Self-Esteem is a Fragile Thing

A new study finds that the outward appearance of high self-esteem often hides a tragic lack of inner self-confidence.

According to – a site that offers online psychological assessments – some of the most narcissistic people we know are actually people with major self-esteem issues.

The company said it analyzed the results of more than 2,000 people it tested, and compared the self-esteem of narcissists and people who lacked narcissism traits. On the surface, both groups seemed to have healthy self-esteem – with a strong sense of self-worth and a low need for approval from others, among other healthy traits.

But a deeper look into the psychology of the narcissists found that many were simply projecting those traits, while masking a deep level of insecurity.

The researchers found that:

78% of narcissists believe that people who criticize them do so because they are jealous (compared to 6% of non-narcissists).

69% of narcissists will only listen to positive appraisals of themselves and ignore negative criticism (compared to 9% of non-narcissists).

47% of narcissists believe that partially failing at something is just as bad as a complete failure (compared to 5% of non-narcissists).

47% of narcissists feel insulted when someone rejects their ideas (compared to 5% of non-narcissists).

46% of narcissists consider it essential to be liked by everyone they meet (compared to 5% of non-narcissists).

44% of narcissists don’t like it when people point out their mistakes (compared to 9% of non-narcissists), and 45% feel degraded when that happens (compared to 4% of non-narcissists).

40% of narcissists believe that being successful is imperative; more important, even, than trying their best (compared to 5% of non-narcissists).

37% of narcissists are uncomfortable admitting their mistakes or admitting fault (compared to 3% of non-narcissists).

33% of narcissists believe that talking about their faults makes them vulnerable to insults and mockery from others (compared to 6% of non-narcissists).

PsychTests said that narcissists crave the admiration and approval of others, and are genuinely shocked when they don’t receive it. Criticism is greeted with outward cool by the narcissist – but this only masks inner turmoil.

In fact, narcissists’ true self-esteem is entirely dependent on how others are responding to them. When they don’t get the approval they crave, the narcissist’s self-esteem is shattered.

So, the people who seem to be completely full of themselves are actually quite fragile emotionally. Hopefully you’ve got a healthier ego than a narcissist. If you want to find out, take the Psychtest.

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