It has been called an epidemic. It has been called the unintended result of the self-esteem movement. And it has been called a profound sense of grandiosity that gets in the way of relating to others. However, Dr. Craig Malkin, author of Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad – and Surprising Good – About Feeling Special, says that even given all of that, we should still be rethinking narcissism. Here are just three reasons:
We Need A Strong Sense of Self. Narcissism, although it has been the subject of many harsh invectives, is a very important part of knowing who we are. Knowing what our strengths are requires the feeling that we are good at something, which implies some level of narcissism. This is also what Malkin calls “healthy narcissism,” which helps us connect those strengths to something larger than ourselves – a way of countering the grandiosity commonly associated with narcissism.
Some Narcissism is Necessary to Succeed. Sometimes success seems unlikely, and it is precisely those times that we need the ego boost that a little narcissism offers. Narcissism, Malkin argues, can often push us over the edge, out of our comfort zone, just enough to reach those goals that we otherwise wouldn’t strive for. And it is narcissism that separates us from where we are and where we’d like to be, and plays a crucial role in promoting self-actualization – which is an essential part of psychological development.
Narcissism Helps Us Rebound. It is one thing to know where we’d like to be, and take steps to get there, but it is another thing entirely to overcome the obstacles we will inevitably face along the way. Overcoming them requires not just that we risk getting knocked down, but also that we are able to rebound when it does happen – because getting knocked down happens to everyone. And it is a little narcissism, Malkin contends, that keeps us from trying to avoid challenges, and instead helps us face them head on.
Narcissism is not all bad, and it is not something we should avoid entirely. Instead, what we should know is what healthy narcissism is and how to achieve it.
Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:
Narcissism & Empathy Deficits is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines narcissistic personalities and the traits that affect their ability to maintain satisfying personal relationships with others.
This course will address key ideas emerging from neuroscience about empathy and empathy deficits, because narcissism is essentially a problem of lack of empathy. Emotional intelligence, heritability, and factors thought to influence the onset of narcissism are also discussed. Diagnostic considerations for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are reviewed along with signs and symptoms, prevalence, characteristics, subtypes, comorbidity, and treatment options.
What’s more, it will help you discover constructive ways of interacting with destructive narcissistic traits, drawing on the latest international scientific research. Case examples illustrate scenarios of individuals with narcissistic personalities and show how their behavior, when left unchecked, impacts the lives and wellbeing of other people. Advice on setting interpersonal boundaries, dealing with verbal hostility, and finding ways to effectively deal with narcissists are also provided. Course #21-21 | 2018 | 35 pages | 15 posttest questions
Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!
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