What is healthy narcissistic behavior?
Healthy narcissistic behavior is characterized as the kind of behavior in which a person uses narcissism as a kind of a defense mechanism from anyone and anything that they are not familiar with, all the while feeling the need to preserve everything that is, in fact, known to them.
The person who manifests healthy narcissistic behavior is constantly balancing between the comfort and security that everything familiar offers, and feelings of both exposure and helplessness when encountering someone unfamiliar. This attitude is instinctive, and the person manifesting it has been this way ever since early childhood. Therefore, no matter how any person is close to this kind of individual, they are always likely to face their guard and they will always be kept at some kind of a distance, as they are a separate person.
However, when a narcissist is healthy, they are able to make certain progress in the sense that even after the unfamiliar encounter, they are able to restore themselves to their previous state of comfort and familiarity, which is to say, maintain self-awareness. Therefore, they are able to establish contact with a stranger, despite his being just that, a stranger, someone who is unfamiliar.
A narcissist who is not considered healthy sometimes has difficulty adapting to the new occurrences and may find some of them offensive and see them as an attack on his personality, thereby reacting in an outrageous way, like bursting of anger and even ending the relationship with the person. This is because of an extreme, even pathological, level of vulnerability and immaturity.
The difference between self-confidence and self-centeredness
Obviously, self-confidence is far from being a bad trait to have. In order to establish a healthy, normal relationship with anyone else, one should first make sure to have a good relationship with oneself, which basically means, one should love oneself before loving anyone else.
Self-centeredness, however, means taking the love one should have for oneself to a whole different level. This is in no way a positive trait to possess. A person that is self-centered is so engrossed in himself or herself and their own issues that they can’t seem to notice anyone else around them. That kind of behavior is obsessive, and while it’s not harming anyone in any dangerous way, it is causing emotional pain to the people around such a person and leaving that person deprived of establishing any kind of real connection with others.