When it comes to assessing the differences between narcissistic personality traits and self-esteem, a distinction must be made. Although narcissists and democratic norms have similarities, they also carry different rates of success in life. As such, understanding narcissism requires an in-depth look at its origins and development. Narcissistic personality traits are derived from three distinct sources. Narcissus (a.k.a. “Necessary Men”) is a classic archetype representing the three distinct personality disorders: voyeur, exhibitionist, and narcissist.
Narcissus is a calculating, ambitious, egotistical, and publicity-hungry character who exhibits all the traits commonly associated with narcissists. The pursuit of their own ego through devious acts of deception and manipulation makes them enemies in the eyes of others and unappealing to any form of social authority. It was this need for social dominance – which makes them self-confident, confident, manipulative, and bold – that gave rise to the concept of right-wing authoritarianism, which describes the ideology that governs today’s global politics.
It is this drive to dominate others that forms the core of narcissism. However, there is more to it than that. Narcissus needs admiration and respect, but he also wants to be thought of as a great leader. Self-esteem on the other hand is the absence of self-doubt and self-evaluation, which are common to narcissists and the people around them. Without this, self-esteem becomes irrelevant to the person and their behavior.
When comparing the two, one should carefully observe the source of narcissism and self-esteem. They are inherently different. On one end, narcissists’ lack of self-evaluation leads them into dangerous situations where they do not know what their actions will result in. By magnifying their self-absorption, narcissists undermine the safety and trust that exist in moderate democratic societies, creating the very foundation that is under attack in many parts of the globe today. In contrast, self-esteem is important because it helps us see ourselves in a positive light. It gives us a healthy self-image, and it gives us the tools necessary to act when we feel inspired to do so.
In addition, narcissists lack empathy, making them cold and heartless. While these things are true of all narcissists, the trait that affects all people is especially harmful when coming from a self-confident person with high social value. This type of person who lacks empathy is indeed dangerous. They can go throughout life feeling superior to everyone else, while feeling no guilt about harming those who are close to them. Even when they do not go about it in such malicious ways, they can use their power and influence to prevent others from doing things that they see as wrong or even undesirable.
When comparing narcissists with self-esteem, it is important also to look at the self-denial that both breeds make. Self-doubt is a normal part of growing as an adult; it is the narcissist who often resorts to negativity in order to avoid problems. One of the classic self-help books advises readers to “avoid looking at the glass half full or the other way”. Narcissists, by nature, will focus on the negative aspects of everything. If someone offers criticism, a narcissist will usually respond with extreme hostility in order to shut down the critique.
Finally, one must also take into account the inability to be honest. Self-doubt and negativity lead to a lack of integrity, a lack of truthfulness, and a willingness to deceive in order to protect one’s image. This can be a problem at work; someone is abusing your trust, and you are reluctant to step forward and help them because you are worried about what you will say or do might make matters worse. However, when dealing with a narcissistic partner, the person will typically lie about their history, their capabilities, their achievements, and other sensitive issues in order to protect themselves from having to deal with reality. When you are around a narcissist, you are living and working in a world where truth is only known to them.
narcissists and self-esteem are two sides of a coin that must be balanced in order for relationships to be healthy. The first step towards this is to learn more about narcissism and self-esteem. The next is to set up realistic goals for yourself and for your relationships. In order to move forward, you must get rid of your fear of stepping out into the light and exposing your true self.