It’s Narcissist Friday!
I just read a blog where the writer suggested that narcissism can be simply a healthy self-interest. He said that narcissism was important for us to act in our own interest and satisfy our own needs.
Coming from a Christian perspective, I believe that it is important to live and act with confidence. I believe that my confidence is in the Lord, of course, but it is fair to suggest that I transfer some of that confidence to me as I act in His wisdom and strength. Many believers are too quick to disparage their own actions and desires. They give no opportunity for the Lord to do good work through them. They see themselves as bad and see all that they do as influenced by that bad. We should not do that. The Lord has redeemed us and He leads us and great things can be accomplished through us.
But to suggest that this is narcissistic or that narcissism is healthy, seems to re-define the terms. Narcissism is not simple self-appreciation or natural self-interest. It is aberrant behavior that uses and abuses others to satisfy an addiction for self-preservation and self-aggrandizement. It is far more helpful to simply let the negative word stand for negative behavior.
What’s next? Will we be talking about healthy child abuse? Is the father’s desire to “toughen up the kids” a positive that could be healthy? Will we talk about healthy depression or healthy lying? To seek to soften the definitions is not helpful.
I believe that God loves the narcissist. I believe that the narcissist is an addict, enthralled by a fear that allows him or her to use or ignore the pain of others. I do not believe there is such a thing as healthy narcissism.