Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Egotism vs Narcissism

In common parlance, narcissism is often used as a synonym for egomania or excessive self-regard. In psychological terms, however, egotism and narcissism can be very different things. Egotists are preoccupied with themselves to an extreme degree. Their self-importance is unshakable, so much that it generally allows them to disregard reality.

Narcissism, on the other hand, springs from an opposite relationship to the self: Not self-involvement, but a disconnection with oneself. The key to understanding the Narcissus myth is not that he fell in love with himself, but that he failed to recognize himself in his own reflection. In other words, true narcissists are not self-aware. A real narcissist is dissociated from his or her true self; he feels haunted by chronic feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and self-loathing and seeks to replace that disconnection with a sense of worth and importance fueled by others. Narcissism is also marked by a profound lack of empathy, a fundamental inability to understand and connect with the feelings of others.


1. Narcissists often develop attractive or persuasive social skills to help them maintain the personality they have constructed to get what they want from the world.

2. Because their sense of true self is so flimsy, narcissists are masters at creating ways of getting what the do need to exist: Positive feedback and stroking from others.

3. To protect his flimsy self-esteem, and avoid the pain of the inadequacies he constantly feels, the narcissist creates a pseudo-self, an idealized version of himself, and consciously or unconsciously projects it out to others to prime that continual stream of admiration and desire.

4. Instead of pursuing real intimacy, however, narcissists tend to seek out high-arousal situations that allow them to bask in the love and attention of the people around them.

5. Narcissism is not a byproduct of celebrity, but a primary motivating force that drives people to become celebrities.

Drew Pinsky, The Mirror Effect

Savage's postscript:

Pick-up is the self-centered pursuit of attraction, attention, and validation. It involves vanity, entitlement, and exploitativeness. Often the attention of other men is more validating than actually connecting with women.

Seduction is the self-empowered gifting of intimacy, passion, and pleasure. It involves empathy, positive regard for oneself, and positive intention for others. High self-esteem is required to find the key to a woman's fantasies and seek to make them come true. It is about generosity, giving unselfishly, and helping women realize their sensual and sexual potential.

Seducers don't think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less. They (quietly and without fanfare) put the interests and pleasure of women first. PUAs do not.


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