Unabashed Emotions

Self Love vs. Narcissism: Meaning and Differences

By unabashedemotions


woman looking into the mirror

Table of Contents

What is self-love?

Self-love is a term that has been floating around the internet for quite some time now. It is often used to describe a positive feeling or emotion that someone has for themselves. It is often thought of as a quality that is essential for overall happiness and well-being. 

The scientific definition of self-love is a positive emotion towards oneself. When applied to oneself, self-love is the opposite of self-hate. 

A person with self-love has positive feelings towards themselves and lives their lives according to their own beliefs and values.

What is narcissism?

Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by an excessive focus on one’s own self-image, resulting in a reduced sense of self-worth. People with narcissism often have a grandiose sense of self-importance, feel entitled to special treatment and admiration, and believe that they are entitled to success. 

People with narcissistic personality disorder may exhibit these behaviors for a prolonged period of time, beginning by early adulthood. Narcissistic individuals also tend to experience a lack of empathy toward others and an inability to appreciate other people’s feelings or perspectives. 

A narcissistic personality disorder is often characterized by arrogance, vanity, an excessive need for admiration, and self-absorption. Narcissism can manifest in several different psychological disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. 

A narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. [1]

Can self-love be narcissistic?

Many people might think that being in love with oneself is narcissistic, but is it really? After all, love is not just about taking care of oneself – it’s also about looking out for the other person. [1] “Self-love is the unapologetic act of accepting oneself, putting yourself first, and being proud and confident in your achievements. 

Also read: 9 Everyday Achievements You Should Applaud Yourself For

The difference between love and narcissism is that love is about caring and supporting someone else, while narcissism is focused on achieving personal gratification with no regard for others. 

Self-love and narcissism can be confused because both terms sound similar, and people often confuse them with being self-focused. 

However, self-love is about looking after yourself, being proud of your achievements, and being confident. 

Self-love is about taking care of yourself, being proud of your achievements, and being confident. On the other hand, narcissism is about comparing yourself to others, obsessing about “looking” like the real deal, craving constant validation [3] from others, and being selfish. [4]

Where is the line between self-love and narcissism?

There is a lot of discussion around the line between self love and narcissism. People can be confused about the difference between these two concepts because they sound similar. However, according to Dr. Lucy Bowes, [1] author of “The Narcissistic Personality Disorder Survival Guide,” “self-love is about loving yourself without needing to make downward social comparisons, [2] whereas narcissism is more about superiority and self-obsession.” 

Self-love is a positive and healthy way to treat yourself; it recognizes your self-worth and accepts that you deserve to be treated with love and respect.

On the other hand, narcissism is a personality disorder that is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and superiority, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, and an excessive need for admiration. 

How do I love myself and not be a narcissist?

Narcissism is a term that has been used to describe people who excessively focus on their own self-promotion and feel superior to others. It is often considered a personality disorder and can be very harmful. 

People with narcissistic personality disorder feel a sense of entitlement and tend to have unrealistic expectations of themselves. When these expectations are not met, they become disappointed and angry.

Check out the ways to love yourself without being a narcissist:

1. Knowing who you are 

….and being comfortable with it. 

2. Self-love

In lieu of self-acceptance, these individuals are totally comfortable being themselves and appreciate who they are and what they offer. [1] They do not feel that they need to make any vast changes to themselves or their lives in order to achieve happiness because they already are. 

3. Avoiding Comparisons

They do not compare themselves to others; they realize that each person is different and unique in their own ways.

When you stop comparing yourself to others, you can accomplish great things, says wheelchair athlete Dean Furness in this video: 

4. Seeking Understanding Rather Than Agreement

They prefer to resolve problems rather than let them fester. They understand that when an issue is resolved, it frees up time and energy to move on to something else.

5. Finding Solutions

They realize that, while compromise is necessary, it is not always the best option. Collaboration allows them to look at a problem from a broader perspective and allows them to find the best possible solution.

6. Self Acceptance

They accept who they really are and are not seeking to change it or improve upon it in any way.

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