Here’s a startling truth: Narcissistic people are everywhere. In fact, almost every one of us has certain traits which place us on the narcissistic spectrum.
Narcissism isn’t a rare trait of the human being. The truth is, each and every one of us has narcissistic traits, some more than others. Here’s another way to look at it, a more factual representation: We are all narcissistic people.
“In a broad sense, narcissism refers to feelings and attitudes toward one’s own self and to normal development and self-regulation. It is the core of normal healthy self-esteem, effects, and relationships. In psychoanalytic terms, normal narcissism is defined as a positive investment in a normally functioning self-structure.”
What? I bet that quote kind of made you do a double take, huh? I think that’s the first time I’ve ever read that narcissism could possibly be healthy.
The truth is, I think we’ve all been misusing this word as a blanket term instead of putting emphasis on the personality disorder instead. I think I should redefine the use of the word, “narcissism” itself.
Let’s take a look further to understand our mistakes.
The narcissistic spectrum
The reason why we are all narcissistic people is that every one of us falls upon the spectrum of narcissism. I was unaware of this scale until just a few months ago. The narcissistic spectrum, a scale of 0-10, governs whether we have a little sense of self-importance or if we have a narcissistic personality disorder.
Here are a few little-known placements on the narcissistic spectrum.
1. Placement Zero
At zero on the narcissism spectrum, an individual is acting in an unhealthy manner toward themselves. While they are selfless and often bow to servitude, they also deny their own basic needs. This is obviously extremely unhealthy.
Although those who fall at zero on the spectrum are humble and basically good people, they suffer from their inability to love themselves.
2. Placement One
These individuals can tolerate a bit more attention to themselves than those at the zero range. Maybe on special occasions, they would be willing to have some social interaction but still can become overwhelmed easily.
Although they are still rather humble people, they are capable of some self-importance.
3. Placements 2 and 3
These individuals dream of having things and being more social. They may move out of their comfort zones more often than the people who fall under the previous place on the spectrum. They still restrain themselves and only think of getting attention on a few occasions.
4. Placement between 4-6
This is considered the healthy range of narcissism. In this range, it’s okay to feel special and get attention when it’s appropriate, but it’s also good to be humble when that is the appropriate moment.
You should be able to tell the difference between the two needs and situations. For instance, if you get a promotion, you can claim some attention for that, but on the other hand, when your friend gets a promotion, they should get the attention, not you by association. 😉
5. Placement 7 and 8
These people do find wrong in themselves and will try to make improvements. They still, however, will posture and show off the things that they have. You will see more switching back and forth with these people, and sometimes it will seem as they aren’t quite accepting in who they are.
At the same time, when they are seeking the spotlight, they will enjoy the attention.
6. Placement Nine
At this level, an individual seeks a large amount of attention. However, at some point, they will start to become aware of their unrealistic needs, and start to see the wrong in these feelings.
They may try hard to hide their guilt of wanting too much attention, but they definitely feel a bit more.
7. Placement Ten
On the opposite extreme lies the grandiose, arrogant, and totally self-seeking individuals. This is the personality type characterized as a narcissistic disorder. These individuals will lie, steal, cheat and destroy just to get attention and stay in the spotlight. In short, they will do whatever it takes for attention.
Three types of unhealthy narcissists
Working with this spectrum, we can see three different types of narcissistic personalities. These personalities are different, but they all share one common trait: The feeling that they are better or unique to everyone else.
This is the obnoxious and loud narcissist that openly craves attention all the time. They are extremely social because they have to be in order to stay in the spotlight. They post pictures constantly, show off purchases, and brag about achievements.
They avoid people because they are afraid of judgments. One of the reasons for this is because they want others to think they have no sense of self when, in fact, they do think they are special. An introverted narcissist separates themselves from others because they always feel quietly superior.
These are people who want to give and never take any help. It’s not that they don’t want any attention, they just want attention for the fact that they are givers and never seem to need any help. It’s like they won’t be known as “saviors” for other people.
Now that you understand how narcissism works, you can understand yourself as well, and where you fall on the narcissistic spectrum. I found my present place on the scale, but I think I will keep that to myself, as I think I have some improvements to make.
Again, thanks for reading, and I apologize for any terms that I may have incorrectly defined and so forth. I am learning right along with you and as long as we keep learning, we can always help each other be better and do better.
Until next time…
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.