Narcissus was a very stylish man, with great acceptance by both male and female audiences; but he was self centered and did not really pay attention to any of them.
There was a nymph, called Echo, who was way too fond of him, and because of it she was later punished; now she was like a parrot, repeating the last words that were said by someone else. Not allowing her to even talk to Narcissus.
One morning, Narcissus went to the Malecón and Echo, like a good stalker, followed him. When he asked, “Is anyone here? Echo answered, “Here, here”. Narcissus shouted at her: “Come!”, Echo went out to hug him and Narcissus basically pushed her. The toxic nymph fell into a deep sadness and all that was left was her voice.
Since Narcissus was too ‘Blah Me’, the gods punished him and his condemnation was to fall in love with himself. When he saw the flawless man he was, on his reflection in the Magdalena River, he threw himself down and drowned. And, according to Greek legend, with this coastal adaptation, where he fell, a daffodil flower was born.
In the last columns I have talked about self-love from various aspects, and on this occasion, I want to talk to you about that self-love that exceeds limits and therefore begins to affect various aspects of social, family, work life, etc.
Within the field of mental health this is known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (hence the legend above), also known as Narcissism.
According to psychology, people with this disorder, are characterized by having a need of admiration and lack of empathy, in other words, what happens to others is not important to them. This behavior can appear in the early stages of adulthood.
How to identify a narcissist?
- They exaggerate their achievements and talents, expecting others to recognize them as a superior without counting other’s successes. They have an excessive need of admiration.
- They fantasize about a life of power, beauty or limited ideal love.
- See themselves as special and unique, as people who can only relate to the ones who are special as well or of high status.
- Take advantage of others for their own benefit.
- Have no empathy, are unwilling to acknowledge or identify with the feelings or needs of anyone but them.
- Often envy others or believe that others are jealous of them.
- Their behavior is excessively arrogant.
A study led by the psychiatrist and researcher Stephan Ropke, shows that this condition is related to a brain abnormality and an affective deficit: “Our data show that the degree of empathy is correlated with the volume of gray matter in that region of the brain where patients with narcissism show deficits,” he says.
Dr. Bruce Stevens proposes a classification of the narcissistic personality into nine types. This disorder also has this problem: the desperate search for the source of self-love:
1- The dependent: their are not capable of loving and caring for themselves, so they focus on giving love to others in order to get their approval. They feel a great need to be loved and is never satisfied. It is suffocating for their partner.
2- The special lover: idealise love and the loved person. They do not tolerate any imperfection from their partner. They are very vulnerable to any offense and carry wounds from previous relationships.
3- The powerful one: Love power and express it by humiliating and terrorizing their employees. Arrogant, they despise their subordinates. The only thing that matters to them is their own success. Their partner is usually an attractive person who is exhibited like a trophy.
4- The body: It is very common in this period. Their image is the most important thing and their self-esteem is linked to that image. They need to be recognized for their beauty to feel like a valuable person. Their are obsessed with the perfect body. Their center is their physique, thinking that it is the solution to all of their problems.
5 – The angry one: they get irritated easily and do not know how to manage their emotions. Tend to see bad intentions in the actions of others. Underneath this rage, they hide feelings of sadness, shame or despair.
6 – The swindler: use others with their personal charm. They do not apply moral standards to themselves. They enjoy deceiving people.
7 – The fanciful one: Some teenagers, can identify with fantasy worlds of their video games, avoiding the ‘annoying’ reality that they do not like to face.
8 – The martyr: they identity is based on a painful experience of which they are victims. They focus on themselves and their own pain, which they never get to overcome, and have no time for anyone else. They evade reality.
9- The savior: they say phrases like: “Only I can help you”, “only I can change”. It is likely that their work is related to helping others. However, they always ask for something in return, such as sex or money.
Stevens, when he made this classification, also clarified: “Feeling identified with some of these criteria does not mean that we suffer from that personality disorder, a percentage of obsessive, perhaps somewhat narcissistic or even histrionic, whatever they may be, we should not enter a state of concern, as long as it does not affect us in any of our areas of work, social, family functioning, etc”.
Traducción del español. Catalina Oviedo Brugés.