Narcissism and high self-esteem are two hard things to differentiate between.
One is a form of gross selfishness, where one's talents are in constant need of adoration [Narcissism].
The other is a reflection upon one's self and how a person evaluates their own worth [high self-esteem].
If you've had trouble identifying the pair in the past, fear no more, as a handy bit of research has been able to pinpoint exactly what constitutes a narcissist.
As reported by Spring, psychologists have conducted research upon 540 undergraduate students and discovered that narcissists react aggressively to criticism.
This is largely because narcissists have an odd relationship with their ego and even the slightest criticism will provoke a negative response.
The authors of the study write
Narcissists mainly want to punish or defeat someone who has threatened their highly favourable views of themselves.
People who are preoccupied with validating a grandiose self-image apparently find criticism highly upsetting and lash out against the source of it.
Interestingly people with a high-self esteem were more receptive to criticism whilst narcissists saw it as a personal attack.
The study's first author, Professor Brad J. Bushman, added that the seeds of narcissism can be found at a young age.
If kids begin to develop unrealistically optimistic opinions of themselves and those beliefs are constantly rejected by others, their feelings of self-love could make these kids potentially dangerous to those around them.
If you are still unsure if you are in the present of a narcissist then Bushman simply advises you to ask them.
People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic.
People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact.
You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.