Narcissism is a term that is oh so common in our everyday conversations now.
It has become so common that at times the true harms it does to other can get lost. The term has become so trendy that it is now used to shut others down or bypass true difficult conflict in relationship.
Let’s talk about the basics of narcissism.
A health level of narcissism can exist, and we can coin this as having a healthy level of confidence, assertiveness, and self-love. A healthy level means your level of confidence and self-love isn’t at the detriment of other human beings.
Whatever your beliefs about diagnosis we can view a person that exhibits qualities of narcissistic personality disorder as a person the only takes from other people. This can often come disguised in a charming, sometimes attractive façade.
Narcissists or people that are more narcissistic qualities can be found often in what our society would consider prominent positions such as CEOs, doctors etc.
A person that has not worked their empathy muscle ever is someone that is looking to take and/or usually deplete another person. Someone that is not highly empathetic is not automatically a narcissist.
A narcissistic trending person is looking to see what qualities in you they can chameleon or take on for themselves.
They can mimic your empathetic or kind qualities because they themselves are not able to truly feel shame or guilt and simultaneously cannot feel warmth or aliveness. Narcissists are the least likely population to seek mental health support. And there is a lot of debate around where narcissism is born, and it weighs heavily upon parental attachment.
Usually, a narcissistic person has had one or both parents who are highly critical/verbally or physically abusive (usually one or both are narcissists themselves) and then these children are simultaneously taught that they can do no wrong which is where the inflated sense of self can develop.
There are a lot of beliefs around what creates a person that has more narcissistic qualities. The book “Crazy Like Us” written by American journalist Ethan Watters, would attest that a society with higher levels of narcissism is a symptom that has been created by that very society. We have come from a generation that believed authoritarian parenting was the right way to go. And that has shifted into what is now more mainstream which is either helicopter parenting or conscious parenting. Helicopter parenting, an over attunement to a child’s needs, is the opposite reaction to authoritarian parenting.
One could say helicopter parenting is a perfect mix for a more narcissistic child. Helicopter parenting is usually included a healthy dose of mistrust of their child whilst at the same time not willing to let their child be in any discomfort or uncertainty; emotionally, physically etc. Social media is a big piece to what is feeding these narcissistic symptoms as well, because social media is based heavily upon a curated, perfect, inflated sense of self outside of reality on a virtual platform.
It is harmful to overuse narcissism in everyday language and it is also harmful to forget about its true impact.
Once you have experienced a person that has no empathy, or even grew the muscle to fake empathy, it can be extremely scary.