What is the etymology of the narcissist


People push towards the light, not to see better, but to shine better.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human. A Book for Free Spirits, 1878-1880. Volume Two. Section Two: The Wanderer and His Shadow)

Those who are in love with themselves have the advantage, at least with their love, that they will not get many rivals.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Narcissism is strong Infatuation or vanity. Narcissists are constantly on the lookout for admiration and at the same time have a tremendous fear of being hurt, which often makes them unpredictable in their reactions. According to experts, the current structure of society is a breeding ground for narcissistic behaviors, because if you want to be successful you need certain narcissistic traits. Self esteem and narcissism show up around the age of seven, when children have developed a general judgment of themselves, including by comparing themselves to their peers. It is at this age that they begin to think about the impression they make on other people, so middle and late childhood is likely to be the most important phase in the development of narcissism.

Clinical practice and psychological research do not necessarily understand narcissism in the same way, because some see it as an early and persistent and pathological developmental disorder, while social psychologists, for example, see narcissism as Personality trait define that in the population normally distributed is, d. that is, most people are somewhere in the middle of this distribution; extremes are rather rare. Papageorgiou et al. (2019) have carried out several studies on narcissists and come to the conclusion that this personality type is also his positive sides because being in love or admiring themselves can also make narcissistic people mentally strong, feeling less stressed and less prone to depression.

One possible cause of this disorder can be certain parental ones Parenting pattern such as an exaggerated preference in childhood or an excessive focus on performance by the parents. If parents repeatedly convey to their child that they are better than others or worth more than their fellow human beings, then the child will adopt this attitude and develop an inappropriately demanding attitude combined with a tendency towards narcissism. But even if parents pay very little attention to their child and only pay attention to it when it has achieved something special, e.g. has very good grades in school, this can lead to an overly high performance orientation, whereby the feeling arises of little value itself and only to receive recognition through striking achievements or at least highlighting one's own successes.

Above all, too high demands on children and young people in the absence of emotional support promote narcissistic traits, but even later, a strong focus on success in the world of work can promote narcissism, whereby the requirements for managers in particular often resemble those criteria that make a narcissist: to be overly convinced of yourself. Characteristics of narcissists are often feelings of particular importance, superiority, uniqueness or even grandiosity, i. That is, a narcissist demands recognition and admiration, and often that he is treated better. Affected people can handle criticism or a lack of recognition badly and often react uncontrollably in this regard, sometimes with great dejection. Typical for most narcissists are problems to put themselves in the shoes of their fellow human beings, to understand and accept their point of view. There is a self-loving person, which may often be cocky, does not automatically become ill, because a healthy narcissism is part of the human being, but when normal characteristics take on a pathological extent, someone is affected by the narcissistic personality disorder. The benchmarks include a feeling of size, fantasies of success, envy or taking advantage of others, whereby the behavior of those affected must permanently deviate from the norm for a positive diagnosis.

What is the difference between everyday narcissism and pathological narcissism?

Pathological narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder is rare and affects no more than 1 percent of the population, a prevalence that has barely changed since it was first measured. A pathological form of narcissism is assumed when narcissistic traits interfere with a person's day-to-day functioning, such dysfunction typically causing friction in relationships due to the pathological narcissist's lack of empathy. Pathological narcissism can also prove to be antagonism manifest, fueled by grandiosity and attention-seeking, because by viewing themselves as superior, the pathological narcissist sees all others as inferior and may be intolerant of differences of opinion or views of others.

The digital self-portrait or that Selfie Incidentally, taken with a pole with a mobile phone holder, it seems to be the modern symbol of narcissism 😉
See, how the optimal selfie should be taken.

By the way: According to a report on a TV station, there is a selfie addiction - selfitis - because psychologists should agree that too many selfies are unhealthy and can even be addicting. There are numerous reasons why people most often want to take a selfie:

    • If you want to enhance your surroundings and experiences.
    • When they are in some kind of competition and want to get as many likes on social media as possible.
    • When they want to attract attention that they would otherwise not get.
    • When you feel lonely
    • If you want to upgrade yourself because you find the edited image more beautiful than yourself.
    • If you want to feel part of your group (“everyone does it”).

The selfie therefore serves as a Substitute satisfactionbecause it's about experiencing love and affirmation. If people become addicted to selfies, it can lead to serious psychological disorders as they try to strengthen their own selves or improve their mood through self-portraits. The hours of retouching and reworking also leave those affected perceive reality in a distorted way, because they then want to show the most perfect picture of themselves that no longer corresponds to their own self. By the way, it has also been found that men and adolescents between the ages of 16 and 20 are particularly at risk, although themselves three selfie addiction levels demonstrate:

    • Unsettling: Around three selfies a day, but they are not posted on a social media platform.
    • Alarming: Significantly more than three selfies a day, which are also posted on a social media platform.
    • Morbid: Uncontrolled need to take selfies all the time and share more than six of them a day.

The Word narcissism comes from the ancient Greek legend of the beautiful young man Narcissus, who fell for his own reflection with insatiable love and scorned the love of the nymph Echo because it did not do justice to his beauty. The goddess of love Aphrodite punished him for this with an insatiable self-love. The myth ends with the one who has succumbed to his mirror image taking his life with a dagger out of pain at the inability to fulfill his love. This myth from ancient Greece shaped the modern notion of narcissism as exaggerated and therefore not exactly sympathetic self-love, whereby the ancient Greeks thought that a little of it was good for a person, and Sigmund Freud also declared narcissism to be a rather healthy mechanism of self-preservation.

According to Millon & Davis, some people have in their early childhood development Receiving insufficient love and recognition from their parents or other caregivers, they often suffer from it for life and pass on their reactions to their deprivation to others. Narcissists are often masters at making a good first impression, they are usually very sociable and extremely successful in getting to know each other and are often perceived and accepted by the others in a group as natural leaders, which of course goes against the nature of the narcissist. Many narcissists have success in their careers, which has to do with their communication skills and openness, but also with assertiveness and motivation. They are very performance-oriented and sometimes creative in their job, but then often attribute the success of an entire team to themselves only, which can offend others, because narcissists constantly emphasize their superiority and sometimes exploit others for their own success out. However, narcissists also have a pretty pronounced one Need for security and already feel threatened in the relationship when the slightest sign of disinterest in their person appears. Narcissists therefore need constant respect, appreciation and attention, although the other demands on life are also great. They don't want to be bothered or bothered by other people because they think how can you bother an important person with such unimportant stuff. Living together with narcissists is therefore very stressful, because they squeeze recognition and praise from the partner, because for them the fellow human being is primarily an instrument for receiving recognition. Relationships Other people or work colleagues who are considered unimportant then end up in subordinate positions on the ranking list of a narcissist, which can also affect family members. A therapy can help those affected by working on behavior and looking for the cause of the personality disorder. However, people with narcissistic personality disorder often never even realize that they need therapy because they experience themselves as someone who is infallible and does not need any help.

Brummelman et al. (2015) therefore compared two different ones in their study Explanatory approaches for the emergence of narcissism: For one, they looked at the perspective of the social learning theoryAccording to this, narcissism arises when parents overestimate their children, convey to them that they are something special and worth more than other children psychoanalytic explanationaccording to which the roots of narcissism lie in a lack of parental warmth, affection, and appreciation. In a prospective long-term study, over five hundred children and their parents had to answer questions about child narcissism, the child's self-esteem, the parents' assessment of the child, and parental warmth and affection four times at intervals of six months. At the beginning of the study, the children were seven to twelve years old, i.e. the age at which inter-individual differences in narcissism values ​​become apparent. The results support the social learning theory, because high narcissism values ​​were mainly involved parental overestimation of the child together, but not with a lack of parental warmth. Apparently, children acquire narcissistic behaviors in part by internalizing their parents' inflated beliefs and expectations. Parental warmth, affection, and appreciation were not related to narcissism values, but were related to healthy self-esteem in children. One can therefore assume that Narcissism a result of early socialization experiences where narcissistic personality traits shouldn't be confused with healthy self-esteem. Brummelman et al. (2021) have now also shown that seven to 14-year-olds already have a preference for narcissistic leaders, because children who are particularly taken with themselves and their supposed qualities are more likely to be assigned managerial tasks by their classmates. In the case of the study, they should moderate and structure tasks in a group. Apparently it is in school as it is later in professional life, because it has been proven that there are disproportionately high numbers of narcissistic people in management positions.

According to recent studies, see im Narcissists' brains special structures measurably different, some of which are linked to the control of empathy. Networks in the cerebral cortex or in the control center for compassion in the island cortex in the lateral part of the frontal lobe, for example between the eye and ear, are considered the seat of empathy. Altered structures were also found in narcissists on both sides in the lower and middle frontal curl, in the right anterior and left middle cingulum and in the pre- and post-central gyrus. However, of course it cannot be determined whether these structures are the cause or the consequences of the narcissistic personality disorder are.

The Self-confidence the (pathological) narcissist is basically too low, although this personality disorder usually begins in early adulthood and manifests itself in various situations. Diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder:

  • You have a great feeling of your own importance, exaggerate your own achievements and talents.
  • One expects to be recognized as superior without corresponding achievements, is deeply absorbed by fantasies of limitless success, of power, beauty or ideal love.
  • One believes of oneself to be unique and to be understood only by other special persons or institutions or to be able to only associate with them.
  • One demands excessive admiration.
  • One expects preferential treatment or automatic response to one's own expectations.
  • You are exploitative in interpersonal relationships, you take advantage of others in order to achieve your own goals.
  • You show a lack of empathy, i.e. you are unable to recognize or identify with the feelings or needs of others.
  • One is often jealous of others or thinks that others are jealous of themselves.
  • One shows arrogant, arrogant behavior or actions.

Narcissists are often not very empathetic and seem to be interested in one thing above all else: themselves. You Relationship style is largely characterized by power and manipulation, with Keith Campbell (University of Georgia) currently one Narcissist epidemic in our society, which is characterized by the celebrity cult and high-handed representations in social networks. Many narcissists also behave aggressively and insultingly towards others. Devaluing others in order to enhance oneself seems to be a popular behavior pattern of certain personalities. In an experimental study, narcissists in particular expressed themselves as aggressive and derogatory when evaluating other people. Whether verbal attacks actually offend narcissists naturally also depends on the self-worth of the other person, because low self-worth goes hand in hand with greater vulnerability. People who can distance themselves from others are generally more protected from being hurt.

Narcissistic parents

They often do not understand how to protect a child, as it corresponds to the mother or father role, but want to control and almost expect submission, whereby it is sometimes too absurd Self-punishment theories comes that make the children doubt themselves all the time. A child is not seen by the narcissist as independent, which becomes visible at the latest in puberty, when children disconnect and do not shy away from conflicts in the search for their identity. The manifestations of narcissism in the parental home can be very different and have a negative impact on children, because narcissistic parents can often be angry, constantly criticize or demand, so that the child developed the feeling of doing everything wrong. For the narcissistic parent, it is really only a matter of demonstrating their superiority without considering injuries to the child, because many narcissists are emotionally stunted themselves, without sufficient compassion and eye for the other and often very fearful themselves. In many cases, these are hidden patterns that persist for a lifetime and mean emotional suffering for those affected, especially because parents are known to be difficult to change and the children ultimately have to start with themselves in order to throw off these burdens and Avoid bitterness.

Narcissistic people are also characterized by their behavior after a breakup, because they usually react like offended children and act hateful, whereby the ex-partner orthe ex-partner is made bad at work and among friends. In the eyes of a narcissistic person, the ex-partner becomes an enemy who must be destroyed. It is particularly typical of narcissistic partners that after a separation they do not feel responsible for anything, reject all responsibility and assign all guilt to the other. It is not uncommon for their children to be manipulated and drawn into the parents' conflict, because narcissistic people do not shy away from playing off their own children against their partner, making them bad or devaluing them, or persuading the children that the other parent is not them loves more (Stangl, 2002).

Narcissist's Attractiveness

Some narcissists suffer from a chronic self-esteem deficit, so that they are dependent on others for their self-worth, whereby the other people are probably sensitive to the narcissist's attractiveness because they themselves suffer from a self-esteem deficit and feel unconsciously related to them and at the same time often arrogant Admire presence. In contrast to other people with low self-esteem, the narcissist has extremely limited access to himself and thus makes use of the self-esteem deficits of others to compensate for his own deficit.

Narcissist's sexuality

According to Akhtar (1996), the narcissist's love and sex life is characterized by marital crises, seduction, extramarital promiscuity and uninhibitedness. This behavior is ultimately based on the inability to surrender and love, his limited ability to view a sexual partner as a separate individual with his own interests and values, so that he not infrequently takes refuge in sexual perversion. The narcissist's sexuality is designed for variety and is characterized by a certain tendency towards it Paraphilia and Auto-eroticism out. For narcissists, sexuality often becomes the place of Self-presentationwhile remaining fully focused on his intrapsychic sexual script. It is not uncommon for narcissists to experience sexuality around the sadomasochism practiced, because this is primarily oriented towards one's own needs and usually also in asynchronous sexual behavior, whereby the asynchrony is created through hierarchy, violence or fetish. Sadomasochism is also asynchronous because the sexual act focuses on the lonely and not the common.

According to Otto A. Kernberg, it is often observed that narcissists and masochists complement each other ideally, with women being more prone to masochism than men in relationship matters, while it is the other way around in the world of work. Narcissists are deeply insecure people who have to compensate for a severely divided self by believing in their own greatness and are constantly looking for admiration.

Narcissism and Social Networks

Social networks are a new field of activity for narcissists, because according to a meta-analysis (Gnambs & Appel, 2017) these are the ideal medium for presenting themselves. Data from 16 different countries on four continents were evaluated for the study. The more often a user uploads pictures of himself on social networks and the greater the number of his friends, the greater the likelihood that he is a narcissist, regardless of gender or age. These people also spend more time in their networks than the average visitor. Two different types of narcissists were also found: the cocky narcissists can be found more often on Facebook, Twitter and Co., while the vulnerable narcissists are characterized by a high degree of insecurity, show an oversensitivity in dealing with other people and tend to have an urge, to withdraw from the public. The usage behavior is also influenced by the respective culture in different countries, because in countries like India or Malaysia, in which the individual counts less than the community or in which the roles are clearly defined, social media are an opportunity for narcissists to get out of hand break out of rules and present themselves in a way that would otherwise not be possible for them in public.

The Internet therefore plays a major role for people with narcissistic traits, they are more active there than others and use social networks for positive self-marketing. Showing oneself on the internet is particularly appealing for people with narcissistic traits, because someone who presents themselves online in a special way is also perceived more clearly. The online media also reduces the inhibition threshold to let one's emotions run free. According to a study by Meghan M. Saculla and W. Pitt Derryberry, Facebook encourages students to have narcissistic tendencies when they use social networks primarily for self-expression. Interestingly, these students also rated themselves as narcissistic personality in the self-assessment, whereby male students used Facebook far less than their female students, but female students are much less prone to narcissism despite more time spent in social networks.

In an American study (Foxx & Rooney, 2015) on men between the ages of 18 and 40, these were identified as Posting pictures on social networks questioned and answered standardized questions about anti-social behavior and their self-assessment towards others. They also provided information about how often they post pictures, and whether and how they edit them beforehand. It showed that men who many Selfies post and spend a lot of time editing them too, prone to narcissism. In addition, these staging self-promoters also tended to show other antisocial traits and were more likely to be psychopathic than men who take selfies less often, but men with psychopathic traits did not tend to optimize their pictures before submitting them.

National narcissism

Studies (Roediger et al., 2019) also show that there is also a national narcissism, which means a national glorification of the self as well as the imposition of one's own values ​​and traditions on other nations. It turned out that people very much ethnocentric when it comes to looking at their own nation's influence, even if they remember the same event, the end of World War II. When asked what percentage of their country contributed to the war effort, all Allied countries had estimates of 309% and the estimates of the Axis countries were 140%. People in four nations claimed more than fifty percent responsibility for their country (Germany, Russia, Great Britain, and the United States). This study also points to large differences in national memory, including between nations that fought on the same side in war, i.e. That is, different national perspectives shape different memories of the same event. To this national narcissism probably also contributes to the fact that people know more about their own country and overestimate its contribution, i.e. consider it more positive and more important than people from other countries. Often therefore the Ethnocentrism also due to the fact that you see yourself and your country as superior. On top of that there is a collective memory gives that through Narratives is formed in narratives, history books, films and celebrations that shape national identity and help to influence relationships between countries and current conflicts.

Narcissism in leadership positions

Narcissism doesn't just have to be a personal deformation, it can be one too Coping strategy can be in order to cope with the requirements in an organization, because in contrast to many other personality disorders, narcissism is not necessarily a hindrance to professional advancement. For example, the urgent desire to take on responsibility helps narcissists to pursue a career in bureaucratic organizations, whereby they are also adept at influencing their environment or, for example, attracting charisma through charm. Research shows that people with a narcissistic or psychopathic personality are about three to four times more likely to be in Positions of power are represented than in the population average. It is estimated that around four percent of the population are narcissists and around one to two percent are psychopaths, with about six percent of them in management positions. Experts justify this with the fact that psychopaths in management positions can live out their need for dominance well, whereby the higher the management level, the higher the proportion of people with conspicuous personalities. Narcissists like to tell a lot about themselves, always in a very positive way, because they consider themselves terrific, but they are charming and can inspire other people as a result. On the other hand, they are easily hurt, because factual criticism also hurts them deeply, to which they then often react aggressively. Narcissists care a lot about theirs External perception, They want to be the center of attention and to be admired, which is why they are on the one hand very willing to perform, but on the other hand are not very empathetic because other people are only a means to an end for them.

Schneck (2017) differentiates between three different types of narcissistic managers in organizations, in which primarily only the reactive narcissistic type is problematic, because this type lacks both healthy self-confidence and the social skills to build sustainable interpersonal relationships. Very often this form of narcissist surrounds himself with flatterers and yes-men, which in connection with omnipotence fantasies can lead to risky business decisions, whereby other people in the organization are often narcissistically infected, so that ultimately the leadership clique isolates itself and only perceives the environment to a limited extent and slowly loses its innovative strength as a result. According to Schneck (2017), here Coaching corrective action.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, psychologist and book author, writes in his book "Why so many incompetent men are in leadership positions (and what to do about it)“That narcissists are usually trusted to have high leadership potential. In an interview with ZEIT about his book, he said among other things: “Companies worldwide are run by men. Only a fraction of all managers are women. Leaving this imbalance aside, one should expect the men who rise to be at least competent. Unfortunately, that's wrong (...). There are competent men just as there are competent women, but they often do not become bosses. (...) It is because of our notion of leadership that is out of date and wrong. If someone is overly self-confident and someone is also charismatic, maybe even has narcissistic traits, we trust this person to have leadership potential. The problem is, these are the very qualities that make someone a bad boss. (...) He acts for his own benefit, only pursues his goals and does not see his mistakes. Maybe he even blames others instead. Often these people are still overly self-confident and are therefore not aware of their limits. Men are more likely to have these traits. That's why they're more likely to have leadership positions. (...) An incompetent boss causes employee productivity to drop. It creates distrust among them and makes them feel uncomfortable. Such a boss does not manage to motivate a team and get individuals to work well together. Up to 87 percent of US employees have internally distanced themselves from their jobs, mostly because they are dissatisfied with their superiors. "

Narcissism and anger

How irritable people are has to do on the one hand with current factors such as stress or fear, on the other hand some people have relevant personality traits, because some deal with conflicts or mistakes of their fellow human beings calmly, while others react annoyed even with small things. There are indications that such irritability is linked to other characteristic traits of people, whereby there could be a connection between personality-related tendencies to anger and cognitive abilities. In a study by Zajenkowskia & Gignac (2018), test subjects completed standardized psychological tests that allowed conclusions to be drawn about their tendency to anger, mental stability and tendency to narcissism. In addition, the study participants were asked to rate their intelligence themselves on a 25-point scale, with the actual intelligence level then being ascertained using an objective intelligence test. The results showed that anger can in some cases be a result of reduced emotional stability, such as fear. In some cases, however, it is not fear that provokes frustration, malice or outbursts of anger, but rather a tendency towards narcissism. In this study, people prone to anger comparatively often considered themselves to be particularly intelligent, whereby the comparison with the intelligence test results showed that this was often a matter of faulty self-perception. This confirmed that people with high levels of narcissism will often overestimate their intelligence. A central characteristic of narcissists is known to be overly positive self-perception, with personality anger appearing to play an important role in this context. It also appears that narcissists develop a tendency to anger over time, as in many situations they become aware that there is a difference between their own perception of their intelligence and their actual performance.

Robert D. Hare calls from the Psychopathy Checklist the following criteria for aggressive narcissism:

  • Superficial charm, good conversation
  • Exaggerated self-image
  • Morbid lying
  • Manipulative
  • Unable to feel remorse
  • Incapable of deep feelings
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unable to take responsibility

Narcissism in the media

Incidentally, the theory goes from that narcissistic society assume that there are some Occupational groups that promote narcissistic tendencies, such as politics, art or the media, in which admiration and applause played a central role, so that narcissistic behavior is cultivated in these, as it were. American scientists have shown that there is a cluster of narcissists among celebrities in the entertainment industry. Young & Pinksy (2009) provided 200 entertainment celebrities with a psychological test for Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI). The test captures seven central characteristics of narcissists: arrogance, exhibitionism, authority, exploitation, uniqueness, pretension, vanity. Those surveyed from the entertainment industry were statistically significantly more narcissistic than the general public, even outperforming students who would like to become entrepreneurs. Presumably it is not the media or the entertainment industry that produce narcissists through their increased attention, but narcissists have usually already found ways to attract other people's attention and to be the center of attention through their behavior. In a society characterized by narcissism, a self-portrayal pressure presumably builds up, which self-reinforcing leads to narcissists losing contact with reality in an illusory world and more and more losing contact with reality.

Is Narcissism Going Back?

An American study (Wetzel et al., 2017) produced a surprising result, which has been evaluating the data of a standardized narcissistic personality test (Narcissistic Personality Inventory) since 1992, in which around sixty thousand students were surveyed. The test recorded three essential facets of narcissism: leadership behavior, vanity and entitlement. It found that there was a decrease in all three factors in both women and men, with one exception: vanity only decreased in women.

Female narcissism

Research shows that female narcissism is more hidden because it manifests itself in perfectionism, pressure to perform and an extreme ideal of beauty. While narcissistic men almost always perceive themselves as grandiose, women often fluctuate in their self-worth between overestimation and feelings of inferiority, whereby the core of male-open and female-covert narcissism is the same, because the whole life should only be about one's own Rotate person. Narcissistic women always want to find out how well they are being received i.e. That is, when they succeed in performing, they feel like the greatest, the best, the most beautiful.They believe that they are only liked if they are special, and the external facade is extremely important to them, so beauty, slimness, youthfulness, everything has to be perfect. In women, however, this feeling quickly turns into inferiority if they are not confirmed or even receive criticism. In addition, female narcissism is very often accompanied by eating disorders.

Narcissism and Web 2.0 & Web 3.0

Scientists at Western Illinois University have shown in a study on students that people with narcissistic tendencies have more friends on Facebook, tag themselves more often, post more frequently, change their profile photo more often and react more indignantly to negative statements concerning them. This result fits in with the theoretical understanding of narcissism, because these people need confirmation to enhance their self-esteem, while a person with a healthy level of narcissism is only happy to receive praise. Facebook offers a good platform to make more contacts, which then supposedly offers confirmation for narcissists. It is also believed that the influence of social networks makes children increasingly narcissistic because the image that others have of you becomes more important. However, the direction of action is not clear, i.e. whether increasing narcissism leads to different user behavior in social networks or whether the user behavior leads to more self-love cannot be clearly determined.

In an interview with Tele magazine in 2016, the psychologist Gerti Senger describes the new forms of narcissism, which are briefly summarized here: According to Senger, narcissism ultimately describes the affective attitude towards oneself, in that sense that is Self esteem, where one speaks of healthy narcissism when this affective attitude towards oneself is realistic. Pathological Narcissism however, it is not realistic, whereby the devaluation of fellow human beings, the lack of curiosity and empathy are typical. Narcissists react to criticism with great and usually not openly shown shame, but also inner emptiness, the overestimation of their own abilities, so that suppressed anger, hypochondria, superficiality and exploitative claims can result. Characteristic for male narcissisms are grandiosity and power, for female narcissism rather an overadaptation, whereby women often define themselves through an idealized man. Men are therefore mostly offensive and aggressive in their narcissism, women tend to be regressive and passive aggressive, for example in the sense of prevention. The new media are perfect projection surfaces for narcissists to reflect and disseminate theirs inflated ideal self, whereby today's forms of society make new life and survival strategies necessary, so that these new forms of narcissism seem to be suitable for dealing with the requirements of our time such as optimal performance or self-marketing. However, this strategy becomes a problem when through this mask the core of the self is no longer felt and it becomes one Alienation from oneself comes with all the associated consequences, such as feeling dead or empty and developing relationship disorders.

Currently, people's search for recognition is one Zeitgeist phenomenon, because the hunger for recognition has never been so great. Recognition is a fundamental need and some people run one high effortto represent yourself as well as possible, for example in the form of Self-optimization with the help of training, diet, expensive clothing, cosmetics. The problem with this is that the feeling of self-worth is very strongly and exclusively linked to confirmation in a single area, and that over time a person is heavily dependent on this feedback, because in a society striving for recognition one feels constantly in threatened his self-worth. Recognition depends not only on people as individuals, but also on the groups to which one belongs or to which one would like to belong (Affiliation Need).

See also narcissistic leadership style

Dealing with Narcissists

Narcissists are often charming and attentive at the beginning of a relationship, but after a while their true colors become apparent and they begin to manipulate, repress and devalue their partners, whereby a relationship with a narcissist can be so traumatizing that it can turn negative can also affect the future relationships of the non-narcissistic person. Since the narcissistic disorder is a Self-esteem disorder This disorder is also expressed by the fact that the person concerned leans heavily on the partner and expresses that he or she feels weaker and worse. However, these remain Feelings of inferiority in the background, because most narcissists behave autocratically and outwardly extremely self-confidently in a kind of overcompensation. By the way, contrary to popular belief, narcissists often have a very high empathy, but they mainly use this to feel where others are vulnerable and where they can do something for their own benefit, so that they hit the sore spots in their partner with this tactic. Long-term relationships often result in trauma for the partners of narcissists, so that those affected completely lose their trust in relationships in general or avoid all ties in the future and no longer commit themselves to commitments.


According to an American study, narcissists can be identified quite well with a single question: "How much do you agree with the statement:" I am a narcissist. " This self-assessment agrees well with the results of psychological questionnaires for assessing narcissistic personalities, which, however, included significantly more questions. Incidentally, it has also been investigated whether narcissists use “I”, “me” or “my” more often, which is actually obvious, because self-lovers often circle around themselves as a person. However, numerous studies in different cultures have shown that narcissism and the use of the ego are not related to one another.

In a question-and-answer forum, the clinical psychologist Phyllis Antebi excellently defines narcissists as follows: “A narcissist is by definition a fool. He spoils that which is good, virtuous, happy, successful, and morally upright. Only a fool stoops as low as a narcissist. Therefore, Narcissists are fools. Driven by an envious rage which knows no bounds, is a painful and exhausting way to live. Being unaware of social responsibilities makes the narcissist a poor friend, a devious mate, an incompetent employee, and an exploitative employer. The narcissist reaps what he sows either in lost revenue, failed marriages, unemployment, social isolation, criminality, addictions, failing health. Only a fool would go down a fool’s idea of ​​paradise. Eventually, the fool wakes up, only to discover that something about himself was "weird". Sometimes the light comes on, flickering only so slightly, hinting at the corruption beneath his mask. However, the narcissist must turn away from the truth, as facing a life so filled with emptiness, is impossible for the narcissist to bare. "

A narcissist is a fool by definition. He poisons the good, the virtuous, the happy, the successful and the morally upright. Only a fool bows as low as a narcissist. This is why narcissists are fools. Fueled by a jealous rage that knows no bounds, this is a painful and grueling way of life. Unaware of social responsibility, a narcissist is a bad friend, a sneaky companion, an incompetent worker, and an exploitative employer. The narcissist reaps what he sows in the form of lost income, failed marriages, unemployment, social isolation, crime, addiction, and poor health. Only a fool would give up the foolish idea of ​​paradise. Eventually the fool wakes up only to discover that there was something "strange" about him. Sometimes the light shines on him, flickers slightly and indicates the destruction behind his mask. However, the narcissist has to turn away from reality, as such a void would not be manageable for a narcissist.


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