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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Post

Narcissism vs. Self-Confidence

Many people throw around the term “narcissist” very casually, using it to describe an individual with high self-esteem rather than one who actually has narcissistic personality disorder. Below, we explain what narcissism is and how it differs from self-confidence.

What Is Narcissism?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an excessive need to feel important and impress other people. Narcissistic individuals often:

  • Have an inflated sense of self-worth

  • Believe that they’re superior to others

  • Feel that they’re entitled to be treated in a special way

  • Fantasize about having success, power, beauty, and intelligence

  • Envy other people’s success

  • Exploit their friends and family members

  • Lack empathy

  • Act like snobs, treating others in a condescending manner

Interestingly, many people with narcissism internally doubt and criticize themselves, which can cause them to become preoccupied with being admired and knowing what others think about them.

How Narcissism Differs From Self-Confidence

It’s important to have a healthy sense of self-confidence, but when does that cross over into narcissism? Self-confident individuals reasonably believe in their own capabilities but also recognize that others have value, too. Narcissists, on the other hand, tend to excessively admire themselves and look at others with disdain.

Learn More About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

If you think you might be a narcissist—or if you have a loved one with narcissistic personality disorder—contact us today. I specialize in treating the emotional wounds and traumatic experiences that result both in narcissism and from narcissism.

Stephanie Post, PsyD. at Higher Self Psychotherapy is a certified EMDR and Sensorimotor Psychotherapist. She works online with individual adults across California and in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco. She specializes in trauma therapy, and helps individuals with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. She uses EMDR therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and IFS therapy, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy to help her clients thrive.

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