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!