6 Differences Between Being Self-Centered And A Narcissist

Last updated by Katie M.

When it comes to mental health disorders, the parameters of each condition often seem blurry, and this explains why many of us have trouble identifying them. Plus, certain disorders frequently encompass similar symptoms and traits, making recognizing and therefore understanding them even more complicated. Let’s take being selfish and having a narcissistic personality disorder, for example. Because they overlap on such a huge scale, upon first glance, they do in fact seem indistinguishable to many of us. That being said, when you dig a little deeper, the differences do become more and more apparent.

6 Differences Between Being Self-Centered And A Narcissist

Are the definitions of these disorders different?

Yes, according to the dictionary definition, being self-centered is to be preoccupied with oneself or one’s affairs, which we are no doubt all guilty of (I certainly know I am). On the other hand, narcissism is a disorder which definitely includes being selfish, however, it also touches on a lack of empathy, a need for admiration, and an unhealthy obsession with physical appearance.

The word narcissism is often thrown around a little too much and has become a blanket term for many undesirable traits that many of us display. Plus, for the most part, it is also a very misunderstood condition. Although, selfishness and self-centeredness are symptoms of narcissism, they don’t encompass the whole illness. Indeed, this disorder has many facets and can’t simply be reduced to a few toxic behaviors that most of the population display at one moment or another. 

>>> Take this test and discover if you are a toxic person

What are the differences between a narcissistic and self-centered personality?

Here's what makes these tendencies starkly different…

1) Empathy

Narcissists are characterized by their blatant disregard for other people and their feelings. Despite how bad or low other people feel, they’ll never show an ounce of sympathy for them or even attempt to understand their situations. Self-centered people may seem wrapped up in their own lives, however they are able to take a step back from their own little world in order to put themselves into other people’s shoes.

2) Lies and manipulation

Now, lies and manipulation are definitely specialities of narcissists. In effect, these folks use these underlying tactics to keep their victims under their influence. Making people feel powerless and helpless isn’t exactly something selfish people are accustomed to doing, however, they are at times guilty of embellishing their success stories. In short, their lies are more superficial than hurtful.

>>> Learn how to put a stop to emotional blackmail

3) Constant competition

Self-centered people are too insular to acknowledge other people’s triumphs, which is why they fail to analyze their worth and reject the idea of competition with them. On the flip side, narcissistic people are very aware of other people’s qualities, which motivates them to bring them down in the most violent way possible. The truth is, jealousy drives them forward and thereby provides them with a great source of entertainment.

4) Entitlement

The self-centered people out there seem to hide behind an air of false self-confidence, whereas narcissists genuinely believe that they are untouchable and deserve more than anyone else. They truly believe that they are worth more and will therefore never abandon their entitled attitude, despite how penalizing it can be.

5) Intense overreactions

After all, what works better than massive overreactions in order to get people on side? Because narcissists are so cunning, they know exactly what to do to pull on people’s heart strings and drum up their support. Conversely, selfish and self-centered people lack the devious element to their personalities to actually do this.

6) Lack of accountability

The last difference between these two diverging personality types is the accountability factor. On the one hand, narcissists will go above and beyond to deny their responsibility, whereas selfish folks do in fact have the decency to hold their hands up and accept their wrongdoings.

Why are narcissists so selfish?

It's no surprise that narcissists are deeply selfish and self-centered people. In their heads, it's them first, them second and them third. Them, always and still them everywhere and all the time. A true narcissist, is selfish in their feelings because they have none that are particularly, and only really enjoy crushing their victims.

For a true narcissist, other people are simply just objects which they use to:

  • to constitute their court of admirers
  • to realize their desires and dreams
  • to be the receptacle of their psychic rejects, defects, and shortfalls which allow them to flee responsibility.

How do you know if you’re self-centered?

Detecting a self-centered person isn’t always an easy thing to do, however, certain signs cannot remain hidden for too long. Here are 5 things that will eventually give a self-centered person away.

  • An obvious lack of empathy: An egocentric person will not be able to reason or feel beyond her own existence. He or she is enclosed in his or her own bubble, completely sealed off from the rest of the world. Everything he or she does is aimed at his or her own well-being. Social and personal relationships will be very complicated because the egocentric thinks that everyone must act and think like him or her.
  • The constant pursuit of success: By nature, egocentrics want to shine wherever they can, even though some of their goals are unattainable.
  • Lack of self-esteem: This tendency to always talk about oneself often conceals an emotional malaise. Here, psychologists see egocentricity as an unconscious strategy for protecting oneself from reality, by maintaining a good self-image in the eyes of others.
  • Compliment-seeking: An egocentric person thrives on the flattery and admiration of others. They'll do anything to attract the spotlight to themselves. They will also try to control those around them, influencing their opinions, ideas, and actions.
  • Manipulation: This is what distinguishes the egoist from the egocentric. While the egoist needs no one to satisfy him or her, the egocentric will always depend on others, since his or her esteem is forged only through their eyes. They'll only be interested in others in exchange for something.

Editor’s opinion — The differences are vast, but the danger remains

Each personality type can present dangers, however, being aware of the degree and extent things could actually go to is essential. Mental illness is not something that should be taken lightly, which is why when it is detected, a support system needs to be put in place immediately for the wellbeing of everyone involved. That being said, creating good and solid understanding is equally an essential part in protecting the welfare of the sufferers.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

#BornToBeMe

Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Katie M.

🌻 Discover the world through my eyes.

Read our latest articles here:

Should You Really Confess Your Feelings?

Who hasn’t had a crush in their life? You know, it’s when you fall for someone and have feelings for them even though you don’t really know them. I’m one of those people who have had lots of crushes, and sometimes I’ve even admitted my feelings. In fact, a recent example was just before I started my relationship with my current partner. I offloaded what I was feeling all of a sudden… I’ll tell you why I did it and how to go about it.

How To Get Revenge On A Narcissist?

Narcissistic abuse is one of the most horrific challenges anyone can ever go through in life, but that’s not to say that their reign of terror will last forever. Evidently, breaking the cycle of abuse isn’t exactly straightforward, however, once the discard phase has been activated and victims realize that they can walk away with their heads held high, the revenge phase can commence 😈. Unsurprisingly, getting even with a raging egocentric narcissist needs to be carefully planned, but ironically, their self-centered personalities expose to many axes of revenge, which will evidently really get to them…

Are Narcissists Lonely?

Loneliness is one of society’s biggest enemies, and none of us are exempt from it, not even the most devilish of narcissists out there. In fact, throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, 36% of Americans claimed that they have never felt lonelier, which sets a scary benchmark for the wider population 😔. Now, lots of us would no doubt immediately assume that narcissists are too independent and strong-willed to feel alone, however, the truth is they are often the biggest victims of loneliness, yet simply have trouble expressing their inner malaise.

"Nobody Likes Me"

Never invited to parties, never listened to or solicited... It feels like you're just an ordinary person, who is pushed aside and has no value. If this is the case, we often end up coming to the sad conclusion that "nobody likes us! But, why do we think this? Now, this thought does not reflect reality, it hides deeper issues that need to be worked on to detach ourselves from this heavy feeling. Everyone deserves to be loved, including us!

6 Reasons Why Narcissists Never Apologize - They Hate Saying Sorry

I’ll be the first to admit that my stubbornness means I’m not exactly the most willing person when it comes to uttering the words ‘I’m sorry’, but I always push through my pride; although unfortunately, the same can’t be said for narcissists... Indeed, people who suffer from this personality disorder will simply never hold their hands up and accept responsibility for their actions, despite how deeply they’ve hurt your feelings. 😱 You know the idiom getting blood from a stone, right? Well, when it comes to apologies from these toxic personalities, nothing is more appropriate, and here are 6 reasons why!

Why Do I Feel Bad When People Don’t Message Me Back?

Friday night rolls around and after a hard week you were expecting to have a drink with a girlfriend, but she seems to have left you hanging on read... To make matters worse (and the humiliation?) you even saw the little typing sign appear, yet you never received a reply. Well, if that’s the case, obviously you or your "how about a drink tonight?" didn’t deserve an answer. Let’s take a look at why some people don't reply to messages, and why when someone doesn't reply to your text, this makes us feel so bad.

Do Narcissists Enjoy Kissing?

Kissing is a deeply intimate act, and although in popular culture it is often classed as only being worthy of first base, it does in fact go way beyond that toxic evaluation. We have no doubt all had at least one lingering kiss that we’ll never forget; one which left all of our senses tingling and hungry for more. 💏 Well, that memorable smooch left us reminiscing because it was sincere and meant something. In short, it encapsulated love and romance, which are two things that narcissists are quite simply incapable of feeling.

How Do You Know A Narcissist Is Cheating?

Narcissism is wholly incompatible with healthy relationships, which goes some way in explaining why people with this personality disorder always believe the grass is greener elsewhere. Indeed, fidelity isn’t something they excel in and adds to their exhaustive list of weaknesses alongside their love of manipulation and dishonesty. 💔 However, they are so cunning and crafty that catching them out and confirming your intuitions is no easy feat. To make things easier for you, here are the 10 signs you need to look out for if you believe your narcissistic man is cheating on you.

I Never Thought I’d Say This, But I Hate Working From Home…

Work has always been a synonym of repression for me because it takes up so much of our precious time. Let’s be honest, a 9-5 job with a horrendous daily commute often means that work is sadly our sole occupation. So, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck over a year ago, and we were all ordered to stay home, I found it hard to hide my joy in front of my distraught coworkers; although thankfully my acting talents saved me. You can probably already tell, but going into the office every day was nothing less than torture for me. Yet, all these months later, I’ve realized that I despise working from home and would do anything to sit in my uncomfortable office chair once again!

Do Narcissists Play The Victim?

If you have ever had the displeasure of encountering someone with a narcissistic personality disorder, then you’ll no doubt already know how manipulative they are. Indeed, these folks despise taking responsibility for their actions and will do whatever it takes to avoid taking the rap for them, including play the victim. That’s right, these master puppeteers won’t hold back on pulling the strings and changing the narrative so that it suits them. Plus, they know exactly how to turn the waterworks when they want to get people on side.



Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
    4:55
  4. Beautiful DayU2
    4:08
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:17
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:17
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

How to detect a narcissist

How to detect a narcissist

How to soothe an anxiety attack

How to soothe an anxiety attack