Narcissism is a socioevolutionary survival trait…for females.
Narcissism, in its modern incarnation, tends to be pathologized in our feel-good softy culture. The truth remains that narcissism as a psychological trait is normal, and when expressed as a healthy behavioral element, is a productive and motivating ingredient in a person’s character. Healthy narcissism is interchangeable with “self-esteem,” another catchy gimmicky term dribbled down from today’s cult of pop psychology.
Narcissism is socioevolutionary because it is a measure of self-concept having arisen during mankind’s evolutionary ascent and provides the impetus toward self-enrichment, thus progress and societal improvement. Whether this is “good” remains up for debate. Suffice to say that without narcissism, mankind would probably remain stagnant and happily enmeshed in its repetitive standard of life through the ages. Narcissism is the most cynical tool humans wield in their march of progress. Narcissism of the healthy variety still enables concern for others and their welfare, but ultimately narcissism is self-serving. Narcissism, despite its questionable nobility, is ultimately all about ME. Narcissism lays the groundwork for personal prosperity while incidentally helping others who are lucky enough to bask in your brilliance. Narcissism is only intended to make other’s lives better if your life is also made better, much better. Narcissism is cynical and rude as perceived in today’s civilized environment. It is only destructive in certain people whose personality development was developed amid askew stimuli and an unhealthy reward/punishment matrix,
I say narcissism is a female survival trait because in a primitive culture, which where mankind springs from in the greatest measures, a healthy level of physical and emotional self-interest was a necessary ingredient if the female was to exude an attractive image of fertility and youth. Doing so required self-involvement and a sense of vanity. A female’s sexual marketability in primitive eras was her pathway to survival. Such a sense of narcissism has become ingrained in the female temperament over the hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Women wear narcissism as natural as they wear child birth. Narcissism does not come naturally to the male because of his evolutionary ancestry. Narcissism is built upon rewarding a sense of cosmetic self-improvement aimed at garnering mating interest, and which is reciprocated. It didn’t benefit the male to foster such delicious thoughts about himself. He thrived on physical strength and agility and his ability to mate had nothing to do with his image for he took what he wanted. Females market desirability, males, at least those unrestrained by civilization, took what they wanted. Narcissism does nothing for a person who can overpower others into capturing what they desire. Narcissism is a tool of the flesh.
As we have progressed and become civilized and women are newly empowered in the mating realm, a man’s narcissism has become for him what the primitive female narcissism used to represent, but the male wears it badly. He has not had eons to develop the narcissistic persona. He has made narcissism an illness, a pollution of the ego. The female narcissism we witness is entirely natural. It is an extension of their evolutionary unfolded personality. It is their survival mechanism. A male’s narcissism is sickness. Unnatural. Modern society draws narcissism out of man. Man has developed culture and laws that prevent him from taking what he wants, thus allowing his narcissism to be reciprocated, and in essence he has created the climate that condones female narcissism and emasculates male narcissism.
Male narcissism is the source of great inner strife. Man reflexively feels he should have that which primitively he should have, but which he is prevented from easily attaining in our modern culture. A man must submit and belittle himself in order to attain that which his evolved psyche takes for granted. The disunion between that which a man is naturally entitled and a reality which excludes such entitlements leads to heart disease and other cardiovascular ailments.
I’ve personally experienced a similar disunion in my own life even though narcissism is the least of my faults. There is a certain situation in which I have a relatively healthy (and high) appraisal of myself, but the context is diseased and dysfunctional and absurdly flaunts the reality in my face that all my wonderful self-appraisal does not matter and is in fact unrewarded. This is the source of stress which I battle pretty well, but its presence is still annoyingly prevalent in my life.
Narcissism is only useful for those who get serviced but destructive for those have nothing to serve.