Do you know narcissistic personality disorder? It represents traits of grandiosity, the need for admiration, and lack of empathy. People with narcissistic personality are likely to behave as if they are somehow special. They cannot admit they are ordinary. And they tend to utilize other people for their own interest. It brings them serious troubles regarding the interpersonal relationship.
The thought, “I am special, so people should treat me as so,” is a core symptom of a narcissistic personality. Their self-image is so bloated that they never think back to themselves. But, when they do so, they often become severely depressed because of noticing the gap between their image and the reality.
The prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder is rapidly increasing, especially in women. These data is matching my impression. Someone in Japan said that 21st century is the age of narcissistic personality.
The Guardian: Me! Me! Me! Are we living through a narcissism epidemic?
There is some possible explanation for boosting of the prevalence. In many developed countries, after basic needs are satisfied, they began to gather approval from others. Also, the social status of women was remarkably improved in these decades. It improved the self-esteem of women, leading to narcissism. Furthermore, the rise of the internet and social network service made us conscious of self. We want to gather more like on Facebook and favorite on Twitter. These measurements often reflect our self-satisfaction directly. Selfie is very representative for the rise of narcissistic personality.
Improved self-esteem is not bad for us. However, too much emphasizing the importance of being acknowledged is rather troublesome. We tend to compare with each other. Inferiority complex makes you gloomy. It is miserable if you can never approve yourself without other people’s attention.
Successful people are more or less narcissistic. Donald Trump is a good example. It is true that narcissistic people attract others and sometimes gain their faith. In the films, there are many examples, like Loki in the Thor.
My past entry: Thor the Dark World, dark heart of Loki
Chizuo Matsumoto, or Shoko Asahara, deemed as the culprit who ordered a massacre using toxic gas in an underground, is also considered to have a narcissistic personality. Many people trusted his words and behaviors as being justified based on the religious ideology. Combination of narcissistic personality and antisocial one is very dangerous. He is an extreme case, but there are many moderate examples, such as in selfish artists.
In the modern era, we have a difficulty in defining ourselves in the complex society. We should be aware of our self-image. Neither grandiose nor servile attitude are improper. Keeping your image under your own control is crucial for better life.