There could be a thin line between self-esteem and narcissism. When one is not aware, the road to too much self-love and self-esteem could end up in narcissism.

There was one artist who was requested to make a small portrait of the grandfather of the family who was well loved—they could only afford a small one because they knew the artist was well-known and sought after. The artist, however, declined the project because the payment the family would make could not meet his demands. An up-and-coming artist heard the story and sought the family. He ended up doing a huge portrait with the details painstakingly put together with so much respect and love. The family was overjoyed and almost declined the portrait, saying they could not afford it. Or maybe they would get it but pay in installments. The amateur artist, however, insisted they have it and not pay for it. He said the painting reminded him of his own abuelo, who believed in his talents.

The family ended up gushing about the young artist in their social media accounts that it went viral. Until the big companies began reaching out to the artist. And then the artist’s career took off.

Recognizing one’s self vs. need for recognition

It is not wrong to accept your strengths. In fact, it is encouraged to showcase your talents and skills especially if they will benefit not just yourself but your surroundings, your community. Using your gifts for the benefit of the many will help boost your confidence. By doing your best in everything you do, people will recognize your excellence. Your work and your products will speak for you.

Narcissists will always demand recognition. They would make sure everyone would know they did what and that they should be acknowledged for it. They may or may not have the skills and talents, but because their requirement to be acknowledged first (and not let their jobs speak for themselves), they will come off as too demanding to others.

Deserving what you get vs. sense of entitlement

Aside from acknowledgments, rewards will come to you if you did something good. Accept them humbly and remember that you have the power to encourage others to become better versions of themselves as well.

Identifying flaws within one’s self vs. identifying flaws with others

Self-love begins with awareness of one’s self. If you are aware of your strengths, check also your weaknesses and how you can improve them. Some narcissists actually do know their weaknesses, but instead of acknowledging them and working on improving them, they would instead look for others who had flaws far worse than theirs. This would make them feel they are not the worst in the world.

Self-love is taking care of your own mental, physical, spiritual, financial health. There is no need to compete with others. There is also no need to compete with yourself. You are the foremost person that needs to be kind to yourself. 

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