Meaning of Narcissism

What is Narcissism:

Narcissism is the exaggerated love and admiration that the subject feels towards himself. It can be considered as a clinical pathology in the field of psychology, although the word is also used in common language as a mere synonym for vanity or presumption. The expression, as such, was taken from the myth of Narcissus.

Narcissus myth

It was Sigmund Freud, in his studies of psychoanalysis, who took the term from Greek mythology, specifically from the myth of Narcissus.

Narcissus was a very beautiful young man, to whom girls and nymphs were powerfully attracted. Narcissus, however, was not paying attention to them. One day, he rejected the nymph Echo, who had been condemned to repeat the last words of others and who, for this reason, had not been able to communicate with Narcissus.

Aware of this, Nemesis, the Greek goddess of vengeance, made Narcissus fall in love with his own reflection in the water of a well as punishment. His fascination was such that, with the intention of being able to kiss, he ended up throwing himself into the water and drowned.

Narcissism in psychology

For psychology, narcissism is a personality disorder known as narcissistic personality disorder. It is a serious dysfunction of the personality and can severely affect people's lives.

However, it should be clarified that narcissism also tends to appear in a normal way in people, as a healthy way of understanding and perceiving their own needs in relation to those of others, without becoming an extreme psychological disorder.

See also Egolatría and Ególatra.

Characteristics of narcissism

The narcissistic patient is characterized because he has an excessive esteem of himself and his abilities, great selfishness and an excessive need to be admired and recognized. All of this, in turn, actually hides low self-esteem. In severe cases, it can manifest itself in the form of disregard for others and their problems or feelings.

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