Narcissism ― Chasing Emotional Security
As I view human expressions of behavior more and more through the looking glass of the Principle of Continuity, which defines our intrinsic and singular emotional drive to achieve our sense of wellbeing, what we describe as narcissism becomes less of a mystery.
If the Principle of Continuity holds fast ― as I posit it does ― then this behavior is simply another expression of emotional distress. It portrays a person expressing a brainbody state of insecurity. His or her sense of wellbeing is out of balance. Their brainbody is undergoing biological changes which translate to unconscious/conscious perceptions of change and loss of emotional equilibrium.
What is narcissism? According to an overview from the DMS-5 Manual,1 it states the following:
Persons with NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) usually display some or all of the following symptoms, typically without the commensurate qualities or accomplishments:
- Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from other people
- Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
- Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions
- Needing continual admiration from others
- Sense of entitlementto special treatment and to obedience from others
- Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain
- Unwilling to empathize with the feelings, wishes, and needs of other people
- Intensely envious of others, and the belief that others are equally envious of them
- Pompous and arrogant demeanor
As with most literature of human behavior, here, again, we have a multitude of descriptions of behavior, but no intrinsic definition of what these descriptors are or what the behaviors represent. For example, what does expressing grandiosity mean, and why is it exhibited? What is the need for admiration, and what is the behavior of demanding it?
To address these questions, we must ask ourselves, “What is the purpose of or what does the behavior of narcissism aim to accomplish?” Narcissism is an excellent example of the ongoing Principle of Replenishment. The brainbody seeks to replenish or enhance its emotional paradigm ― its state of wellbeing.
If we accept that our behavior is a composite of biology and physiological processes whose sole purpose is to achieve and maintain our sense of wellbeing, then the questions of underlying causes and drivers of narcissism become apparent. Expressing visions of grandiosity, fixations on fantasies of power and success, self-perceptions of being unique, superior, excessively intelligent, physically attractive, etc., all represent seeking and replenishing qualities or beliefs of ourselves which we were told we have, or acquiring these characteristics we feel we lack through constant requesting they be bestowed upon us, acknowledged and reconfirmed.
If we are envious, we perceive we are lacking positive qualities, and will attempt to acquire them; If we believe that others are envious of us, we perceive ourselves to be great. Either way, behavior is expressed to gain, preserve, or replenish our sense of wellbeing. A state of wellbeing can be equated to concepts of physical/emotional security, stability, empowerment, capability, happiness, anger, un-satisfaction, purpose of life, etc. — any brainbody state which composes "Me."
We are all narcissistic. It is only a matter of degree. We all seek admiration. We all have fantasies of power and control. We all desire success and intelligence. All of us long for special treatment. We are all exploitative. Narcissism is a natural behavior. It is our pursuit of wellbeing, driven by a need to feel secure. Extreme narcissists are the most insecure of us. Narcissism represents our inherent need for physical and emotional continuity.
1 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a guidebook widely used by mental health professionals in the diagnosis of many mental health conditions, especially in the United States. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association. The most widely consulted counterpart of the DSM, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), covers mental health disorders along with a vast number of other health conditions. The ICD is the primary diagnostic tool for mental health professionals in many countries outside the U.S.
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