“Narcissist” seems to be the catch-insult of the 21st Century people use when they can’t disagree like an grown adult and instead resort to name-calling.
Since I’ve caught a few people — college educated ones at that — misusing the word as an attack, I’d like to examine the word further.
Number one, let’s be clear, once and for all … a “narcissist” isn’t someone who rightfully defends his/herself. Nor is it someone who has high self-esteem and confidence.
The true definition of a narcissist is someone who has an excessive — or erotic interest in one’s self or one’s appearance.
Loving your appearance isn’t exactly a bad thing. It was said that Marilyn Monroe was caught looking at herself lovingly in the mirror. I’d love to be so beautiful that I could look at myself in the mirror and says, “Damn, I’m a fox!” Who wouldn’t?!
Yeah, I got it going on!
But even if you’re not the prettiest, looking in the mirror and thinking you’re simply A-OK, is definitely something to aspire to. Feeling good on the inside transcends to feeling good on the outside. The world needs more of that.
Some of the most confident people I know are most generous in complimenting others and giving to others. Whereas a narcissist — an inflated sense of self-worth — has more to do with insecurities than confidence.
Of course people who have no love for themselves are going to be haters towards those who do. Hence misuse of the catch-word “narcissist.” So if someone calls you a narcissist, they are most likely subconsciously reflecting on his/herself and his/her exaggerated sense of importance in making someone feel “little” about his/herself in order to feel “big.”
Devaluing another person as a weapon is narcissism in the worst degree. I always say to belittle is to BE LITTLE.
So you see, narcissism isn’t about confidence, but rather insecurity. Narcissists are the ones who add “friends” on Face Book just to show off what they have, rather than taking the time to get to know someone. They hide behind a shield of false friendships or anything else that is false. I’ve known one who hid behind a false sense of empathy, expecting a “medal” for being “so upset” over the news of the world. However, when I shared my concern about a sick relative, she showed no compassion.
Narcissism is someone who constantly talks about his/herself and doesn’t give others a chance to talk.
Narcissism is the person at the party who won’t say “hello” unless someone says “hello” first.
Narcissism is being obsessed with money and bragging about it.
Narcissism is always trying to one-up someone.
Narcissism is the person who expects people to chase after him/her and never initiates phone calls.
Narcissism is someone who fishes for compliments (with excessive photos of his/herself on Facebook) and never gives anyone else a compliment.
Narcissism is a taker. Someone who won’t attend an event if it isn’t about him/her. Someone who will expect others to do things for him/her and not give back in return.
Narcissism is someone who is too jealous to compliment someone on his/her success because it isn’t about him/her.
And, most narcissistic of all is attacking someone by using the word “narcissist.” Because like my grandmother once said, “It takes one to call one.”
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats.” The very selfish lead character was inspired by witnessing many takers on Facebook. “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513