Is narcissism really bad?

For those who follow me via Instagram, you have seen that, recently, I took very badly the remark of one (well, several) person reproaching me for my narcissism. I took it very badly for two reasons: firstly, because I think it is, in reality, false, at least if we take the popular (but erroneous, we will come back to this) definition of the term: since I don't think, nor love me, nor love my image. (At least, badly, I'm learning to stabilize myself, but the work is not finished) and then, because even if it were true, I don't see where the problem is. On the contrary, I would like to love myself more. And even if I had to love myself excessively, who would really mind? Does loving yourself too much harm others or even ourselves? We associate narcissism with something bad, but is it really?



In real questioning, I went to find out.

First, I asked my therapist.


What he answered me did not really please me, if I must be completely honest. It pissed me off like a louse. But at the same time, he's not there to give me my therapist's ointment, but to make me evolve. And then, I completely trust him, so I listened to him. Yes, I'm narcissistic he replied, tit for tat. There is no doubt. And, yes, also, it's not good to be narcissistic.


Good OK. But when I asked him why, why it wasn't good, he got a little confused. He had no real answer for me. He ended up concluding that it was not a problem, as long as it was not in excess.


But what does it mean to "excess"? Where to place the limit? And then, who puts it? Does the limit mean hurting others? To ourselves? What do we often mean when we talk about narcissism? Is it someone who shows that he loves himself? Or someone who really loves themselves? Because it's not quite the same. And even if this person really loves himself but does not abandon others, does he have the right to love himself? And if so, to what extent? What is "love yourself too much"?


Explanations

Good already, when we try to find a common definition of narcissism, it gets confused in all directions. Philosophy, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, no discipline agrees on the subject. It begins well. Oooook it's not going to be easy to dissect.


According to Larousse, narcissism is an excessive love of self-image.


For psychoanalysis, it is an investment of the subject on himself. (According to Freud it can even show a positive sense of self-esteem.)


For psychology, it is a tendency to be self-centered (egocentrism), to exaggerate one's talents and abilities, to take things for granted (megalomania), and to lack empathy towards others (egoism). ). (So that's a problem, obviously.)


For philosophy, it is love that we have for each other. (According to the philosopher Fabrice Midal it is even a good thing and we should all develop it.)


Problem, no problem, right or wrong, nobody agrees.


Nah, but, then, guys, if we're not talking about the same thing for the same word, how do you expect us to get away with it?

 

Even when we take the pure and hard myth of Narcissus, from which “pathology” is therefore drawn, well, there again, the stories diverge, as well as their interpretations.


Ovid's version of the myth tells us that Narcissus, particularly handsome, rejected all his suitors. No one interested him. He ends up seeing his reflection in the water and boom, suddenly, he finally shows himself attracted to someone, who turns out to be himself. He never manages to catch his image and ends up dying of despair at not succeeding in nabbing the loved one.


BUT, according to other versions and interpretations, Narcissus would not have understood that it was about himself (he would also have been able to recognize in his features, those of his deceased twin sister) and would have been so unhappy to discover the sad truth that he would have committed suicide.

Well, then, already, someone has to explain to me how we started from the story of a guy who is only interested in his image (and therefore not in his mind or his soul, huh, but in his image) to come to define him as someone egocentric and selfish (his synonyms), who lacks empathy and who exaggerates his talents? (Yes, well, OK, that's the extension of the thing, it's vaaaa, let me bitch.)


And then, personally I don't see what was the basic problem (before Echo cast a spell on him) to love each other so much? I'm sorry but we have the right to dismiss someone, even everyone, right? It's called free will I think. The other Echo there, the Nymph who took revenge by showing him her reflection so that he could understand that he was only interested in him, she was still a capricious whore unable to accept the fact to be pushed back, right? Can we blame someone for not being interested in themselves, or in others? Who are the egoists, narcissists or egocentrics in the story? The one who finds no interest in anyone but himself, or the one who rages that we don't care about him? Oh good question isn't it?


Yes you are right, the two certainly had things to settle. And in truth, rejecting everyone, Narcissus spent his life suffering from his loneliness, looking for answers he never found.


 

Good. Ok. It's not cool to be narcissistic. For oneself first, because it is an imposed loneliness. Well, it's a little vexing for the others, that we would automatically classify as people of no interest.


So suddenly, since it's a problem, and that to find the solution to a problem you have to understand it, how does that translate into narcissism, and why would some people be?

 

Let's start from the psychological point of view. Narcissism is therefore an excessive love of self-image. We find ourselves beautiful, we find ourselves brilliant, so much so that we think we are unique, superior and by extension, we find all the others, zero. We put ourselves forward a lot, we are not interested in others, or just to serve our own interests. The true narcissist would therefore be someone sure of himself, who would not need the approval of others to exist. He would lack empathy and would be incapable of feeling guilty. Well, well, if the narcissist is happy like that, where is the problem? Nah, because we're not talking about the narcissistic pervert who manipulates people by hurting them, we're talking about the guy who lives his life alone convinced of being the best. That is. If he wants to keep thinking it...


Well, the problem is that the narcissist is unhappy. All shrinks say so. Beneath his apparent self-confidence, the narcissist is hiding something. And that something would be deep sadness.


Because in reality, when we need reassurance so badly by making a fuss of it to (oneself) show that we love each other, it's actually because deep down, and even if we've convinced ourselves very well on the contrary, it is precisely that we lack love, that we have a flaw that has never been filled. In truth, therefore, the narcissist is someone who does not love himself. And that's why he doesn't like other people either. How do you want to love others when you have never learned, properly, to love yourself?


Aaaaaah but everything is clear. In fact, the brothel in the definitions, there, it is because appearances are not reality.


So basically, the narcissist is someone who loves himself too much, because he doesn't love himself enough. Okay. Ah, that's technical, huh.


And why does the narcissist not like himself? Well, because we didn't give him love (or hurt) when he needed it. Suddenly, the solution would be to go and see where the flaw was created (psychoanalysis) and exorcise it. Or, to find the means to fill this fault at the moment T and on the duration (psychology). But hey, I'm not a psychologist yet, these are still far too complicated concepts for me, I'll end up talking bullshit if I continue to extrapolate.



I understand now, why I took so badly the fact that I was called a narcissist. Bah, because, myself, I doubted it, of course! When I think of all the times when, to silence the haters, I shouted loud and clear that: yes I was and that I assumed... I knew how to love myself, sometimes, to excess (but also , the opposite), being quite turned on myself, and looking for attention, how can I deny it? But when I confirmed the diagnosis, implicitly, I therefore confirmed, also, lack of empathy, and feeling of guilt (and all the other uncool stuff). But that was not the case. I was devaluing myself, therefore, clearly (the story of my life).


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