Self-Absorbed or Narcissistic?

Is being self-absorbed the same as being narcissistic? Sometimes, but not always. Looking at the dictionary definitions… Self-absoribed is “absorbed in one’s own thoughts, activities, or interests” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-absorbed

Narcissistic

Having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.
https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/narcissistic

They sound pretty similar, although narcissism is also described as a personality disorder.

Being self-absorbed

Could be a pre-cursor to narcissism, or it could be a self-protection check. What do I mean by the latter? I mean that if you have one of the many chronic, or life-limiting diseases it is necessary for you to monitor what is going on inside your body. Are you well enough to…

  • Go out to the shops
  • Go to the cinema
  • Go for lunch with a friend
  • Have a friend, or friends, to your home for a visit.
  • Do some chores?

Being Narcissistic

Self-Absorbed or self love

From the Mayo Clinic…
“Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662

Self-Absorbed monitoring

I have many friends and acquaintances with life-limiting conditions that I am glad I do not have. However, I can ‘speak to’ having to monitor my breathing.

I can go nowhere without an oxygen delivery device. In my home, it is an oxygen concentrator. Then when I go out it is a transportable version, or an oxygen cylinder. Given the amount of oxygen I now need per minute, the oxygen cylinder allows me to be ‘out’ longer. This is necessary for hospital appointments, but has the drawback of being impossible for me to manage alone.

So, what do I need to monitor?

  • Is my oxygen saturation dropping when I walk from room to room? (If so, going out might be foolish.)
  • Am I well enough to drive? (Which includes loading the Transportable Oxygen Concentrator into the car?)
  • Will there be a lot of ‘fragrance’ where I am going? (This is not always possible to figure out.) Same with ‘Will there be smokers where I am going?’
  • How long will I be there? (Needed in order to estimate how much oxygen, or how many batteries I will need.)
  • If traveling by taxi/transport, will it be full of fragrance? (Most people with lung disease find it difficult to breathe where there is strong fragrance.)
self-absorbed needing a system check

“Chemicals used to add scents to products can cause serious health problems for some people, especially for people with lung diseases such as asthma or COPD . Being near a scented product can make some people sick.”
https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/air-quality/indoor-air-quality/scents

Perhaps the most difficult to deal with is the situation where someone says, “You’re looking well,” then treats you if you ARE well, although you are struggling to cope.

Some medical conditions are ‘invisible’ to others, but not to the person with the condition. That is why they need to be self-absorbed… and that IS different from being narcissistic.

Susan

When I first had to learn to cope with home oxygen it felt as if I was being sucked into a vortex and all the equipment piling in on me.

Eventually, I started documenting the learning curve, and I published it to help others.
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/living-at-the-end-of-an-oxygen-tube

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