Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Self Love vs. Narcissism

This is the Difference Between the Two

Photo+courtesy+of+Jasrin+Singh
Photo courtesy of Jasrin Singh

Photo courtesy of Jasrin Singh

Photo courtesy of Jasrin Singh

Autumn Lewis

In the “Millennials” generation, concepts that are often misinterpreted and misunderstood are self-love and narcissism. And yes, they are both seen as concepts where you are “in love” with yourself. However, self love and narcissism are two totally different states of being.

Narcissism is so common throughout our society, that it is pretty easy to get the two confused. Our favorite musicians, actors and actresses, models on our Instagram feeds, I mean, even the President of our United States is a narcissist.

But let us differentiate the two, starting with the definitions.

When we think of narcissism, the most common image that pops into our minds is someone who is obsessed with themselves to a fault. The synonym of vanity, staring in mirrors everywhere they go, saying how amazing they are every five seconds, you know, that sort of thing.

The Webster meaning of narcissism is: excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.

But did you know that narcissism is an actual psychosis? A state of mind? A disease of the mind if you will?

Under its definition in the dictionary you will also read:

  • extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
  • self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

You get it. Narcissism is ultimately the unhealthy and somewhat dangerous version of being “in love” with yourself.

Self love is the total opposite. The book defines it as: regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

Self love is caring for yourself in a way where outside opinions and other entities do not affect you.

Self love is caring for yourself in a way that does not disrespect or trump other people’s happiness.

Self love is caring for others as well as you care for yourself.

Self love does not require attention or boasting or bragging to be apparent.

As Jasr Singh says in her article entitled Self Love vs. Narcissism, self love is defined by a healthy sense of self esteem and self worth.

I hope I was able to clear things up for you when it comes to self love and narcissism.

I can only hope that you are the latter.

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Self Love vs. Narcissism