Narcissism has been clinically classified as a personality disorder. Just like any other controversial topic, narcissism has its popular myths. Psychologist Jean Twenge has researched the most common myths associated with this disorder. It is important to really understand narcissism and its symptoms to shed some light on these common misconceptions.
1. Narcissism is just really high self-esteem.
It is not uncommon for people to have large amounts of confidence; it’s actually an admirable trait. Most people with high self-esteem are able to focus on social interactions and improve their relationships. Narcissists, due to lack of empathy, are unable to feel compassion and support for others. Therefore, they often struggle with relationships and focus more on how to benefit themselves.
2. Narcissists are insecure and have low-self esteem.
Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder tend to push others away due to self-absorbent attitudes and a great need for glorification. This may lead some people to believe that they are, deep down, insecure or displeased with themselves. In reality, narcissists believe they are the most incredible humans on the planet. When people act poorly or insult others, behaving narcissistically, many times people will suggest they need to improve their self-esteem. With actual narcissists, self-esteem is no problem.
3. Small doses of narcissism are healthy.
This is never a healthy option for people. The only time excessive admiration and arrogance benefit someone, is when it’s the narcissist getting exactly what they want. Once narcissistic tendencies begin it can be a downhill slope, leading into possible depression.
4. Narcissism is just physical vanity.
Vanity is a part of narcissism. Sure, they enjoy looking at themselves and thinking they are beautiful or handsome. However, narcissism has many more factors. An ego that degrades others, constant envy, no sense of benevolence or consideration for others goes way beyond vanity. If narcissists only focused on their physical appearance, they could possibly still maintain relationships and social interactions. However, this is not the case.
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