4 Differences Between Self-Confidence and Narcissism

differences between self confidence and narcissismSelf-confidence and narcissism are two qualities that have differences, but are often mistaken for each other.

While a healthy dose of self-confidence is essential for personal growth and success, too much crosses the line into narcissism.

There are 4 big differences between self-confidence and narcissism.

Admittedly it’s sometimes tough to identify the differences between being self confident and being a narcissist.

So coming up I’m going to share the 4 main signs that you (or someone you know) is starting to tip the scales a bit too far in the direction of narcissism.

I’m sharing this article because I am a bestselling personal development author – with over 2 million books sold.

I’ve spent 2 decades researching how to manage & disarm narcissists – interviewing experts – reading piles of research – gathered from Trauma Recovery, Childhood Programming, Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, NLP, Boundary Mastery, The Art of Conflict Communication, etc…

This topic of “narcissists” is highly important to me for a few reasons.

Firstly, because I myself have unfortunately had my heart broken by a narcissistic love partner. I wrote about this heartbreak in my Oprah recommended book “Prince Harming Syndrome” and online course Broken Heart Recovery.

Plus I’ve also been hurt by a few narcissists in non-romantic relationships – which I share about in my therapist recommended course Manage & Avoid Drama Llamas.

So, let’s get going!

And I thought we’d start by taking a look at traits of self confidence versus narcissistic traits.

What is self-confidence?

confidenceFirst of all, let’s define what we mean by healthy self-confidence.

According to psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, self-confidence is “a trust in your abilities, qualities, and judgment.”

When you have healthy self-confidence, you believe in yourself and your abilities and don’t allow insecure thoughts to overtake you.

You also have the humility to recognize your limitations …and the grace to learn from your mistakes.

You take pride in your accomplishments. But you don’t let them go to your head. And you don’t need constant validation from others to feel good about yourself.

What is narcissism?

On the other hand, narcissistic traits are characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a preoccupation with power, status, and admiration.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have a “grandiose sense of self-importance” and “require excessive admiration.”

There are many different types of narcissists.

Some of the traits all narcissists share in common include…

  • a sense of entitlement
  • lack empathy for others
  • a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, or ideal love

How can you tell if you’re leaning too far in the direction of narcissism?

4 red flags of narcissism

narcissist quote1. You constantly need to be the center of attention.

Do you find yourself dominating conversations and always needing to make sure that everyone knows how amazing you are? If so, it might be a sign that you’re starting to develop some narcissistic traits.

2. You have a hard time accepting criticism.

Narcissists have a fragile ego and can’t handle criticism. Even if it’s constructive criticism. If you find yourself getting defensive or feeling attacked whenever someone points out your flaws, be forewarned. It might be time to take a step back and assess your level of self-confidence.

3. You have trouble empathizing with others.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. If you find yourself constantly thinking about yourself and your own needs, be forewarned. It’s a major red flag if you’re unable to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It could be a sign of narcissistic tendencies.

4. You constantly seek validation from others.

Narcissists need constant validation from others to feel good about themselves. If you find yourself always needing approval from others (and feel hurt or angry when you don’t get it), be forewarned. It’s a sign that you might be developing some narcissistic traits.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe a little bit of self-promotion and ego boost never hurt anyone. As long as you do it in moderation. In fact, a little bit of self-confidence can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals and be successful in life.

But when it starts to interfere with your relationships and your ability to connect with others, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.

Concerned that you might be crossing the line into the realm of narcissism? Here are a few steps you can take to get back on track.

5 tips to be more self confident without being narcissistic

  1. Practice empathy. Put yourself in other people’s shoes.
  2. Start focusing on others and their needs, rather than just your own.
  3. Try to be more mindful of your own thoughts and behaviors.
  4. Be more open to feedback from others.
  5. If you find that your self-confidence is starting to spiral out of control, consider seeking help.

I’d love to work with you as your Mindset Mastery Coach to help you identify any underlying issues and to help you to develop healthier coping mechanisms and self-confidence building techniques.

Quickie Recap: self-confidence vs narcissism

Healthy self-confidence and narcissism are actually two sides of the same coin. It’s important to find a healthy balance between the two.

While a healthy dose of self-confidence can be beneficial for personal growth and success, too much of it can cross the line into the realm of narcissism and start to negatively impact your relationships and overall well-being.

So, if you’re starting to see some red flags in your own behavior, don’t be afraid to seek help and work on developing a healthier sense of self-confidence.

Think happier. Think calmer.

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