We take care of ourselves in many ways.  We have boundaries around what we are willing and not willing to do.  We make sure to do things that give us energy and life.  We take breaks, go on trips and get massages.  We do this in the midst of school schedules, routines and whatever else comes our way.  But where is the boundary between taking care of ourselves and only thinking about ourselves?  It is important to know about the line between self-care and narcissism because the second we cross that line is the same second we stop taking care of ourselves and stop being there for others.

I came across this article that contains some basic information about narcissism and a little quiz.  Be brave and honest and take it. The link is at the bottom of this blurb.

In order to identify narcissism a good place to start is with clarity about what healthy personal and social functioning look like.

Healthy social functioning is characterized by ability to hear your own concerns, thoughts, and feelings and also to take seriously others’. I call that two-channel ability “bilateral” or 2-sided listening.  When differences arise, socially effective folks are pros at finding win-win solutions because they hear and take into consideration both people’s concerns.

For instance, if you are tired, you would listen to that feeling and head for bed.  At the same time if you have just received a call from a friend who has a problem and  urgently wants to talk with you, you might suggest that the two of you talk for a few minutes now and then aim to talk at length in the morning.  That could be a win-win solution.

By contrast, if you function narcissistically you would respond with an immediate”No. I’m too tired,” to your friend’s request.  Similarly, if your friend is a narcissist, the fact that you are tired would slide by him/her. Talking together now would be the only option.

Are You a Narcissist? 6 Sure Signs of Narcissism | Psychology Today.

The danger of narcissism lies in closing up to others.  We need to remain open and playful.  We need to learn take care of ourselves in the context of holding space for others and for whatever may come.  When we let go of our assumptions, and stop taking things personally we are able to be “bilateral” people and function in a healthy way.

As always, let me know your thoughts.  I would love to hear your narcissistic stories…. :)

 

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