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Is there anyone who does not have narcissistic qualities?

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There is a huge difference between having narcissistic traits, a narcissistic style - or even a narcissistic personality - and suffering from a Narcissistic Personality DISORDER. Healthy narcissism is a mature, balanced love of oneself coupled with a stable sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Healthy narcissism implies knowledge of one's boundaries and a proportionate and realistic appraisal of one's achievements and traits. Pathological narcissism is wrongly described as too much healthy narcissism (or too much self-esteem). These are two absolutely unrelated phenomena which, regrettably, came to bear the same title. Confusing pathological narcissism with self- esteem betrays a fundamental ignorance of both. Pathological narcissism involves an impaired, dysfunctional, immature (true) self coupled with a compensatory fiction (the False Self). The sick narcissist's sense of self-worth and self-esteem derive entirely from audience feedback. The narcissist has no self-esteem or self-worth of his own (no such ego functions). In the absence of observers, the narcissist shrivels to non-existence and feels dead. Hence the narcissist's preying habits in his constant pursuit of narcissistic supply. Pathological narcissism is an addictive behaviour. It is the psychoanalytic belief that we are all Narcissists at an early stage of our lives. As infants and toddlers we all feel that we are the center of the Universe, the most import ant, omnipotent and omniscient beings. At that phase of our development, our parents are perceived by us to be mythical figures, immortal and awesomely powerful, there solely to cater to our needs, to protect and nourish us. Both Self and others are viewed immaturely, as idealizations. This, in the psychodynamic models, is called the phase of "primary" narcissism. Inevitably, the inexorable processes and conflicts of life erode these perceptions and reduce the ideal into the the real. Adaptation is a process of disillusionment. If this process is abrupt, inconsistent, unpredictable, capricious, arbitrary and intense - the injuries sustained by the infant's tender, budding, self-esteem, are severe and, often, irreversible. Moreover, the empathic support of our caretakers (the Primary Objects, the parents) is crucial. In its absence, our sense of self-worth and self-esteem in adulthood tends to fluctuate, to alternate between over-valuation (idealization) and devaluation of both Self and others. Narcissistic adults are widely thought to be the result of bitter disappointment, of radical disillusionment in the significant others in their infancy. Healthy adults accept their self-limitations (the boundaries and limitations of their selves). They accept disappointments, setbacks, failures, criticism and disillusionment with grace and tolerance. Their self-esteem is constant and positive, not substantially affected by outside events, no matter how severe. Based on my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" $ 2003 Lidija Rangelovska Narcissus Publications
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