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Forum Post: The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement

Posted 3 years ago on Nov. 18, 2011, 6:11 p.m. EST by BillyD (6)
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Narcissism means having an inflated or grandiose sense of self. A narcissist thinks she is special, unique, and entitled to better treatment than others. Narcissists aren’t particularly interested in warmth and caring in their relationships. They might enjoy being around people — and certainly can be charming, flattering, exciting and likable — but they are in relationships for their own narcissistic needs. Narcissists also spend a good deal of their time and energy doing things to make themselves look and feel good and pumping up their egos. A narcissist might brag, turn all conversations back to himself, try to associate only with important people, want to have the best and newest of everything, or steal credit from others. When things don't go his way, the narcissist might get angry or even violent. Narcissists can be fun to be around in the short term, but awful to work for or be in a close relationship with in the long term.

Children today are growing up in a world that is much more accepting of narcissistic behavior and values. Many parents and teachers believe that the way to counteract this is to teach children to feel special. Unfortunately, feeling special is narcissism, not true self-worth. As we explain further in the book, parents are more likely to raise less narcissistic children if they set limits, dial back on excessive praise, and don’t let their children have too much power. We have three young children between us, so we know this can be a struggle, but the fight is worth it.

Here are two things to teach children, just as a start:

  1. Instead of teaching people "You have to love yourself before you can love others,” teach them something much closer to the truth: If you love yourself too much, you won’t have enough love left for anyone else.

  2. Get across the message that being self-centered does not lead to success, and often leads to failure in the long run. It is not necessary to be narcissistic to succeed, even in a competitive world; in fact, those who are confident without being overconfident, and have self-worth while still caring about others, will be the most successful.

http://www.narcissismepidemic.com/aboutbook.html

OWS Generation: Narciss