The difference between narcissism and being self-absorbed

As the word psychopath was misused in the past to categorize people who could become furious and manipulative, so the word narcissist is now misused, as a term for anyone who shows off. It is used as a cuss word to describe anyone who doesn’t fit the norm – and it works – because who wants to be called insane!!


However, narcissism is a diagnosis and the behavior that accompanies it is extremely destructive to the surroundings.

– A narcissist believes that he or she is better than others, worth more than others and has the right to more than others. On a morbidly non-negotiable level.

– A narcissist mercilessly manipulates others to gain benefits for themselves – without thinking about whether it harms others. On a morbidly non-negotiable level.

– A narcissist is addicted to attention, just as a junkie is addicted to drugs – and will go to extremes to get attention – positive, but also negative if the positive can’t be achieved. They will choose violence and conflict if they don’t get attention in a positive way.

– A narcissist knows better than others – he or she knows what is best for others and if they can’t see it for themselves, there’s something wrong with them. On a morbidly non-negotiable level.

– A narcissist has no share in problems and conflicts. It’s always the other people’s fault. No matter which way you try to use arguments and explanations, you can’t get a narcissist to take on guilt or responsibility for something unpleasant. If they are pressured, they can pretend, but it will turn around quickly so they can make it clear that they are victims of the situation.


You are NOT a narcissist because you love yourself – on the contrary. You are NOT a narcissist because you choose to take care of yourself, do something good for yourself or prioritize yourself – it is only when it is at the expense of others that it is a problem. And here we are not talking about “I’m leaving my boyfriend who loves me and wants me to stay, which means he gets hurt that I’m leaving him and therefore I am a narcissist.” Hurting others because we choose ourselves or set boundaries is a part of life.


You are not a narcissist because you are on Facebook and post about your wonderful life, post pictures of yourself or the people or things that mean something to you. And there is NO ONE who can diagnose you without knowing you REALLY well – so don’t be intimidated!


Self-absorbedness is healthy – who else should we be absorbed with? It is only when we are self-absorbed at the expense of others, that it becomes unhealthy. 

If we are TOO absorbed with others, we often do harm to ourselves, and a wonderful consequence of being self-absorbed and thus doing good for ourselves is that we gain energy to do a lot of good for others. It is neither healthy nor right to give ourselves up for others.


(But if you know a narcissist, then my group for relatives/close ones of narcissists is probably for you. Find it here: Narcissistic abuse recovery group )


We are allowed to shine. We are allowed to be happy, capable, beautiful, special, important, significant and glorious – for ourselves and others.


Find out who you really are and then be yourself. Love yourself. Praise yourself. Show yourself. Inspire others. Give them the courage to be in the world too, by being there yourself. Be open. Honest. Say what’s inside you so others can reflect on it – good as well as bad. We all struggle with something – but a bent neck inspires neither you nor others, so straighten up instead and be proud that you are alive. You’ve made it. You are here – and you ARE something very special!




Are you struggling with something personal? Maybe there is a book that can help you – look here! 


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