You must be tired of them. They’re everywhere. Narcissists. And if you think there are more of them than ever, you’re right. Research shows we are experiencing a narcissism epidemic.
In data from 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980s to the present, with the shift especially pronounced for women. The rise in narcissism is accelerating, with scores rising faster in the 2000s than in previous decades.
Even music is getting more narcissistic. And what do most people on Twitter tweet about? Themselves, of course.
(And as for selfies… well, do I really need to link to any research about narcissism and selfies? No? Thank you.)
Now we all have a little narcissism in us and these days we have a lot more than we need around us.
Let’s learn more about what narcissism is, how to deal with narcissists — and even a bit about what to do if you feel you’re becoming one yourself.
You have entered the selfie-free zone. Let’s get to it…
What’s The Deal With Narcissism?
As Twenge and Campbell explain in The Narcissism Epidemic, it’s a myth that narcissism is just “high self-esteem” or that underneath it all narcissists are insecure and overcompensating.
Narcissists believe they really are that awesome — and you’re not. (The latter part doesn’t matter, narcissists don’t think about you much at all, frankly.)
How can you tell if someone is a narcissist? It’s easy; just ask them. Research shows narcissists feel so good about themselves they don’t mind admitting it.
And narcissism can be quite beneficial in the short term. They make fantastic first impressions. In job interviews and on first dates, narcissists get results. And in youth, being a narcissist makes you happier.
Narcissists are more likely to become leaders and narcissists who obsessively work hard are more likely to get promoted. But the stuff that works for them so well in the short term proves lethal in the long term.