Narcissism: The current N-Word
It probably isn’t the one you are thinking. There is a new n-word that has risen through the ranks to be the ultimate slur … narcissist. But, is being narcissistic really the evil that it is portrayed to be? Are we really experiencing a Narcissism Epidemic, as some have asserted? Or, is it simply misunderstood, like so many other psychological terms?
The vilification of what is considered narcissistic has been in the works for several decades and has now reached the point where it is the accusation of choice, especially on social media. If someone promotes their ideas, or themselves, they are a narcissist. If they feel that they are special, they are a narcissist. But, what exactly is wrong with being special, or belonging to a group that has special interests or needs? Having a positive view of yourself is healthy, isn’t it?
Episode 2 airs on July 27, 2016
On July 27th, please join me live at 7 pm eastern (UTC-5) while I explore the concept of Self. I have looked at narcissism from a variety of angles, including psychology, history, philosophy and theology. I also examined the personality phenomenon as a point on a spectrum, as was demonstrated in the ancient mythological tale of Echo and Narcissus.
The episode will include the following topics:
- History of narcissism in psychoanalytical thought (From Freud, Kohut, Kernberg, to the modern idea that we are in an Epidemic)
- The myth of Narcissus and Echo (huh? Did we forget about Echo? That is actually apt, according to legend)
- The narcissism spectrum
- Selfishness, selflessness and servitude
- The hypocritical views, or double standards, of egotism and service, from my observations on social media as well as within our local communities.
- Finally, I will address the need for assertive language, which is dependent on expression of one’s self (I feel, I need, I want), in order to maintain healthy relationships and communicate effectively.
For this episode, I will be drawing primarily from two sources, as well as a variety of other resources:
- Malkin, C. (n.d.), Rethinking narcissism: The bad – and surprising good – about feeling special.
- Select essays from Rand, A., & Branden, N. (1964). The virtue of selfishness, a new concept of egoism. New York: New American Library.
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