Self-love vs. Narcissism

This post is written by my amazing friend, Wiktoria. I am very thankful she decided to help me out with my blog and take up on a challenge to write this article. You can find her here:

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I don’t know if living in 21st century is a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, people are more familiar with the importance of the body positivity and self-love topic, but on the other hand, we are being judged for actually believing in it. It is kind of like we should be aware of its existence in general, but that’s all. But why? Why people need this pressuring urge to tell you what you should and what shouldn’t believe in? To set the rules? 

You should love yourself, but not too much. You should be proud of who you are and how you look like, but always try to be a better version of yourself. You don’t have to change, but people don’t like it when you do this and that. You should; you shouldn’t; you have to; you don’t have to… What if you truly love yourself the way you are? What if you don’t want to change because you already are the perfect version of yourself? Does it give you a label of a narcissist? 

Self-love and narcissism are often mistaken these times. It is like you shouldn’t admire yourself too much. It is kind of like they expect you to be unsatisfied with the way you are, even if only with the smallest part of your existence. There is always something wrong. There is always a reason to complain. Otherwise, you are just being a narcissist and that’s unhealthy. 

According to Cambridge Dictionary,


narcissism means putting too much interest in and admiration for your own physical appearance and/or your own abilities.

It is disapproved and can lead to a narcissistic personality disorder in which someone has too much admiration for himself or herself and too much concern with his or her own importance. Now, tell me, is self-love, self-acceptance and not beating yourself for not being enough of such an issue? Is it wrong to make peace with your own self? Let’s compare. 

Self-love is a non-existing term in my favourite Cambridge Dictionary, but you can find it everywhere else around the Internet. Andrea Brandt, a therapist from Santa Monica, speaks out loud about this topic and she even brings up the issue of self-love mistakenly taken as a narcissism. According to one of her articles self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.

Clear, right? Then why people still don’t understand the difference between self-love and narcissism? Personally, I don’t know. Trying to get into someone’s head is pretty tiring and time consuming, that’s why I stopped a long time ago. I still feel the need to educate people, though, so let me tell you something. Loving yourself is never a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you think you’re the best. You are aware you are not and you know that you, as well as everyone else in the entire world, have some disadvantages. You’ve just learnt how to accept them, like them, and love your own self despite them. It’s difficult. It’s a hard journey you have to go through if you really want to get to self-love. And you deserve to be proud of yourself once you get there, or you’re a halfway, or you just started. You have all right to feel good about yourself and no one can take that from you, especially not those who use some terms, not even knowing what they mean.

Did you know that there is a difference? What is the first self-love thing that comes to mind when you think of it?

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