Difference Between Self Love and Narcissism

Although some phrases have identical meanings, they are utilized in different ways depending on the situation. We frequently mix up those words and consider them synonyms, resulting in incorrect usage when speaking or writing.


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Self-love and narcissism are two English words that have a similar meaning. However, both are used differently depending on the situation and circumstance.

Self Love vs Narcissism

The difference between self-love and narcissism is that self-love is a word used positively. However, narcissism is frequently used to indicate the negative characteristics of someone. Furthermore, self-love is a feeling of admiring oneself as well as others. Narcissism means prioritizing ourselves only by neglecting others’ (loved ones or general people) feelings.

Self Love vs Narcissism

Self Love means valuing our emotions, positions, happiness, rights while caring for our loved ones. In simple words, it is love for ourselves.

It is the pure state of the selfless mindset, in which we believe that everyone, including ourselves, should be happy. It also promotes a healthy mental state when people find inner peace.

Narcissism also means self-love but in a selfish sense. It is a state when people are so self-centered that they do not value anybody except for themselves.

It is a negative persona and can harm ourselves along with our loved ones. Moreover, this characteristic is against the good mental health of everybody.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSelf LoveNarcissism
Origin of WordSelf Love is an ancient Greek word.Narcissism is a Roman word.
Invented inThe word self-love was invented in the 3rd-4th century.The word narcissism was invented in the 8th AD.
Type of WordSelf Love is an optimistic word.Narcissism is a negative phrase.
Preception People who self-love perceive everybody as crucial.Narcissistic people perceive themselves vital than others.
Competition / EqualityPeople who self-love consider everybody equal.Narcissistic people believe in competition.

What is Self Love?

Self Love is a combination of two words, a self which means ourselves, and love which means admiring. In short, it means adorning ourselves. It is not a new concept, as it appeared in ancient Greece.

In English, this word has been around since the sixteenth century. Moreover, it is mentioned by many Latin writers in their novels. It is a selfless statement that promotes positive mental health.

It encourages us to love and admire ourselves while encouraging others to do the same.

Different religions consider the term, self as a negative word but, when it is coupled with love, it turns out to be an optimistic approach and personality trait to respect others.

Psychologists also prescribe the self-love strategy to persons who are depressed. Many people and organizations promote self-love. In 1950, a well-known movement (Beat Generation) focused on loving and valuing ourselves.

The main aim of the self-love technique is to avoid comparing ourselves with somebody. Avoid feeling inferior and, in short, diminish the concept of inferior-superior. It also means perceiving everybody as equal to us.

Self-love entails self-acceptance accompanied by introspection (counting your flaws) and walking on a road that will help us become better people. It is even considered a sixth form of love.

The social media platform is an excellent stage for promoting self-love and turning society into a win-win society(where all are happy and equal).

What is Narcissism?

Narcissism is also an old term derived from the mythical Roman story in the eight AD. Since then, it is referred to as a negative term that means a self-centered person who does not prioritize anybody except themselves.

Narcissists love everything about themselves, including their beauty, talent, techniques. Moreover, some narcissists admire themselves sexually too. So, narcissism is considered a mental disorder.

These types of people believe in competing rather than equality.

Narcissists people are so self-absorbed that they think all are inferior to them. They feel that they are flawless by living in the misconceptions. They never feel pleasure and satisfied with their achievements.

Sometimes, if they fail in achieving their goal, they tend to play blame games with others. Due to their superiority complex, such people are aloof and lonely, and it is difficult for them to make friends.

They become toxic for others because they treat themselves the special and everybody else as ordinary. Moreover, they have been filled with negative feelings (jealousy) and excel in manipulating people and showing fake concern.

A person may develop narcissism for a variety of causes, including: (trauma, poor company, upbringing).

Narcissism personality disorder (NPD) could be addressed by getting medical help (counseling and therapy), earning the trust of the narcissist, and showing them how harmful they can be to their loved ones.

Main Differences Between Self Love and Narcissism

  1. Self Love means to adore everybody around, including ourselves. On the other hand, narcissism means only to adore ourselves.
  2. Self Love is a positive trait. However, narcissism is a negative trait.
  3. Self Love is considering everybody equal. On the contrary, narcissism places great emphasis on competing.
  4. Self Love is an ancient Greek word that emphasizes self-awareness and self-esteem. On the other hand, narcissism is a Roman word that emphasizes mental disorder.
  5. Self Love is a step towards a happy and peaceful world. However, narcissism is a step towards loneliness and an unpeaceful mind.
  6. Self Love is a quality, whereas narcissism is inferiority.
Difference Between Self Love and Narcissism


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167202286007
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Rau68YbcoDEC&oi=fnd&pg=PA8&dq=self+love+and+narcissism&ots=MnMnx5ADE7&sig=FbSmTlu6VobkNM99CjH5twIeVF0
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