When does confidence turn to narcissism?

Narcissus, as painted by Caravaggio

Lately I have been feeling good about myself. You know? I’ve just been believing in myself, believing in my potential. Especially when it comes to my appearance. I’m like: “Okay, I may not be the most attractive person on earth, but hey, I believe I have a good personality so that goes a long way”.

But that got me thinking how easily misunderstandable that may be. I mean, how many times have we heard someone speak highly about themselves, which results to us thinking how cocky that person is?

And is it? Is it cocky to think good things about yourself? At what point does confidence turn into narcissism?

To answer this question, first, we have to give a definition to narcissism. Narcissism comes from a Greek name Narcissus who was a figure of ancient Greek mythology.

As quoted from Wikipedia:

“In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia who was known for his beauty. He was the son of the river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope. He was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis noticed this behavior and attracted Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection until he died. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one’s physical appearance and/or public perception.”


So, the way I see it, Narcissism is exactly that: finding so much greatness in yourself to the point where you lose your grasp with reality. Just like the Greek philosopher Socrates has said, everything is good in moderation.Which means that it’s good of course to think good things about yourself, but not to the point where you’re so wrapped up about yourself that you lose your humbleness.



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