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The narcissism epidemic

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firemonkee57

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Are we in the midst of a narcissism epidemic? Attention seeking behaviour, the need to stand out, an increased focus on image, fame and money seem to be on the rise. Researchers from the U.S. have found that young people’s average scores against the Narcissistic Personality Inventory are significantly higher than in previous generations. We explore the causes, symptoms and possible solutions to this growing trend of self obsession.

The narcissism epidemic - All In The Mind - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
 
Kerome

Kerome

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Pity that the audio stream only supports Windows Media Player / RealPlayer, I do all my foruming via my ipad and so can't listen in, boo. But on the whole I think there is some truth in it, the whole "reality tv" trend in media feeds the narcissism, as does the materialist ethic of the time we seem to be living in. You can trace it back to the yuppie decades, the bankers and Ayn Rand if you like.

It puts me in mind of the speech the Dalai Lama gave during his recent visit to the Netherlands, that a big part of this also came from the educational system being so based on performance and a kind of materialism, and that one of the challenges of our time was to bring more compassion into the educational space. It made me quite grateful to have been schooled largely in Rudolf Steiner schools when I was young, where myth was valued alongside math and languages.
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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What I find curious is the need people apparently have to seek public admiration for the most banal incidences in their lives. I wonder if it is related and a direct result of the fact that digital social media enable everyone to be on public view 24/7. Yes, it seems like narcissism to me. I don't give a toss what other people eat for breakfast but they keep posting pictures of their breakfasts on Facebook. WHY? I'm so sick of posts that say 'Oh I'm such a proud mommy - my clever boy learnt to ride his bike today'. And yet such posts attract loads of 'likes'. What is so clever about that? What is so unusual about that? 8 year old boy learns to ride bike without stabilisers. Wow. Look, I'm not saying it isn't a precious memory for parents and child alike - but it seems like the joy of the moment now has to be made public and approved of by others, as if otherwise, it simply doesn't count. It meant a lot to me, when it happened, but I never felt the experience would only be valid or would be greatly enhanced by sharing it online with people I hardly know. Maybe it follows from this that the more widely digitally dispersed your image and your life becomes, and the more digital likes and followers you acquire, the more validated as a person you feel and the more successful you consider yourself and are defined by others. If you look at the Kim Kardashian phenomenon you have to ask what is her value to the Daily Mail and its readers? A rather large but shapely arse? Is that it? Sorry. I despair sometimes.
 
C

Chamaeleon

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I get hated all over the shop for posting about that sort of stuff. It's all about "social status" nowadays. When I was on the phone to 111 the split second I said I had 40, 000 subscribers on youtube her voice suddenly went from "I don't care" to deeply sympathetic sounding, the kind of sympathetic treatment I used to get years ago but now I have to pretend to be popular on youtube or something to get it.
 
Toasted Crumpet

Toasted Crumpet

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What I find curious is the need people apparently have to seek public admiration for the most banal incidences in their lives. I wonder if it is related and a direct result of the fact that digital social media enable everyone to be on public view 24/7. Yes, it seems like narcissism to me. I don't give a toss what other people eat for breakfast but they keep posting pictures of their breakfasts on Facebook. WHY? I'm so sick of posts that say 'Oh I'm such a proud mommy - my clever boy learnt to ride his bike today'. And yet such posts attract loads of 'likes'. What is so clever about that? What is so unusual about that? 8 year old boy learns to ride bike without stabilisers. Wow. Look, I'm not saying it isn't a precious memory for parents and child alike - but it seems like the joy of the moment now has to be made public and approved of by others, as if otherwise, it simply doesn't count. It meant a lot to me, when it happened, but I never felt the experience would only be valid or would be greatly enhanced by sharing it online with people I hardly know. Maybe it follows from this that the more widely digitally dispersed your image and your life becomes, and the more digital likes and followers you acquire, the more validated as a person you feel and the more successful you consider yourself and are defined by others. If you look at the Kim Kardashian phenomenon you have to ask what is her value to the Daily Mail and its readers? A rather large but shapely arse? Is that it? Sorry. I despair sometimes.
Oh dear I used to be one of those, :redface:I'd post photos if I actually cooked something from a recipe, but no one "liked" it anyway.

But then I also used to say stuff about how crap I felt, which now I understand you are not meant to do on Facebook. :unsure:

I'm not on it anymore anyway, I just fill in the "what are you eating" threads on here instead :LOL:
 
D

Dissatisfied

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I feel there are two types of narcissists - the 1st type are the ones that want to be CEO's, directors, fame hungry, vain, materalisitc, and we are conditioned by the media that we should all want to be driven to be like this. And just an element of the need to be successful can be good for us.

But then there is the pathological narcissist, who might stay on benefits as they believe that jobs are below them, but expect to get the same admiration and praise from others for their achievements as if they were successful, the pathological narcissist tends to be delusional about their achievements where the 1st type are more realistic.

A pathological narcissist will believe that if someone doesn't like them, or sees through them, that the problem isn't them but is envious of the narcissist, the narcissist when meeting someone will secretly be thinking why they are better than that person, and will convince themselves that he/she is more attractive, important, interesting, less dull. The pathological narcissist will usually not recognise others emotions, and just focus on their own, although they will be aware that someone is crying or distressed, they tend not to have the ability to empathise, but will expect others to empathise if they are the ones that are distressed, the pathological narcissist will often be arrogant, believes that their way of thinking is the correct way and others are wrong, will not take blame for things they did wrong, but will put the blame on others, and in social settings, they believe they are the most interesting in the room, and will get anxious and annoyed if they aren't the centre of attention. They will often talk over people, not be interested in what others want to talk about, and will always try to get the attention back on them all the time.

The 1st narcissist might come from a variety of backgrounds, a lot of them from very stable backgrounds.

However, the pathological narcissist, deep down they are actually very fragile, have very low self-esteem, and as a defence mechanism, they have developed narcissism, which they won't realise they have it, and will have been developed from the teenage years or earlier.
 
D

Dissatisfied

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the 1st type of narcissist will know that they are power driven, fame hungry, vain, and have elements of narcissism in them, the pathological narcissist will not usually know that they are narcissist.
 
D

Dissatisfied

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Oh dear I used to be one of those, :redface:I'd post photos if I actually cooked something from a recipe, but no one "liked" it anyway.

But then I also used to say stuff about how crap I felt, which now I understand you are not meant to do on Facebook. :unsure:

I'm not on it anymore anyway, I just fill in the "what are you eating" threads on here instead :LOL:
My friend did this to, would cook something interesting, take a photo and post it on his facebook wall, I didn't see it as narcissism, he's not narcissistic at all, I saw it as him wanting to say something on facebook, but didn't have much to say, he is married with kids, and never delved into his personal life on facebook, so he used his cooking as a way to communicate instead, but because a lot of his people on his facebook were foodies as well, people did like it, and he created a new facebook account for food lovers, and his friends would share recipes.

I do think facebook is slightly a narcissistic concept - however, I don't think real narcissism is just about vanity or showing off, it's more about having a very fragile self-esteem, and the mind has created a cover up so they believe themselves to be more important, they come across as having massive ego's, and a true narcissistic far on the scale of narcissism will not have the ability to empathise with others, but will demand empathy from others for themselves, and will assume everyone is jealous of them.

Posting pictures of your cooking is not a sign of a pathological narcissist.
 
cpuusage

cpuusage

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I do think facebook is slightly a narcissistic concept - however, I don't think real narcissism is just about vanity or showing off, it's more about having a very fragile self-esteem, and the mind has created a cover up so they believe themselves to be more important, they come across as having massive ego's, and a true narcissistic far on the scale of narcissism will not have the ability to empathise with others, but will demand empathy from others for themselves, and will assume everyone is jealous of them.
i've known a few - One in-particular in RL, another on-line, the only solution is to stop the narcissistic supply. Incredibly difficult people to work with, & they really do live in a fantasy - they very much construct the World as their own ego projection.
 
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