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  • Narcissism is one of the more misunderstood terms of our time.

  • Were so aware of the bad narcissist - one whose overweening pride leaves them no room

  • for empathy or kindness - that we are at risk of missing the central role that narcissism

  • should play in the development of any healthy human.

  • None of us is able to thrive without a chance to deeply like ourselves.

  • As psychotherapy recognises, we universally require a dose of what is termedhealthy

  • narcissism’, a sense of our lovability and rightful place in the world bequeathed to

  • us via the approbation of kindly and enthusiastic care-givers in our early years.

  • In our haste to condemn selfishness and pride, we miss out on the primordial importance of

  • self-esteem and confidence generated by love.

  • If we analyse his situation from a clinical point of view, the mythic Narcissus didn’t

  • get fixated on his reflection to the exclusion of others because he loved himself too much;

  • a good deal more poignantly, he did so because some form of early deprivation had bred in

  • him a need to manically keep checking in on himself in a doomed search for a value he

  • evidently couldn’t believe in.

  • Without adequate approval, we develop what is known as a ‘narcissistic wound’ - a

  • feeling of profound inadequacy in relation to elements like our looks, our status or

  • our intelligence.

  • As wounded people, we will then keep being drawn - despite ourselves - to scenarios that

  • scratch at our perceived flaws.

  • Well be alive to every criticism about us, well pick partners who can’t reassure

  • us and well anticipate - and thereby often precipitate - the end of anything positive

  • or kind.

  • We hear too much about a character who grows evil and selfish because they think too well

  • of themselves.

  • The reality is far more complex and sad.

  • Everyone needs to be adored and will suffer immensely if they are not.

  • We should strive to become more conscious of our narcissistic wounds and try to salve

  • them through intense doses of the very same sort of love whose original absence created

  • them.

  • As we need to keep reminding ourselves, no one ever grew ill from too much love.

Narcissism is one of the more misunderstood terms of our time.

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