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

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 18, 2011, 6:11 p.m. EST by BillyD (6)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

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.


OWS Generation: Narcissists' troubles often show up later, when their relationships fall apart or their work suffers due to overconfidence and blaming others for problems.



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[-] 4 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

You must be referring to all of our political leaders and the elite.

[-] 3 points by karai2 (154) 12 years ago

OWS Narcissism: "I must remake the world in my image. If I struggle, I'm deserving of support and concern. Therefore, if others are struggling they are deserving of support and concern. I am good and right. All people, regardless or their struggles, are also good and right."

OWS Detractors Narcissism: "I must remake the world in my image. If I struggled without any support or concern , all other people should struggle without any support or concern. I am good and right. Anyone struggling is not good or right"

I'll take OWS narcissism anyday.

[-] 3 points by powertoothepeople (280) 12 years ago

Explaining political dissent as a psychiatric disorder is what they used to do in Soviet Russia, I'm told.

[-] -2 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Then it should fit right in with OWS.

[-] 1 points by powertoothepeople (280) 12 years ago

How so? The op is using Soviet techniques to discredit OWS. Your logic fails.

[-] -2 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

This isn't the Soviet Union, although reading the OWS rhetoric, one might think that is what they wish for.

[-] 1 points by powertoothepeople (280) 12 years ago

Ok, if it isn't the Soviet Union you shouldn't use their tactics to smear those you disagree with.

[-] -2 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

I'm referencing a book, dumbass. The author is Dr. Jean Twenge who also wrote "GenerationMe", a book that further explains what's behind the OWS movement. Take it up with her.

[-] 1 points by powertoothepeople (280) 12 years ago

Oh, really? Dr. Jean Twenge wrote a book about Occupy Wall Street?

Or are you saying that the book Generation Me explains political dissent as a personality disorder?

Generation Me was published in 2007 so it is certainly not about Occupy Wall St, dumbass. Oops, I mean kind sir & respected opposition.

[-] 3 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

You must be talking about Bloomberg.

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 12 years ago

This is interesting, seeing as how Ayn Rand's extreme-narcissism-unto-sociopathy is one of the philosophical pillars of the modern right.

[-] 2 points by moediggity (646) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

Yeah you can blame ages of lowered educational standards by the state and federal government, blind nationalism and the "murica number 1!" attitude and the constant, endless waging of pointless wars. If anyone is to blame, its not the kids, but rather the last few generations that have come before them.

[+] -4 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

Nice try. The American education system has been ruined by left wing kooks. They are more interested in social engineering than in education.

[-] 2 points by moediggity (646) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

Yeah lets just pretend that our text books for the entire nation aren't in texas and that those are used as the national standard. But hey, go ahead and source me your evidence from long since debunked conspiracy theorist websites. you fucking kook

[-] -3 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

Rofl! Keep going with that, moron.

[-] 1 points by moediggity (646) from Houston, TX 12 years ago

Did you just come to this planet last week?

[-] 1 points by VTSupportsYou (108) 12 years ago

Sources? Or should we just take your word for it?

[-] 1 points by whisper (212) 12 years ago

You don't have to 'love yourself' to love others. All you have to do is recognize that love is a physiological response to the recognition of something you value. Romantic love occurs when you recognize that another person embodies your highest set of values. 'Loving yourself' is what is meant by 'self-esteem'. It is the recognition that you are acting in accordance with your own set of values. You cannot experience self-esteem until you identify what your values are. This is why children and immature adults (and especially narcissists) are dependent on the evaluations of others.

Being self-centered does lead to success. It is the expectation that others will give you what you do not deserve that leads to failure.

[-] 1 points by JPHOENIX (124) 12 years ago

BillyD - Did you know that the top 5 execs at Lehman Brothers extorted one billion dollars through intentionally gambling away their clients' hard earned dollars on investments they knew were worthless right before they collapsed their company and the entire financial system?

A BILLION DOLLARS! FOR FIVE PEOPLE! And not one of them has been charged with a crime or asked to pay back a penny because THEIR CO-WORKERS WRITE THE LAWS IN THIS COUNTRY. I think those are the "ego inflated narcissists" who you should be directing your psychoanalysis towards. Not the people on this site who just want a place to live, a bite to eat, an affordable education, and a job that has some human dignity. You are defending the people who syphoned all of the money out of the system and criticizing the people who are just asking for a fair shot at obtaining the basic necessities to survive. What you are doing is comparable to a slave criticizing fellow slaves for being angry at the imperialist landowner. You are the corporate media's wet dream. Think with your own mind and stop parroting what you hear on the news.

[-] -1 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

Get a life. Stop blaming others. You can do it.

[-] 1 points by JPHOENIX (124) 12 years ago

Change the subject when you realize how ignorant you are. Typical. Hope this has inspired you to do some of your own research before you come on here spewing nonsense again.

[-] -2 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

Rofl! JPHOENIX "I'm a victim! I can't make it because others took it away...."

What a bunch of pathetic losers you are. Man up.

[-] 1 points by JPHOENIX (124) 12 years ago

And you are on this website, something you don't even believe in, picking fights with people because you have nothing better to do. That's manning up in your world buddy?

P.S. Sorry if you're still embarrassed about knowing nothing about the actual issues and must resort to phrases like "man up" to feel as if you have contributed something of value to this conversation. You haven't.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

"Narcissists' troubles often show up later, when their relationships fall apart or their work suffers due to overconfidence and blaming others for problems."

Sounds just like Wallstreet, and any number of other libertarians.

[-] 1 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

OWS is all victimhood, all the time. Pathetic.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

So's Wallstreet.

We paid 'em too.

[-] 1 points by flang23 (47) 12 years ago

Irrelevant psychobabble. This site is completely compromised.

[-] 1 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 12 years ago

What you are describing is clinical narcissism which is a character disorder, one can think they are special and unique and not suffer from narcissism. If you research narcissism you will find that children become this exaggeration when they grow up NOT feeling special.

"It is widely acknowledged that suffers of NPD tend to be brought up in unempathic environments. In such an environment it is the parent's (or primary carers) wants and desires that are catered to as the child develops, where the child's real needs are largely ignored."


So basically a child learns to be a narcissist when the parent is self-centered, not because the child is taught to hold itself in high regard. I believe that much of the degeneration you see in the young isn't 'overconfidence' at all but a lack of self-regard, this is evident in the need to use outside forces to prop up an image that doesn't gel with their internal feelings, lack of self worth. The problem of being self-centered is different from that of being a narcissist.

[-] 1 points by betuadollar (-313) 12 years ago

Yes but there are a lot of elements here: less children; general prosperity; marketing; guilt of the working mother; a declension in society of an overt "maleness," and the general death of communally based conservatism.

Everybody's got a book to sell here...

[-] -2 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

Humans are competitive by nature. Liberal education has attempted to remove competitiveness from the curriculum; taught that everyone is special, that everyone should "win". The self esteem movement has ruined a whole generation of people. The results: OWS. The collective feeling of entitlement but without any sense of power. Spoiled beyond recognition; blaming others for their woes; professional victims.

[-] 2 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 12 years ago

It is in itself narcissistic to blame the victims of narcissistic behaviour for being 'the problem'. If someone is thrown out of their home and asks for housing or demands a living wage it is deemed that they are doing so out of a sense of entitlement, so says the investment banker who takes tax payer bailout money after they have mismanaged their own. That's what a self-centered parent does, blame the child for wanting attention and direction, blame them for having needs because those needs interferes with the parents own personal self-interested agenda. Its those who are entitled who blame those who have been disenfranchised and its a classic narcissistic trait.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 12 years ago

Yea, I'd very much agree with that. But I think that parents also share some of the responsibility; in fact, much of the responsibility.

[-] -3 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

Absolutely. They told their little darlings how wonderful and great they are even before they accomplished anything and turned them over to the education system to reinforce more of the same. "You are special", or the self esteem movement has been a disaster. The symptom: OWS

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 12 years ago

It's not just that - years ago the child was a second class citizen, especially within the home. They had no rights and they had no vote. Today, they are empowered and it's destroying both homes and society. Because children will push limits absolutely.

[-] -1 points by Joyce (375) 12 years ago

Very well done, yet this hard truth, like many other postings here, we be ignored. Mostly due to the inability to see through the wet eyes of a tantrum.


[-] 0 points by JesuitOrder (53) 12 years ago

You must be talking about the elitists that run the show at secret meetings like the Bilderberg or Bohemian Grove ...

Talk about narcissistic ...

Phew ...

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 12 years ago

WTF? So let me get this crap straight , your saying nothing is amiss in this country and these people are just a bunch of psychos and neurotics? That is exactly how the Communist Chinese and the ex-Soviet Union's regimes deal / dealt with dissents. Try another approach, painting millions of us as having some kind of psychological condition is beyond condescending , its pathetic. You listen to too much Rush and watch way too much FAUX news.

[-] -1 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

Typical strawman: brings in "Faux News" into the conversation. What a tool.

[-] -1 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 12 years ago

I think you are more then a little confused about whose the tool in here is asswipe.

[-] -1 points by BillyD (6) 12 years ago

That would be "who's" or "who is".Take a grammar lesson, idiot.

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 12 years ago

Stick your grammar lesson up your ass.

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 12 years ago

"BillyD " = grandiose but not great T R O L L

[-] -1 points by TimMcGraw (50) 12 years ago

i agree