Narcissism has become a commonplace term in mental health conversations lately. Today's article explains the concept in greater detail, highlighting indicators of narcissism, the adverse effects it has on the individual and their loved ones, and ways to heal from it.
For starters, it should be known that this is a mental condition, it is not simply a personality type. This is an important notation because nearly everyone has experienced elements of narcissism in their life at some point. That is very different than the mental condition. Please bear that in mind as you read.
Narcissism is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. While all of us may have moments of narcissism, those that suffer from this condition think and behave this way on a regular basis.
Typical symptoms of narcissism include:
-An exaggerated sense of self-importance
-A sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
-Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
-Preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
-Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
-Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
-Take advantage of others to get what they want
-Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
-Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office
The reason narcissism has relevance for porn addiction recovery is two fold. For starters, narcissists are accustomed to getting their way and receiving preferential treatment. When they don't, they fall apart emotionally and mentally. Porn can be a way that narcissists cope. The second reason has the most alignment with our conversation – narcissists cause major relationship dysfunction, and as we know, relationship dysfunction is often at the heart of porn addiction and other sexual misbehavior.
In the event that you were raised by, grew up with, or have been romantically linked with a narcissist, it has quite likely played into some of the sexual misbehavior you experience. Relationships with narcissists often lead to gaslighting, abuse, and other toxic dynamics.
There are two things you should consider if you think narcissism might be playing into your situation:
1) Talk to a professional about it. The frameworks around narcissism are still being researched and better understood. A professional should be able to provide some guidance in this area.
2) Understand that narcissism, like many psychological conditions, is nuanced and subjective. It is also a relatively new concept, so it is still not well understood. Be careful that you do not quickly blame loved ones in your life for being narcissists and causing all of the issues you've experienced since childhood. It is not that simple. This is where a professional opinion should help you get some clarity on the matter and a better understanding of if/how narcissism played into your situation(s).
If you have any further questions, you can always write in at [email protected]
Cheering you on,
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