Narcissism: Do Narcissists Have Low Self-Esteem?

The Origins of Narcissism and How Narcissism Shapes Behavior

Narcissists have become a popular topic, with many people assuming they have low self-esteem and are compensating this by overvaluing themselves. In fact, narcissism is a spectrum of different traits. Narcissists may come across as self-obsessed, but their behavior is driven by insecurity and inability to see the world from anyone else’s perspective. Read on for more insight into whether or not narcissists have low self-esteem and how it affects them.

What Is Narcissism?

Narcissism is a spectrum of personality traits that include vanity, self-obsession, and a limited ability to empathize with others. High levels of narcissism can become a disorder that negatively impacts daily life. Narcissists often project their insecurities onto others. Neither narcissism nor low self-esteem has anything to do with how people perceive you. They are about how you view yourself, so it’s important to understand the nuances of the narcissism spectrum if you want to understand what’s going on inside a narcissist’s head.

Do Narcissists Have Low Self-Esteem and Why?

People with low self-esteem often have a warped sense of themselves. They see themselves as less worthy than others, so they try to compensate for this by overvaluing themselves. This can be mistaken for narcissism. Narcissism, on the other hand, is a kind of overvaluing yourself with no regard for other people’s feelings. It is a lack of self-awareness and an inability to see the world from other people’s points of view. 

The Origins of Narcissism

Early childhood trauma can lead to narcissism as an attempt to cope with pain. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is the most common diagnosis of narcissism. It is caused by an inability to empathize that occurs early in life. NPD causes a person to see themselves as superior to others. They may be overconfident, have a large sense of self-importance, or require constant attention and praise. NPD often develops from a combination of genetics and dysfunctional parenting. Kids who are given too much attention or expected to be special from a very young age are at a higher risk of developing narcissistic tendencies.

How Narcissism Shapes Behavior

Narcissists lack empathy. This can negatively impact the way they treat others. They don’t have insight into their behavior, so they don’t understand that they are hurting other people. This can cause them to be abusive or controlling toward others. Narcissists are notorious for gaslighting, manipulation, and abuse. They may act entitled, expect constant attention, or demand praise and admiration from others. They may also show a lack of responsibility, lack of compassion, and a lack of empathy.

It is often difficult to tell whether someone has low self-esteem or narcissism. Both are driven by insecurity. People with low self-esteem are driven by a desire to feel better about themselves. Narcissists are driven by an inability to see the world from another person’s perspective. They lack empathy and often lack insight into their behavior. 

This article is written by a therapist from Sensera – a self-help app that provides daily CBT audio sessions and exercises. The app helps people deal with a variety of mental issues (anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems). Download Sensera now to become happier!

Related Posts