Do Narcissists Really Love Themselves Too Much?

Updated on November 18, 2017
SinDelle profile image

The Little Shaman is a spiritual coach and specialist in cluster B personality disorders.

A common misconception regarding narcissists is their feelings about themselves. People often say, "No, no, they don't hate themselves! They love themselves! That's what narcissism is!" Not exactly. Narcissists are pathologically focused on themselves and their own needs, this is definitely true. But this does not translate into love. It's need. That's all they have and all they understand. This is hard for other people to understand because their internal experiences are more evolved and sophisticated than that. The narcissist's internal experiences are not evolved and sophisticated. They are primitive and immature. It's like a child, a really young one. "I want. I need." You don't take breaths because you love yourself. You take breaths because you have to in order to stay alive. It's just a reaction caused by your need for air. The narcissist works this same way.

Now, you might say, "A lot of the things they freak out over are not needs like air or food. Air and food are important." And that's true. This is where the self-hatred comes in. It's all subconscious.

The narcissist hates themselves so much that they don't believe they deserve anything, not even to live, in some cases. As a way to try and counter the horrible feelings that come with this belief, they have created an opposite belief in themselves, and this one says that they deserve everything. And the word "created" is used to describe how this this second opposing belief came about because it is not a true belief. It's just a smokescreen, a fake. It's a defense mechanism against the seriously toxic self-hatred these people are drowning in all the time.

The idea that they deserve everything is fake and therefore, very fragile. When they do not get any one of the things in the category of "EVERYTHING," it destroys that very frail fiction and reiterates the idea that they deserve nothing. Because this idea that they should have literally everything is ludicrous, unrealistic and unreasonable, they are confronted with the truth of their self-hatred over and over again, every time they cannot have something. These feelings overwhelm them and because they have such poorly-formed and immature defense systems against things like that, they simply melt down. They cannot do anything else. Their entire being is focused on pretending those things, those feelings, are not true.

It's like a toddler having a tantrum over spilled milk. The child cries because they do not understand that there is more milk, it can be cleaned up, it's not that big of a deal, etc.. In other words, they cry because their understanding of the world is very immature and so are their emotions. They have no control over their emotions or their behavior. The only difference is that the toddler does not feel self-hatred. They are simply responding to emotion and need. The milk got spilled and they wanted it. Now they feel bad and sad and will scream and cry. Most children will grow out of this behavior as they learn to control their emotions and as their understanding of the world increases. This does not happen for the narcissist.

Narcissists are attacked 24 hours a day by a sadistic, vicious superego that assaults them with cruelty, lies and insults nonstop. Think of the kind of things they say to you. They are hearing that and worse in their heads constantly. Many people seem to be happy to learn that, and while it's understandable to hate the narcissist, if the narcissist hadn't heard that voice 24 hours a day for their entire lives, they probably wouldn't act the way they do. That's the voice they're listening to instead of you when you try to explain that they're wrong about how you feel, what you did and what you said. That's the voice that tells them you hated them since the day you met them, that you're evil and that you're trying to control, manipulate and destroy them. Every single thing they do is a defense mechanism against that voice and the overwhelming feelings it creates. Being happy it exists seems a little counterproductive. Just food for thought.

At any rate, the grandiose expectations, the hysterical tantrums, the complete self-focus and every single maladaptive behavior we observe in the narcissist is the result of trying to deny the self-hatred that little voice provokes.

The superego's voice says, "You're garbage. You're trash."
The narcissist responds with: "I'm not garbage. I'm extremely valuable & matter a lot."

The superego's voice says, "Nobody cares about you. You're worthless."
The narcissist responds with: "I am the most important thing."

The superego's voice says, "You deserve nothing. You're scum."
The narcissist responds with: "I deserve everything. I'm the best thing there is."

The superego's voice says, "You're stupid. You're dumb."
The narcissist responds with: "I'm highly intelligent. Other people are stupid."

The superego's voice says, "No one wants you."
The narcissist responds with: "Everyone wants me. Look at all these people I have slept with."

And on and on that way. If you look at the narcissist's behavior with this understanding, it all falls into place. But even if someone doesn't understand any of this psychological mumbo-jumbo, there is no way to look at a narcissist's behavior and conclude that this is a person with balanced self-esteem who cares for themselves at all. People who love themselves do not behave the way that narcissists behave. It just doesn't happen. People who love themselves don't sabotage their own efforts on a regular basis. They don't cause horrible problems in their own lives for no reason, destroy good relationships, tank great jobs, turn loved ones against them, alienate their children, overmedicate themselves on drugs and alcohol, embarrass themselves repeatedly... people who love themselves don't do these things. These things happen because the narcissist is so poisoned with self-hatred. They spend their entire lives trying to pretend this is not true and hide from these feelings because they can't handle them, but the facade is so thin that as soon as any little thing happen that contradicts it, the whole thing falls apart.

People often ask, "Who are they trying to kid?" And the question is facetious of course, but the answer is dead serious. They are trying to fool themselves. People often think the narcissist is trying to fool them, but they aren't. Not really. They are trying to fool themselves. It has nothing to do with anyone else. Even at the height of their abusive behavior, even with smear campaigns and gaslighting and everything else, the motive has nothing to do with you or anyone else. It's about getting some relief from that toxic, smothering self-hatred.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • cheaptrick profile image


        17 months ago from the bridge of sighs

        Please forgive my unspecific recollections but In an earlier piece you said there is no fix for npd because the personality failed to develop.A bit latter you advocated staying away from the npd bound person...both points I,and many others I'm sure,agree with completely.

        I've never read a piece on what we as a society should do with narcissists (please direct me if you have) and ignoring them seems rather what do we do with these people?Your opinion carries considerable authority.

        Thank you for this series


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)