Sample Psychology Paper on Freud’s Concept of Narcissism

Freud’s Concept of Narcissism

Freud defined narcissism as adoration that individuals accord themselves when they are an object of sexual desire.  According to Freud, narcissism is neurosis. Throughout human life, each person has the same level of narcissism. Additionally, Freud explains that there exist two types of narcissism, secondary and primary. As for primary narcissism, it is present from birth and preexists in all humans. On the other hand, secondary narcissism exists when humans are disinterested in others. This paper discusses Freud’s concept of narcissism.

Freud explains that humans start to develop ego at the infancy stage. At the oral stage of human development, children are egocentric. The kids believe that everything revolves around them because the mother fulfills all the needs. However, things change as the child grows up. The child’s self-centeredness deteriorates since the kid realizes that things cannot always go their way. From this observation, it is evident that everyone is a narcissist. Also, Freud mentions that narcissism is essential for the normal development of humans (Freud, 1957). Past early childhood, humans prioritize love towards others, and their self-love declines. During infancy, humans tend to direct the libidinal energy towards the newly developed ego, ego libido. At this point, the sex instincts and ego instincts become inseparable. As time passes by, the ego is fully packed with libidinal energy.  Thus, the individual starts to direct their energy towards external objects, and ego instincts are separated from sex instincts. When people outgrow the primary narcissistic stage, having a meal and having sex become two different things. In general, every human has some level of narcissism.

In Freud’s work, he explains that narcissism is driven by sex drive and the need to self-preserve.  The two drives are the same during childhood, and it is arduous to differentiate them. When humans project more affection to others, they end up with less energy for self-love (Rees, 2020). Freud further argues that the continuation of the species is based on the concept of love. The ego-libido and object-libido must be balanced for the survival of the individuals and species. For instance, an individual must have some ego-libido if they want to eat. For the species to survive, the individuals must have object-libido. When the individual directs too much energy inwards, an imbalance occurs. Hence, the person’s personality is infected. The person can longer associate with others in society. In general, the object-libido and ego-libido play a vital role in the survival of the person and species.

Freud also explains the root of homosexuality in his work. According to Freud, children often project their outward affection to their mother in the mother-child relationship. However, homosexuals fail to learn how to express their object-libido correctly (Dabbous, 2021). The individuals make the wrong choices of objects to project their affection. Freud defines the tendency of homosexuals as the purest form of narcissism. In addition, Freud explains that most beautiful women are narcissists because of self-adoration. The beautiful females tend to look for individuals to admire them in the same they love themselves. Thus, such women are more attractive to men. Overall, homosexuality is a result of wrong choices for object-libido.


Freud explains that humans develop ego in their childhood stage. There must be a balance between the ego-libido and the object-libido for the individuals and the species to survive. Also, Freud explains that homosexuals often direct their affection to the wrong choice of objects.




Dabbous, R. (2021). Hannah Arendt and Sigmund Freud on Sexual Identity in 2020. Sexuality & Culture, 1-17.

Freud, S. (1957). On narcissism: An introduction. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works (pp. 67-102).

Rees, W. (2020). We other narcissists: self-love in Freud and culture. Textual Practice, 1-20.