My inner narcissist

envy pride
The beautiful paintings in this article are by Marta Dahlig at Deviantart.

Narcissism isn’t limited to narcissists.

Most people have some narcissistic traits and that’s why it’s dangerous to try to diagnose someone you don’t know pretty well or have lived with. Mislabeling happens a lot, and ACONS and victims of abuse tend to be quick to label anyone who shows any narcissistic traits as a narcissist, because we’re so hypervigilant about everything and trust no one.

I hate my narcissistic traits, but I do have a few. Now’s the time I “come out” of the closet about them.

We also can’t forget a little narcissism is actually healthy and protects us to some extent from victimization. No one can be completely unselfish. It’s just not realistic or good for survival.

My two most deadly narcissistic sins are:

1. Envy. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I used to be pathologically envious of those who had more than I did, were more attractive, came from loving homes, had a better job or made more money (practically everybody!) I don’t think this is uncommon in people who were raised and/or married narcissists, and we are not incorrect about having been cheated in life. We have a right to feel like it’s unfair. It’s still an ugly, soul-destroying emotion though, because it makes us hate ourselves even more when we think we fall short of others.

I think what sets my envy apart from true narcissistic envy is that I have never had any desire to ruin or take away someone’s else’s good fortune. I might feel bitter and brood about it, but I never felt it was my right to interfere. Sometimes the people I envied could inspire me too. I also didn’t necessarily hate the people I envied, even when I wanted to. Or maybe it just sets me apart from the MALIGNANT narcissists, because those are the dangerous ones who really want to hurt you.

I’ve been getting a lot better–but another deadly sin that is envy’s polar opposite is slowly taking its place…

2. Pride (vanity). I haven’t experienced too much of this until recently. I think some pride is normal and healthy. If you have no pride you feel like you deserve nothing. But I have noticed a tendency to brag about this blog when it’s doing well or my stats are high. Maybe that’s a normal thing for bloggers (I think we tend to be competitive) but I bet it’s also made a few people think I’m a narcissist playing the victim. I hope not, but I still worry about it. I’m always tempted to delete those stats posts after they go up, but then again, why not share good news when you have some to share? Because until recently, I hardly ever had any good news to share. So I’m like a little kid on Christmas Day or something.

I still have to watch this though, because you can drive people away with too much bragging, and pride, as pleasant an emotion as it can be, can turn you into a narcissist eventually. It’s a slippery slope to selfishness and evil. I can’t ever forget that my primary focus with this blog is to get better, and maybe help others get better too through my writing. Not to have X number of views or Y levels of visibility. It’s not about me anyway, it’s about what God wants for me and how he wants me to be of service.

Acquired narcissism due to good fortune is probably why there are so many narcissists in Hollywood and the music industry (not all celebrities are narcissists of course). Their success has probably changed them. Or it drives them crazy. I think only the most mentally sound and insightful celebrities are able to escape from the clutches of acquired narcissism (or serious mental conditions such as bipolar disorder, drug addiction, and even psychosis). It can’t be easy being famous and sought after by millions of strangers and having to be “on” for the media all the time.

Then there’s the other kind of pride–the kind that keeps people from admitting when they’ve been wrong or showing humility when it would benefit them and others to do so. Fortunately, I don’t think I’m guilty of that kind of pride very much. I can admit when I’ve been wrong and am not “too proud” to do so. I think narcissists pretty much have a monopoly on that type of pride.

My last “deadly sin” is sloth. I can be the laziest person you ever met. I’m a world class procrastinator. But I don’t think that’s a narcissist trait.


What are yours?


15 thoughts on “My inner narcissist

  1. I enjoy seeing when someone gets what they deserved for the evil they committed. I know, it doesn’t sound too bad but I can easily make myself the bad guy here about how I gloat about it. Ok, I gloat. lol.

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  2. Well, the sloth thing, definitely. And I do gloat, but only to myself. I think my most narcissistic traits are pride and envy too. See, we really do have a lot in common!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes we do! I think these traits are probably common in victims of narcissism. We just have to be careful about them, that’s all.
      The sloth thing is probably my worst deadly sin–but really, it isn’t so much sloth per se as lack of confidence to try new things or take on big projects. I’m a terrible procrastinator.
      That’s been getting better though too.

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  3. I love the images you used in this post — they are so beautiful. To answer your question I also struggle with sloth, although that’s not a narcissistic quality of course. But the narcissistic qualities I sometimes struggle with are:
    #1. “preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.” I am an idealist with big dreams. I, however, am not willing to step on other people to achieve my dreams.
    #2. “believes he/she is ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by ‘special’ people.” Sometimes I believe that I “get” the truth of things more than others and I think that’s very prideful and largely untrue.
    #3. “requires excessive admiration.” I’m not sure I require excessive admiration, per se, but I need people to approve of me WAY too much.
    Phew, that feels good to get out and confess my narcissistic sinful thoughts/feelings! Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m an idealist and I am definitely #1 and I know that’s from the DSM criteria for NPD–but fantasies, like you said, are not the same thing as stepping all over everyone else to get what you want. If I can’t have it, well it remains a fantasy–or I work to get it honestly.

      #2–As an Aspie sometimes I think only other Aspies can understand me, and I guess we’re “special” in that pejorative sense, but there has been in recent years an Aspie Rights movement–which seeks to have high functioning autism recognized as a personality variation rather than a disorder, and I love the idea of that.
      #3–I appreciate admiration but I’m not constantly seeking narcissistic supply.
      It does feel good to get it out, doesnt it?

      I agree her paintings are beautiful. Have you seen the rest of her “deadly sins” series? I might do that as a separate post. All her work is amazing.

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  4. I’m just now learning about Aspbergers myself. The only reason why I even became interested is bc my BFF’s husband in an undiagnosed Aspie (my friend gives psych dx for a living so if she says he is I believe her). So cool that there is increased awareness!

    No, I have not seen her Deadly Sins series, but I would love to (they are so good)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can just click on the link I put under the first two which will take you to that series on her site.

      I am glad there is increased awareness of aspieness and it’s even acquired a kind of “cool.” It seems like everyone on the internet is an Aspie and isn’t ashamed to admit it. I think most Aspies gravitate to the Internet and prefer it over communicating with real live people. I know I do.


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