Placing yourself above everyone else simply means you are important to yourself. You can prioritize yourself above everyone else at the same time can empathize with others. However, you cannot be a narcissist and empathize with others.
The fine line that separates self-love from narcissism is the ability to empathize.
A few years ago, I found Christian Nestell Bovee, an American epigrammatic’s quote “Our first love and the last love is self-love” a bit contradicting with my own experiences of loving people around me. It appeared narcissistic. His quote started sounding relatable only when I realized that when you place yourself below others, you are eventually taken for granted and it sucks.
Placing yourself above everyone else simply means you are important to yourself. You can prioritize yourself above everyone else at the same time can empathize with others. However, you cannot be a narcissist and empathize with others. Narcissism and empathy are like oil and water. They cannot mix.
The ability to empathize with others makes us remain sane and connected with the environment around us. A narcissist also keeps himself above everyone but never gives a damn about anyone other than himself.
Self-love will make you accept yourself with all your flaws while narcissism will make you feel perfect! Even if deep inside a narcissist knows he is imperfect, he will live in constant denial.
When you learn to accept yourself with all your flaws and qualities, you also realize everyone else is different and have their own sets of flaws and qualities. You learn to embrace people. Even if people will hate you, you will know you aren’t that bad and it is ok to be hated for being genuine. On the other hand, a narcissist is an extremely toxic person with such low self-esteem that he will require constant validation from others. He will control everyone and put everyone down to feel great.
You can love yourself without having any feeling of superiority complexion but this is not in the case of a narcissist.
In a nutshell, we can conclude that narcissism is blind self-love that does not takes anyone into account other than oneself and the same time requires validation from others to maintain the self-image.