The Label “Narcissism” is Used Too Loosely Today

What is the real problem with having a narcissist in your life?

beach-720200_1920Is there someone you know who is extremely boastful, self-absorbed, and is found frequently taking selfies or engaging in self-admiration?  If so, do you really care? This seems to be the common understanding of narcissism that many people discuss. But, it’s not defining the real problem with narcissism. Yes, it is one trait listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to define narcissism, but in the bigger picture of relationship damage, arrogant self-admiration, although annoying, does not usually hurt others.

I am more concerned about what I call the “cornerstone” of understanding the debilitating effects of narcissism in relationships. The primary harmful features of this disorder have to do with lack of empathy, the inability to tune into the emotional welfare of others, and exploiting others for one’s own gain. This is what causes damage in love relationships, friendships and parenting children.

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