The 3 differences between narcissism and egocentricity

It is easy to confuse the concepts of narcissism and self-centeredness. These are two ideas that are widely used in the world of psychology and are related to each other because they have in common a reflection on one’s own identity, thoughts and motivations.

However, they are used to mean different things.

Differences between narcissists and egocentrics

Below, we’ll take a look at where self-centeredness and narcissism differ and how these concepts can be used to describe a personality type.

What is narcissism?

Narcissism is a psychological trait that in contemporary psychology is used to find out how close or close a person is to having a personality disorder known as narcissistic personality disorder. This means that while it could be said that someone shows a high level of narcissism in their behavior and way of thinking, the intensity of this trait should not become pathological.

And what is narcissistic personality disorder? Basically in a constant need to notice the admiration of others and in the lack of empathy. This gives narcissistic people a sense of greatness about their own positive abilities and qualities (which can also be described as megalomania) and ultimately megalomania.

The narcissist takes it for granted that he deserves special treatment, is frustrated when he notices that he is not getting the attention he deserves, and despises the achievements of others by interpreting it as a matter of luck. This is what often causes narcissistic people to try to make others feel bad about themselves, because in this way their delusions of greatness will be confirmed by the way others exhibit low self-esteem.

Outraged, narcissism appears mainly through learning, Especially from what happened during the first years of life. This implies that in many cases it can be corrected considerably.

What is egocentrism?

Self-centeredness, unlike narcissism, does not fall into a diagnostic category. It is rather, a concept used to denote a pattern in the way we think.

And what characterizes the egocentric way of thinking? Basically, the omission of points of view other than his own.

While narcissists, like most of the human population, can easily know from another person’s point of view (although the narcissist places little importance beyond self-usefulness having that information), where there is egocentrism thoughts that evoke what the other person knows, believes, or tries they appear less frequently or more superficially and imperfectly.

In other words, egocentricity it is further defined by ignorance of what is going on in the minds of others only out of contempt for the judgment of others.

Examples of egocentrism

If we want to see more clearly what distinguishes narcissism and egocentricity, we can take the way of thinking of boys and girls as an example.

Little ones don’t need to be narcissistic, but their thinking is egocentric because it is difficult for them to put themselves in other people’s shoes and imagine what they know or think.

For example, an ability known as theory of mind, which involves make assumptions about the kind of thoughts and information another person has, Does not appear to be well formed until about the age of four.

However, up to this point, a child should not show narcissism, that is, he does not need to receive praise or notice how others are situated on a lower hierarchical rung. What will happen, among other things, is that it will assume that everyone knows the information that we know. If a 3-year-old sees how someone arrives and hides a toy in a trunk, when another person arrives who was not present the previous one, he will take it for granted that the newcomer also knows that the toy is. hidden in the trunk.

The egocentric brain

Thus, egocentrism is not only about learned behaviors, but also about the degree of brain development. Younger people are egocentric because the neurons in his brain are not yet very interconnected with each other through areas of white matter, therefore, they find it difficult to think using relatively abstract ideas and therefore cannot “simulate” what is going on in someone else’s brain.

Narcissistic people, on the other hand, have mature brains with well-interconnected neurons and, where applicable, the hallmark is how they prioritize their ideas and motivations.

How to distinguish between the narcissist and the egotistical

So, in short, the differences between narcissism and self-centeredness are:

1. Self-centeredness affects virtually all boys and girls

From our first months of life, we are egocentric, for the simple fact that we have not developed the capacity to think in terms of “I” and “others”. With age, this ability improves, but reaches its maximum development, as it evolves alongside the ability to think in abstract terms.

2. Egocentrism has a more or less clear biological basis

Self-centeredness is caused by the somewhat reduced functionality of certain neural connections, which you can identify indirectly by observing the white matter that covers various areas of the brain. This does not mean that it is a developmental disorder or an illness; this may be due to learned behaviors fostered by an environment in which empathy or collaboration is not valued.

3. Narcissism has an instrumental component

Self-centered people don’t have to think that other people are worth less or that they have any kind of power over them, they just spend little time thinking about themselves. This is why boys and girls show self-centeredness despite the absence of bad faith.

In narcissism if you spend time thinking about others, but with manipulative and instrumental zeal. Others are seen as a way to build a self-image defined by greatness.

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