“Self-awareness is not self-centeredness, and spirituality is not narcissism. ‘Know thyself’ is not a narcissistic pursuit” (Marianne Williamson).
Narcissism is the excessive interest in oneself and one’s physical and mental capabilities.
As is mentioned quite frequently, narcissism is becoming more of an apparent problem. Either that is true, or we are becoming more aware of it.
Are people today really more narcissistic? Why is narcissism considered a bad trait? And how can we avoid letting ourselves become narcissists?
If it’s apparent narcissism is a negative personality trait, where is the line from having confidence crossed to being a total self-centered narcissist?
Are People Today More Narcissistic?
The number of people who are considered narcissists may be growing, or overall we may be more aware of their presence.
It may not have been a growing statistic and we may just more susceptible to seeing those who are narcissists appear in our everyday lives more frequently.
With the rise of social media, everyone today is connected so it’s much easier for us to stay connected with the people we meet and form relationships with, whether good or bad.
However, because of this, there may be more narcissists today because of the exposure to other narcissists.
The rise could be due to others seeing those who are narcissists succeed in social aspects and social media making people more susceptible to seeing narcissism as just a good level of confidence to strive for.
None of us want to be like that, but it can be hard to avoid it if everyone else praises you for completing something and overtly expressing it on social media.
It’s a loop of everyone patting each other on the back making private accomplishments public and much more easy to get praise from.
Why Is Narcissism A Bad Thing?
It should be apparent why narcissists are frowned upon, but can be hard to distinguish what we can be proud of for accomplishing and what we should be proud of.
Narcissism is considered a cultural problem because it’s a personality trait to like oneself regardless of achievement. Moreover, regardless is the key factor in the difference.
Being proud of nothing or little accomplishments can obviously prevent a person from growth if they are only ever looking at their “positive” traits instead of what needs to be worked on.
If I think I am the strongest, most successful person I know, I may be willing to be proud of it, however wrong I might be. But expressing it can determine if I am a narcissist or not. If I still see failures and things that I am not yet able to accomplish, I should be OK.
Narcissism would be considered good if you are proud of yourself, but that lacks the connection to narcissism in which proud is an understatement.
A good way to determine if someone is showing off an accomplishment or just being overtly narcissistic is to look at their empathy.
Usually, narcissists don’t have a lot of empathy for others and believe they overcame all their obstacles so that everyone else should be willing to do the same with no problem.
Narcissists can’t see that someone in a worse state or at a lesser vantage point may have much more trouble getting their goals accomplished, whereas the narcissist may say they are lazy.
Narcissists aren’t aware of others strengths if they cannot accomplish the same deal of achievements. Additionally, narcissists can’t see their own weaknesses because they think all their qualities have been perfected.
How Can We Avoid Narcissism?
We can avoid becoming narcissists by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to criticism, including our own self criticism.
As I mentioned, narcissists usually lack empathy so being willing to expose emotions and understand that other people have problems that may not ultimately be on their fault can keep the gap between being confident and narcissistic.
What narcissists fail to do is to view the world from others perspectives.
They don’t see that someone who is less capable of something has obstacles to overcome, but sees them as a lost cause who cannot better themselves.
Avoiding narcissism can be hard, however, because we still want to be confident, but are afraid of being overtly confident.
Don’t be unwilling to have healthy self-love and confidence, but assure yourself that your ego is apparent and sometimes in cases of empathy, it may be necessary for it to be repressed.
There is a reason being a narcissist is looked down upon, and there may be more reasons to why it is being seen as a rising problem.
Regardless, as long as we are willing to keep our views of the world open and acknowledge others obstacles, we can all have healthy self-love and necessary levels of self-esteem.