Narcissists rarely ever admit to being narcissists. It’s a sad but true fact, they simply think that they are better, more determined, more motivated, and in many ways simply superior to others. The average narcissist will tend to think that they are the only one that can fix a problem, and that they alone are the single most important person in the room at any given time. Their idea of self-love is meant to extend to everyone else around them, as there is no need to give anyone else attention unless they deem that it’s necessary. Does that sound too harsh? Perhaps it sounds a little too general in its description. Talk to a narcissist, if you can get a word in that they listen to, and you might start to think differently.
There are some obvious pros and cons to being a narcissist.
They are big picture people with a vision. In other words they ask the question ‘why not?’ when other people are seeing things as they are and asking why. A narcissist tends to have a vision of what could be in their mind and if they have the right kind of motivation will push towards it without thinking about what it might take to reach that goal. (cough, Space Force, cough)
They’re very convincing. Just being confident and being able to see the big picture isn’t enough. You’ve got to be able to get people to follow you and see your vision, at least in part. Even if a narcissist decides to tell their followers that they don’t see the whole picture like THEY do those followers will find it necessary to believe if the individual is particularly charismatic.
They’re extremely sensitive to criticism. This isn’t the case for all narcissists but it’s true for many of them. In the event that someone criticizes what they’re doing many individuals will see it as a personal attack instead of a chance to take in someone else’s view and possibly learn from it. Narcissist’s don’t typically do well with criticism as they believe that their ideas are infallible and are not to be questioned.
They don’t listen very well. On top of having thin skin when it comes to criticisms many narcissists simply don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t sound like it’s agreeable to their way of thinking. They’ll tend to shut down if they have to listen to something that’s not aligned with what they want or are interested in, but will expect people to listen to them regardless if they agree or not.
They just don’t get empathy. When it’s all about them it’s hard for a narcissist to really understand what it means to care about another person. Their lack of empathy is why a lot of them are successful at business since they’re the type of people that don’t mind putting others out of work when a factory has to close or a business has to close its doors. It might make them seem ruthless and evil, but in truth it’s because they really don’t know how to relate to other human beings.
There is a very profound difference between self-love and narcissism.
The narcissist will rarely ever be content as they seek to control the world in which they exist and try to make just about everything about them in one way or another. If they can’t do through coercion then they’ll find another method that focuses the attention on them in a very subversive manner. They tend to talk, act, and carry themselves in a way that suggests that they are superior to others and will often talk about how great they are to those that will listen. Self-love is more about being content with who you are, without the need to let the world know about it.
Narcissists have more than one way of keeping control over others.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself out of the web that a narcissist weaves over your life then they will still find a way to control you. By talking to others, turning them against you, and spreading lies and rumors about you they will seek to keep control of you in some fashion. Thankfully those that know you well enough will usually be the ones that will not believe such rumors, and your actions and words, when paired with conviction, to weather the temper tantrum that a narcissist is capable of when they realize they can no longer control you.
Just to be clear, narcissists are not evil people, but they are at times seriously misguided and unable to relate to their fellow human beings.