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The Differences Between Being Self-Centered And A Narcissist
Focus on Self
Self-centered people tend to put their needs and wants first, but they might not actively strive to elevate themselves over others, so this isn’t all that harmful.
Narcissists have an exaggerated feeling of self-importance and take advantage of others, because they feel superior and “entitled to special treatment,” says Psych Central.
Emily Simonian, LMFT, tells Insider, "Self-centered people usually lack empathy, maybe not entirely, but at least enough that they struggle to put themselves in others' shoes."
Narcissists are known to lack empathy, but it's not that narcissists are fully incapable of empathy — they just don’t care about seeing things from another perspective.
Despite putting their needs first, self-centered people can still show compassion for those around them and develop meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
A narcissistic person sees people as resources to satisfy their needs and desires, and their relationships will be hollow and devoid of sincerity.
Self-centered people might feel good about themselves and be aware of their triumphs and strengths, but they can be conscious of their flaws and limitations.
Personality and Individual Differences says narcissists have “high self-esteem, [...] personal superiority and entitlement, [and] overconfidence,” often to cover up insecurity.
When it comes to criticism, self-centered people might become defensive or dismissive, and they will likely have difficulty taking any critique.
Narcissists see criticism as a threat and may lash out in anger or disdain, insult the person who attacked them, and even turn the tables by blaming others.