Many personality traits are interrelated and one of these traits is the ability to have self-esteem vs. narcissism. Those who are high in self-esteem have higher expectations for themselves and are more ambitious than those who are lacking in this area. Narcissistic personality traits include grandiose and over-inflated behaviors, and disregard for the feelings and needs of others. The individual suffering from this personality disorder does not feel that he or she is worthy of empathy, respect, or even basic personal hygiene.
A healthy sense of self-worth is grounded on beliefs about who you are and what you are worth. You must first be aware of your thoughts and actions – your perceptions. With these in mind, you can then work to gain a more realistic perspective on how you are viewed by others. This is done through setting and maintaining realistic goals and working to achieve them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorders lack a healthy sense of self-worth; they believe they are entitled to nothing less than their best possible self.
Those who are lacking in self-esteem are susceptible to the influence of social dominance and the influence of right-wing authoritarianism. These personality traits are related to the process of social development. During childhood, individuals exposed to a lot of social dominance – both emotionally and psychologically – are more likely to develop narcissism and self-destructive behavior. In adulthood, those who lack a healthy sense of self-esteem also experience an increased tendency to engage in social dominance and the like. Those who are involved in a right-wing authoritarianism movement are more likely than not to be authoritarian in their personality structure – which includes traits like self-esteem, grandiose behavior and disregard for other people’s feelings and needs.
narcissistic traits tend to influence self-evaluation primarily through their emotions and psychology – not their intellect or other psychological traits. narcissistic traits like grandiose behavior are driven by an individual’s need to feel important and to create a mythology about oneself that other people are unable to duplicate. Right-wing authoritarian personalities tend to have a similar need to social dominance and the ability to control others through fear and threat. Narcissistic individuals also use psychological processes that are similar to right-wing authoritarian personality types in order to gain self-evaluation from others.
Those with narcissistic personality traits tend to be drawn to the group or organization that matches their inflated self-image. Being part of a larger group can provide validation and an increasing sense of worth. However, those with narcissistic tendencies need to have a constant supply of new information to support their inflated self-image. Narcissistic individuals do very well in social networks because their need for confirmation that they are right and other people are wrong keeps them around people who reinforce their sense of reality. In contrast, self-esteem and assertive self-image people tend to better do well without social networks and are not drawn to the groups that they perceive to have value and relevance.
One of the most consistent findings in the field of psychological study of narcissists and their associates is that those with higher self-esteem do better economically, socially, and psychologically. Those with lower self-esteem are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, and have lower self-esteem and less social skill than those with high self-esteem. Similarly, those with higher self-esteem do better in school and college, have higher academic achievement, and have higher self-esteem than those with lower self-esteem. narcissists self-evaluation also appears to depend on the extent of enforcement of positive social norms – if those with high self-esteem are socially disadvantaged, they are more likely to develop narcissistic traits.
Another study of narcissists and politics showed that those who endorsed socialist or liberal socialist beliefs were more likely to have higher self-esteem. Also, those who were members of ethnic or cultural groups that had a history of social hierarchy were more likely to have higher self-esteem and a stronger sense of social responsibility and community role. Finally, those who were the most exposed to intellectual theories of self worth and social influence were more likely to have higher self-esteem and a stronger commitment to these ideologies. While all these relationships between politics and self-esteem are suggestive and deserve further research, it is clear that narcissists have an important relationship to these two dimensions of contemporary politics and social influence.
Narcissistic behaviors are not unique to narcissists; indeed, everyone can be susceptible to these distortions of self-worth and social influence. The important issue here is how to manage these emotional dynamics and avoid developing unhealthy relationship dynamics in everyday life. The good news is that narcissists do not need to resort to physical violence to gain a degree of power or control over others. In fact, violence can never be a valid motivation for anyone – whether they display narcissistic traits or not. In the final analysis, the battle between politics and narcissism is a battle between free will and destruction.