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The psychology of narcissism

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While 60 years ago our grandparents were quietly cultivating vegetables in their gardens and went to the Sunday gathering to meet the rest of the villagers, nowadays we are tormented by how we can improve our CVs and ways to boost our careers so we can afford to go out three times a week, have some impressive photos to post on Facebook and maybe buy the kind of car that informs people about our professional achievements. Hence, tenfold more chances for us to become self-concerned and self-absorbed.

Now everyone has the opportunity to promote oneself just by posting personal photos on Facebook or Instagram. The idea of an original self image related to personal style, career achievements, haircut and make-up is something our grandparents have not been concerned about. Well, you may say “Yes but this is normal. It’s not narcissism.” . It’s true. But it’s the beginning of narcissism. A certain self concern is healthy and useful. We cannot live otherwise as distinct human beings. But when the concern about oneself crosses the border and becomes self absorption, narcissism starts to blossom.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica,

Narcissism is a pathological self-absorption, first identified as a mental disorder by Havelock Ellis in 1898. Narcissism is characterized by an inflated self-image and addiction to fantasy, by an unusual coolness and composure shaken only when the narcissistic confidence is threatened, and by the tendency to take others for granted or to exploit them. The disorder is named for the mythological Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. According to Sigmund Freud, narcissism is a normal stage in children’s development, but it is considered a disorder when it occurs after puberty.

I invite you to watch the video below about “The psychology of narcissism” made by W. Keith Campbell for TED to have an understanding of what narcissism is. Beware, this video can cause some light bulbs to go over your head and you might spot some narcissists around you…or in the mirror. 🙂

And now a 360 degrees turnaround: Gangaji about “Who am I, really”

Related readings & videos:

“A new Earth” by Eckhart Tolle – an anatomy of the Ego.

“Who am I” by Ramana Maharshi

The Century of the Self

 

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Source: TED , Gangaji 


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