In recent years, the discussion surrounding the self-esteem or narcissism of a person has been somewhat misunderstood. Although narcissism can be quite harmful to the individual’s psychological and emotional well-being, it is not the only factor that determines levels of self-esteem. Self-esteem is determined by a combination of genetic and social environmental factors. narcissism and social media both have a significant influence on this equation. However, one does not necessarily have a higher level of self-esteem or a lower level of narcissism based upon their personal media use alone. In fact, the correlation between narcissism and self-esteem may actually be negative in nature as individuals with high self-esteem are likely to use less social media than individuals with low self-esteem.
narcissists tend to value themselves very highly, believing that they are better than everyone else, and this value frequently extends to their appearance. Because of their appearance, narcissists tend to spend a great deal of time and money grooming themselves, even undergoing cosmetic surgery. The correlation between self-esteem vs. narcissism also includes the fact that narcissists tend to lack emotional empathy and self-confidence, two of the more important personality traits that affect one’s self-worth.
Narcissistic personality traits and characteristics also include a lack of empathy and a complete lack of self-confidence. When a person lacks these two important personality traits, they usually feel as though they cannot cope with any sort of challenge, let alone success. The lack of self-confidence also prevents a person from being able to feel and know for certain that they truly deserve success. One of the greatest myths about narcissists and self-esteem is that those with higher self-esteem are more confident and better at facing challenges. However, the opposite is true.
When you compare narcissists with other people in general, you can see that narcissists’ lack of self-confidence, self-doubt and a complete lack of empathy almost perfectly match up with the high self-esteem that people who are slightly or moderately less self-confident hold. This makes it easy to see why self-esteem is so vital to narcissists, and how the two are related. In actuality, however, the concept of self-esteem differs from the way that most people think of it. Far too many people consider self-esteem to be a fixed or universal quality, something that one is born with and which cannot be changed. In actuality, however, self-esteem is the faith or certainty that one is on the right path to becoming a highly successful and fulfilled individual. In short, the lack of self-confidence and self-doubt that go along with narcissism makes it very difficult for a person who lacks self-esteem to put their faith in their abilities and successes in anything, let alone achieving success in their own relationships.
The biggest problem with comparing narcissism and self-worth is that it creates a false opposites argument. Because researchers have compared narcissists and self-worth using the narcissistic scale, they have effectively created a zero-sum game, where the outcome of each is the same. By comparing narcissists to themselves, or to others, we automatically imply that there is some inherent value in the self-evaluation or self-worth of another person. However, that is not true, because each person has their own unique qualities and talents. And those talents can never be measured, regardless of the researcher’s definition.
Instead of looking at narcissism and self-esteem as being mutually exclusive, it would make much more sense to acknowledge that there are some similarities. Both of these constructs are extremely important to an individual’s sense of self, as well as the life goals that they have set for themselves. For example, both narcissists and those who lack self-esteem typically have an obsession with appearance. Those who lack narcissistic traits often lack the self-confidence needed to pursue their life goals. The commonality here is that the person with narcissism will usually look at the world through rose-colored glasses, ignoring all facts and valid perspective.
A better comparison would be between narcissism and self-worth, because the traits represented by the narcissistic personality inventory are actually the core values that someone would hold in high regard. However, those with narcissistic personality disorder also place importance on having good interpersonal relationships and the assurance of one’s social status in the community. Narcissistic people are not only insecure, but they also know that other people will recognize their behavior patterns and try to influence and control them. Someone with this mental state also has great difficulty making changes to their behavior, and they may spend their entire life trying to convince others that they are a good leader or are smart.
The reality is that people with narcissistic traits are usually quite “confident” about their self-worth. This “confidence” is nothing more than a mask that they wear for the rest of their lives. When someone has narcissism, it’s difficult to recognize the self-deception and manipulation because the person is masking it and convincing you that what they have is something special. It’s important to keep in mind that the value of your life goals and your personality will always take precedence over any superficiality that might lie underneath the mask of narcissism. Narcissism is only a personality disorder that gets in the way of your true path in life – always remember that.