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Narcissism – attraction to personal appearance. Signs, treatment, reasons of narcissism

Narcissism – attraction to personal appearance. Signs, treatment, reasons of narcissism

Among various psychological dependences narcissism, or attraction to personal appearance, holds a specific place. Self-admiration, inflated self-concept and believe in perfect appearance of self are not just mental disability, but also a personal characteristic, which is extremely hard to get rid of. Of course, the desire to look nice and find an ideal image of self with the help of suitable hairstyle and the clothes – is not narcissism, but normal behavior. Psychological dependence takes place, when there is nothing better for a person, than his own reflection in the mirror; he admires himself and can’t stop doing it. Besides, he considers himself to be better, than the others and demands confirmation of that. His goal is to excite general admiration among the people around.

Reasons of narcissism  development

A lot of different factors can provoke development of narcissism, but the most frequently the reasons lie in one’s character and features, environment and life circumstances. Usually the major preconditions for such addiction appear in early childhood due to incorrect education. The psychologists reveal the following reasons, which make people become narcissists:

  • When parents try to realize their unfulfilled ambitions and fantasies with the help of a child. Thus the last one gets overloaded with studies and additional education in study groups; he is demanded to achieve the greatest results at school; the parents buy the most expensive clothes to him etc.
  • Constant praises in childhood, groundless overindulgence and lack of restraint, intention of parents to make their child the center of the universe.
  • Shyness in childhood, obsessive attempts to attract attention of the close ones.
  • Mass media influence on the consciousness at the adult age. It is a known fact that appearance plays a great role in the contemporary world, and the person, who is unsure in his personal and professional qualities, starts to improve his look, and finally gets obsessed with it. Although narcissism can be hardly ever formed by a self-sufficient personality: such influence is more typical for morally immature people.

Signs of narcissism

A human addicted to his appearance can be easily recognized by behavior and way of interacting: a narcissist looks down his nose at others, often talks arrogantly and by walking often turns out his toes. But the exact symptoms of narcissism are the following:

  • Desire to look deliberately better, than others in any situation;
  • Conviction in self-competence concerning any question and constant interrupting interlocutors while talking;
  • Tendency to depreciate achievements of other people for the sake of own ones;
  • Compulsive craving for praises for daily duties execution;
  • Waiting for often compliments from the environment;
  • Spending 1-2 hours behind the mirror every day;
  • Extremely negative reaction for any criticism, including useful criticism;
  • Often laughing at other people in fear of being laughed at instead;
  • Inadequate perception of reality, living in an invented world, where everybody admire the narcissist;
  • Extreme self-obsession and soliloquizing from the first person perspective mostly.

A narcissist finds it almost impossible to establish relations with other people. Consciously he humiliates everyone and to all that demands of people to praise him for any merits, even would be ones. Compliments and praises for a narcissist are like narcotics for a drug addict; he can’t live very long without approval, he feels uncomfortable, suffers from fears and subconscious complexes. Narcissism is dangerous also because it can lead to severe mental disorders by an unlucky train of events, up to deep depression and thoughts of suicide.

Narcissism treatment

Narcissism is very hard to treat, almost impossible, because it is not only the addiction, but a negative personality characteristic. Nevertheless it is possible to eliminate neuroses, typical for narcissism, and decrease the symptoms of dependence, if the addict himself is ready to realize his illness and undergo a course of treatment.

The narcissist is better to start the therapy by acknowledging the fact of his true shortcomings and would be advantages. The addict ought to understand - he is not better, than the majority of people, he is not so special, as he thinks. It is useful for him to write down positive and negative qualities of himself to different columns and analyze them.

The biggest fear of the narcissist is critics, and the best way to get rid of this fear is to face it. The next exercise really helps: a close friend or relative of the narcissist must remember his most negative qualities and shortcomings (including his appearance and style of the clothes) and be telling about them to the addict to face during 10 minutes. The task of the narcissist is to listen to him quietly and not to lose his control. At first this exercise may be very difficult to do, but if doing it on a regular basis, the patient will be much closer to reality and understand - there is nothing very prominent in his personality.

If the self-treatment doesn’t help, the regular visits to a psychologist or a psychotherapeutist will help to get rid of this addiction. The length of sessions is strictly individual – until the patient feels considerable improvement. In addition to treatment antidepressants and some psychoactive medicines can be also prescribed.

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