self-love to narcissism

“I don’t care what you think unless it is about me.”
Kurt Cobain

I am scared, scared that if I practice self-love, I will manifest narcissism.

The question sprouts in my mind, when does self-love end and narcissism begin?

Is there a fine line, or is narcissism a disorder that either affects you or it doesn’t, period.

I can’t put my finger on where this irrational fear comes from, yet, I have always been afraid of becoming too egocentric. I catch my wandering self-affirming thoughts and put them back in their cage of self-criticism, stacked neatly.

Narcissism, or even slight self-centered traits in other individuals, obviate any desire to connecting with them as well.

Every person is a world, every mind is a universe, we must love it dearly, but when does it slide from adoring to vanity?

Do you ever experience this dilemma?

 

18 Responses

  1. It’s always seemed to me that personalities determine the ones that find it easy to go too far into vanity. I always waver back and forth between having positive affirming thoughts to “omg wow, I suck,” in certain aspects.
    I always try to keep balanced and be proud of the accomplishments I think are worthy (internal or external), then revisit them from time to time for affirmation or a reality check.

  2. Very much so! It’s very tricky to promote your abilities & skills, especially for job interviews without seeming like you’re over-hyping your own accomplishments. Ultimately I feel it’s about being proud of your own achievements & believing that you bring something worthwhile to the table 😀

  3. Sorry for throwing something else in the mix, but I believe arrogance has a place at this table. I think arrogance gets a bad rap and gets confused with self love, self absorption, and narcissism. I find arrogance justified when it is narrowly focused on specific accomplishments, like the skills of a polyglot. Some of those folks are arrogant and I accept that. I find them (at least the mature ones) to be not exclusionary. They declare their accomplishments and say, “You want to play in this realm? Fine, I’ll be your mentor.” The bad rap comes from people who don’t want to do the work necessary to achieve and then are jealous of the success of others. The arrogant, proud folks will just ignore the jealous, lazy folks but not out of malice. There is just no time to deal with the whiners.

    I believe it is this acceptance by the arrogant, by those with the ability to love themselves, and by the narcissist (unless it is an illness) that there are people who are not worth our attention that totally angers supplicants who are jealous hangers on.

    And yep, I am arrogant. And a moderated narcissist. (Although I am the moderator). I get the idea of self-love but can’t handle it semantically so would never use it.

    And I absolutely love interacting with my students because of the information I get from them; I do not use them as a target population to advertise me. I wouldn’t last long as a teacher if I did so.

    Contradictions; they keep me awake.

  4. I don’t experience the dilemma because for me there’s a clear line between healthy and destructive self-love. In fact, I believe you must first love yourself before you can be much good to others. Problems arise when your self-love manifests as excessive selfishness and self-centeredness in word & deed.

  5. Wonderfully written. Really interesting question. I think, as a Muslim, we’re told to not be arrogant, but quiet confidence is encouraged and that quiet confidence comes from faith. Confidence and self-love empowers and arrogance and narcissism hurts.

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