On Everyday Narcissism

In several earlier posts, I’ve talked about different aspects of narcissism.  Using the film The Social Network as a case study, I discussed characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder displayed by the fictional Mark Zuckerberg; I’ve described narcissism as the primary defense against shame and used public rants by Charlie Sheen as a way to illustrate it; I’ve talked about the difference between narcissism and authentic self-esteem; and finally, I’ve complained about narcissistic behavior and the lost art of conversation — the way people at social gatherings so often seem interested in talking only about themselves.  There’s yet another aspect of narcissism I’d like to discuss, one most of us wouldn’t view as pathological.  Let’s call it everyday narcissism.

First, a little bit of history.  The term narcissism was coined by Paul Nacke in 1899 to describe someone who treated his or her own body as if it were a sexual object, in lieu of having sexual desires for other people.  Freud took up the term and eventually made a distinction between primary (normal) and secondary (pathological) narcissism.  Primary narcissism is the universal desire to protect ourselves from danger and to preserve our own lives; it has a sexual component that doesn’t preclude desire for others.  People who suffer from secondary narcissism, on the other hand, “display two fundamental characteristics:  megalomania and diversion of their interest from the external world — from people and things” (Freud, On Narcissism, p. 74).

Since then, the concept of narcissism has expanded beyond Freud’s original view, enlarging on the elements of megalomania and giving only secondary emphasis to the element of sexual desire.  Merriam-Webster’s primary definition for narcissism is “egoism, ego-centrism,” relegating “love of or sexual desire for one’s own body” to the secondary meaning.  When most people use the word today to describe someone else, they usually mean he or she has megalomaniacal tendencies:  “feelings of personal omnipotence or grandeur” (Merriam-Webster again).   Our use of the word often implies personal vanity, which suggests a sexual desire for one’s own body, but it’s not the primary meaning for most of us.  In general, what is written today about narcissism focuses on having a grandiose self-image and an excessive need for admiration to sustain it.

As with most psychological phenomena, I believe it makes sense to talk about narcissism along a spectrum:  in other words, the grandiosity and need for admiration characteristic of pathological narcissism form a milder, less dominant part of primary narcissism (Heinz Kohut has a lot to say on this subject, in case you’re interested).   To a certain extent, the desire to be noticed, admired and respected by others is a type of narcissism, an everyday narcissism that doesn’t interfere with our ability to notice, admire and respect other people, and to have meaningful relationships with them.  Only when that desire eclipses everything else do we enter the territory of pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder.

Which brings me to blogging.  In response to my recent post on appropriate shame, “A Reader” commented that to publish your work, either in book form or online, involves a degree of narcissism and an effort to “nurture” your ego.  I completely agree.  It’s an issue I’ve been mulling over for the last few weeks with some discomfort.  There’s an ongoing argument in my head that goes something like this:

Voice No. 1:    Who the hell do you think you are, writing your blog and putting up all these posts?  What makes you think anyone would be interested?

Voice No. 2:    I’ve worked for 30 years as a therapist and I’ve been writing since I was 12.  What’s wrong with making use of my experience to write something other people might find useful?

Voice No. 1:    But don’t you think it’s kind of narcissistic to reveal things about yourself and use them to illustrate your points?

Voice No. 2:    First of all, I’m most familiar with my own experience and can write convincingly about it.   Besides, I’m trying to demonstrate for people how to deal with enduring psychological difficulties on a daily basis, rather than hoping you’ll simply change into another person entirely.

Voice No. 1:    That’s what you say, but underneath it all, aren’t you really a rank narcissist, telling you’re readers, “Hey, look at me!  Aren’t I wonderful?”

Voice No. 2:    There’s no doubt I want to be respected.  What’s wrong with that?  If you don’t want to be appreciated by an audience, why bother to write anything?

This is the conclusion I always draw:  if a writer didn’t have an audience in mind — be it a professional audience that reads scholarly journals, or online readers interested in psychotherapy — why would he or she ever put words down on paper (or hard drive)?  I believe there are a few people who write only for their own personal enjoyment, and never show their work to another living soul, but most writers write for the public in one way or another, even if it’s the future audience they hope one day to have.  Most writers want their work to be respected and admired.  Does that make us all narcissists?  Yes, I would say — but everyday (not pathological) ones.

In their jobs, most people want to be valued and appreciated by their co-workers.  That seems normal to me.  It pleases me that my colleagues respect me and my clients think I’m good at what I do.  I enjoy it when a visitor to my website sends me a comment or an email expressing appreciation.  I like it a lot.  I believe that’s normal … so why do I feel this discomfort as I admit it?

Voice No. 1 seems to imply that I ought to be selfless, and have no narcissistic needs whatsoever.  Voice No. 2 insists this is an unrealistic ideal, adding (irrelevantly, a little desperately) that many acts of apparent compassion and altruism serve egoistic needs.

As much as I consciously agree with Voice No. 2, it’s usually Voice No. 1 that has the last word.  Right now it’s saying, “This whole post is just an extended exercise in narcissistic self-indulgence. What makes you think anyone cares?”

Voice No. 2:    “But … but …”

Voice No. 1:    “And isn’t the role of basic shame in narcissistic behavior one of your big themes?  Looks to me like you’re just trying to take all that shame you feel and turn it into some grandiose display that’s going to win you kudos so you can feel you actually have no lasting damage, and no reason for that burning shame you sometimes feel.”


Finding Your Own Way:

In what ways are you an everyday narcissist?  Think of times you may actively have sought approval or implicitly asked for a compliment.  Do you think there’s anything wrong with that?  Some people may feel it’s okay to receive compliments but never to ask for them, not even subtly.  I’m reminded of a client who recalled, as a child, asking her mother if she could have an ice cream from the street vendor.  Her mother replied, “I was thinking about buying you one, but now, since you asked, you can’t have it.”  Are narcissistic needs like that:  it’s acceptable to have them gratified, but not to ask for gratification?

How much are you motivated by the desire for attention or admiration?  If you have creative hobbies, do you like hearing that people think you paint well, or excel at the violin?  Do you like visitors to appreciate the decore in your apartment or house, complimenting you on your taste?  To what degree do you consider that natural?

If you dwell extensively on compliments (or slights), if they matter so much you have a hard time getting them off your mind, it may indicate that we’re moving along the spectrum away from everyday narcissism.  If you’re preoccupied with comparisons, where the goal is to feel better than someone else on a given criteria and it’s question of winning, that indicates another problem.

By Joseph Burgo

Joe is the author and the owner of AfterPsychotherapy.com, one of the leading online mental health resources on the internet. Be sure to connect with him on Google+ and Linkedin.


  1. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your two ‘voices’.

    What I am thinking is that it perhaps depends on what we ‘need’ the outcome of others reading our writing to be. If we ‘need’ them to like what we write, that is one thing; if on the other hand it does not matter to us what they think but more what our intent is in sharing, that is another thing entirely.

    I too like to get feedback – my reason, to know whether I am ‘on track ‘or not, to get a guide as to how I could be doing things better if I need to or just to know that what I am doing is okay.

    1. I, too, like to get feedback so that I can know if I’m “on track,” as you say; if I’m honest with myself, when I am on track, I also enjoy it when people tell me so and appreciate my writing. I don’t know if I “need” it but I sure like it.

  2. I started writing for myself: I still do. If others value that, then great. If they don’t, I don’t care. It has nothing to do with narcissism, despite what many (frankly uninformed) people believe.

    We live life as best we can. The end.

  3. This is a really interesting post (hold onto the compliment). There are different ways of framing this depending on your earlier experiences/deficits, some of the needs for validation or affirmation can be about the lack experienced or the need for emotional containment that didn’t occur and the outworking of that in later life. I have found that learning to state out loud my needs when appropriate with the appropriate people can sometimes bring a relief and sense of ‘okayness’, as opposed to secretly wishing or longing for someone close to guess what I might need and then being frustrated when it doesn’t occur. I used to think this was shameful or egotistical (to admit my need -an element of self-importance), but frame it differently now, and see it as being more authentic and honest about my inner needs and communicating more openly with trusted people. I have found the more genuine validation and affirming I experience through intimate friendships has increased my sense of self and renders this need (for validation) less power as I slowly accept other’s authentic love and care of me. Is the ongoing development of exploring your real self solely to be seen as narcissism, even everyday narcissim? Not sure it is the only way to view it, really fascinating reading though.

    1. That’s sounds extremely healthy, Cass. As for your last question, I guess I’d like to rescue the word “narcissism” from all its negative connotations; as Penny Beitler notes in her comment below, there’s a healthy, normal kind of need for attention and validation. We shouldn’t fee ashamed of that need.

  4. I don’t buy it that writing to connect with others is narcissism, which is what I see you doing in this blog – connecting, offering help, swapping opinions, serving your gift – or in this case, both of your gifts. There’s all kinds of room here for other people.

    I hear you that writing solely to be admired would be narcissistic, but for writers to apologize for wanting readers is like saying everyone that comes to see a therapist is a narcissist for needing a listener.

    And, of course, we want the people we connect with to think well of us – why abuse ourselves via the other kind of people? You know the kind I mean – people like “A Reader” who write things that tap into false humility with, “Who do you think you are?”

    1. I agree, to write solely in order to be admired would be narcissistic (in the unhealthy sense); I guess I’m trying to talk about a healthy, non-pathological narcissism. I think that “A Reader” probably had something similar in mind and didn’t mean his/her observation as an insult.

      1. A Reader would very much like to comment on that Christie: Not for a minute have I doubted the expertise or the good intensions of Joseph Burgo. Nor have I meant to say to him ” who do you think you are.” If that was everyone`s impression, I apologize.

        As Burgo conveys in this article, there may be more than one voice within, and without my consciousness the “Shadow”(C.G. Jung was of the meaning that we did carry an unknown shadow) could have come into writing.

        I repeat, I am sorry that you, and possibly others got the impression that I was showing scorn.

        1. I never thought you meant it in an insulting or disrespectful way. I thought you made an interesting observation, which motivated me to write this post. Thanks!

  5. Hello again Joe. Aren’t you really talking about the difference between HEALTHY narcissist needs and PATHOLOGICAL ones? I’m thinking here of the child who has healthy needs that are not being met, and therefore becomes wounded. He or she then might become the Narcissist that we all think of with NPD who has an emptiness inside that cannot be filled no matter how much attention and praise is reaped upon him ( Charlie Sheen). When a person leaves a relationship with someone who is this wounded, one of the first things she or he notices is the RELIEF in not having to meet the overwhelming demands of this extremely “needy” person. I thought you did a great job with your inner conversation of pinpointing the difference between the Pathological narcissist who can “never get enough” and the “normal” needs of a person for connection, attunement and authentic praise. Such as I just gave. 🙂

    1. Exactly, the difference between healthy and pathological narcissistic needs. Nowadays, the word “narcissism” has become so loaded with negative connotations it’s hard for people to hear it in any other way.

  6. I agree that “narcissism” is on a spectrum. What I find helpful to think about in myself is motivation. Am I doing something to fill a void in myself, or to express a kind of fullness in myself? Sometimes it’s a mixture but I’m getting better at telling which is predominant.
    In addition, I think the feedback loop is important, as one respondent above stated, to know if we’re hitting the mark or not. When I was younger, I couldn’t tolerate anything that felt to me like criticism. Now I’m a lot more able to even ask for constructive feedback because I have much more ego strength than ever before. I read once that humans are constantly on a spectrum of inflation or deflation and that part of the journey was to arrive at an accurate self-assessment.
    And as the Buddhists (I think!) say, the winds of praise and blame are the same [if we’re using them to provide our sense of self].
    Thanks for this post, Joe!

    1. What you’re saying about motivation rings a powerful bell. There are times when I find myself subtly asking for admiration in a way that feels narcissistic (unhealthy) because it’s about compensating for shame, and then when I realize it, I feel even more ashamed. At other times — as in my writer’s group — I feel I am presenting work I’m proud of and want my co-writers to appreciate its merit (which doesn’t preclude getting feedback on how to make it better). That latter experience feels like the kind of “fullness” I think you’re describing.

  7. My inclination is that it becomes more and more difficult for us as human beings to separate ourselves from the other peoples opinions and still accept those comments and observations as part of the process of becoming who we really are intended to be. I believe a large number of people have either begun to understand their purpose in life or have chosen and accepted those directions as being a positive step to be taken. Understanding where we are on the spectrum of extremes makes choosing a less stressful process. The more valid information we have, the better chance we have to stay as flush as one can with changing times as well as the changes we personally face. If it sounds good and feels good, whatever “it” is, that information will probably be of use to us until that’s not the case. There seems to be a great deal of workable space between “never-ever” and “always-ever .”After all the most dangerous pit falls are opinions and action toward the extremes.

  8. I think that this is an excellent article & generally very much the content of the blog.

    It would be really interesting to extend the scope of Narcissism & explore living with the Narcissist at home or work, husband, wife, partner, boss, peer, subordinate, co-worker. Are there any practical suggestions for your readers?


    Dr Alf Oldman

    1. Let me give it some thought. I’m not sure that my strength is giving advice, but if I have something I think is useful, I’ll write about it.

  9. what you have done has great social value, to make those down to the earth analysis accessible to people. and I as one of those who has been benefited from reading those articles show great respect for you investing your time and energy to make your insights available.

    1. Thanks very much. It may be “narcissistic” but it makes me feel gratified if people find the site useful.

  10. Hi Joe,

    I’d like to see your Voice #2 put on some boxing gloves and pummel to squash your Voice #1. I am battling the same thing right now, in the throes of transference with my 25+ years experienced psychoanalyst, and dealing with some hefty parent issues that continue to infiltrate my self-esteem in the form of “voice #1”.

    I’d say “Hey, Voice #2 – Go Get Em!!!!”

    And by the way, I find your blog and others’ blogs (ie: Sonia Neale) very helpful in understanding my own issues. Keep on writing, please 🙂

    1. I wish that I really could eradicate Voice #1 but I’m afraid I’m stuck with him. All I can do is pay attention and not let him grind me down.

  11. For decades I have written things without worrying about whether anyone reads them; sometimes I shared. A big blow was when I thought I wrote something well and my boyfriend didn’t believe I wrote it. I post on a forum often, and sometimes I ramble. I’ve never asked, “Do you think I wrote a good post,” but recently I asked another member what he thought since I thought it was good. No reply. There’s always been a need to write but it’s normal to want some feedback so one knows if they’re boring, wasting their time, etc. The only kind of affirmation, positive or negative, has usually been from teachers in school. Why is a friend even reluctant to say something when you ask? It just adds to self-esteem issues: nobody cares, I’m a failure, I am a “legend unto myself”, which somebody once said. Projecting maybe? Someone once also said that my posting something for him was to elicit a thank you. No, I just thought it would be nice to hear a thank you for my efforts.

    So, I think we are normal for wanting feedback even if we want to share our talents to hear “You’re good at this.” Narcissism to me is an extreme of constantly needing attention and affirmation and believing what you are doing or saying is so great even if it’s not really. This happens with celebrities: people think they are saying such wise and funny things even when some of their “wise” utterances aren’t original. They don’t take to negative criticism well, you’re dismissed, and they feed on the adoration people who don’t question. Is that part of it?

    So, people connect with you here, you bring up ideas of interest or thought provoking, and that’s good. However, I’m concerned with a sort of negation of shame (not yours). Speaking of Charlie Sheen, when he hit the papers I’d see people make comments that despite his wife abuse or such less than stellar behavior, he contributes to charities. Well, millions do that personally and through their jobs; it’s not hard when you have money to give it away and feel you’ve done something even if you’re not passionate about the cause. People do this “cancelling out” thing almost, it seems, to excuse the bad behaviors rather than address those. Are you saying that a true narcissist would be doing that to cover their shame? I must be a good person, I write things people like, I make music that touches people lives, I’ve entertained people. Are people projecting their own feelings of shame on such people? Well, he must be good because…It appears that many people give more lenience to celebrities than to people in their own lives.

    1. Well, I think you write well and I’m glad to have your contribution to the conversation here. As for Charlie Sheen and other celebrities, I agree that many people don’t want to address the bad behavior, as you say, but simply to make excuses for it. I think many people also place movie stars in another category of experience altogether, as if they live on a different plane from the rest of us. I wrote a little about this in my earlier post on celebrities. Because they’re not like us, they’re not subject to the same rules.

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that, yes, people do care what you have to say, even on this subject.

    I personally benefited to much from psychotherapy a few years ago, particularly in beginning to speak openly about some warded off feelings and parts of myself. Before this process, I never had a problem with narcissism- I truly assumed achievement and desire for praise was the main motivation for most people. In fact, most of my social relationships were based on my relating to the narcissistic behaviors and feelings in others. It was only after becoming more comfortable with myself that I began to gain a greater capacity for empathy, joy and authenticity, to relinquish some of narcissistic pursuits, and to relate to / emapthize with other people based on qualities other than narcissism.

    As I was getting more in touch with myself, doing rewarding work, and connecting better with others, I began to have the dream that I myself could be a psychologist. Initially, this goal was for my own pure enjoyment, and did include some elements of ‘ordinary narcissism’, specifically the desire to put my intelligence to fruitful use and feel competent, etc. However, as I began to tell others about this new goal, which happens to be one of the most intimate desires I have ever expressed, I found myself beginning to occupy this new role of extreme good person, felt the need to act like mother Theresa. I began to ward off any feeling of narcissism in myself and attack it/judge it in others. Especially during interviews for graduate school, I felt that my reasons for wanting to be a psychologist (the ordinarily narcissistic ones) were somehow wrong, not persuasive and shameful, and that the only acceptable motivation is the pure, altruistic, selfless desire to help people.

    Needless to say, that mother Theresa motivation is far from my true self, and I began to feel VERY alienated from myself and confused. I have felt cut off from others, from myself, and very lost. Recently, I have been trying to return to the honest self-reflection and acknowledgment of my true feelings that got me so far in therapy initially. I am trying to accept that it is OK to want go be acknowledged as valuable, normal, desired, respected by others. Ironically, this embrace of my less-than-perfectly-altruistic motivations is helping me relate to and empathize with others better, since (surprise surprise) most people have similar ‘imperfect’ motivations.

    You often write about ways of avoiding confronting shame, and how therapy is about becoming more comfortable being honest about shame. In my experience, while (pathological?) narcissistic pursuits were one way of avoiding shame that I employed growing up, I have recently seen that the complete disavowal of narcissism has also served to introduce illusion into my life and drive me away from self knowledge. I have tried being an over-achieving, admired type-a person, and I have tried being a self-effacing, no-narcissism mother Theresa, and neither one felt like my authentic self. I am struggling now to find the right recipe- what kind of accomplishment-oriented activities are healthy and what kind are a form of self-deception meant to fill a void? I hope that with a commitment to being honest with myself, I can find a good way of being. In the meantime, as I am entering a profession where empathy with others is crucial, I can take comfort in what I am currently re-discovering: that acknowledging all of my true motivations honestly allows me to feel more human, and to empathize with (and help) others who are struggling in ways similar to me.

    Thanks for reinforcing that it is okay to be motivated by things other than perfect altruism.

    1. Great comments. I think most people entering the field of psychotherapy have complicated motives, with a mix of reasons for entering the profession. In addition to being interested in psychology and wanting to help people, some of us choose to become a therapist so that we won’t have to be the one with the problems; others want to be the one who something of value to offer, the needed one, rather than the one who has needs; and many people want to be admired and seen as an altruistic type. I had my own mix of motivations, but wanting to help people has never been my primary motive. It’s just that I’ve always found human nature so fascinating that I couldn’t ever imagine another career that would keep me interested for a lifetime.

  13. Your article is compelling. As a poet the defences I have erected against disappointments in fame and fortune are beginning to wear thin and I find myself having recourse to a personal Art for Art’s Sake creed where I try to reduce myself to nothing and let a poem stand alone. This, of course, allows me to say mentally to other people that they can take the work on its own terms and allow myself the mask of indifference (actually masking a second mask of contempt) when they respond to the poem by asking about the personal circumstances of the poem or my sexual preferences or social origins or political assumptions. “The poem stands alone with its own identity,” I respond more or less. But actually the poem is me, an image of my body, an outcome of self-pleasuring. However, am I the only reader of my work that needs to know this?

    1. Yes, you are the only reader who needs to know that; unfortunately, that way of reading a poem (or a novel) seems alien to most people these days. When I was an English major many years ago, I was taught that the text speaks for itself. Years later, when I sat in on some graduate classes in my old department, I soon discovered that my approach was considered quaint. I think it also takes a certain amount of experience (maybe instruction?) in understanding how a poem functions in aesthetic terms — in other words, in how to read one.

  14. The persuasive appeal about being an everyday narcissistic, really hit home. It’s okay. Perhaps it is time to release what I have to say in an organized way. As a writer we must share our words for more than the love of creating thoughts and expressing our mind in our own way.

  15. Is it shame? Or is it guilt? Voice #1 seems to signify guilt. That was my immediate interpretation/response. Is guilt rooted in shame, or shame rooted in guilt?

    In any case, I enjoyed this post immensely. Your voices made me laugh. The honesty of your writing is disarming. Perhaps Voice #2 should tell Voice #1 that maybe Voice #1 is the one looking for approval, appreciation, praise, not Voice #2.

    Writing can be cathartic, clarify feelings, lead to greater self awareness, and occasionally, epiphanies. That’s not necessarily narcissistic, just valuable. If it transpires that potential readers gain enjoyment, knowledge, or feel connected to you through your words, then the endeavor’s inherent worth can only increase, regardless of your initial motivation.

  16. I don’t think I have “Voice #1” at all, nor ever had it!

    That’s probably why I used to be in every school play, and have done a few different performing and creative arts throughout life. It feels more like coming from that “place of fullness” – I seldom feel that I’m doing stuff in a needy way.

    I do dislike criticism UNLESS I can bounce it about and come back with something good out of it, some insight or some improvement in technique or something, in which case I can become almost pathetically grateful to the person who helped me become even more awesome!

    (I’m kind of joking there but that’s how I always handle criticism, like it’s supposed to give me something useful.)

    If I try and can’t find anything constructive to take from the criticism, I assume it’s invalid, “just their opinion,” though I do concede I’m probably not as smart about politics, economics, and science, factual issues like that, as I’d like to be, and where I may just be plain old wrong sometimes.

    Like Anon, I also went through a phase of trying to be “Mother Theresa” as a result of getting interested in yoga, and the eastern philosophy of renouncing everyday life, egotism, aggressive feelings etc and concentrating on spirituality & peace, and that period of life actually did quite a lot of damage to me, because I had a lot of pre-existing shame and a hell of a lot of anger that polluted it and turned it into a wholesale self-deconstruction, with no clear plan for reconstruction or anything.

    The plus side was that I started to work on myself to get past that, and I tried various things like counselling, coaching, therapy, and read a lot… and the net result is that I’ve come to the conclusion I’m probably rather narcissistic and that I prefer it to the alternatives as I currently perceive them.

    When I read and hear people talk about how they’re too nervous to do things, too unsure of themselves or whatever, I feel very grateful to be so full of myself when I want to present a point or promote my ideas, despite having the usual human allocation of baggage and flaws.

    I even get annoyed when people harp on their modesty or insecurity, because it feels to me that they’re begging for even more affirmation and praise, and that they (like me) should just put themselves out there and if there’s criticism, take it on the chin and come back smiling. (I also know I’m possibly wrong about their motives, so I generally just try and stay away from people & conversations like that.)

    It took me several decades to feel okay about myself, and if some of what I feel okay about isn’t the popular mode of being, I’d rather feel okay than keep chipping away at it. That’s where I’m at right now – 10 years time, who knows?

  17. I know this is an older post but i just read it and wanted to comment.. I thought that the very idea that you refer to a voice that questions your motives, and/or your feelings about your feelings goes against the idea of pathological narcissism. The pathological narcissist would not question himself this way. (?? Am I off-base here or just confused, lol ??)

  18. Hello!
    I am one of those damaged people. When I read your post I just had to write some of my thoughts. My father, I believe is not among the damaged side. He is brilliant, compassionate, my best friend to this day. Never loses his temper, has never even given me a disapproving look. My mother is another story. Incapable of love and empathy. And recently I realized that I still long for her love. Not getting it has given me an inner pain which will never go away.
    What I wanted to say was, my father has brilliant ideas, is a scholar but a decade of my asking has not made him write or publish. He just doesn’t care. Sometimes I feel what a waste of brilliance. Isn’t that true? Those among us who are not damaged, do not have the motivation. The world will never know unless discovered accidentally. So perhaps we can take heart that those of us who channel our narcissistic energies in a positive way (ofcourse to get attention and admiration) do benefit the world. And while I have those dialogues that you describe, I end up feeling that trying to get myself not have any narcissism is also chasing perfection and ultimately narcissitic. Perhaps I just have to accept myself and look in wonder at life. We cannot be like the undamaged people. They are content, happy and oblivious. We can never be oblivious. It is a joy to meet those undamaged people, always leaves me tinged with a little sadness still.

    1. Narcissism does motivate people to do some pretty amazing things — you’re right about that. When coupled with true creativity or brilliance, it can lead to works of genius.

  19. I have encountered SEVERAL narcissists in my life (ALL FAMOUS).Some people mistake them for gay people.What many people dont understand about a famous narcissist is THE ONLY PERSON WHO EXISTS TO THEM IS THEM.THAT fact is WHAT PREVENTS THEM FROM BEING GAY.Certain gay men often fantasize that a famous narcissist is gay.Then they cant understand why they can never “out” this famous narcissist.That’s because the famous narcissist ISN’T GAY.THEY’RE NARCISSISTIC.IN THE COMPLETE SENSE.Here’s a list of famous narcissists.:Brian Eno,David Cassidy,Davey Jones,Barry Manilow.NONE of these people are gay.Justin Bieber btw isn’t a famous narcissist.H’e just a WUSSY PUSSY FAME HO.

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