The famous Greek myth - where Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection - is a fitting origin for the term 'narcissism', right?
Scientific research suggests not.
You might imagine that a narcissist's love for their own reflection comes only second to the love they have for themselves.
But the reality is far more complicated than that.
Highly narcissistic men feel distress rather than delight when looking at a picture of themselves, new research suggests.
They struggle with facing a negative view of themselves, even if that negativity is on a subconscious level.
Researcher Emanuel Jauk told PsyPost:
Narcissism, in term of an inflated self-view, goes along with negative affect towards the self on an involuntary level.
This points to an ambiguity or conflict in the self-image of narcissistic people.
The problem is well known to therapists, for instance, but probably less so to the public.
Jauk hopes his study can help raise awareness that narcissists are not simply 'bad' people.
Narcissism is a topic of increasing interest to science and the public, probably because cultural changes in the past decades favor narcissistic behaviour.