Self-Esteem vs Narcissism

Building strong self-esteem will provide the foundation for developing a sense of self-efficacy as well as provide the confidence to work toward one’s goals as well as personal growth. After reading in your textbook, discuss the following points.

What are ways that parents and teachers might endeavor to promote secure high self-esteem in children while avoiding the development of defensive self-esteem?

What are the differences between healthy self-esteem and narcissism?

How easy is it to tell the difference between the two?

What qualities would help you make the distinction?

Ways that parents and teachers might endeavor to promote secure high self-esteem in children while avoiding the development of defensive self-esteem would be in the type of feedback that parents and teachers give their children, giving them positive affirmations throughout the childhood (and after).  Those words of encouragement will be carried well into adulthood.

The differences between healthy self-esteem and narcissism, according to the textbook, is that “individuals with high self-esteem are able to moderate available self-enhancement opportunities (rather than exploit them).  Individuals whose positive self-appraisals are secure or realistic are not so susceptible to ego threats and are less likely to resort to hostility and aggression in the face of them.”   (Weiten, 2017, p.170).

It’s easy to tell the difference between the two because one tends to be more aggressive (narcissist) versus assertive (high self-esteem). The narcissist is cocky while the High self-esteemed is confident.  TO add to this, I would like to state that while the textbook states that the narcissist isn’t usually aggressive unless provokes, I completely disagree with that statement.  From what I have witnessed, narcissists tend to provoke others into disputes and are quick to become aggressive in response to the defender, thus it is reasonable to assume that the narcissist intentionally caused a situation of aggression due to their personal narcissistic tendencies.

On the other hand — and to answer the final question above – the qualities that help me make this decision are that narcissists tend to be much more aggressive (and self-centered) , always wanting to feel greater and better than others.  Those with high self-esteem are more respectful and prefer to teach others around them and show them how to be successful within their own skills and limitations; they tend to be more assertive and compassionate.

 

© URWM

 

References

Weiten, W., & Lloyd, M. A. 1. (2004). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the

21st century (7th Ed.). Australia; Bangalore: Thomson/Wadsworth.