Narcissism: A Modern Epidemic

I admit, I’m addicted to Facebook.

I live in a place where I haven’t made  a lot of friends (yet), so Facebook is my “social scene”. And it’s great. I feel connected to the dear people who are far away, plus I like to share my thoughts and ideas with the world (obviously :)). Once in a while, I get a nice surprise in the form of a friend request by a long-lost friend.

And then, there are the unpleasant surprises in the form of ridiculous selfies by people who I though were cool. And way too many idiotic hashtags under pictures that have no purpose.

#goodmorning

Really? Why?

You are 30+ years old and you don’t feel stupid doing it? You  actually think my morning will be good if I see your smileless face? Why, because I will admire your facial features? Maybe I miss you? (Hey, it’s been almost a week since your last post. Your fans must be worried!)

No. It is only going to prove to me that you are a narcissistic fool. A sorry ass human being.

If you often take unnecessary selfies and are not ashamed to post them, you are a narcissist. Period. And, recently, I have proof that I was right all along. This new study linked selfies to narcissism and psychopathy.

Still, a lot of people are not getting this. Why should someone be ashamed if he/she looks good, they might ask. Well, because vanity is something to be ashamed of. It shows the world that you are a  shallow person, an unwise person. An idiot.

I unfriended a lot of these people. I don’t feel connected to them and I don’t need them in my life. What makes me depressed is that soon I will have very little friends left. It seems like narcissism is turning into a huge epidemic.

Facebook is not to blame. It is merely a mirror of our society. It gives people the freedom to present their lives anyway they want. It is too bad that the majority come there just to brag about how awesome they are.

What bothers me the most is why we have such high tolerance for this bullshit? Why do people “like” the narcissistic selfies? Why do they encourage this behavior?

Heart Kids

Heart Kids
Romero Britto
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I don’t have concrete answers. But here is my guess: narcissism is a spectrum, and we are all somewhere on it. All of us. The whole society is narcissistic. It is such bad news. And in order to become cured, we first have to find out what causes it.

A Narcissistic Society and Its Roots

We are slowly but surely becoming a narcissistic society for the following reasons:

  • The modern society encourages individualism. Each and every one of us is “oh so special”. What a bunch of crap. We are all human- very, very similar to one another (except for the natural-born psychopath who is born as a lower form of creature).

 

  • We tell our kids that they are “oh so special”. They are the smartest, the funniest, the most beautiful, the most talented, etc. We kill compassion and humanity in them by teaching them that they should always “be their amazing selves”. The parents are usually narcissists themselves, so of course their child is going to be the best. So already we have the second generation of self-centered brats all grown up.

 

  • Our role models are all narcissists. Even as a little girl I pitied some of the celebrities, but I guess I was the only one. Madonna, Rhianna, Lady Gaga – what a bunch of empty, sad creatures in constant need of the attention. I’m not even going to get started on the reality TV and its “stars”.

 

  • I was brought up in a socialist country, so I have to say: capitalism is a huge factor contributing to the “production” of narcissists. It’s a world of constant competition, constant marketing of oneself. Here is a great article about how neoliberalism is to blame.

 

  • False perception of confidence. If you were truly confident in yourself, you would not need to brag about it. You would not try to compete with others. You would not be envious of narcissists. You would not be attracted to them. True confidence is knowing how big your heart is. How much you can give of yourself without feeling like you have lost anything. Without bragging about it, without asking for a medal.

 

  • Another lie we constantly hear (especially women): “You need to love yourself first”. No. You need to love others. And stay away from psychopaths.

The difference between narcissists and psychopaths

If you read the links I provided above, you probably noticed that narcissism and psychopathy are mentioned together, as something that goes hand-in-hand. Usually, psychopaths have narcissistic traits, but it’s not necessarily the other way around.

The main difference between narcissists and psychopaths is this:

Narcissists are hungry for the approval of others, and psychopaths couldn’t care less.

Narcissists lack compassion because they are too self-absorbed to notice how others are feeling. Psychopaths simply do not have the capacity to understand the feelings of others.

It seems to me that our next stop, if we continue in this direction, is in fact a complete psychopathic society. The total inability to form interpersonal connections.

Let’s just hope that it is not the case.

No, let us do something to stop it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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