Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Narcissism II: Does it lead to the lack of new ideas?

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, "Make me feel important."

Although narcissistic individuals are generally perceived as arrogant and overly dominant, by showing their self-confidence, authority and other characteristics they tend to be seen as effective leaders. So they tend to emerge as leaders (such as Hitler). It was found that although narcissistic leaders are perceived as effective they actually inhibit information exchange between group members and thereby negatively affects group performance.

Some have the false belief that big ideas have migrated to the marketplace. There is a vast difference between profit-making inventions and intellectually challenging thoughts. Marketplace ideas may change the way we live, but they rarely transform the way we think.

We live in the Age of Information. Courtesy of the Internet, we seem to have immediate access to anything that anyone could ever want to know. We are certainly the most informed generation in history. We prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop, keeps us connected to our friends. Ideas are too airy, too impractical, too much work for too little reward

The post-idea world emerged along the social networking world. Even though there are sites and blogs dedicated to ideas the most popular sites on the Web, are basically information exchanges, designed to feed the insatiable information hunger, without the kind of information that tends to generates ideas.

We have become information narcissists, so uninterested in anything outside ourselves and our friendship circles or in any tidbit we cannot share with those friends that if a Marx or a Nietzsche were suddenly to appear, blasting his ideas, no one would pay the slightest attention, certainly not the general media, which have learned to service our narcissism.

Amira made me realize the need to expand previous post.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Narcissistic Epidemic

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, "Make me feel important."

Cultural values had radically changed provoking an important modification in social and individual behavior. It started when people began to expose their private life in public and to provoke or participate in public scandals that were transmitted through mass media. This behavior allowed many of them to became public figures (famous persons). Being the center of attention became an important cultural value. Why they became famous had no importance at all.

The change in cultural values, along with the need to interact more with computers and less with humans (reducing empathy), was probably among the factors that triggered this epidemic.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM IV, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines narcissistic personality disorder as:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance

2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people

4. Requires excessive admiration

5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her

9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

It has been decided, not so long ago, that narcissism should not be considered a personality disorders, the DSM-V will not include this condition.

Did it became too common to be classified as a mental illness? Probably It is not convenient for US reputation to have such a high percentage of mentally-ill people, therefore they removed this disorder along with 4 others. Nowadays most US citizens are considered as mentally healthy.

Narcissism is so pervasive that impacts core social values to the point of provoking irrational behaviors. Our culture is replete with examples of them which are symptoms and contributing factors to narcissism:

- Botox and tanning to fulfill unrealistic notions of physical beauty

- Greed and materialism with emphasis on extravagant homes

- Social networking (vacuous and/or inappropriate content: 25% of teen girls have appeared nude)

- Music lyrics (the average teen spends at least thirty minutes a day listening to songs describing degrading sex)

- "Hooking Up" (a convenient phrase for very casual sexual relationships)

- Loss of perspective between work and pay, value of a dollar, and value of earning for accomplishment


suRELY we shOuld
our sELF
wHO We are
who they aRe
who yoU are

exhibITionISm kILLs the cat, thoUGH...

By human being (An amazing one), A.K.A. nooshin azadi