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When Self-love Gets Toxic and Dysfunctional

Lucille Ball once said, “Love yourself first, and everything falls into line”. Many people across the globe deal with various issues stemming from not valuing themselves and in many instances, they are not even aware of it. So self-love is always promoted and advocated for. But what are the boundaries when it comes to this matter?

Being too focused on yourself that you ignore others can be a concern. To keep yourself in check, you may ask “How can I tell if I’m a narcissist?” or is there any narcissist test that you can take to analyze yourself? The 21 Signs of NPD or narcissistic personality disorder is something that everyone should familiarize themselves with just so they can gauge whether they are stepping beyond the line.

Grasping the True Definition of Narcissism

The word “narcissist” is often used in the wrong context these days with many people aiming for personal goals or netizens obsessed about taking photos of themselves and posting them on social media sites. Just because you care so much about yourself and are not afraid to shout it out to the world does not right away mean you are a narcissist.

In a clinical and psychological context, NPD is being highly engrossed with the idea that you are a great person, much better than others. But this stems not from over-inflated self-love as most people would think. According to a study performed by the Department of Psychology and Center for Data Science in New York University, narcissists are in fact insecure. Their unhealthy behavior is how they manage their extreme self-doubt. In short, they try to cover their low self-esteem by acting all high and mighty.

People tend to brand others as narcissists too easily but the truth is, only a percent of the entire world populace is affected by a narcissistic personality disorder, around the same figure as when this phrase was first coined in 1968. Rebecca Webber, in a Psychology Today cover story, even pointed out that many individuals with healthy egos despite being too focused on themselves are just innocent victims to this title.

When Self-love Raises Red Flags

A lot of men and women find themselves pondering upon this question: How can I tell if I’m a narcissist? For your enlightenment, cited below are the 21 Signs of NPD that you should watch out for, whether in yourself, a loved one, or a friend. If you tick most or all the criteria, it would be a good idea to seek help.

  1. You are correct while everyone else is wrong. You think that you know everything and refuse to admit your mistakes.
  2. Being in control at all times in all issues is a must as this will ensure that your feeling of autonomy is maintained.
  3. To make yourself always look better than the rest, you criticize and put down people all the time.
  4. You stand by your belief that your views and opinions are superior to that of others and you cherish the attention you obtain from having such ideas.
  5. Listening to others is not your thing. You just let them babble without really processing what they say and then talk all you want when it is your turn. In fact, you would rather speak than let others explain.
  6. You prefer to stay on top or lead people and tell them how to act or to perform their jobs.
  7. Entertaining others is your hobby and it makes you feel fantastic having people so amazed at your antics.
  8. Studies reveal that narcissists are usually attractive and fashionable. After all, they value their image so much.
  9. Being a male and young makes you more prone to narcissism. Narcissistic personality disorder tends to be prevalent during the adolescent years.
  10. You usually have grievances towards those around you because in your opinion they do not grant you the credit and recognition you are deserving of.
  11. In victory or defeat, you remain a bully and a bad sport. You taunt either the referee or the losing opponent, depending on how the match unfolds.
  12. Because you feel people offend or displease you all the time, you think that it is just alright to be mean to them always.
  13. Arguing with others and cursing at them is natural to you even if people are polite and modest to you.
  14. Revealing emotions is never allowed because this will disturb your perception of flawless independence. You stay away from conversations and circumstances which will show or discuss your true feelings as this will make you look vulnerable.
  15. You only befriend “cool” people or those that can be taken advantage of. If someone does not provide benefits to you, you do not waste your time on them.
  16. If someone seems perfect, ideal, and better than you, you stick to them, thinking their perfection will somehow rub off on you.
  17. You fall in love easily but cease the love affair the moment you realize you are involved with a flawed person. You are perfect so it is just right to have a flawless partner.
  18. Ironically, you tend to cheat when your spouse or partner is devoted. You would even dare encourage others to do promiscuous deeds that you will not normally do.
  19. Because of the aforementioned characteristics, a narcissist’s relationship only lasts up to four months. This is the time that it would usually take for your partner to realize there is something amiss.
  20. If not loud or proud, you are extremely sensitive, defensive, anxious, and introverted. In psychology, this is what they call a covert narcissist.
  21. Your parents either adored or ignored you during your childhood. This led to an extreme longing for praise when you became an adult.

The reply to the query “How can I tell if I’m a narcissist?” lies on the 21 signs of NPD identified by psychology experts. The silver lining here is that narcissists have hope. We now have treatments for those who wish to overcome this bad behavior.

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