Healthy vs. Pathological Narcissism
Narcissism itself is a normal, healthy personality trait. How is it possible to enjoy solid self-care, healthy self-regard, self-compassion, or security without well-tuned narcissism? Being able to form good relationships with others demands that each person involved needs to be able to balance their own needs with the needs of others.
This, too, requires adaptive narcissism, side-stepping both codependency and extreme self-sufficiency. Couples who lack healthy narcissism fall into repetitive, painful patterns of feigned intimacy and cycles of destructive aggression. Without safe-enough narcissism, relationship sanity is out of the question.
Understanding pathological narcissism is huge as our civilization becomes increasingly complex and fragmented, driven by potentially dehumanizing and isolating technologies which threaten to replace real relationships with simulations while at the same time holding-forth the promise of new ways to form meaningful communities which transcend physical space, even fostering growth during adversity.