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Kill The Doppelganger. 4 Myths About Narcissists - Self-development
Kill The Doppelganger. 4 Myths About Narcissists - Self-development

Video: Kill The Doppelganger. 4 Myths About Narcissists - Self-development

Video: Kill The Doppelganger. 4 Myths About Narcissists - Self-development
Video: Is Mark Zuckerberg Evil? 2023, March


Dmitry Olshanskiy - psychoanalyst, researcher at the Institute of Clinical Medicine and Social Work named after V. I. M. P. Konchalovsky and Institut des Hautes Etudes en Psychanalyse.

We often hear that we live in a narcissistic era, an era of egocentrism, narcissism, when each person is fixated only on his own “I”. Therefore, it became so difficult for people to understand each other, build relationships and accept other people. Is it so?


There are a number of misconceptions around narcissism, let's reflect on them.

The first misconception is that many people confuse the concepts of "narcissism" and "self-love", they believe that the narcissist loves himself. This is not the case.

Remember the Greek myth of Narcissus, who saw himself reflected in the lake and fell in love with him. This example already suggests that the narcissist does not love himself, but the image. The narcissist falls in love with an image, a reflection, which he mistaken for himself, and enjoys this ghost. Like the mythological hero, the modern narcissist is also in the illusion that the image he sees in the mirror is himself.

That is, the narcissist does not love himself, but an image that comes from outside and is outside his body. Taking care of your body among the Greeks was considered one of the most worthy occupations, but admiring the reflection, projection, copy of your body is a dangerous delusion. Let's not forget that Narcissus was punished by falling in love with the reflection for rejecting the love of one of the nymphs. That is, narcissism must be understood as a punishment: a person falls in love with the reflection on the other side of the mirror, but completely forgets about himself. Therefore, we can say that we do not live in an era of self-love, but in an era of admiring images, moreover, completely outsiders.

In my opinion, the myth of Narcissus lies precisely in the fact that he cannot love himself or another, but instead is tied to a fictional projection on the surface of the lake. The same conclusion will be true for our contemporaries: it is paradoxical that in such a narcissistic era people have completely forgotten how to take care of themselves and do not even pay attention to their desires. And the function of morality begins to be performed not by conscience, but by external institutions, prohibitions of fictitious traditional values.


The second delusion is a kind of narcissistic happiness: they say, a narcissist does not have conflicts with others, because in all those around him he meets himself. Therefore, it is easy for the narcissist to love his neighbor as himself - everywhere he sees his own image.

However, even if we assume that the narcissist recognizes himself in everyone around him, the conclusion suggests itself the exact opposite: we know how a person usually feels in relation to a double. Suffice it to recall Edgar Poe or Fyodor Dostoevsky. The doppelganger who lives the life of a hero and tries to take his place is perceived as a deadly type who must be killed immediately. If the narcissist saw himself in everyone around him and the world consisted for him of doubles who compete with him, it would be a living hell.

Conflicts just stem from the delusion that there is only "my" place and someone can take it. This also applies to personal conflicts, and social, and even political. For example, a jealous person endlessly imagines scenes in which someone takes his place. Or some community of people believes that another socio-ethnic group is trying to seize their ancestral territory or encroach on spiritual values. This is precisely the relationship of the twins that can be seen in any conflict.


Self-addiction is a widespread phenomenon today, when a person needs to constantly take pictures of himself, upload photos to the network and wait for approval. What mechanism pushes him to endlessly displaying his photos? It is as if a person is not sure that he is him and that his image belongs to him. Therefore, he needs to fix this image every minute, catch it and show it to others for recognition. What does a person expect from their friends on social networks when they post endless selfies? Confessions that he exists. That he is he.


Many believe that it is difficult for a narcissist to build relationships with others - to accept the differences between others and himself.

And this opinion is controversial. Narcissism is a condition of love; without narcissism, you cannot love another person. The reflection of oneself, the image of oneself - this is that avatar, that mask that enters the scene of sexual relations. If a person does not have an image, he cannot play in a love spectacle, he cannot be either a man or a woman. Look, for example, at autistic people who do not have an image of their own body, and it will immediately become clear why they cannot build relationships with others, not to mention the fact that they are completely excluded from the space of love relationships.

Sigmund Freud even describes a special type of love relationship characteristic of hysterics: “Such women love only themselves, and as much as a man loves them. They do not need to love, but to be loved, they like only those men who fulfill this condition."

Here is an example of how narcissism becomes the basis of falling in love: a woman does not love herself, but her reflection in the eyes of a man. Without a man, she simply ceases to exist. But the paradox is that she needs a man not at all as a partner for a relationship, but only as a reflective surface for meeting her image. “A good man is the one who can make a woman feel like a woman,” the hysterics are sure.

If it is not reflective, the narcissist runs the risk of falling into depression. There are examples of people experiencing severe melancholy when a relationship with a partner who acts as a mirror ended. There was no love, no affection, no shared feelings in this relationship, but it helped maintain the narcissist's identity between himself and the reflection. It is not surprising that the interruption of such a relationship leads to depression.


Narcissism is impossible without the attention of other people. And this thesis is perfectly illustrated by Ingmar Bergman's film "Persona", whose heroines collect their identity in relations with each other. One heroine is constantly silent, the other tells her all the time about her life, and in this dialogue both of them become completely new women.


Finally, there is another popular belief that the narcissist is doomed to be alone and will forever remain in his imaginary capsule of narcissism.

From all that has been said above, we can conclude that the narcissist is never alone, he is always in a very close, one might even say passionate, relationship with the image, with the image in the mirror.

Those who come to a psychologist with complaints of narcissism are not at all like introverted people. On the contrary, they actively seek recognition from others. “People around me do not see me the way I see myself, - this is what the narcissist complains about, - people do not notice my talents, and it painfully hurts my pride.” That is, the narcissist is in dire need of recognition from other people, he needs attention.

So a rather obvious conclusion arises - any personality, any narcissism is formed in a relationship with someone else. And no autonomous and independent person who would make himself can exist.

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