Comments 1

  1. Sounds like a helpful approach, especially since the “narcissist” is recognized as an injured person, not an alien species. I’ve seen other Christian psych advice literature that is much less gracious and quick to label and scapegoat “selfish” people as “narcissists,” but it is so much more than that.

    The idea that some people are so especially disordered and diseased they deserve this kind of naming should give us pause if we think there’s anything to a concept like original sin or total depravity. These are not psychotics, and the category of “narcissism” (plus the common stereotype) is so murky and problematic it was almost removed from the last revision of the DSM.

    I’ve read other psychologists call “narcissism” a “love deficit,” which allows us to humanize, empathize with, and maybe love this hurt person rather than call them a name and engage them in conflict.

    We might also consider how we are nearly all narcissists in a narcissistic culture that has long confused love with power and status — you will only be love-worthy if you have (or are) what others want. Many sociologists and psychologists believe narcissism is the norm in American market culture focused on media, money, and image — selling yourself and consuming more for yourself. Perhaps “narcissism” is something we all are “infected” with and at points on the spectrum it becomes extreme, even pathological to the people around us if they notice and dislike what they’re experiencing. If.

    Where shame, blame, and rivalrous competition are normal features of one’s family, social, and/or work life, a love-deficit — a deep and unmet need for unconditional love is guaranteed. If it is lacking, one way to cope is to find a kind of acceptance inside the fold of other agreeable narcissists whose doctrines project blame on others outside, external forces of evil that allow us to split the world into black and white. This can be a powerful bond, a deep and intimate sense of shared culture and inclusion for those who are inside the fold of a moral and holy narcissism.

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