A few people get confused between the difference between being confident and being a narcissist and sometimes will see them as the same thing. However, you can have someone portraying narcissistic behaviours and not necessarily have high self-esteem. The same as you can have someone have high self-esteem and not be narcissistic.
One thing to note is that in both cases the person is thinking highly of themselves; the main difference is normally where the recognition is coming from. For example, having high self-esteem or confidence is due to how you feel about yourself. Your self-esteem will have ups and downs throughout your life depending on how you are feeling. However, narcissism comes from the praise you get from others.
Those with high self-esteem don’t necessarily believe they are perfect whereas, a narcissist’s aim is to be the best at absolutely everything so they will either believe they have no flaws or go to great efforts to hide them. Whilst narcissists come across as being content with who they are, they are most likely as insecure as those who low self-esteem.
Yes, you can love yourself. Yes, you can go around pointing out the things you like about yourself and your appearance. But don’t call yourself a narcissist because there is so much more involved. It wouldn’t be considered a personality disorder if those were the only symptoms because in reality there is nothing wrong with being confident with yourself. Narcissism is almost always based off having low self-esteem, therefore, just because someone seems happy with themselves does not necessarily they have any mental problems.
Narcissists are just con-artists. Whilst they can come across as if they are happy with themselves, they probably still go home hating themselves as much as you do.
The best way to describe a narcissist is that they absolutely hate themselves but still believe they are better than everyone else.
We live in a world where it is socially acceptable to travel around in a bubble of self-loathing so when someone comes across and believes they are perfect we have to give them a label.
My Book: “Letters to my Past”