I once had a boyfriend who took whatever he wanted – he didn’t wait for others to be seated before he started eating; he ate however much food he wanted at a potluck without worrying if others had enough food; and he would constantly walk ahead of me wherever we went. Do you think he was narcissistic or just self-centered?
Today, I’m going to be answering the question that many of you have written in to ask me about: How can you tell the difference between being self-centered and being a narcissist? Some of you are asking for yourselves and others are asking about people in their life who they think could be a narcissist.
In this Real Love Revolution video, I cover:
- Four major qualities of both narcissists and self-centered people
- Where narcissists and self-centered people differ
- How empathy can mean the difference between a narcissist and a self-centered person
- Tips for how to be less self-centered
There are a few major qualities that both groups may have, the first one being a focus on the self. A narcissist will have an obsession with the self, but so will a self-centered person. The second quality is empathy – this is where the road splits in two different directions because someone who is self-centered still has the capability of showing empathy. Like the boyfriend I talked about at the beginning, when I pointed out that he just finished our shared plate of food without asking if I wanted any more, he was apologetic, he cared. There was a sense of remorse. If he had been a narcissist, not only would he not feel bad, he would be angry that I had criticized him. The lack of real empathy and the inability to care about how someone else feels is the mark of a narcissist.
If after watching the video and reading this blog, you are starting to feel like you may be a self-centered person, here are some tips to help you change that behavior.
The first thing is to become a better listener – if you notice that in conversations you usually look for a way to bring it back to yourself, this is something you can actually change. To be a good listener, you have to let go of everything that’s on your mind, just for that moment in time, to focus on what the other person is saying. Another tip is to put your needs last – if you’re used to dominating relationships with your needs, prioritizing the other person’s desires will create a more generous dynamic. Your internal experience will change if you put others before yourself because true reciprocity creates a feeling of satisfaction and deepens intimacy.
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Thanks for watching, reading, and sharing!
And as always, take care of YOU.