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What is Vulnerable Narcissism

Jumat, 15 Apr 2022 16:00 WIB
What is Vulnerable Narcissism
Jakarta -

The term narcissism refers to a character in Greek mythology named Narcissus. He is described as a very handsome young man and was loved by many people but often rejected the love he received, including the love from a fairy named Echo. Echo--who found her love rejected by Narcissus-cursed him to be doomed by unrequited love. Narcissus was also known to fall in love with his own reflection and become very dependent on his shadow. By this mythology, the term narcissism is used in psychology to describe people who are arrogant, grandiose, thirsty for validation, and egocentric as they only focus on themselves to the extent they find it difficult to empathize with others. Narcissism does exist in varying degrees in every individual, but it also could lead to some trouble if it has become a personality disorder.

Thinking of the word narcissism always brings us to an idea of someone who struts like a peacock and is thick-skinned. But not all narcissists are grandiose for they are possessing such thin-skinned traits yet are more vulnerable. These traits of narcissism can be expressed in obvious or more subtle ways. This kind of narcissism is psychologically described as vulnerable narcissism. Thus, what does vulnerable narcissism actually mean?

Vulnerable narcissism is broadly defined as a condition when someone is more introverted and their actions often lead people to believe that they struggle with mental health concerns. This makes them hypersensitive to rejection, negative affectivity, and tend to have social isolation. Like people in general who have a narcissistic tendency, they tend to deflect and blame others. According to Psychologytoday, vulnerable narcissism is far more subtle and harder to recognize, yet this type of narcissism tendency is the most common among younger generations, namely millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha.

In addition, vulnerable narcissists often abandon and withdraw themselves from social circles for people to accept them. Due to the high emotional volatility, vulnerable narcissism condition can display hostility and has a tendency to blame others in every situation. Regardless of how hard it is to spot due to its subtle way, there are some highly distinctive patterns of thought and behavior associated with this condition. Quoted from The Awareness Centre, here are some indications of vulnerable narcissism.

  • Hypersensitive and easily hurt.
  • More introverted than grandiose narcissists.
  • Difficult to deal with any failure or trauma.
  • More neurotic, worry, and fret over how they are perceived.
  • Can turn on themselves when hurt or disappointed
  • Ashamed when rejected - and will try to agree with the person who has rejected them as a way to reduce these feelings of shame.
  • Easily feel depressed, empty, and useless.
  • May withdraw from social situations if they feel they don't match up with others.
  • Afraid of being let down and ashamed of needing others.
  • May have rage-filled outbursts when their demands for recognition are not met.
  • Have a tendency to blame others.
  • May feel envy for what they believe should be theirs.

The causes of both narcissism and vulnerable narcissism are still in the process of discovery but studies have found that childhood trauma, abuse, sexual exploitation, and genetics are the main concern that may play a big role in developing any type of narcissism. To treat this condition, seeking therapy is definitely the first main suggestion to take but due to the low self-awareness, this could be a very challenging step as they are typically more introverted.

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