How to differentiate between Confidence and Narcissistic personality disorder

Published by Amaka Chibuzo-Obi on

Is that Self Confidence or a Narcissistic personality disorder? – Let’s find out, shall we?
Tina is a woman who many have described as “full of herself”. In Tina’s mind, no one knows more than her and she never fails to point out how wrong other people are. Tina doesn’t believe she herself can do any wrong. In her mind, she is always right. Try to correct or counsel her at your own risk! By the time she is done with you, you would regret even trying. She regularly sings her praises, telling all who care to listen how super special and amazing she is and how it is a privilege to be in her circle.
Whenever there is a conversation going on, Tina will find a way to make it about her. Even conversations as unrelated to self as football and economy still find a way to revolve around her.
Many people see Tina as a bold, confident, no-nonsense woman. But is she really?
Well, let’s find out what Confidence means in relation to Narcissism.
Self Confidence is a trust in oneself and in their abilities. A firm belief in oneself and their ability to engage adequately with the world.
A person with a healthy self confidence knows their abilities – strengths and weaknesses. They do not portray an image of something they are not. They are content and happy being themselves.
They understand their limitations but this doesn’t make them feel any less of who they are. They strive to grow and be a better version of themselves and they enjoy the progress they make in their journey. A self confident person is open to change and correction and counsel. Because they know that loving, trusting and believing in themselves doesn’t mean they are infallible.
A narcissist, on the other hand, has a bloated sense of self. They see themselves as bigger than they are. In their minds, they form this illusion that they are better, more knowledgeable and more capable than any one else.
Delusions of grandeur.
They want people around them to constantly praise them. Occasional compliments aren’t enough. When it seems there is nothing praise worthy happening for them, they could cook up events or stories to elicit this praise and worship from people around them. Anyone who tries to put holes in their lies is in for the fire they will come at them with!
For the narcissist, you either join the praise singing wagon or you get out of the way!
Many people could mistake Narcissism traits for Self-Confidence but they are totally different concepts!
A confident person doesn’t need to lie and manipulate people into praising or complimenting them like a narcissist will do.
A confident person draws people to them with their authenticity and openness while a narcissist hurts people and relationships around them (because all they care about is themselves)
A confident person is not afraid to be wrong because that is an avenue to learn and grow while a narcissist closes up themselves from learning because…well,they know everything already!
The truth is that, most narcissists are desperately trying to cover up a low self esteem and it’s this over-compensation that causes them to blow up their sense of self.
What we should work at building up in ourselves is Self-Confidence, because that is what will help us thrive in work, relationships and life.
🌺 Amaka Chibuzo-Obi
Life and Confidence Coach
Photo credit – thriveglobal.com
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