Psychology and surroundings: the narcissist

Psychology and surroundings: the narcissist

Astonished fixes himself and without being able to detach his eyes it remains as unethy as a marble-carved statue of Paro. Lying on the ground, he contemplates those two stars that are his eyes, bacchus-worthy hair, worthy even of Apollo, and smooth cheeks, ivory neck, beauty of the mouth, the soft pink on the white niveo, and all he admires is what makes him wonderful(from vv. 418- 424, Metamorfosi di Ovidio)

Taken from the Metamorphosis, these extraordinary verses tell about the hunter Narcissus who, after rejecting the love of the nymph Eco, was condemned to love himself to the death. Aware of his beauty, in love with himself, he isn’t able to have the object of his love and condemns himself to desperation even in the underworld.                          

Why are we talking about him? We are talking about him because he represents the model of a dangerous type of person you have to avoid. Those who love themselves in a correct way are able to love the people around, respecting them in their individuality, feelings and characteristic beauty: therefore they are able to build healthy relationships based on respect for the others. But there are also those who love themselves in a way that is not only selfish or self-referential but can become extremely harmful: they are the narcissists.

In this person there aren’t those feelings of empathy and affinity that allow us to understand what the people feel. The narcissist in particular seems careless of those around him who indeed become mere instrument of the worship of his own person and his prerogatives.

But what could be the roots of this way of being? Surely at the base there is that feeling of insecurity and inner fragility as a result of which one is constantly looking for confirmation from outside. However, when the other becomes only an object thanks to which he can confirm only one’s individuality, then the prospects change.

The narcissist believes that he is a “unique” and incredible individual for beauty, talents or ability so much that he claims to be admired by others. In fact, he is convinced that he has such a value as to justify his centrality and importance in his circle of knowledge that thus become the way in which to allow his self-referentiality to be expressed.

Everyone and everything exist only because it must help his self-expression, without remorse toward feelings or expectations of the others. He doesn’t feel empathy: however, he is able to fake it by creating relationships of addiction of which he is director.

It is not easy to deal with an individual of this kind who is also prey to jealousies and envies, and it is not even easy, once one has become aware of one’s own way of being, to get out of this status.

Narcissism has a share of charm from which it is difficult to get rid of it and therefore the first advice that can be given to those who suffer from it is to acknowledge that it is not a healthy self-love but a pathological distortion of relational reality. The narcissist establishes logorous relationships of addiction and often of hatred/love with others (and basically with the false image he wants to give of himself…) and can never show himself as he really is, with the fragile sides that everyone has. If you realize that you have unlimited success fantasies, if you often feel if not always the best, if you request admiration to the point of manipulating others to get it but can not identify with them, you probably already suffer from it. Getting help as soon as possible is a sign of intelligence as well as true self-love.” (taken from

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P.S. The images are taken from

Maria Domenica Depalo



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