Micael Widell

The need to feel loved

/ psychology

Is there a correlation between not feeling loved and narcissistic behaviour? I think so. I haven't done any deep research into this yet, but lately I've been thinking about it. With narcissistic behaviour I mean seeking attention, admiration or adoration, which can extend to the search for money and power.

My own life is a good example. I've always been striving for extrinsic validation, like becoming rich, searching out status and power, or otherwise asserting myself for example by trying to seem like a smart person. But then I met my current girlfriend a year ago, and for the past year I've felt the most loved I've ever felt in my life. And simultaneously I've also felt my need for extrinsic validation just melt away. And this made me start thinking. I started viewing the world in this new perspective of mine, and suddenly I began seeing how the people who seem to have the most fierce drive to become famous, powerful or in general searching out societal status and accomplishments, also seem to be the people who feel the least loved.

If this correlation would prove to be true, the followup question of why is rather interesting. One thing that comes to my mind is that our whole motivational system is geared towards reproduction. And when we reach a point where we feel very loved, we are likely in a position where we can reproduce easily. If we feel loved it means that we have a partner that loves us and/or people around who approves of us and hence gives us a good status in the society, which in general puts us in a position where we can find a romantic partner to reproduce with. But whenever that is lacking, our motivational system does the right thing in driving us towards it.

I'll dig deeper into this at some point, but for now I'll just leave this thought here.

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