The Truth About Egomaniacs

He Likes Himself a Little Too Much

Gaston in Beauty and the Beast

Society sends a lot of mixed messages regarding how much you should love yourself. On the one hand, people are encouraged to have more self-confidence, yet at the same time they’re told they shouldn't like themselves too much. What a tight rope to walk. It’s important for you to understand the dynamics of these mixed messages so you will have no hesitation regarding developing a deeper adoration for yourself.

Synonyms for Self-Esteem: Conceit, confidence, dignity, egotism, narcissism, self-assurance, self-content, self-regard, self-respect, self-satisfaction, vanity, worth

You understand the meaning and value of words like confidence, dignity, self-respect, and worth. All great stuff. But look at the definitions for the other words.

Conceit - an excessively favorable opinion of one's own ability, importance
Egotism - excessive and objectionable reference to oneself
Narcissism - inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love
Vanity - excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements

Notice a theme here? Excessive means going beyond proper limits. Love is generally considered a good thing, so who decides when love has gone beyond its proper limit? Can you really love yourself too much?

Where The Confusion Lies

This notion of “too much love” is born out of a lack of understand about how people with genuine self-esteem behave. The “excessive love” portion of the equation is referring to the folks who constantly brag about themselves and their accomplishments. They love name-dropping, play one-upmanship games, and can’t admit when they are wrong.

egomaniacTheir sense of self-worth is based on outer manifestations of power, money, and status. They seem to go out of their way to tell you how important they are, even when it’s not relevant to the current conversation and rarely laugh at themselves. You have met them. They’re not much fun to be around. But do their actions really reflect an excess amount of genuine love for themselves?

People who behave like this are actually working very hard to cover up their self-doubt, insecurity and fears. It’s a demonstration of LOW self-esteem, not high. The lower their self-image, the greater the show has to be to convince others (as well as themselves) of their own importance.

People who truly care for themselves feel no need to make sure others know how significant they are. They’re neither self-degrading nor constantly regale tales of how bodacious they are. What would be the point? They already believe themselves worthy. There’s no need to convince others of it. If you get this, the next time you meet one, you will feel more compassion for them than irritation.

Go ahead; delight in what makes you, you. Put as much time, energy, and passion into celebrating who you are as you have been using to feel bad about yourself. Acknowledge your talents and achievements, big and small. (I finished the dishes! Yes!) Feel proud of yourself. Switch the self condemnation to actively looking for and finding all the ways you are wonderful. The results will be more self confidence, empowerment, and surprisingly, you’ll be much more loving towards others. It’s a win-win.

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Having a low opinion of yourself is not 'modesty'. It's self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not 'egotism'. It's a necessary precondition to happiness and success.

- Bobbe Sommer

Everybody says it is good to meditate, and so you feel bad if you don’t do so. The challenge of loving the self is to step aside from everything you are told, and ask, “Does this fit me? Does this bring me joy? Do I feel good when I do it?” It is ultimately your own experience that counts.

- Orin