# Narcissism blocks flow

There are two forms of narcissism that prevents one from experiencing flow, excessive self-centeredness and self-consciousness. People with either of these attitudes will have little opportunity to flow as their attention is too rigid, and they’ll spend too much of Psychic energy to focus on the self and its current goals, rather than exploring on new ones.

A person who is self-centered will put their own desire over everything else. They have a rigid attention, as new opportunities and challenges that are not aligned to their goals will be dismissed.

A person who is self-conscious is worried about what other thinks of them. When they are faced with a hard challenge, they will not be able to focus on applying their skills, which is The prerequisites of flow experience, as most of the attention and energy is spent on protecting the self.

Mihaly, Flow (p. 84).

A less drastic obstacle to experiencing flow is excessive self-consciousness. A person who is constantly worried about how others will perceive her, who is afraid of creating the wrong impression, or of doing something inappropriate, is also condemned to permanent exclusion from enjoyment. So are people who are excessively self-entered. A self-entered individual is usually not self-conscious, but instead evaluates every bit of information only in terms of how it relates to her desires.

Mihaly, Flow (pp. 92-93).

Narcissistic individuals, who are mainly concerned with protecting their self, fall apart when the external conditions turn threatening. The ensuing panic prevents them from doing what they must do; their attention turns inward […]