Narcissistic Self-Esteem Is Based on the Illusion of Being Better than Your Partner
Instead of being rooted in a foundation of confidence, narcissistic self-esteem is extremely fragile because it depends on the outside world.
By Dr T J Jordan
Narcissistic self-esteem is very high maintenance. It requires constant feeding. Narcissistic self-esteem comes from wounds rather than from confidence.
Confidence is a goal that remains beyond the reach of narcissistic people because true confidence is a settled feeling of comfort within ourselves. Narcissistic people never feel settled or secure enough. They depend on constant positive feedback from the external world. And they explode when the feedback is negative.
Narcissism develops during early childhood, when parents teach children to overvalue standing out as superior to other kids – and berate them for being less. Warmth and affection are contingent on being "better" than others – and painful disappointment laced with rejection is a result of not being good enough. During their childhoods, people who develop narcissistic tendencies learn the hurt that comes from being less than what is desired. They learn that they must compete in order to be valued.
People who become narcissistic have learned early in life to believe that love is conditional. An emptiness results that never feels adequately filled regardless of later life successes and triumphs. One result of this emptiness is a focus on the superficial – making sure that all appears well, even while internally dying. People with narcissistic tendencies struggle chronically to make at least some aspects of their lives appear perfect.
The training to value superiority that is instilled by some parents fosters the development of arrogance…