The concept of narcissism as a defense mechanism is a sorely outdated theory that was first developed by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in 1914. He proposed that people use narcissism as a defense mechanism to protect themselves from feelings of inferiority, shame, and low self-esteem. Freud believed that people with narcissistic personality disorder have an excessive need for admiration and an inflated sense of their own importance (basic, vague).
Many of Freud’s theories were either proven wrong or received great criticism from his peers. Freud largely worked with people who were mentally ill. Further, his ideas, which were highly subjective, were born from his obsession with sex.
Here is a sampling of ideas from Sigmund Freud that have been proven false:
- The Oedipus Complex: Freud suggested that all boys went through a stage in which they had sexual desires for their mothers and wanted to kill their fathers. This was later disproven.
- Psychosexual Development: Freud proposed that our development is determined by the sexual desires of our childhood, but this has been disproven by research.
- Unconscious Desires: Freud believed that most of our behavior was determined by unconscious desires, but this has been disproven by research.
- Penis Envy: Freud suggested that girls had an unconscious desire to have a penis, which has been disproven.
- The Death Drive: Freud suggested that we have a drive towards death, but this has been disproven by research.
Yet, the field of mental health is founded largely on these archaic Freudian ideas, which are doing immense damage in the world and coddling abusive personalities.
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Your friend on the journey. Xo