The Difference Between Self Love and Narcissism | by A. M. Champion | Apr, 2024

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A very simple distinction

Self love does not need to abuse others to exist.

Photo by De’Andre Bush on Unsplash

Narcissists have a compulsive need to abuse others in order to regulate their self esteem.

Their self love isn’t even really self love: it’s grandiosity.

They love a FANTASY SELF.


Every narcissist puts everyone close to them through the same abuse cycle: lovebomb-devalue-discard-hoover.

If a person has true self love, they will be able to see the humanity and inner child in others, and they will respect them in the same way they respect themselves.

A healthy self love also isn’t delusional or in denial: it can recognize inner flaws and doesn’t see the self as innately better than anyone else, but sees the self as worthy of love, care, rest, healing, and happiness. You don’t see the self as perfect, but you don’t neglect your flaws and accountability either.

A person who loves themselves is able to GROW. A narcissist stays emotionally STUNTED.

Photo by Marco Aurélio Conde on Unsplash

Real self love doesn’t need or want to see others hurting in order to feel happy.

Furthermore, narcissists prey on those who lack self love.

They look for those who believe self love is shameful, who believe they aren’t worthy. Therefore, that person allows the narcissist to mirror them, so they will fall in love with themselves through falling in love with the narcissist.

Then the narcissist has successfully kidnapped your abandoned inner child and can do whatever they want to it. Your whole self love lives in them.

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