What are different severities of narcissism?

I know I have an ego that I keep in check, but my pride has recently caused me to handle intense situations poorly because I assumed I was the only one who was correct. I didn’t trust someone who I love and I actively didn’t listen when they told me what they needed because I was scared. I also have a very large self preservation instinct. I will think of myself before almost anyone else, to the detriment to those around me, yet I still believe I’m a kind and caring person.
Asked by Alittleblue

Hi alittleblue,

I'm glad you are taking the initiative to try to understand yourself better. First off a true narcissist does not really care that they are a narcissist. As a matter of fact, they generally would never think there was anything wrong with them. There are different types of narcissism but all have the common thread that there is manipulation present. What stands out to me is you stating that you felt scared in the relationship that you mentioned. I would urge you to dig deeper to find out what was the basis of that fear? Were you afraid you would be hurt? Or afraid you would be wrong? Or something else altogether? 

People can certainly have some traits of narcissism without being diagnosed with a disorder. We all have varying levels of extraversion, agreeableness, consciousness, etc. The fact that you care enough to ask and that you have an awareness that you feel you need to keep your ego in check is a really hopeful thing because you can absolutely have successful and thriving relationships if that is what you are seeking. One can have a large self preservation instinct but still care about those around them. I would be curious to learn more about your past and your experiences to truly discover what has lead to this level of pride you feel that you have.

You mentioned handling intense situations poorly because you assumed you were correct. Do you feel like you factored in the feelings of the other person or people or were only concerned with being right and having things go your way? It seems like you care how this is affecting a particular relationship in your life and if you are able, you could discuss this with that person and hold yourself accountable for your actions at the same time.  This is true of any situation within a relationship. Have things always felt this way within your relationships or was there a time where your relationships played out differently? These are all questions to ask yourself and to potentially process through with a professional therapist. From your question it sounds like you may feel there is an issue with how much you put yourself above others, or perhaps you are just trying to get to the root of the issue. Either way, people can lead successful lives even when struggling with tendencies of narcissism. I encourage you to work through these things with a therapist on the platform or elsewhere in order to assist you with understanding your own values and how you can live a life that aligns with those values. 


Best of luck to you.