Why more ‘healthy narcissism’ is good for everyone. “A healthy narcissist will never manipulate” | Nina

Self-love, self-care and self-confidence: anyone who is not busy with themselves these days must be crazy. It’s called ‘Healthy narcissism’ and writer Sarah Dimani advocates it: she wrote a book about building a better relationship with yourself. But does it never go wrong when you are so busy with yourself? And when do you cross the line with toxic narcissism? “Narcissism should not be a positively or negatively charged word.”

Antwerp-based Sarah Dimani was once a major fashion influencer with 110,000 followers, until she deleted all her accounts and founded an online community for women: The Narcissist. A place where ladies with conversations try to break taboos. In addition to that popular platform, Dimani now also released ‘The self-reflection book’, which strives for more, yes, healthy narcissism.

Healthy narcissism, what does that look like?

Ask Sarah if there is a healthy narcissism and she says ‘yes’ wholeheartedly. Narcissism personality disorder is accompanied by characteristics such as selfishness, love for a lot of attention and jealousy. But narcissism in itself is not a positively or negatively charged word, even if it has a negative connotation nowadays. There is a broad spectrum and narcissism can range from a pathological form to a healthy dose of self-love.”


Explaining the difference between healthy narcissism and toxic narcissism is not black and white, because there is no clear line

Sarah Dimani, founder ‘The Narcissist’

“People with narcissism are often full of themselves and toxic towards their environment. And then you have the other extreme: those who always put themselves last and are insecure. The healthy dose of narcissism falls just in the middle of those two extremes. A healthy narcissist is in connection with himself. He practices self-love, self-acceptance and is self-assured.”

There are clear differences with toxic narcissism

But how do you know whether that good dose of self-confidence is still ‘healthy’? “It’s important to be proud of yourself and to consider yourself beautiful, but don’t feel better than anyone else,” Dimani says. “Because then you tend towards toxic narcissism. “The difference between healthy and toxic narcissism is not black and white, because there is no clear line. But broadly speaking, healthy narcissists are pleasant company, for themselves and for the environment. With toxic narcissists, we see that they often feel better than others. They can also manipulate, lie and touch gaslighting to do.” The latter is a subtle manipulation technique.

(Read more below the photo.)

© Manon Aerens

Traits that a healthy narcissist would never exhibit. “When that feeling of ‘standing above the other’ floats to the surface, you know it’s going in the wrong direction. And a good environment, which dares to point out toxic traits, is also of great importance. They can warn you if you don’t look like yourself at all anymore or are full of yourself.”

Why we should be a little narcissist after all

“Women are often insecure or often seen as insecure,” Sarah continues. “The deluge of advertisements and perfect images on social media make it difficult to be proud of our bodies. I think they should be stronger, accept themselves more and love themselves a lot more. I want to make people realize that they should not conform to beauty ideals and that they should discover their own beauty.” And a portion of healthy narcissism can really help with that. “We have an ideal image in our head. Unconsciously, we may not feel good about ourselves. If you then ask why, we can’t name things. While it is just interesting to think about it.”


Try not to talk negatively about yourself for a day. That’s in the little things. Don’t call yourself ‘clumsy’ if you drop something, for example

Sarah Dimanic

“By asking yourself all kinds of critical questions, you start to think about how you feel and behave and that way you can break bad patterns.” No, those uneven labia, for example, are not abnormal. It was just never explained to you properly that not all vulvas are created equal. When you come to such insights through self-reflection, you gain a lot of self-confidence. Sarah lends a hand by adding 180 questions in her book. “They make you reflect on yourself and your life. I do focus on typical female subjects, such as body hair, menstruation or to please. I want to normalize those taboos.”

Besides self-reflection, Sarah has three other pieces of advice for healthy narcissists

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Let it be clear: Sarah wants to make people think more consciously about themselves. “But I’m not an expert and I don’t want to offend them. My book is only the start of self-reflection and therefore the start of your journey of discovery. I do not offer solutions, it is up to the reader to decide whether they want to tackle certain things. And you can seek professional help for that.”

Read more?

‘The self-reflection book’. A candid fill-in book for a better relationship with yourself. Lannoo, 17.99 euros. © Lannoo

Also read:

“Victims of a narcissist are often strong personalities.” Expert Answers 19 Reader Questions About Narcissism (+)

Which narcissist do you know? Scientists distinguish 2 types

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: healthy narcissism good healthy narcissist manipulate Nina

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