Narcissism: The Cure for Anxiety?

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Pleading something to be a ‘Cure for Anxiety’ may be a stretch for any person or approach to claim, however managing anxiety levels, on the other hand, is something that most people could benefit from.

For those people who don’t suffer anxiety to the level of needing medical or psychological help, the answer to managing anxiety can be found in further developing yourself in a more positive direction.

Narcissism may hold the answer. As a personality trait, narcissism is viewed as a negative and maladaptive attribute by most, which is partly why it is an integral part of the Dark Triad model.

Despite the stereotype of narcissism being wholly ‘bad’, there is certainly something be gained from developing some of the facets of narcissism, mainly a high self-worth, selfishness, acting more important, and using overconfident body-language.

What I believe is that if your anxiety comes from a deep-seated belief that you can’t manage, can’t do something right, or aren’t worthy of being able to do something, consciously adding in a sense of narcissism can actually help.

Take What’s Helpful, Discard What Isn’t

Firstly, you should get a good idea of what narcissism actually is. While some of what I rattled off above about the attributes of narcissism can easily be seen for its positives, there are genuine problems in narcissism you do not want to adopt.

You can find the basics of what makes a narcissist on sites like Psychology Today and the like.

For instance, narcissists tend to be extremely sensitive to both praise and criticism, letting the former overinflate their ego while letting the latter crush their spirits. You also don’t want to get into pushing people away by exhibiting simple ‘douchebag’ behaviour, such as constantly bragging about yourself and getting involved in one-upmanship with others.

Stick with the 4 aspects that were mentioned before. These are a high self-worth, selfishness, acting more important, and using overconfident body-language. Even some of these mentioned aspects sound problematic, and they can be. But the key here is to internalise the beliefs these aspects demand while remaining detached from them.

The key here is to internalise the beliefs these aspects demand while remaining detached from them. In essence, treat them as a tool you can wield when you want to, remembering that you can put the tool down when necessary.

Apply these 4 Narcissistic Facets to Your Thinking

The reason I think an extreme construct like Narcissism complements anxiety well is because it forces a completely different way of thinking that shocks the individual into feeling powerful and sure of themselves with time. If this develops healthily into an individual exuding confidence and being comfortable in who they are then the only negative is having to make sure that you aren’t swept up into actually fully believing that you are superior to everyone else.

In one line I would say that the overall goal with this approach is applying the extreme positives of narcissism to combat anxiety in an otherwise average individual. With that in mind, let’s go through the 4 narcissistic factors you should keep in mind every day to develop a more confident and complete you.

Develop a High Self-Worth

Every day remind yourself of how valuable and irreplaceable you are. Think of yourself being better than everyone else just by virtue of being you if that’s what it takes. It’s not about acting directly from this superiority belief, it’s about reaping the benefits – such as confidence and locus of control – of having this belief in mind.

Avoid going overboard with putting across your high self-worth verbally as others will begin to perceive you as shallow and arrogant. Instead, covertly assert your self-worth through bold actions and speech. It’s not always what you do or say, rather it is how you do or say it.

Embrace Selfishness

Selfishness is another negatively shaded term which we’re supposed to resist. Instead, accept that you are selfish and that everything you do comes from an inner want for whatever will ultimately benefit you.

Many people already do this, they just don’t realise, don’t accept, or don’t understand that selfishness is part of human nature. This doesn’t necessarily mean you become shrewd, cold, and begin not to help or treat anyone, just realise that you don’t do these things completely altruistically.

Act as if you are someone who deserves the good things they receive, demand more boldly from life.

Act More Important

People who don’t believe themselves to be worthy or deserving often don’t get what they want as easily, especially in regards to respect. Instead, act as if everything is what it is for you. You’re the prince or princess of your own life who deserves all these great things after all, act like it.

You’ll find that people are much more likely to forgive boldness over being passive in most scenarios. Even in your body language and the way you carry yourself, the mantra of ‘you don’t ask, you don’t get’ applies. Ask, or demand, that life treats you as someone important because you act as if it was truly reality.

Use Overconfident Body Language

I talked at length about this type of body language in my piece on Physical Dominance. Lounge around however you like, expose the chest and abdomen areas by not crossing the arms etc to signal that you don’t perceive any threats. Take big steps, keep hands out of pockets, chin up, straight gaze, all of these are ways in which a confident person carries themselves.

At first, this may be difficult, but with time it soon becomes a force of habit which makes you feel better, as well as making others perceive you more positively.

This ties in with acting more important, generally acting more bold and decisive gets praise and respect, being passive and seeming unsure of what to do or say makes you look weak and not in control.

Progress Slowly, Find a Personal Balance

By keeping these 4 narcissistic attributes in mind every day, and with every action, you can slowly begin to feel more comfortable in flaunting your own self-worth instead of succumbing to anxiety. It’s important to remember that when you reach this point you should reflect on who you are becoming and think about letting go of the narcissistic outlook while keeping all the positive aspects you have gained.

Prizing a narcissistic lifestyle to extremes can only lead to becoming one yourself, and nobody likes a narcissist except the narcissist themselves. Once again we say, take what is useful, discard the rest.

Follow Jamie Peutherer on Twitter (@Xnanga) and like the Facebook page for more updates. You can reach him via email directly at [email protected]