How To Use Narcissism To Your Advantage
Narcissism. What do you picture when you hear that word? Most of us envision vain, preening, primping reality TV stars and arrogant, loud-mouthed politicians.
But we need to revise these images.
The Donald Trumps of the world, who hurl insults left and right and raise their noses in cartoonish conceit, are easy to spot. But not all narcissists are so blatant. Some couldn’t care less about looks or fame or money. Instead, they see themselves as the most misunderstood people in the room or even the most giving. To see all narcissists, and recognise trouble when it comes along, you need to know what theyhave in common.
No matter how loud or quiet they are, all extreme narcissists are addicted to feeling special; much the way alcoholics soothe themselves with liquor instead of asking for care or comfort, highly narcissistic people choose their own drug, feeling special, over happiness, honour, truth—even love. Whether they pursue their high through arrogance or self-sacrifice, their terror of truly depending on others gives them away; they’ll do anything to hide feeling scared or lonely or ashamed because they don’t trust people to support them. When narcissism becomes our sole means of feeling good, it becomes deeply unhealthy.
But narcissism—the drive to feel special—can be good for us, too. You can feel exceptional without becoming obnoxious. Some people, in fact, consider themselves extremely special, but they don’t exploit, manipulate, lie, cheat, or beat others down. They just brighten the room.