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The Age of Narcissism

After becoming obsessed with Instagram stories and losing serious time out of every day to perve on all the mundane (but so exciting) details of the lives of strangers, I started wondering if we’ve turned into a bunch of self indulgent narcissists? Really, why would anyone care about my morning coffee consumption, shopping habits or bedtime routine? Are we living in the Age of Narcissism? Given the vanity is rife and voyeurism is a socially acceptable sport are we all suffering from borderline narcissism disorder?

As led by celebrity and dominant pop culture it’s now a social norm for vanity to prevail and narcissism to be widely acceptable as commonly flaunted behaviour.

Here’s how to spot the everyday narcissist:

  1. Extroverts are often mis-defined as narcissists because they’re loud, and therefore difficult to ignore. However, being loud does not a narcissist make. Extroverts feel best when they are around people and love to be socially active, which isn’t a defining trait for narcissists.

  2. Narcissists are generally self obsessed and incredibly self involved. They may try to steer conversations to maximise discussion about themselves or initiate conversations for the purpose of voicing their own opinion.

  3. They often forget details, or conversation topics. This is because they quickly become disengaged during conversations revolving around anything other than themselves.

  4. They are driven by an agenda, and for the most part their actions are planned for their benefit or gain.

  5. If they’re challenged or their competence is questioned narcissists are quick to react and are usually defensive and combative. This is because they have to defend their fragile (but large) ego.

  6. They don’t work collaboratively, it’s their way or the highway.

  7. They have a complex set of self protection mechanisms that they use when challenged, or disagreed with. These include anger, intimidation, exasperation, manipulation and belittlement.

  8. They are under the impression that they are more intelligent, attractive and capable than others and of course, deserve special treatment.

  9. Narcissists have issues being empathetic (and even sympathetic) because of their inherent selfishness.

  10. The most interesting insight about narcissists is that many of them suffer from low self esteem, and this is the dominant driver in their obsessive quest for fame, fortune or power. These achievements outwardly compensate for, and help quieten their wavering self worth.  

  11. Suspect you’ve found a narcissist? Poke around a little and push their buttons, then gauge their reaction. If they respond with anger or irrational criticism you might have found your answer.

P.s – Famous narcissists include: Hitler, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Stalin, Ted Bundy and Paris Hilton

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