8 Traits of Healthy Narcissim. Yes, There is Such a Thing

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Every human being craves approval. Approval makes us feel loved, valuable, unique, important, powerful, successful and significant. In fact, we like approval so much that most of us do all we can to avoid criticism and subsequent feelings of inferiority. The drive to avoid feeling inferior is natural and 100% healthy. It protects us from failures, painful disappointments and is essential for our overall psychological health. The impulse to boost our self-confidence is such a powerful motivating force that it drives us to want to continually better ourselves.

1. Self-aware.

People with healthy narcissism have a quiet, comfortable confidence. They are aware of their strengths and shortcomings, viewing both as essential to their wholeness. They know they are not perfect, and have no expectations or intentions of being so. People with healthy egos view themselves as learners who are constantly growing, and are not at all seduced into trying to be better than others. Because of their high levels self-awareness, they set realistic expectations comparative to their abilities. They are fully aware of their “separateness” from others, and have faith in their own set of beliefs and ideals to live by.

2. Collaborative.

People with a mature sense of self-confidence use this to direct their actions when getting their needs met, without having to push others down in the process. People with healthy egos have a conscious and balanced perception around the idea of reciprocity; allowing them to build and enter into mutually satisfying relationships. They do not lose themselves into the needs, opinions or pressures of others. They maintain their sense of Self and see no benefit in “one-up-manship” or “one-down-manship” when comparing themselves to others.

3. Earns approval.

Those with mature narcissism do not operate from a sense of entitlement. They know to live satisfying and enriching lives, they must work for it. If there is a failure, a person with healthy narcissism will trust that the failure or disappointment had less to do with their ability, genius or talent and more to do with needing to work harder. They are not resentful of hard work, and if anything, are inspired when they do not measure up. Not measuring up motivates them to dig deep and to prove themselves beyond a shadow of a doubt.

4. Flexible.

Those with healthy narcissism are flexible, and see little value in being rigid or controlling when it comes to love, life or success. They possess the maturity to accept that unexpected changes occur in life nearly every single day. Because they accept and expect this, they are better able to predict and roll with changes as they occur. Being able to flex with shifting circumstances makes these types excellent lovers, communicators and problems solvers. Their overall goal is to to be involved in mutually beneficial experiences that are based in sharing and caring.

5. Firm.

Although those with healthy narcissism are flexible, they also know when not to bend. Being flexible does not equate to pleasing, giving in, or getting taken advantage of. These types see no path to their happiness or satisfaction if they are unable to say No when they need to say No. This knowledge is what makes others develop a deep respect for them. People with a healthy sense of confidence do not tolerate bullies, users, discourteous treatment or manipulative intentions. Their bottom line cannot be pushed, which places others in a position to raise their own levels of integrity if they want to get anything accomplished with them.

6. Respectful.

Those with healthy narcissism hold the concept of “respect” as the highest form of treatment. They respect opinions and ideals which vary greatly from their own, and which they may not even support. People with healthy egos do not approach relationships in a black and white, right or wrong fashion. There are always grey areas when it comes to agreement, and those with healthy narcissism can stand firm in their opinions without being disrespectful of another’s.

7. Unselfish.

People with a healthy sense of narcissism are unselfish. They understand that selfishness and being a team player cannot co-exist. They enjoy being part of a community. They value the needs of the whole, as much as their own individual desires. They prefer to contribute to the whole, rather than to take, and would never dare ride on the coatails of another’s efforts. A person with a mature ego views it as part of their role to support others, and are happy to take the backseat if necessary.

8. Emotionally intelligent.

Those with a healthy sense of narcissism know better than to vent and poison the community around them with their own frustrations. They know who they are, and what triggers their more exasperating, negative states of mind. When feeling frustrated, they are able to regulate their emotional state by saying very little or saying nothing at all. They take time to think before they speak. This ability to remain mindful allows them to find clarity, so at the time that they do choose to speak, they come from a place of intelligence and grace.

Not all narcissism is negative, envious, superior or undercutting. It comes down to a balance. Too little narcissism can be just as pathological as too much. Too little narcissism leads to a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Without confidence and solid sense of who we are, we become too fearful to fully live. Too much narcissism puts us at risk of having inflated egos, and putting ourselves in danger where we may compromise our sense of community and connection in order to make ourselves stand out. However, when we are balanced we can use our healthy ego and self-confidence to bring peace to the people and places we touch.