Difference between Narcissism and Self-Compassion

Love is the most important ingredient of life. Everyone needs to be loved. We need to love and be loved by the surrounding people. We need to love ourselves. There is a very fine line between loving yourself and ‘only loving yourself’. When you only love yourself, you will eventually become a selfish narcissist. Narcissists always place themselves first and as a result leave other people around them unloved and alone. For most narcissists, love is limited. They believe that they must reserve more love for their own selves and less for others. In short, narcissists become black holes that swallow everything but let nothing out. They believe that the entire universe is made to serve them and everyone around is their slave. They stop rejoicing in making emotional connections and become miserable as they start to lose the respect and love of family and friends. They desire to win at any cost—even when it comes at the expense of others. As a result, they end up attracting people superficially and temporarily usually through pretentious behavior and deceit. Once their ruse becomes known, people avoid them hence plunging them into a deep pit of loneliness and unworthiness. Narcissism is self-love gone wrong. In fact, it isn’t self-love at all. It is more of an obsession.

All of us have a bit of narcissist in us. That is part of nature trying to protect us by self-preservation. But most of us manage to keep it in check and find a balance that lets us be accepted by others and ourselves. The real difference between self-compassion and narcissism is that the former allows us to see ourselves as worthy of love. A love that is infinite and only increases when shared with others. Self-compassion allows us to be more kind and caring toward ourselves. It allows us to forgive ourselves and move on from painful situations. We are all prone to making mistakes. Self-compassion allows us to realize our fickle human nature and lets us move on from our past mistakes. Self-compassion makes us wish well of ourselves but not at the cost of others. In simple words, self-compassion gives, while narcissism takes. Self-compassion enables us to treat ourselves with kindness while being good to others.

Self-compassion can only be truly celebrated if we know each other well. When we know our strengths and weaknesses and are willing to admit that the entire package is part of natures’ gift. We live in times when society puts a lot of pressure on certain physical and mental standards. We get influenced by the images and ideals dictated by popular culture. Instead of blind compliance, we should learn to listen to ourselves and know to learn about our strengths and limitations. We should learn to appreciate our qualities without wishing for having those that society demands. Another important function of self-compassion is to stay afloat in testing times. Many trusted friends and relatives leave us, but we cannot escape our own existence. The only way to peacefully coexist with ourselves is to be gentler. All of us confront failures. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. You must be ready to console yourself and start again. Self-compassion also works better if we have more respect for ourselves. That comes with encouraging yourself to do things you like to do. Learn new skills. Build more competence. That will help grow self-respect and self-love. Sharing love with others is also important. We are more self-passionate when we are to share compassion and love with others. The only way of getting more love is by giving more love. Doing all that isn’t easy. Building a capacity for self-compassion required time, work, and a definite strategy. Always start with knowing your own qualities and guiding yourself to make better decisions. Self-compassion is not about trivial things like giving yourself a treat or buying yourself a new phone. Sure, those actions would make you feel good temporarily but the actual goal is to peruse deeper, more lasting pleasures. You must try to become a loyal friend of yourself and start building a relationship that would last forever. After all, you are your own mentor and ally.

Ref: Mental Health Facility in California