The Startling Difference Between Self Love And Narcissism

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Signs of narcissism and narcissism traits in ourselves and others makes us cringe. This begs the question are narcissism and self love the same thing?

are narcissism and self love the same thing

Are Narcissism And Self Love The Same Thing?

On VProud there is a fascinating video and conversation titled, It's all about me: Can you recognize the difference between self-love and narcissism? In it, YouTuber Shahida Arabi shares her experiences with women who are narcissists in the context of friendship.

Most of us have been trained to cringe when we see and feel the first signs of narcissism traits. But with a recent surge in encouraging people, women especially, to embrace self love, the confusion between these two phrases and how they work together is common.

Writer and mother Denise LaRosa did a little research into this topic. Here's what she found.

Narcissism traits are defined as, "excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance." 

The self love definition is most commonly explained as, "a regard for one's own well-being and happiness." 

But this topic is not as simple and clear cut as it sounds at first blush. While Denise was looking into this, another definition for self love popped up: "the instinct by which one's actions are directed to the promotion of one's own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one's own advantage; conceit; vanity; narcissism.

Well then, it's no wonder we are a little confused as to whether or not we should be owning the self love concept, lest we be tagged as having narcissism traits!



At VProud, we are going with the assumption that this last definition was a sign of the societal confusion around this topic, rather than the answer to the question. 

We have all been around someone who is narcissistic and, if we are lucky, we are absolutely surrounded by strong, smart, confident women who hold self love as important.

The difference between the two is clear in how they make others feel. One of our favorite quotes is by Dr. Maya Angelou, who said, 


“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

We think this simplifies the answer to the question are narcissism and self love the same thing. They are not because narcissists make us roll our eyes, at best, and make us feel small, at worst. And strong, confident women who embrace self love leave us feeling inspired, happy, and wanting to be around them more.

So there you have it. Narcissism is bad, self love is good, and the two are most definitely not the same thing.

Take a look at this fascinating video and join Denise's conversations on VProud. We love everything that she has to say because she always makes us think.

—The VProud Team

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