When the word “narcissism” comes to play in conversations, most people immediately think of someone who acts self-entitled, unempathetic, and manipulative. While this can be one type of narcissism, what many people don’t realize is that narcissism is a spectrum – and there are healthy levels of it, too. In fact, we all need healthy levels of narcissism in order to dress nicely, feel confident during a job interview, and more. It’s only when levels of narcissism reach the upper part of the spectrum that is becomes narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and even then, a person isn’t considered “bad” – recovery is possible, which can make symptoms more manageable.
A 2018 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that narcissism is actually associated with “mental toughness”, which was found to be linked to academic achievement and overall long-term success. Implications from the study are that those with higher levels of narcissism may have a higher sense of self-worth – making them more motivated, driven, and assertive in life. Business Insider concurs with this evidence, stating that healthy amount of narcissism can lead to greater life satisfaction, stronger relationships, and less social anxiety. In a nutshell, healthy doses of narcissism add to your life – not detract from it.
What happens when too much narcissism gets involved? NPD is often divided into two distinct types: grandiose and vulnerable NPD. Grandiose NPD typically is characterized with the descriptions listed at the beginning: an over-inflated sense of self, only conversing with those one deems “special” or “intelligent” or “successful” enough, and lack of empathy all contribute to this type of NPD. Vulnerable NPD, on the other hand, involves extreme sensitivity, preoccupation with rejection and abandonment, and over-compensation for low self-esteem.
The next time you hear the term “narcissistic” consider the context and decide for yourself if it makes sense. Is this someone who truly shows signs of NPD, or do they show healthy levels of confidence? If you feel you may have NPD, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about treatment options – it’s never too late to seek help.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.