130: Thoughts on How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism by Jenn Beach (Reblog)

I’ve been sitting on this excellent summary of self-love by Jenn Beach for some time. This isn’t what I planned on writing but my doctor keeps stirring the emotional pot.

Partly because I’ve been incredibly busy but also because I get pissed about the armchair psychology C’s Flying Monkeys have inserted into the situation, it ruins my mood so I ignore it.

As if what I did wasn’t bad enough others have turned into a crime story and C into a damsel in distress. They truly have no idea what C is capable of or who she is.

Normally, I wouldn’t post things about narcissism written by non-professionals but Jennifer Beach provided an excellent summary based on researched articles – and corresponding footnotes (which I’ve included below).

I know my behavior with K was reckless, selfish and destructive.

I knew it then. I know it now.

Once I made the initial series of mistakes I doubled down.

It was never about getting more sex, pussy, attention or love from K, it was about telling K what she wanted to hear in order to avoid the pain, hurt, and anguish of loss and humiliation for me and C.

It was about trying to take care of everyone emotionally but hiding from, and avoiding, adulting and vulnerability. If nuance matters it was a mix of an anxiety disorder and the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic running amuck. It is old damage undermining my future.

It was avoidance. It was going along to get along. It sure as hell wasn’t premeditated. It was panic. Fear. Anxiety. Pain.

I said to my Doc that, “If I were a narcissist I’d sleep better.”

She laughed.

Again, paraphrasing my Doc: “You aren’t a narcissist but you are a mess in many ways but you can learn. Most narcissists never learn.”

If someone calls you a narcissist ignore them.

Only 1% of the population are narcissists according to the best research…but there are a lot of myths perpetuated by angry people angry at other people for hurt feelings…but you’d never know that reading Social Media or affair recovery sites run by laypersons.

The word is overused. It is clickbait. It has a specific set of medical meanings and perceptions. We’ve warped the meaning and apply it to any behavior we don’t like or understand.

The term is overused by laypeople looking to humiliate and stigmatize other people. There are a great number of relationship coping skills that are not narcissism but, because of pain, hurt and a bit of confirmation bias, can look like it is.

Narcissism involves a complex layer of behaviors and should be left to professionals to determine a diagnosis. You don’t go around telling people they have a brain tumor just because they have a headache. You shouldn’t go around labeling people with complex medical terms just because they are being selfish and inconsiderate pricks.

It is statistically unlikely they are a narcissist.

Of course, when I challenge people to stop using the word “narcissistic” to describe a person the fall back is, “Well, he acted narcissistic when he was acting out” or “having an affair” or whatever term they want to use. Stop listening to clickbait from angry people. Talk to a doctor. Talk to an expert. Talk to someone that has actual clinical and medical experience studying and dealing with these complex emotional and mental issues.

You wouldn’t give yourself chemo because a neighbor told you the bruise on your leg means you have leukemia. You aren’t a narcissist just because you are having an affair.

Was I A selfish prick? Yes.

A narcissist? No.

End Rant.

via How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism In This Generation

[1] ^ Psychology Today: Self-Esteem Versus Narcissism

[2] ^ Psychology Today: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

[3] ^ Elevation Health: Self-Love vs Narcissism

[4] ^ The Narcissistic Life: What is the Difference between “Loving Yourself” and Narcissism?

2 thoughts on “130: Thoughts on How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism by Jenn Beach (Reblog)

  1. Midlife Dating Adventures – Eve Lawrence is an Australian author who runs a blog about 21st Century dating and mating. If you're someone in midlife with a zest for living and a curious, inquiring mind, you might enjoy it.
    Unleashing the Cougar says:

    I agree totally. I am so sick of that word being bandied around. I find it a boring turn off now.

  2. Hi I have been reading your blog. You seem extremely remorseful and trying to cope with your situation. Even though you would like to reconcile with C. I wish that could happen for you. But C has ended your relationship wether it being because of the affair or the opportunity to leave and not be responsible. I think you would regret it. C would never let the two of you move on from the affair and in the end more pain and problems would ensue. Now 8 months have passed it is time to live for yourself, if/when you want another relationship as you have said you will be a better partner for the next woman. Good luck.