Do Narcissists Have Low Self-Esteem

All You Need to Know

Do Narcissists Have Low Self-Esteem

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is essentially how you feel about yourself. Although there are lots of theories about why or how we develop self-esteem, there’s widespread agreement that it can change over time and is, to some extent, malleable.

Low self-esteem can manifest itself in lots of ways, including feelings of worthlessness, a sense of shame, feelings of being unlovable and insecure feelings about your abilities.

If you have high self-esteem, then you likely have a positive, healthy view of yourself. You feel confident in your abilities, your choices and your right to exist in the world.

The Narcissistic Continuum

When it comes to narcissism, the challenge is that there is a continuum, so it makes sense that narcissists would often vacillate between feeling high and low self-esteem. And how do you know if you’re just a confident person or if you’re actually a narcissist?

You can try to pay attention to specific behaviors cited below that are associated with narcissism. Beyond that, the continuum is a spectrum of narcissism. At one end are people who are just very confident and at the other end are full-blown narcissists. Most people fall somewhere in between. The challenge is that it can be really hard to tell where you fall on the continuum because narcissists can be really good at hiding their true selves.

Why Do Narcissists Have Low Self-Esteem?

There are a couple of reasons why narcissists tend to have low self-esteem.

First, they are constantly comparing themselves to other people. So if they’re not being treated as “superior” to others, they feel that they’re not good enough.

Second, narcissists often feel insecure about the fact that they have to put so much energy into getting what they want. This means that they have to come across as confident and successful all the time so they don’t get rejected or criticized.  

Why Do Narcissists Have High Self-Esteem?

Narcissists have high self-esteem when they feel that they’re “winning” in their social interactions. This can happen when they’re admired, treated like an expert, or when others defer to them. When narcissists feel like people don’t like them, don’t admire them, are critical of them or don’t defer to them, then they feel that they’re “losing” in their social interactions. This can make them feel insecure and like they don’t have enough self-worth.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that narcissists have low self-esteem when they can’t prove themselves to others and they have high self-esteem when they feel they’re winning in their social interactions. Since narcissists are always comparing themselves to others, you never know exactly where they might fall on the continuum. This can make it really challenging to have a healthy relationship with them. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, then one of the best things you can do is to focus on your own self-worth.

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