Difference between self-care and Narcissistic behavior
Self Help

Difference between self-care and Narcissistic behavior

self-care vs. Narcissistic

History revealed that humans have been pleasure-seeking creatures since the beginning. They functioned on natural human drivers to feel happy and fulfilled. But have you ever thought about what will happen, if humans become only concerned about their own need satisfaction and happiness? This can lead to a number of possibilities and the common element about all the possibilities is that will lead to conflicting relationships among people. So if any human has such behaviour, it’s not easy for other people to stay with them and lead a healthy family life. For a balanced life, it’s really important to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviour and at which intensity it can lead to trouble for the person or others. The distinction between self-care and narcissistic behavior lies in their underlying motivations and impact on oneself and others.

Sometimes a person gets confused between healthy and unhealthy behaviour because boundaries are not clear to them. Certain behaviour patterns such as narcissism, obsession, pessimistic thoughts and poor coping skills can often get confused or misunderstood as self-care, being responsible and practical thinking. With conceptual clarity person can overcome this problem which begins with educating oneself and being familiar with normal culturally expected behaviour.
One such topic of confusion and misunderstanding which often happens is in between self-care and narcissism. Let’s talk about it in detail.

What is self-care?

When a person becomes careless about their health and well-being as they are giving much value to work and responsibilities their health gets severely affected. For making a healthy person’s priority self-care is the first step. Self-care is about taking care of a person’s own physical, emotional and psychological well-being. It helps the person to live well, improve their quality of life, enhance mental and physical coping strategies and allow the person to accept who they are. It can also reduce the chances of being ill and increase energy and performance.

Self-care is different from being selfish. It’s about being selflessly selfish. Which means being caring about oneself so that you can help and support people around you and to whom you belong. In simple words, self-care is about making healthy choices which enhance a person’s overall health and well-being.

Myths and facts about self-care:

  1. Myth: Self-care is expensive.
    Fact: self-care not only about spas, sleeping, and solo travel.
  2. Myths: Self-care is a emergency reaction or crisis response.
    Facts: Self-care is about building physical and mental resilience to face future challenge which requires constant practice.
  3. Myth: Self-care is very simple.
    Fact: Self-care is complex as it requires dedication and continuous efforts while completing daily life routine. It’s multifaceted.
  4. Myth: Self-care is about self-indulgence.
    Fact: self-care is about ‘me time’. It’s about taking care of the body and mind of the individual. It’s not about overlooking or disturbing other person’s peace of mind and need.
  5. Myth: Self-care is time-consuming.
    Fact: Self-care is not about following a schedule. It’s about utilizing time. For example, if a person has 5-minute break between office work they can do 5 minutes of deep breathing exercise, walk or mindfulness practice.
  6. Myth: Self-care is optional.
    Fact: Self-care is necessary for everyone as it enhances person’s health.
  7. Myth: self-care is the cure for mental issues.
    Fact: Self-care is used as a prevention measure.

What is Narcissistic behaviour?

Narcissistic behaviour is about being only concerned about themselves. Such people want the love and attention of others, but cannot give similar emotions in return as they lack empathy. They want to be the Heroes of everyone’s stories. They constantly seek approval for their behaviour and they want to be right in almost all situations, as it’s very hard for them to accept self-criticism or feedback. Also, they exaggerate their achievements to feel elevated self of pride and sometimes deliberately take credit for other people’s work and ignore others’ feelings to feel superior to others.

In simple words, narcissistic behaviour is about a sense of Superiority and entitlement. They feel they are inherently better than others.

Characteristics of Narcissistic behaviour:

  1. Lack of Empathy
  2. Preoccupied with self
  3. Obsession with appearances
  4. Inability to accept criticism
  5. Mood swings
  6. Feeling of Envy
  7. Need for approval
  8. Low Self-esteem
  9. Broken or strained relationship
  10. Wants to be centre of attraction
  11. Unrealistic expectations
  12. Dehumanizing others.
  13. Pride
  14. Exaggeration

Secrets of Narcissistic behaviour:

  1. They feel inferior to others. They shame themselves internally despite thinking they are better than others. It’s their defence mechanism.
  2. They are always assessing who is on the top or most loved person. For them relationship is hierarchical.
  3. They fake emotions to appear normal while inside they are feeling hurting emotions.

Difference between self-care and narcissistic behaviour:

  1. A person who is practising self-care can enjoy tasks or activities alone. Whereas a person with narcissistic behaviour cannot do the same. They always prefer people around you.
  2. Person self-care is about being grateful to what they have whereas for narcissistic behaviour nothing is enough. They always want more and better than others.
  3. Narcissistic behaviour is about seeking the approval of others whereas self-care is about being who you are. In other words, narcissism works on external validation and a self-caring person functions on internal validation.
  4. Narcissistic behavior patterns are about being in the limelight always. They constantly compare themselves with others. Whereas self-care is about being better than their past self.
  5. Person practicing self can easily empathize with others as they are aware and clear about their know needs and desires. Whereas narcissistic behaviour lacks empathy as they indulge in self-serving desire and planning.
  6. Narcissistic behaviour can easily overlook other needs and use them for their own benefit whereas self-caring individual.
  7. Self-care person has healthy boundaries in relation and ready to work on themselves when it is required, whereas narcissistic behaviour is about having unhealthy boundaries and reluctance towards criticism. They always find issue in other people’s behaviour.
  8. Narcissistic behaviour can view themselves either as hero or victim. They function on fixed thought patterns whereas self-care is about being open-minded to understand themselves and others around them.
  9. Narcissistic behavior pattern is self-centered whereas self-care is about the balance between self and others.
  10. Narcissistic behavior cannot love anyone truly and lead a happy family life, but a self-caring person can love people truly and lead a healthy family life.
  11. Self-care is healthy behaviour whereas narcissistic behaviour is unhealthy behaviour pattern.
  12. Self-caring person holds healthy self-esteem, whereas narcissistic behaviour is about a false sense of high self-esteem. For them, high self-esteem is used as a defense mechanism.
  13. Narcissistic behaviour is about deep insecurity whereas self-care is about self-assurance.
  14. Narcissistic behaviour is about feeling inherently better than others, but self-caring persons does not think so.
  15. A self-caring person is always in search of self-growth, whereas narcissistic behavior is always in search of correcting others behaviour, opinions, and actions.

Self-care and narcissistic behaviour can be considered as opposite to each other. Often people with Narcissistic behaviour does not seek professional help. Instead, people living with them, seek professional help as it becomes difficult to live in such toxic environment and relationship. It’s better to openly talk about it so that person can get help right time.



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