Self-care vs. Narcissism: The line of bitter truth
Updated: Oct 6
It was summertime.
Wandering in the woods, he felt thirsty and went to a pool. As he leaned upon the crystal clear water, he saw the definition of beauty.
A face so dreamy and majestic, he couldn't draw his eyes away. He could not leave for even a minute, for it seemed like his heart would stop.
Soon, he realized that his love will never be reciprocated as he had fallen in love with his own reflection.
He pined away in grief until hunger and starvation finally killed his physical form, and he turned into beautiful gold and white flowers, his namesake.
That's how the story of Narcissus ends.
In today's age, finding a crystal clear pond is pretty hard; but selfie cameras exist.
IT’S ALL ON CLOUD
Social media handles have become an extension of our personalities, a virtual image of how we present ourselves to the world. Someone posting about their good day, only adds to their positive vibe. A lot of the younger generation has been using social trends to escape their reality for a while, and feel good about themselves in hard times, and our human solidarity is proved even more when everyone praises them.
What is swept under the rug, though, is the people who now have the power to manipulate their social media into praising them and putting them up on a pedestal for no solid reason.
When you are managing an online persona only to get people to praise you repeatedly for nothing but genetic gifts, are you really doing it for fun or like Narcissus, staring into a lake of empty compliments?
GEN-Z AT BLAME?
Gen-Z. The youngest generation with a say in today's world.
The generation that doesn't seem to believe in religion, patriarchy and capitalism.
What we do stan, though, is self-care. Self-care has evolved to become not only a beauty habit but also one of mindfulness and well-being. It has provided a pathway to remove the stress one feels in their everyday life. Often, you see adults blaming the same Gen-Z for being too self-conscious and narcissistic.
In this wonderful article, the author analyses how ‘self-care’ culture is not truly taking care of oneself anymore but simply a flash, blinding the real mental health issues in the younger generations.
Nowadays, it feels like #self-care is merely a trend to show off some luxury self-care products. It is an interesting google search dive when you question how many companies are feeding off insecurities of people and subconsciously promote narcissistic behaviour.
THE GIANT THAT FEEDS OFF YOUR INSECURITY
When you think of self-care, you would naturally think of natural settings like a forest, some good sunlight and great music and definitely not some large harmful industry, which is exactly where most of the self-care products are made.
Masks, creams, balms, essences, candles, you name it and there’s a huge brand and industry making money out of it.
Not only the beauty industry but many ‘wellness influencers’ or ‘self-care influencers’ mooch off of your insecurities to satisfy theirs and create a vicious cycle of validation that needs to be filled.
“With the profit motive, the incentive is not on creating real change but creating the perception of real change.”
He really puts the self-help industry and its disadvantages from a different perspective.
SIGNS THAT YOU ARE A NARCISSIST
Amidst all the discussion, you might start questioning whether you are a narcissist. Before you spiral and question every single moment of your life, here are some signs that you might be a narcissist.
Medically, there are 9 official symptoms for Narcissistic Personality Disorder :
grandiose sense of self-importance
preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
The belief they’re special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
need for excessive admiration
sense of entitlement
inter-personally exploitative behavior
lack of empathy
envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them
demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes
At first, these symptoms might not seem very countable and you might feel like every person feels like this at some point in their life.
That is exactly why a medical diagnosis is recommended. The most common myth that medical professionals try to debunk is that narcissism is not the same as being self-absorbed or self-centered; it has deeper implications and problems in real life. This article explains how the signs of narcissism work and how to assess yourself without panicking or letting down your confidence.
Knowing that your self-care practices might push you more into feeling insecure and probably showing off narcissistic traits does not seem a valid reason to simply throw it all away and just take all the stress that you deal with.
Remember to walk the thin line between self-care and narcissism carefully.
Loving yourself will prove worthwhile when you remember to take care of others around you.
Unknowingly, your self-care habits might come off as rude or ignorant to people around you. Make sure to ditch your routine once in a while to make someone else's day better or participate in activities that make them feel better, not you every time.
MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE, NOT A TREND
With the network of companies, brands and influencers targeting you to get on a new trend every few months, chasing the self-care market can be exhausting for you and your wallet. The easiest way to not fall into this trap of marketing is to simply adopt your self-care practices into your lifestyle.
Along with those hydrating masks, make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. If you like incorporating plant-based products, try growing them in your garden and using them!
If yoga and Ayurveda fascinate you, there are tonnes of ancient exercises and recipes to guide you!
Find out ways in which you can make your self-care less about the routine and more about a mindset. And there is no better way to find out than introspect what you want!
Have a nice day!