, tend to feel satisfied with themselves but do not necessarily see themselves as superior to others.
For instance, the most widely administered test of self-esteem-- the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale-- has items such as, "On the whole, I am satisfied with myself", "I feel that I have a number of good qualities", and "I am able to do things as well as most other people." These items are not about being superior to others, but about having a healthy level of self-worth and self-competence. As Rosenberg put it, "When we deal with self-esteem, we are asking whether the individual considers [themselves] adequate-- a person of worth-- not whether [they] consider [themselves] superior to others."
While narcissism is positively correlated with self-esteem, the association is actually small. This suggests it's possible to think you are superior to others, but still not view yourself as a worthy human being. On the contrary, it's possible to think you are worthy and competent without thinking you are better than others.
A very interesting recent paper further sheds light on the similarities and differences between narcissism and self-esteem. Self-esteem and narcissism were both related to agency, assertiveness, positive emotions, and a drive for rewards. But that's essentially where the similarities ended. In fact, narcissism and self-esteem differed on 63% of the other traits that were assessed.
Self-esteem was much more strongly linked to conscientiousness and perseverence than narcissism. Also, whereas narcissism was negatively associated with agreeableness (i.e., narcissists were more antagonistic), the relationship between self-esteem and agreeableness was small but positive.
In regards to interpersonal functioning, narcissism and self-esteem differed on 75% of the measures. Narcissism, but not self-esteem, was associated with experiencing and expressing anger, and confrontational responses such as yelling, threatening, and physical aggression. Narcissism, but not self-esteem, was also related to a drive for acquisition of disproportionate resources as well as greater relationship problems.
Narcissism was related to feeling central to one's social networks, and also perceiving others in one's network as narcissistic, neurotic, disagreeable, and disinhibited. Narcissism was also related to more frequent arguing and social comparisons than self-esteem. The opposite was true for self-esteem. Self-esteem was related to feeling close to others in one's social network, and perceiving others in one's social network as attractive, high status, high in leadership, intelligent, likeable, and kind.
There were also clear differences in terms of psychopathology. Narcissism and self-esteem differed on 100% of the measures relating to internalizing psychopathology. Whereas self-esteem was strongly related to lower levels of anxiety, depression, and global distress, narcissism was only weakly related to these outcomes. Narcissism was much more associated with externalizing behavior, including alcohol/substance abuse, antisocial behavior, and aggression.Credit: Andrew Hunter Unsplash
In terms of pathological traits, narcissism was related to a higher score on every single pathological trait, whereas self-esteem showed negative correlations with all 30 pathological traits. Self-esteem was particularly negatively associated with detachment, disinhibition, and psychoticism, whereas narcissism showed substantial positive relations to these traits. Narcissism also showed a strong relationship to histrionic personality disorders, whereas self-esteem was either unrelated or unrelated to histrionic behaviors.
It's very clear from this analysis that narcissists are much more driven to get ahead than to get along. Narcissism is associated with the need to dominate others and the need to achieve superior resources. In contrast, high self-esteem is much more associated with the desire to establish deep, intimate relationships with others.
Should We Be Trying to Raise Self-Esteem?
What are the implications of these findings for the way we think about raising self-esteem? In order to answer this question, I think it's important to look at history. For a good 20 years in U..S history (from the 70s to 90s), the self-esteem craze was definitely a thing. There was such a focus on feeling good about yourself as the answer to all of life's problems.
Rightly so, there was a backlash against this simplistic view. Roy Baumeister and colleagues did a systematic review of the self-esteem literature and found that the effects of self-esteem aren't as pervasive as generally thought: self-esteem was most strongly correlated with enhanced initiative and happiness. But correlation doesn't equal causation, and they found little evidence that interventions designed to boost self-esteem actually cause benefits. So what should be the status of self-esteem in our psychological interventions?
On the one hand, I think we can relax our fears that efforts to raise self-esteem in children will inadvertently create a generation of narcissists. The real concern isn't with raising healthy self-esteem. If anything, we could do a MUCH better job making all students feel valued and respected. The real problem is with "overvaluing", and praising children for being special in a way that far exceeds their actual accomplishments. As Eddie Brummelman and colleagues put it,
"Interventions can teach parents and educators to express affection and appreciation for children without proclaiming them to be superior to others. By doing so, parents and educators may help children feel happy with themselves without seeing themselves as better than others."
I view self-esteem boosts like taking a vitamin. If you are very deficient in self-esteem, there are really important consequences for health outcomes. For instance, low self-esteem is a significant risk factor for depression, regardless of whether or not one is narcissistic. However, once a person has a basic level of healthy self-esteem, the constant pursuit of self-esteem can be very costly. When our goals are to validate our self, or to constantly feel good about ourselves, rather than to learn and grow, we actually undermine our learning, relationships, authenticity, ability to self-regulate our behavior, and mental and physical health.
It seems that a better alternative, once you have a sufficient belief in your self-worth, is to focus on accomplishing challenging, valued activities and fostering your relationships. Let authentic pride and strong positive feelings about oneself be the natural outcome, instead of driving force. To get you through the difficult times and self-doubt, work on increasing your self-compassion, not self-esteem.
Hopefully through our understanding of the different pathways of narcissism and self-esteem, we can have a more realistic understanding of the impact of raising self-esteem, and can target practices to help people make sure they are increasing their self-esteem in the most healthy, productive, genuine, and authentic fashion.
© 2017 Scott Barry Kaufman, All Rights Reserved
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., is a humanistic psychologist exploring the depths of human potential. He has taught courses on intelligence, creativity, and well-being at Columbia University, NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. He hosts The Psychology Podcast, and is author and/or editor of 9 books, including Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (with Carolyn Gregoire), and Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined. In 2015, he was named one of "50 Groundbreaking Scientists who are changing the way we see the world" by Business Insider. Find out more at http://ScottBarryKaufman.com. He wrote the extremely popular Beautiful Minds blog for Scientific American for close to a decade. Follow Scott Barry Kaufman on Twitter Credit: Andrew French
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"I am worthy", "I am a failure" or "I am special"? When it comes to narcissists, the image of narcissistic, flaunting people with high self-esteem arises in the minds of many. However, this misconception has little to do with reality. For the most part, narcissists are people with deep psychological problems, deformed criteria for evaluating themselves and others, and a weak sense of self-worth. Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman says that in recent years, researchers have learned about narcissism, how it differs from healthy self-esteem, how it is formed, and what unobvious consequences the constant pursuit of high appreciation can lead to even in those who do not suffer from a narcissistic disorder.nine0009
Today, almost everyone is familiar with the myth of Narcissus, who fell so in love with his reflection in the pond that he could do nothing more than admire himself. In the end, unable to take his eyes off his beautiful reflection in the water and see the real people around him, he withered and died. Did Narcissus have another way out? Did excessively high self-esteem lead to the tragedy, or was there something else?
For many years, psychologists and the media have interpreted narcissism as an inflated self-esteem or pumped self-esteem. However, not only the results of empirical observations of psychoanalysts, but even qualitative and quantitative studies of recent years cast doubt on this. It becomes clear that the phenomenon of narcissism is significantly different from the phenomenon of self-esteem - it has a different origin, dynamics of development, formation and consequences. nine0003
So does it make sense to try to increase self-esteem, or does it threaten that we cross the line of narcissism?
What's at the beginning?
Distinguish normal infantile, mature and pathological narcissism.
Normal infantile narcissism is the basis of the child's existence, the foundation of a healthy self-esteem, without which he will not subsequently survive. This type of narcissism develops from birth, serving as a guarantee of a fulfilling and fruitful relationship between mother and child. Normal infantile narcissism manifests itself before the age of 2-4, partially consolidates at the age of 6-7 and manifestly returns briefly at puberty, when the child once again asserts himself in an attempt to separate from his parents. nine0003
It should be noted that from the point of view of the danger of developing pathological narcissism, attention should be paid to the age from two to four years. Here it is important that the formation of a sense of separation from close people, who were previously perceived by the child as a tool for fulfilling his desires, takes place.
The second focus of attention of parents and teachers to narcissism should be provided during adolescence, when narcissism can be temporary and natural if the child has successfully passed the first period of narcissism, or pathological - if the sense of self and separation from significant ones has not yet formed. adults, and he constantly needs to “re-pump” his sense of self-worth. nine0003
At 6-7 years old, when children learn to understand the image of themselves through the way others see them, they first establish themselves in the conclusion: "I am worthy", "I am a failure" or "I am special". If at an early stage of development, the parents provided the child with a healthy acceptance of him as he is, then the opinion of others is not so painfully perceived, it falls on healthy soil and strengthens the already existing image of himself as good enough. Otherwise, there is a feeling of not being good enough, and this reinforces the development of narcissism. nine0003
Parenting style has a profound effect on the maturation of a sense of self-worth or the manifestation of signs of narcissism. It depends on the parent and educator whether the child will forever remain a narcissist and thus stop in his mental development or continue to move. Will he learn to really evaluate himself or will he always distort reality, carefully selecting people in his retinue, creating a narcissistic environment around him.
The narcissism of the child is often the result of the narcissism of the parents. For example, parents who tend to overestimate the ability of their children, for example, saying: "My child knows everything there is to know about mathematics", the children subsequently show a high level of narcissism. Parents of such children tend to overestimate the IQ of the child, to exaggerate the effect of his school performances. These parents tend to give their children unique names to make them stand out from the crowd and stand out as parents themselves. In the end, their child learns this attitude, in which, as we see, there is a lot of latent parental doubt that he is good on his own, without achievements. And this “knowledge”, firmly learned by the child, then unconsciously controls his interaction with other people, causing trouble, suffering, forcing him to run faster and jump higher and higher. nine0003
In contrast, high self-esteem develops in conditions of parental warmth and acceptance, when parents know that their child is simply good. They share with children their confidence in this, respect, love, appreciation and tenderness. They treat children in such a way that they understand that only they themselves matter, and not what they do, how they look or what their name is. In the end, this parenting practice results in the child learning a valuable message: that he is a worthy person and “ok” in his own right, which is the basis of healthy self-esteem. nine0003
The dynamics of the development of narcissism and self-esteem is interesting. While self-esteem is typically lowest during adolescence and gradually increases throughout life, narcissism peaks during adolescence and gradually decreases throughout life.
Therefore, narcissism and self-esteem seem to mirror each other throughout the entire cycle of personality development and the formation of the psyche.
Normal mature narcissism is infantile narcissism compensated by experience and good parenting. It is necessary for building successful relationships, career development and motivation. nine0003
However, pathological narcissism, which stems from a lack of true love and acceptance, is already a reflection of the child's self-idealization and grandiose self-image.
What is the result?
The classic grandiose narcissist, or narcissist, is a person who demonstrates arrogance, superiority, vanity, power; he exploits people, exhibits some form of exhibitionism, and suffers from an almost insatiable need to gain recognition from others. He will never admit it. nine0003
Those with healthy self-esteem also tend to feel satisfied with themselves or their activities, but they generally do not consider themselves superior to others and do not participate in the race for achievement.
An even better understanding of the difference between narcissism and self-esteem can be helped by a self-esteem test - the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale ⓘ The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale is a personal questionnaire for measuring the level of self-esteem and, to a certain extent, the level of self-esteem . . The test consists of such conclusions as "in general, I satisfied with myself”, “I feel that I have a number of good qualities” and “I can do the same as most other people”, etc. If a person agrees with these statements, this indicates that he has a healthy level self-worth and self-competence. nine0003
As Rosenberg himself said:
When we are dealing with self-esteem, we ask, first of all, whether a person considers himself adequate and worthy, and not whether he considers himself superior to others.
The narcissist will not be able to choose the answer that “he is generally satisfied with himself”, because deep down he feels inferior, and the narcissist will not “stand on a par with other people”, since he believes that he is superior to them. It is important.
Although narcissism is positively correlated with self-esteem, the similarity is actually small. For example, you may be sure that you are superior to others, but you may not consider yourself a worthy person. Conversely, you can think that you are worthy and competent, but do not put yourself above others. nine0003
One recent article sheds more light on the similarities and differences between narcissism and self-esteem.
The method of correlation analysis shows that between self-esteem and narcissism are common indicators such as self-confidence, positive emotions and the desire for a reward. But that's where the similarity ends. In fact, there was a 63% difference between narcissism and self-esteem, according to the study.
It was found that self-esteem is much stronger than narcissism associated with criteria such as conscientiousness and perseverance. Such a criterion as friendliness was generally not characteristic of narcissists, since they are more antagonistic. Between self-esteem and friendliness, the relationship was traced - it was not direct, but positive. nine0003
With regard to situations of interpersonal relationships, in 75% of cases, narcissism and self-esteem were different. Problems in relationships with people, various reactions of anger in the form of shouting, threats or physical aggression were inherent in narcissism, as well as the desire for inappropriate confrontation and for the possession of disproportionately large resources.
People with a high level of narcissism, as can be seen from the results of the study, also demonstrated a desire to be in the spotlight on social networks at any cost, while other network participants, and not themselves, were considered narcissistic, neurotic, unpleasant and promiscuous. Narcissistically oriented people did not see the beam in their own eye, but noticed the mote in someone else's, more often came into conflict, argued furiously, and were focused on comparing social achievements. nine0003
In contrast, people with high self-esteem demonstrated on social media a desire for constructive intimacy with others and perceived others as attractive, with strong leadership traits and high status, generally smart, likeable, and kind.
There were also clear differences in terms of psychopathology. Narcissism and self-esteem differed in 100% of the indicators, and this is due to such a thing as internalization.
While a low level of anxiety, a low tendency to depression and self-flagellation were directly related to the phenomenon of healthy self-esteem, all this was not characteristic of narcissism. On the contrary, narcissism is much more closely associated with externalizing behaviors, such as throwing out or placing one's anxious feelings in external objects, looking for an external enemy, acting out scenarios and dramas, antisocial behavior and aggression. However, much more often narcissism was accompanied by the use of substances as anesthesia in difficult situations - namely, alcohol/drug abuse. nine0003
As for pathological features, according to the method of correlation analysis, narcissism showed a direct relationship for each pathological feature, while self-esteem was negatively correlated for all 30 pathological features.
Thus, according to the participants of the study, people with healthy self-esteem were completely uncharacteristic of detachment, disinhibition and psychotism, while these traits were traced in all cases in narcissists.
In the case of narcissism, an association was found with hysterical personality disorder, while self-esteem was either unrelated or rather unrelated to hysterical behavior. nine0003
From this analysis, it is clear that it is much easier for narcissists to respond to emotions through action, not staying long in a relationship, to move quickly from one to another, than to try to get along and find a compromise with people.
Narcissism is always the need to dominate others in order to obtain more and more resources.
In contrast, high self-esteem is much more related to the desire to establish deep and intimate relationships with other people.nine0002
So should we try to increase self-esteem and how?
What conclusion can we draw regarding the question we posed at the beginning of the article? Does it make sense to try to increase self-esteem? To answer it, I think it is important to look deeper into history.
For 20 years in the US from the 70's to the 90's we have seen a craze for self-esteem. It definitely was something! The focus of attention of the whole society was to feel good at any cost. This was the answer to all life's problems. nine0003
And, accordingly, then a rollback followed, a movement began in the opposite direction from this very simplified understanding.
Roy Baumeister and colleagues reviewed the literature on self-esteem and found that the effect of healthy self-esteem is not as significant and widespread as commonly believed: self-esteem correlates most strongly with initiative and happiness. But correlation doesn't equal causation, and they didn't find enough evidence that an intervention to improve self-esteem actually results in any benefit or quality of life. So, how should we relate to the impact on self-esteem in our psychological work? nine0003
The main thing, I think, is that we can not be afraid that an attempt to increase self-esteem in children will inadvertently create a generation of narcissists. An increase in healthy self-esteem has nothing to do with the development of narcissism. Therefore, we have a huge job ahead of us, we must ensure that all students feel valued and respected, regardless of status, name or abilities.
The real problem lies in overestimating the child's real achievements and praising children for being special. As Eddie Brummelman points out:
Our task is to teach parents and teachers to express love and appreciation to children without declaring them superior to others and without requiring them to achieve. By doing so, parents and caregivers can help children feel happy for who they are, not because they are better than others.
I believe, Brumelman continues, that healthy self-esteem is a vitamin for your well-being, because low self-esteem can be a risk factor for the development of, for example, depression, regardless of whether the child is narcissistic or not. nine0003
But in the same way, if a person has an ample baseline of healthy self-esteem, then constantly striving for high self-esteem just to feel good all the time can be costly. Behind this desire, you can not notice life, namely, that you can learn and grow with pleasure, build relationships, make friends not in quantity, but for pleasure - i.e. to be authentic, which means being able to self-regulate their behavior, as well as mental and physical health. nine0003
If you have sufficient confidence in your self-esteem, it is good to focus on developing your relationships with other people, no matter how difficult these relationships may seem to you. Let genuine pride and strong positive emotions be a natural result of this process, and not a necessity that must be closed.
We all have difficult times and periods of uncertainty, so work on increasing compassion for yourself and others first, not developing self-esteem, and even less so do not participate in the race for achievement. nine0003
We hope that thanks to our material you will be able to fulfill yourself better and feel worthy of love and respect, and will also be able to help other people achieve the same in their lives - healthy, productive, authentic.
• Related resource pack
- Narcissism and fear of intimacy: what is emotional unavailability
- Collective narcissism: when does love for one's nation or group become pathological? nine0134
- Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism: how the "dark triad of personality" manifests itself in "owls" and "larks"
From: Narcissism and Self-Esteem Are Very Different / Scientific American
Cover: Gyula Bencur Narcissus
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Narcissism and high self-esteem: what's the difference?
In a sense, everyone has narcissistic traits. Problems arise when they take precedence over other qualities and character traits.
Self-confidence and self-respect help you cope with difficulties and not lose your presence of mind. Possessing them, we soberly assess our capabilities, but at the same time we believe in others and wish them good luck. And our self-esteem does not suffer from this. But can we say that people with narcissistic personality disorder have high self-esteem? And what is the difference between narcissism and healthy self-confidence? nine0003
There are three main parameters to study in order to understand the difference.
1. Attitude towards oneself
Narcissism is born in early childhood, when a child either does not receive unconditional love and acceptance from adults, or becomes an "idol" in his own family. Growing up, in both cases, he needs “feeding”: he constantly tries to make up for the lack of love and adoration, he does not feel satisfied without “strokes” from others. He considers himself inferior, suffers from anxiety and fits of anger. Narcissists are prone to depression and feel vulnerable. nine0003
And for someone who is simply confident in himself, self-esteem is based not on other people's praise, but on a realistic view of his knowledge and skills. He believes that if he tries, he will achieve everything. He explains failures by a lack of experience, tries to understand the cause of the error and eliminate it, without collapsing from the slightest oversight.
2. Relationships with others
The narcissist is almost always in a co-dependent relationship. Often he uses the weaknesses of others to subdue them and force them to play by his own rules. For example, a leader with narcissistic personality disorder will require subordinates to follow the rules he has invented, which he also constantly changes. nine0003
He praises himself and demands that others also sing praises to him. He is unpredictable, it is impossible to understand what can actually calm him down, what he might like. In marriage, the narcissist constantly breaks agreements, for example, he can cheat, blaming his partner for his misdeeds.
A person with high self-esteem most often refers to people from the position: “I am good, you are good”, and not “I am good, you are bad”.