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That Fine Line Between Good Self-Esteem and Narcissism


That Fine Line Between Good Self-Esteem and Narcissism

Having good self-esteem is the difference between living a life of accomplishments that you can look back on and own them with pride. The lack of it can make us second guess every decision we have ever made and still making decisions with doubt, fear of failure and hesitancy to take risks.

We think we have a pretty good idea of what good self-esteem is supposed to look and feel like but for each of us it means something different.

There are thousands of books, workshops, tapes and teachers that can give you their guidelines on how to get it and to recognize it when you have it.

I personally, as a counselor and therapist, have never known anyone that stays in that good self-esteem mode 100% of the time. What I have recognized about good self-esteem is that you absolutely have to like yourself, give yourself some slack when you mess up and love yourself enough to want to live a life that is kind to you and others.

Smoke and mirrors

Then there is the other end of the scale filled with the smoke and mirrors self-esteem that is sometimes hard to tell the difference. That illusory BIG self-esteem persona comes wrapped up in the package of narcissism which is the total opposite of authentic and good self-esteem.

It is also a mental disorder that the person who exhibits those big self-esteem actions, words and behavior are not even aware that it isn’t authentic.

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized as a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood.

For narcissists, each day is a struggle. You can tell a narcissist when you find one because they’ll always have an answer for everything. They constantly interrupt others to make sure they’re heard and they’re always ready to take credit for something, whether they deserve it or not.

Narcissists get high off of other peoples’ mistakes, as it gives them a short-term self-esteem boost. And because they are so convincing, unless you are alert to that fine line between good self-esteem and narcissism, we buy right into the illusion that this guy really has his act together and he is absolutely fabulous and what I want!

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How to spot a narcissist

So how do you spot the difference? There are subtle and not so subtle clues and red flags that will give you a good idea of what kind of confidence you have on your arm. Doing my usual research from the experts, here are some guidelines to help you spot the difference.

  1. Narcissism is all about self. Self-confidence is being aware of everyone and everything that is in your world.
  2. Narcissism is about being better than someone else. Self-confidence is about being as good as you can possibly be and/or as good as everyone else.
  3. Narcissists constantly want and need recognition and attention. Self-confident people want to do what they love and do it well because it brings them happiness and joy.
  4. Narcissism is about entitlement. Self-confidence is about celebrating the results of your effort and achievement.
  5. Narcissism is about projecting a false image. Self-confidence is about taking pride in what you know, what you have learned or studied and what you know you are good at.
  6. Narcissists constantly embellish the truth or lie. Self-confident people are goal-oriented and want to win but make no false promises.
  7. Narcissists repress their emotions and feelings. Self-confident people feel free to express their emotions.
  8. Narcissists are manipulative. Self-confident people are persuasive.
  9. Narcissists are motivated by power and control. Self-confident people are motivated by what is accomplished.
  10. Narcissists are obsessed about appearance. Self-confident people care more about what motivates them and their abilities.
  11. Narcissists care little for human values. Self-confident people value being part of the human family.
  12. Narcissists value material possessions more than anything. (Got to have the latest designer stuff) Self-confident people value experiences.
  13. Narcissists value notoriety, the limelight is everything! Self-confident people value dignity and integrity without the need to be in the spotlight.

(READ: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others)

Susan Z’s Verdict

In this world we traverse everyday with our own struggles of self-confidence and esteem, we want to believe that when we see or hear someone that seems so self-assured, some of it can surely rub off on us…and it usually does if we have set the right boundaries for feeling good about ourselves also. The more you work on your own self-worth and liking who YOU are, the better the chances are you will spot a self-absorbed narcissist and run, not walk, in the other direction!

Considering getting a psychic reading? We have carefully screened and selected a range of gifted, compassionate psychic readers to provide clarity and new insights into your life. Online psychics available 24/7.

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1 Comment

  1. Well written article again. Esotericists know through study experience and observation that we come through with too much or not enough confidence. Look at Marilyn Monroe, look at Donald Trump. Balance is the key. I strongly suggest that some of these issues spill over from other worlds and other dimensions
    Previous and future lives also not just the pre programming and this life’s programming of this life. If we look st family dynamics then we know that the family is the true training ground for the modern spiritual warrior. Sorting out the narcissist in our own psyche will help rid us of those who might harm us.