“Healthy” Narcissism

Have you heard the term “healthy narcissism”?  If not, it is a term coined to describe having a positive, healthy view of self, being assertive & also being good with self care.  It first was coined in the 1930’s & is still used today.

I truly mean no offence to the mental health professionals who created the term & those who use it, but that term doesn’t sit well with me.

Those of us who have been abused by narcissists naturally have an aversion to anything with the label “narcissism” attached to it.  We have stared evil in the face & survived what was meant to destroy us.  We learned that evil was known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  We know that the word “narcissism” has no good or healthy aspect to it.  Healthy narcissism often feels like an oxymoron to us, no matter what anyone says. 

It is also offensive to us, because the term healthy narcissism comes across as a very subtle downplaying of true narcissism.  In a way, the term puts healthy people on the same level as narcissists.  It makes narcissism sound not all that bad, like maybe narcissists are just a bit over the top with these normal, healthy behaviors that “healthy narcissists” use.

At the same time, the term can reinforce what narcissists tell their victims, that if they have any boundaries, self esteem or practice self care in any way, they’re selfish.  Having experienced the extreme selfishness of narcissists first hand, not one of their victims wants to be like them in any way.  This means victims will turn from anything that could be perceived as selfish, including healthy things like boundaries & self care.

For anyone reading this who feels this way about this term “healthy narcissism”, I hope you realize that although you may feel this way, please know that there is nothing wrong or bad about having good self esteem, boundaries & practicing self care.  Just because a narcissist told you these things were bad & prevented you from exercising such things doesn’t mean that person was right. 

Many narcissists also claim to be Christian & won’t hesitate to twist God’s word to justify their completely erroneous thinking.  These despicable people often destroy their victims’ faith or they make them believe God isn’t a loving father but instead a heartless dictator who wants victims to do nothing to take care of themselves.  For those of you who have been in this position, I want to let you know something.  1 Corinthians 6:19 in the Amplified Bible says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?”  Consider how you would treat a beautiful temple.  You certainly wouldn’t allow it treated any old way.  You would protect it & treat it well.  That is exactly how you should treat yourself.  Never forget, your body is a temple.  Treat it accordingly & not like an afterthought. 

Self care is NOT selfish or bad!  It is a good thing, & yes, even a Godly thing.  True self care isn’t narcissistic, so never let anyone convince you otherwise!


Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

9 responses to ““Healthy” Narcissism

  1. Yes! Thank you for this post. I agree wholeheartedly. I really, REALLY don’t like the ‘healthy narcissism’ term. And yes, healthy self care is good.

    You have a wonderful way of explaining things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cynthia, I would push back some to say “healthy narcissism” is still over the top. We should have self-confidence, but that is shy of this term, in my mind. To me self-confidence is also shy of arrogance. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You explain it very well! Thank you!
    I was just thinking about healthy narcissism these 2 days. This term never sits well with me. The other day I came across a video by Dr. Les Carter on YT & he also said there’s no such thing as “healthy narcissism”. I think he really gets it. Why use this term when we already have more validating terms like self-care, self-esteem, self-love, etcc.
    I also agree it’s an oxymoron & even invalidates victims’ sufferings when we have suffered so much from the evilness of narcissism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you!!

      I totally agree. So many terms say the same thing much better & are validating!

      Absolutely it’s an oxymoron & invalidating! *I totally agree with you! I can’t help but wonder if a narcissist created it to make people think they’re ok.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if a narc came up with the term “healthy narcissism”. One thing I observed when I was studying in graduate school is that many, even most of the professors are narcissistic. At that time I knew nothing about narcissism, but definitely knew some very egotistic, toxic professors. So if it’s someone from the ivory tower of academia that came up with this term, it’s a highly likely that someone is a narc. After all, this term sounds so convient to be used to gaslight victims.


  4. What you say makes so much sense. There are a lot of narcissists in the teaching field. They love “helping” type professions since they look good & often have control over others.

    I’ve never understood why so many people blindly idolize teachers. While there are some really wonderful ones, many are narcissists.

    Liked by 1 person

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