Narcissism: What is it?

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Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

There are many levels of narcissism. In the mild form the person is slightly self-loving. At the other end, we find people with narcissistic personality disorder. In these cases, people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration. They are characterized by problematic relationships and lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism. Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder centers on psychotherapy.