Thanks to my background and my work in the field of helping people recover from narcissistic abuse in relationships, I get plenty of questions every day from readers and clients alike.
Today, I thought it would be helpful to share the top 12 most-often asked questions in regard to narcissism in relationships and narcissistic abuse recovery. Each question below is answered in detail – you’ll see the full answers when you click through.
Your Turn: Ask me anything! What are the biggest questions on your mind in regard to narcissism in relationships or narcissistic abuse recovery? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments, below.
Is it healthy narcissism, toxic narcissism or NPD? There is one differentiating factor, Healthy narcissism is self-focus, self-confidence, self-interest and personal drive, but these qualities must coexist with a healthy concern for others and the ability to genuinely empathize with them.
As news and gossip around such famous narcissists as Donald Trump* and Kanye West swirl through the media and our minds these days, you’ve got to wonder if maybe there is a narcissism epidemic, right?
In any case, there seems to be evidence in an increase in narcissism in our society, and there are those who would argue that there is a certain amount of narcissism that is healthy for most people.
And you might be shocked to know that I agree with “them,” that there is a certain amount of narcissism that is necessary to survive and certainly thrive in the world these days.
But a healthy amount of narcissism looks a lot more like a dedication to one’s own happiness and success – along with the ability to empathize with and generally care for other people and their feelings.
What ‘healthy narcissism’ looks like
It’s loving yourself and knowing that you are awesome – but not requiring other people around you to be less awesome in order to feel validated.
It’s being able to be genuinely happy for another person’s success and able to admit it if you feel a little jealous of it. It’s using those feelings to push you to inspiration and success, rather than to feel insecure and threatened by it.
Healthy narcissism must coexist with healthy empathy skills. That is exactly the difference between a toxic narcissist (or sociopath, or person with narcissistic personality disorder/NPD) and a healthy person with a healthy amount of narcissism.
How Toxic Narcissism is Different
A narcissist cannot feel genuine empathy, at least not in the case when it doesn’t directly benefit him to do so – but he’s happy to use the ability to read people in order to manipulate them.
Even in the cases where they appear to understand emotion, it’s only to their benefit that they use that ability – only when and if it’s required to get what they want from you.
Empath, Beware: Toxic Narcissists Know No Boundaries
And they are quite often attracted to their polar opposites, for obvious reasons. Narcissists seek outempathic, highly intuitive people for a reason – we care about how people feel and we are driven to action by their intense emotional outbursts.
So let’s recap. Healthy narcissism is self-focus, self-confidence, self-interest, and personal drive, but these qualities must coexist with a healthy concern for others and the ability to genuinely empathize with them.
Are you dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship?
Need support in your recovery from narcissistic abuse? If you’re dealing with a malignant narcissist or someone with narcissistic personality disorder, you’ll definitely heal faster with the right kind of support. Which one is right for you? Here are a few options.