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Social Issues: The Age of Narcissism

Updated on September 5, 2012
How many narcissists do you see in this picture?
How many narcissists do you see in this picture? | Source
There is no narcissism in nature.
There is no narcissism in nature. | Source
An absence of narcissism means tranquility of heart and mind.
An absence of narcissism means tranquility of heart and mind. | Source

Our old friend Webster defines narcissism as an inordinate fascination with oneself.

I was thinking of this definition the other day as I was going through my daily feeds on Facebook. I was a bit surprised by the number of people who posted pictures of themselves. Now ordinarily I wouldn’t give much thought to this; I mean everyone occasionally has a picture that they think does them justice and is flattering, and they just have a hankering to share with others. However, these people had posted pictures of themselves quite often in the past and that meant it was time for me to do some reflection on this practice.

It seems to me that I am seeing a great deal of this behavior of late and I’m wondering why? Why is it necessary to continually show others how good you are looking of late? The ones that particularly bother me are the obvious poses that are meant to convey sexuality and desire. Look at me, world, ain’t I beautiful? Look at me, world, aren’t I desirable?

The other people that I thought about are the ones that constantly talk about themselves. I did this and I did that. It is always about them; every conversation is filled with the “I” word, as if they are the only ones worth talking about.

Where does that come from? Why is there a need to dazzle the world with your physical attributes? This is such a foreign concept to me that I need to take a look at this thing called narcissism and see if I can’t find the root cause of it; maybe then I can better understand it.

CAUSES OF NARCISSISM

After some extensive research, reading the opinions of several psychiatrists, I found that narcissism generally comes from one of two main causes, namely parenting or lack of self-worth.

With regards to parenting, behaviors that will foster narcissism can include:

· Excessive praise which gives children an unrealistic view of themselves

· Spoiling a child

· Lack of adequate discipline

· Raising a child to meet lofty expectations of the parents

All are interesting points and, as a former teacher, I have seen evidence of all of these behaviors in many of the parents I have had associations with. There is certainly nothing wrong with praising your child; every child needs to have a healthy sense of value in life. The problems arise when all the child hears is how great they are, that they are the prettiest, the smartest, the greatest, and on and on, until the child begins to believe it. Once that happens a healthy sense of reality goes out the window and narcissism starts to take root.

Spoiling a child can obviously have negative effects later on, most notably manifested by a belief that they deserve to be spoiled later on in life.

Discipline is nothing more than setting limits on a child’s behavior, and in the case of narcissism the child without limits becomes an adult without societal limits. Proper interaction with others has never been established if the only concern is me, myself and I.

And of course, raising a child to meet lofty expectations all too often results in a child constantly trying to meet unrealistic expectations as an adult, to the point where they begin to believe this fabricated image of themselves.

When we are speaking about low self-worth, the cause is generally a feeling of being inferior, which leads to a major gap between the real self and the expected or ideal self. In order to quell the shouts of inferiority, a defense mechanism is necessary, and that all too often leads to narcissism in order to defend the threatened ego.

All of this leads to narcissists being concerned more with image rather than self. How can I appear to be better than I am? How can I convince others that I really am fantastic? How can I gain self-esteem through the praise of others? It is, in fact, an exhausting quest and one that is doomed to failure. One can never base self-esteem upon the opinions of others, nor can one base it upon possessions, awards, or other false foundations.

AN OBSERVATION ABOUT TODAY’S SOCIETY

This is purely a subjective observation. I have no survey to support it, nor do I have any scientific reports that lend credibility to my claims. It is my observation that we are seeing a great deal more of this narcissistic behavior in our society today. This observation leads me to wonder why that is? What is there about today’s society, and in particular in the western world, that leads to so much narcissism?

My gut reaction is that media has much to do with it. Between television, the movies and the internet, we are constantly bombarded with unrealistic and false values. So many actors, actresses and athletes of very little character are glorified in the media, their every move scrutinized, and more often than not their every move is all about them.

The internet and sites like YouTube have given a stage for all to perform on, the perfect setting for a narcissist.

Then, too, I have seen an unhealthy increase in permissive parents, and quite frankly this began during my generation, with the Baby Boomers. From the 50’s and 60’s we began to see a more lenient parenting method, an attitude that we didn’t want our children raised in the strict environment that we were raised in. This has mushroomed to the point where strict parenting has all but disappeared, leading to unhealthy permissiveness.

As I was writing that last sentence I thought back to a school I taught at in Oregon four years ago. There were always awards given at 8th grade graduation, and it was determined that each student should get an award so that everyone would feel special. Consequently, thirty awards were given at graduation; so watered-down was this exercise that even the students thought it was ridiculous. In effect, some awards amounted to no more than an award for breathing and showing up. What message does that send?

THE BOTTOM LINE

The day I start believing that I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread is the day I’ve got huge issues. My father summed it up perfectly when I was a child. “Bill,” he said, “You are no better than anyone else and no one is any better than you.” Pretty simple words to live by; I am just a human being, unique and yet superior to no one. I like that position in life. I have no unrealistic standards to maintain, and as long as I keep my ego safely under wraps all is right in my world. Once I allow my ego to exert itself, however, I have major problems.

Narcissism is all about ego; whether truly believed or falsely manufactured, it is ego nonetheless.

How do I deal with it? I know this will sound cold, but I eliminate it from my life. My time is too precious to me to spend it feeding someone else’s narcissism. If all someone wants to do is talk about themselves then they don’t need me to do it. Heck, I would even be willing to buy them a blow-up doll so they have someone to talk to. Just leave me out of the equation.

The same goes for Facebook. I honestly have friends on Facebook and I don’t know who they are or where they came from; a friend of a friend or whatever. Once they exhibit the need to discuss their greatness at length, they have lost me as a follower.

I guess a bottom line is in order. I cannot stop narcissism, but I can stop its influence on my life. It is not my job to point out narcissism in those I meet; it is my job to take care of my happiness. In the final analysis, the only person I should have control over is myself and believe me, that is a full-time undertaking. If others feel the need to dazzle the world with their brilliance, beauty or talent, they can do so without my participation.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

To read other Lifestyle Choices articles, see the following:

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Saying-Goodbye-To-Excuses

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Acceptance-In-Life-A-Lifestyle-Choices-Series

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Making-A-Difference

To purchase my Lifestyle Choices book or any of my other books on Kindle, go to:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=William%20D.%20Holland

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    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Billy, great hub! You're so right about what you've written.

      Voted up

      John

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      looking back, i was never spoiled and never given excessive praise.. at first, i thought i was a mistake..i was unloved.. however, i've read books about discipline, the pitfalls of praise, spoiling a child which has negative effects later on.guess, my family is right..i never set unrealistic goals, i just do what i can do..the best of it.

      "the only person I should have control over is myself" and is very true.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      I wish this blasted mental illness didn't exist. Narcissism is so destructive. Thanks Billy for writing about this....

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      What an excellent hub topic. I hate the narcissism in today's society and the lily livered approaches to make all kids feel included. I remember working with particularly challenging pupils who would refuse to work if their worksheets were not printed on a particular colour of paper. Other members of staff would copy the sheets for them whereas I would argue that this was pandering to them and not showing them what the real world is like.

      Children seem to think that the world owes them a living and they will get a hell of a shock when they experience the reality! The ultimate aim for them is to be famous through doing nothing of merit bar looking a certain way or appearing on a reality tv show. It really is tragic.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thank you for the visit; you were all over this first thing this morning. I appreciate it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Spy, I have no doubt that none of this applies to you; you have your head on straight and it is refreshing to see. Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, thank you; there just seems to be more and more of this and I find it to be disconcerting at best.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tara, well said my friend, and it's good to see you here as always. Your description says it so much better than my hub....pandering to them....owe them a living....be famous through doing nothing.....that is, indeed, what we see of late.

      Thank you my friend; take care and reach out if needed.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Dang, and I was just going to text, message, email and post about how much everyone worships the ground I walk upon and I can't find you anywhere. I guess I'll just take another picture of myself molesting the telephone pole in my ghastly stance and post it on facebook to get your attention! :) *golf clap* :) VUMS!

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      :-) Phalic narcissism it is.

      I agree to whatever u say... And being from this generation, I feel quite narcisstic. But I do not overdo it. I control it.

      Very insightful analysis...Great writing...

      -Your fan,

      Pooja :-)

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub billybuc, and if it's not the pictures it's the status updates, going to the gym, cleaning the house, petting the dog....nobody cares! Anyway, great points about parenting providing the environment for narcissism to start early! Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT LMAO! Do that slinking things again that you do with the pole....love it Sista! Shake that booty!

      I'll look forward to those pictures posting soon! Thanks, Sis!

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      Your observation about increase in narcissism today is so true.One close associate of mine was all about I,Me and Myself that one day I couldn't bear it any longer and we had a spat over her attitude but I wonder whether they actually change.Shared !

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, I doubt seriously if you are narcissistic. That's not the person I have gotten to know on HubPages.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pete, it is never-ending with some of these people. Really, I don't care about their daily schedule....don't' care about the new makeup or the new swimsuit....I don't tell them when I buy new underwear and that's the way it should be.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr Pooja, I have very little patience with narcissism....the world is not about one person....anyway, thank you for your comment and for the visit.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      lol Billy, I meant that I am a bit narcisstic on FB.

      I control a lot from updating status or uploading the snaps regularly.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      I'm simply running out of adjectives to praise this hub. Can I just say 'Astutely Awesome'? Would that do?

      My parents thankfully never instilled this belief in me, though it had all to do with me only as I wasn't brilliant at anything. But I've seen and dealt with such 'poor' pampered souls. God bless them.

      Another great piece of work by you, Sir.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      I spent a lot if time last year reading about narcissism to help me understand more about a friend of mine who is highly narcissistic. What I learned was to set better boundaries with this person and above all else accept them as they are. We all have a little narcissism in us from time to time but I agree with what you said about choosing what we focus on self promotion, which soon fades away or making the world better by loving and accepting others as they are. Awesome hub Bill! Kelley

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      pooja....lol

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ashish, thank you so much! I just speak about life, my observations and reflections. Turns out they are many of the things most people think about....I just give voice to it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, there is no doubt that there is narcissism in each of us. That is only natural and I have no problem in that. We all want attention, and need to be noticed. But then there is narcissism, the end of the "me" spectrum, and you are right, setting boundaries is necessary. Thank you my friend....what a great follower you are.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill,

      I was going to make a funny comment, but I think TT all ready took care of that! Lol. Another great hub my friend! This is a dangerous habit and only getting worse. I totally agree with what you said regarding Facebook. You hit this head on for sure, awesome job!

      One thing to comment on, and that is your sharing of links, you know you can hide the URL's. right?

      Have a great day and take care!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Bill you have touched so many people with this! You said it like it is. Narcissism won't stop because we as humans learn from what we see and feel. The love for Ourselves and our egos have gotten out of hand. Great topic for the day Billy. Just telling you: Some people might've been offended by this article. But we are by your side.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      You not only give voice to our thoughts but also help that voice reach us, by being so lucid about what you want to say, Sir.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hide what URL's Josh? I'm not sure what you are talking about.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lord, I actually expected some people to get upset by this one. Be that as it may, thank you as always for your support. If someone has a problem they can address me and we'll chat about it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ashish; I am grateful for that!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Billy, I believe there is no harm in appreciating oneself. But being obsessed about own image is perhaps psychological disorder.

      Thanks for this comprehensive study on human behavior.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, I would be concerned about someone who did not appreciate themselves....but as you pointed out, it is the obsession that becomes a problem. Thank you Sis!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, an interesting look at one of society's more unpleasant aspects. I think living a life online lends itself very well to narcissism where it's possible to have 'your own' page, 'your own' email address, 'your own' Tumblr account - and the free space to live it large is there for all of us. My daughter's generation communicate through Twitter, Facebook, My Space, Tumblr etc - and they have to 'invent' themselves online to do this - unfortunately, it all lends itself well to narcissism.

    • Jeff Gamble profile image

      Jeff Gamble 4 years ago from Denton, Texas

      Another great one Bill! I think if we were able to get over our collective fear of being offensive, and our need to be all-inclusive in the warm and fuzzy club, we might be able to reduce our narcissistic output. Sort of like reducing our carbon footprint. But enough about me...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, it does indeed. I even seen it on HubPages. Oh well, it does not have to have any effect on me. Wishing you a lovely evening and thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeff....LOL....great comment! However, your point about not being offensive and a collective fear....right on!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Wow. Topic close to my heart. To me, narcissism is a sign of insecurity. You don't have to be perfect at everything or look better than the next person all the time - what matters is that you try your best and are true to yourself. Love this!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Midget, you are right on with your assessment. Insecurity is at the root of narcissism, and the more secure you are in yourself the less you need to dazzle other people. Great comment and thanks as always my friend.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      My own theory own this (uh-oh, I am talking about me from the start in this comment) is reality TV is partially to blame. The Real World started airing about 20 years ago and many reality shows started because of it. Every little move people made in these shows were highlighted - eating pasta, going to the grocery store, taking a nap, etc. An entire generation grew up watching these shows and now everyone thinks every tiny detail of their lives can be exciting. It doesn't help that Twitter and Facebook promote this, too. People post the most ridiculous, mundane details of their lives online. I really don't care if the girl that sat next to me in my 5th grade science class just bought the last chocolate donut at Dunkin Donuts. Shesh!

      Great hub and voted up! :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, I hadn't thought about reality shows but you are absolutely correct. The whole thing has reached the point where everyone thinks they are fascinating; it is a flood of boring crap that hits us like a flood every single morning....so much so that I'm turned off by Facebook now.

      anyway, thanks for the great comment.....I'm a little mad that she bought the last chocolate donut!

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      You hit the nail on the head Bill. You must check out another Hub written today by sethughes on being a gentleman, a forgotten concept in the age of self - http://sethughes.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Be-a-Gent... I recall that Augustine said that Original Sin began with pride.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rfmoran, great call. Pride will be our downfall if we do not guard against it. I will check out your recommendation and thank you my friend.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is so true Bill, I have seen such an increase of this phenomena in my lifetime. The permissiveness issue with parents, the lack of discipline all contribute to this huge problem.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, it seems to be an epidemic in our society. It blows me away how important people think they are, as if I care when they buy a new pair of pants. LOL...thanks buddy!

    • christin53 profile image

      Ann-Christin 4 years ago from UK

      A very interesting hub and I do think the media has a lot to do with it. We are constantly bombarded with photo's of glamorous celebrities and told in great detail about what they get up. I think many people are trying to copy this on Facebook. I don't have much time for people who always start the conversation with I.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christin, it flat our wears me out! If I talked that much about myself I would have no friends and rightfully so. Sigh.....thank you my friend. Wishing you peace and happiness.

    • ElizaDoole profile image

      Lisa McKnight 4 years ago from London

      Fantastic Hub Billy. Another interesting topic and view.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Eliza! I appreciate that!

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      Billy..exactly why I don't facebook and twitter! Look at little girls as young as 2 yrs. old getting their hair bleached and sprayed with self tanner to look stunning in the baby competitions. The crazy reality tv shows like the Kardashians. Girls in their 20's already getting botox and other kinds of plastic surgery to be the best looking. The fact is, no matter how good you are; someone will come along who is better, no matter how smart you are; someone will come along who is smarter; and the list goes on. It is hard in today's world to find a comfortable niche for our own identity and ability to be comfortable with who we are with remaining awake to the fact that all the other people sharing our space are just as important. A loyal reader!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      I'm so glad you pointed out the way recognizing people (anyone - students, adults, employees, you name it) for basically breathing has diluted recognition for true accomplishment. Your excellent career in the classroom certainly shows in these types of observations you make. Well done!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Travel, I believe it is infinitely harder to grow up today than it once was. Too many unrealistic expectations and too few good role models. I'm glad my son is grown and secure; I can't imagine raising a teenager right now.

      Thank you for your great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marcy, it's so nice to hear from you. I fear that maybe you fell through the cracks because I am not getting notified about everyone. You are truly one of the nicest people on HubPages and I appreciate you stopping by and your lovely words.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      I need to think of a term for my daily "billybuc" reads. It's becoming my schedule - I think - to catch them later in the day after you've published them. I think I might have missed a few along the way - sorry about that. I strive to be a cheerleader. :)

      In any case, I think you're right. Narcissism seems rampant these days. You always seem to hear in the media, "It's all about you" or "Treat yourself" or "You deserve it". Then we have the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, iPod, and more i-products that seem to reminds us about the everlasting "I". I was raised by my grandparents and they had an "old-school" style of discipline and parenting. While not perfect, I feel like they did me a huge favor. There were moments I'd get mad that they didn't understand, but somehow I knew that if they raised six other kids, then perhaps they might have an idea of what they were doing. In any case, fabulous hub - as always - and thought-provoking. :)

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "The other people that I thought about are the ones that constantly talk about themselves."- I often talk about myself, even my last posted piece of writing was about hunting my own faults. I think talking about myself is something I picked-up from Michel de Montaigne (French philosopher). He stated that he knew himself best and he was himself the object of his examination. I think that works good, in my opinion anyway because I do not talk about myself out of selfishness, I do it as Montaigne did - as a means of studying human behaviour. And who's behaviour I know best? My own.

      "The problems arise when all the child hears is how great they are, that they are the prettiest, the smartest, the greatest, and on and on, until the child begins to believe it." - I am of the opinion that this trait is more common in the western world. Having grown up under the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union, my childhood was totally different than most people in the west can even imagine. Comforts were few, praises were few, opportunities were few, etc.

      "How can I appear to be better than I am? How can I convince others that I really am fantastic? How can I gain self-esteem through the praise of others?" - Popular culture drills kids on this mode of thinking nowadays. Advertising comes to mind - products are packaged to sell not packaged to explain what they are. Resumes (which is a form of personal advertising) are often full of superlatives and a whole bunch of lies - I know because as a writer I have been asked many times to beautify resumes ... blahh (that's how I feel about it lol).

      "What is there about today’s society, and in particular in the western world, that leads to so much narcissism?" - Vanity, lack of purpose and honesty ... I think those are valid reasons, or partial reasons ...

      "Then, too, I have seen an unhealthy increase in permissive parents, and quite frankly this began during my generation, with the Baby Boomers" - Yes, it is all your fault. Haha!! Just kidding. Don't be so harsh on yourself - I can do that, since I am not from your generation. Then You can blaime me back and say that it's actually all the fault of your kids (me). LOL

      "In effect, some awards amounted to no more than an award for breathing and showing up. " - Yes, that is correct. Educations is a big joke but that is how the System is build: keep people stupid and entertained. Like the Roman Empire did: it gave people the Gladiator games (entertainment) and a piece of bread (food) when they showed up to the arenas. Thus, the Roman establishment thought it could keep the people's minds away from the rottenness of their circumstances. It worked for a while and it's working for a while now too.

      "Heck, I would even be willing to buy them a blow-up doll so they have someone to talk to." - Start doing that and You'll go broke pretty quick - there are tons of people looking for blow-up dolls (for many different reasons LOL).

      "I honestly have friends on Facebook and I don’t know who they are or where they came from; a friend of a friend or whatever." - Why are they on your list then? Haha ... it always amazes me when people say things like this about facebook - if You don't know the person, why add them? I have a whole eighty-three people on my Facebook list and I know them all. Not only do I know them but if I know them and we don;t chat or share anything on that platform (Facebook), they get deleted. No hard feelings. : )

      "If others feel the need to dazzle the world with their brilliance, beauty or talent, they can do so without my participation." - I agree but this is how societies have been set-up. We being part of these societies, in my opinion are somewhat responsible and sticking our heads in the sand will do nothing. Hence, I thank You for writing this article.

      Fun read. Cheers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, it is part of my daily ritual to read your comments to me...and I am very appreciative. You mean a great deal to me, Sis, and your support is invaluable to me. You are everything that is good about HubPages!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great comments Happy! I certainly don't take offense at any of it. I actually respect you for your viewpoints. I will listen to anyone who takes the time to intelligently make points which they believe are valid. I will digest what you said and take further actions....and most likely another hub....right now, though, I need to go buy some blow-up dolls. LOL

      Thanks Happy; much appreciated!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      another great hub Bill and I so agree with you.. It is a shame that we think we have to praise everyone.. sometimes we need constructive criticism too. otherwise especially me will get a big head.. Lol.. thanks again for sharing

      and I am sharing

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, it is quite unlike anything I have seen before....the sheer numbers are staggering. :) Thank you my friend; as always, you are appreciated.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Great discourse on narcissism, Sir Bill. The psychology you describe is part of the issue. There is a generational difference in how we define narcissism and there is further psychological interplay - its not only the 'spoilt' kids ( I am not sure how we define spoilt) but also the attention starved and the introverted who come alive in the relatively less threatening online environment. Constant praise or relentless criticism may both lead to this need...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Docmo, great addition to the discussion and I agree with you. Thank you my friend; it's always nice having you drop by.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      This is a very good article. You have made very good points here. Voted up.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      You are not alone in being thoroughly turned off by what the internet feeds off of...self-promotion. I cannot tell you how many times my first impression of someone I meet is "egomaniac". I always thank my lucky stars I can walk...no, run away. I think some of the celebrities that are disliked exhibit the selfish traits inherent with the personality disorder of narcissism. I can't help but associate all things Kardasian with ego-centric. The problem is that little deters narcissism, because they are so impressed with themselves, they don't notice or care that their selfishness is turning everyone off. Narcissists believe that everyone else is jealous of their fabricated, superior, other-worldly attributes. Some of the job interviews I've gone to tell me they are looking for take-charge, aggressive, super producers from the starting gate. I just can't fake it, Bill. I go in upbeat and positive, but am not about "taking over" or self-promoting. Smart, hardworking, ability to work independently, reliable and giving 100% to any job I take on, are not enough. For minimum wage, employers want a Kardasian sitting at the reception desk. Dream on!

      Great article, Bill. I had to laugh at your synopsis of the "awards" ceremony...breathing and showing up...I think there's an app for that!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, never fake it....this is what you are....this is what I am....we do what we do. We are throwbacks to another way of life when people were judged by their actions rather than by their self-promotion. I'm satisfied with who we are and I know you are too.

      Great comment; peace and happiness to you and a big ol' Hub hug!

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 4 years ago from new delhi

      all of us are attention starved to some extent or the other Bill.All of us writers, artists, theater people , just the all of us who pander our version of reality as being superior to that of others are narcissists too.

      i agree totally with what you have said and think the desire to take the pressure of the children is producing a generation weaklings who collapse the moment they come across the real world but then cannot help thinking that every single one of us who commented on the hub is part of the same fraternity of narcissists who believe they are superior to others .

      a bit against the stream friend and playing the devils advocate but the idea is to stir thought. trust you will understand.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Your welcome billy. I came across a Facebook profile once with over 3000 pictures, not kidding. I wonder how people find time to download all of those pics.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I've seen similar sites.....if that's all I had to do in my life, it would be a fairly empty life. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Neeles, I love it when someone plays the devil's advocate. So nice to see you stop by for a visit. I hope you are well and thanks for the great comment.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      Great hub on a topic I could rant about for a long, long time. For now, I'll just say I agree with Peanutritious 100%.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Jelly; stop by any old time you want to rant!

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      my narcissism stemmed from people telling me I'm great paired with the things I did. It started to negatively effect my fund raising. I turned to serving coffee and cleaning tables at large gatherings. Then people said, "look how humble he is!" I couldn't win.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I think I served coffee and cleaned tables at the same functions. :) There are days when winning is not in the cards.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      This is an excellent topic, Bill.

      I see this kind of people everywhere and I am pretty sure they are unaware of their blabbering about I, myself and me.

      I have been taught by my parents to let others do the talking about YOU and that is the best reward or apprecation about oneself.

      interesting hub with good details..voted up and sharing it across

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Great hub Bill. I believe a bit of narcissism ( love of self) to the point of belief in self worth is in order. Beyond that and I'm out of bounds for those who can't see beyond themselves. You last paragraph sums it beautifully. Each one of us has the option where to draw the line.

      Fine writing. Voted up and beautiful.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....now you've got me worried.....please don't tell me what the OPPOSITE is. Like for someone who has few pics of her-him/self because they don't even want their picture taken.........no memberships to social media sites......and pretty much lives a "home-body" / loner type existence?

      It's OK....no problem. You don't need to answer this. Behavioral Science is my bag, remember?

      I love your hub and agree per usual).....however, if you'll allow, I need to stress the accuracy and importance of Docmo's valid statement.

      There truly is a high degree of what is "perceived" as narcissism in someone...who, in reality ,is making desperate attempts to be "noticed" and appreciated for possibly the first time in their life.

      Much of this self-inflation, bill, is a result of having been under-valued, brow beaten and often neglected by parents.....or of continually having unrealistic demands placed upon them, solely to set them up for failure. Believe it or not, parents WILL do this, as cruel as it is.

      I fully appreciate what you are conveying in this masterfully written hub....and simply felt it is important to recognize those "narcissists," who are in reality, self-soothers......Thanks bill....you are a SUPER-PAL...

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oops! Hard to believe I can talk SO DAMNED MUCH, and still forget something, isn't it? LOL! but.....I love your exchange with Pete!! really LOVE it..........I value and protect what little privacy we all still have.....I ain't giving it up online! But, let's make this clear.....just the other day I was wondering if you bought new BVD's lately!!! LMAO

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, thank you my friend! Your parents were quite similar to mine.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, for sure, love of self is necessary for health of mind and body. Narcissism, however, is excessive love of self, and that's what I have a problem with. Thank you my friend; great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I agree with you completely; that's why I said in the hub that many times narcissism is a matter of low self-esteem. Everyone agrees that that is a major cause of it.....I also talked about parents doing exactly what you talked about...and it is cruel.

      Thank you as always; have fun being a home-body today. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, no I haven't, but I do need some rather badly. LOL

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Does Bev patch them for you???!!! ROFLMAO!!!! I'm such a penny pincher..... I did that once with Jim's boxers. I thought he was going to die! He said, "Really, Paula?" "Can't we just drop $7.00 bucks at Wal*Mart??" lol......poor guy.

      bill.....I didn't mean to repeat what you conveyed in your hub....I apologize if this offended you.......(as if I was stating something you did not know.) Not my intention at all, budddy. I just can't keep myself from adding my 2 cents in reinforcement. I'll try to stifle myself, like Archie tells Edith to do!!!!

      Remember...I have fewer opportunities to BLAB yadda yadda yadda......I'm not a "hopper."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I'm so sorry if you think you offended me....no way, Jose! I consider you a dear friend and in no way would you offend me. Please don't think that and I'm sorry if I sounded like you had.

      Poor Jim....really, Paula? I'll send you the seven bucks! LOL

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I'm sorry...you're sorry.....the whole damned world is sorry......well, not really, BUT IT SHOULD BE!

      Don't forget the 8% sales tax!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The check is in the mail, Paula! Poor, Poor Jim!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Awwww......Knock it off! That's all he needs is more pity!!!!! lmao.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, if he's married to you I have the feeling he can dish it out as well as you....he would have to in order to survive! :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      36 years as an ace defense attorney...........he can hold his own.......but I always win by technical knock-out!! teehee I just object and hold him in contempt!! I make Nancy Grace look like a nice lady!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, he doesn't stand a chance. LOL

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent! This is a much needed introspect in today's society. I think narcissm starts from spoiling children and not disciplining them. I think that our society is very, very flawed by constantly trying to build up the self esteem of children where they get the feeling of entitlement. Kids get awards for every single thing now a days and doesn't leave room for teaching them what they need to do to really achieve anything worthwhile. I think to many kids are not taught empathy for others and this leads to a generation of self centered people. My older kids had to do at least one good secret deed a day and I made them volunteer at animal shelters with me. Kids need to be taught to think about others because it doesn't happen automatically. This is excellent!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, you could have written this hub! :) I have no argument with anything that you said; you were right on in my opinion, and I saw it every single day when I was teaching.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is an absolute must read for all parents. I too see many parents who are now having to deal with older children with emotional and social disorders related to permissive parenting. I do have hope in the future as I see an increased trend in sports to award only those that have won and earned a prize. You can't always win and must learn to deal with the loss. You can't always be first, the best, etc., but it's the experience and your attitude that makes the difference. Voted all the way up! Go get em, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, there are times I feel like an anachronism if you get what I mean.....there are things going on in our society that I can't abide with....maybe I was born in the wrong time. Oh well....have a wonderful weekend my friend, and thank you.

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      So insightful. I always enjoy reading your reflections. I have some harsh reactions to narcissistic behavior as well, but in the end I realize that we all engage in this behavior on some subconcious level. If we examine our own minds and hearts we can refrain from judgement and allow compassion and understanding to develop even if we choose to disengage.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jlava, that was quite profound and absolutely correct. Thank you for the compliment and the great comment. Have a great weekend.

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      Oh, so true about narcissism! It seems that our entire culture is infected with it. Thank you so much for delineating some of the causes of this affliction of the spirit and psyche. The typical narcissist is constantly posing the question repeatedly, "What about me? What about me?" You've written a lovely, insightful hub! Thanks again!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dancing, thank you! I have serious concerns about the state of our culture. I think we need to get back to basics and start thinking of other people for a change. I appreciate you stopping by.

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