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Why Do People Mistake Narcissism for High Self-Esteem?

The First Impression

While people perceive narcissism to be an undesirable quality in others, the first impression that gets created in seeing a narcissist is a positive one.

It may be due to the narcissists strategically presenting themselves in ways in which they are perceived having high levels of self-esteem.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why Do People Mistake Narcissism for High Self-Esteem?

Why Do People Mistake Narcissism for High Self-Esteem?

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/why-do-people-mistake-narcissism-for-high-self-esteem/

blogs.scientificamerican.com

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Key Ideas

Narcissists Will Catch Our Eye

In spite of the exhibitionism, arrogance, vanity and a massive superiority complex, narcissists seem attractive, and alluring to a large section of people.

This surprising outcome may be due to people confusing narcissism with positive self-worth and high self-esteem.

Emerging Zone and Enduring Zone

  • Narcissists may seem alluring because they seem like a catch, living in the 'emerging zone' of life, which manifests itself in parties, early-stage relationships, and places where making a good first impression is key.
  • When narcissists move towards the 'enduring zone', which involves continuing a relationship, and long-term consequences, they start behaving arrogantly and negatively.

Self-Esteem in Dating and Politics

Dating profiles report more attraction towards the flashy narcissists who show off their 'sex-appeal' upfront. Even in politics, people tend to gravitate towards candidates who show positive self-esteem or narcissism.

A flashy attire, or showing off while dating is a trait of narcissists, not of those with healthy self-esteem, who have a stable sense of worth.

It is crucial that we accurately distinguish between narcissism and healthy self-esteem, both as a perceiver and as a person addicted to esteem.

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