What Is the Connection Between Narcissism and Love?

A narcissistic may equate their self worth by the amount of love and attention they receive.
A narcissist has an inordinate amount of self-love.
Narcissistic people rarely admit their own faults.
Narcissists often love themselves more than others.
A narcissist may be overly competitive with their significant other.
A narcissist may enjoy receiving affection but not giving it back.
Narcissistic people might crave the attention they get from new partners.
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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2014
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The relationship between narcissism and love can be examined from two angles. Narcissism can be examined from the angle of the love of self inherent in the disorder. It can also be viewed from the angle of its effect on the narcissistic personality and other people with whom he or she may have a relationship. Narcissism is a disorder in which a person loves himself or herself to the exclusion of others. This is a psychiatric condition known as narcissistic personality disorder. The signs of the disorder include indicators like extreme self-absorption, a monumentally big ego, and a marked unwillingness to compromise.

The relationship between narcissism and love in relation to self refers to the inordinate love a narcissist has for his or herself. Narcissism could be caused by any number of factors. People who were doted on and overly indulged as children may grow up thinking that that is the way it ought to be. They may believe that the world exists just to please them, and they may carry this belief into the outer world. Some types of narcissism stem from a core lack of self-esteem. Sometimes, people who lack self-esteem may try to make up for this fact by trying to lord it over others or by acting as if they are the center of the universe. This is simply an attention-seeking ploy to compensate for the fact that they do not believe in themselves.

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A lack of self-esteem stems from a lack of acceptance of one’s self, which may be due to feelings of inadequacy. People who do not accept themselves as they are do not love themselves. This lack of self-love might be masked by a constant search for adulation and praise from others. The effect of narcissism and love can also be seen in the way the narcissist relates to other people. A person who lacks self-esteem may find it hard to open up to others. A narcissist who is constantly searching for commendation and adulation will not see past his or her own inadequacies to offer love to people.

Narcissism may also cause someone who is just incredibly vain or self-centered to lack the ability to empathize with others. Such a person is so taken with his or her own importance that the narcissism and love for other people cannot both exist. This makes it difficult for such narcissists to love other people.

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anon304467
Post 4

I think my mom is a narcissist. She is also a devoted Buddhist and I've converted to Christianity.

I grew up not comfortable with the kind of love she gives. All the years I remember, I was only hearing about her superiority over others and her problems with those who can't come up to her standards and wants.

She's 84, so she deems herself wise and demands "respect." About 40 years ago she refused and despised a psychologist's advice for her to make some changes when dad was deemed an alcoholic. Mom remarried and her new spouse has expressed how he has been demeaned on many occasions.

I can only pray that she would know of God's love and one day she would be released from such disorder so we can be a normal, loving family.

anon280256
Post 3

I am with a narcissist. He is also a late stage alcoholic and has bipolar 1 and has borderline personality disorder. Wow, you say, "Oh my goodness!" You have no idea. He is exactly what it says above in the article, plus throw all the other stuff in and what I life I lead, I don't know if I'm up or down, or if he cares for me or not.

I'm in counseling for it but he refuses to go. He says there's nothing wrong with him, that it's me.

So good luck to anyone out there. He does have a lot to offer if you want to praise him all the time. I've treated him with compassion but he wants me to think of him as god. I won't. God is God. Besides, he doesn't do anything but drink.

accordion
Post 2

@mitchell14- I agree, even though it doesn't always work. You might find someone who seems like a narcissist is just anxious about social situations, or kind of a loner, and needs to feel welcome. I have that problem sometimes.

mitchell14
Post 1

It doesn't always work, but I think that with people who are just a little self-absorbed, treating them with compassion, but not more than with other people, can be really helpful; in other words, making someone self-absorbed feel like part of a larger group whenever possible. These types of people often have a lot to offer, and you might find they're as afraid of being part of the group as the group might be of including them.

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