In this article we are going to look at what is known as the narcissistic personality disorder, and why it is not necessary to hold onto the “narcissistic” label, when one can benefit from high self-esteem. It is widely accepted today that a person with a healthy dose of social media has higher self-esteem, but why is this so? Why is self-esteem not always a necessary prerequisite for the healthy development of a narcissistic personality?
It should be noted that narcissists and those with low self-esteem typically do not place as much value on their appearance and tend to put little value on themselves. This is in direct contrast to the high value placed on appearance by those with high self-esteem vs. narcissism. They place high value on themselves because they have a healthy self-image and high self-evaluation. However, a narcissist cannot sustain this self-image, and eventually must de-value himself to maintain his illusion of high social status and value. When he reaches a point where he considers his image to be damaged or worthless, it is his loss of self-esteem that is responsible for the subsequent downfall of his carefully constructed identity.
So, in answer to the question; “Does having higher self-esteem prevent you from becoming a narcissist?” the answer would be no. However, when you consider that the narcissistic personality disorder is a socialization strategy, which requires the acceptance of self-evaluation by others in order to maintain a healthy ego and healthy self image, then the answer would become yes. Having higher self-esteem allows you to better protect and defend yourself from the negative consequences of your actions, while having lower self-esteem prevents you from taking full responsibility for your actions. High social media use may allow you to create and build a larger network of followers and gain more followers, but if you do not have higher self-esteem and are not careful not to self-evaluate too harshly, then you can easily lose all that you have gained.
It is important to note that the answer to “Is having higher self-esteem and/or higher social networks prevent you from being a narcissist?” depends on the circumstances of each individual. If an individual is surrounded by supportive people who encourage him to build his own character instead of abusing it, then there is little need for protection or self-evaluation.
However, this is not always the case. Self-esteem trends among young adults in our current society are consistently on the decline. This is no secret. There are many social networks that exist specifically to help facilitate the growth of narcissists. Social networks provide a place for narcissists to gain approval and other narcissistic personality traits that are needed for them to feel good about themselves. In fact, the rise of social networks like Facebook and MySpace as well as the continued anonymity of the internet has made it much easier for narcissists to gain access to a large amount of other people’s personal information.
Unfortunately, the rise of these social networks also provides a place for bullies to flourish as well. Those who suffer from high self-esteem or high social confidence are often attracted to right-wing authoritarianism. They use social media, websites, and chat rooms to make malicious threats and taunts against others and their families. They engage in name-calling and use the bully pulpit in the public arena to negatively attack those who they see as enemies of the free-market.
Those who have higher self-esteem, however, know that bullying is wrong and understand that it is physically and psychologically dangerous. They do not allow bullying to go on in their lives. Those with lower self-esteem are often drawn into the arms of narcissists due to the feeling of insecurity. When the victim has low self-esteem, however, it is much easier for the narcissist to take advantage of the feelings of weakness and vulnerability.
If you have doubts as to whether your social networking sites are fueling your narcissism or self-doubt, you should consider how those with higher self-esteem handle the challenges brought onto them by their new online friends. Those who feel threatened enough will check into the safety and security of their own home network. Those with lower self-esteem do not have the same sense of urgency or discipline. They allow the bullying to go on in their online social networks, believing that everyone is just another friend. Those with higher self-esteem do not allow this type of social dominance and safety-watering to go on in their lives but rather take immediate action when they are victimized or subjected to bullying via their online environment.