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Monday, March 23, 2009

Ah, but of course

The Narcissists


I discovered an interesting article this morning on MSN as I checked all of my favorite sites and did my version of reading the news.

First, I read the home page of Yahoo!.

Then, I read those news/entertainment updates when I log into my Yahoo! email (I think they have world info and some other junk, but I don't read those).

Next, I click over to my local newspaper to read the homepage; OK maybe not read, but skim.

Finally, I head over to MSN, scroll down to the entertainment section, read that. Then, scroll back up to that scrolling box, and read that. Then finally, I glance at the "Today's Picks" section, just to see if there is anything funny or related to reality TV. Totally ignore the MSNBC News, the Sports, and the Money sections.

It was while I was looking at "Today's Picks" section that I discovered it; a headline that caught my attention enough to make me actually click on it to read more.

The headline read "All About Me: The Cultural Movement of the Narcissist."

My interest was initially peaked b/c I was hoping it would be some lovely little article, written specifically for moms, giving us the ammunition to fight for a "me" day. I was looking for some blurbs that I could copy and paste into an email to Hubby that would discuss the scientific reasons that I need more time to myself and that he needs to help out more. No dice.

But, I did discover an article blaming our poor economy (and a number of other things in our society) on narcissism.

So, what is a narcissism?

Up until today, I feel I had a loose, entirely negative, understanding of the term, which apparently includes qualities that come "in three gradations: a characteristic that in the right amount is a normal component of healthy ego; a troublesome trait when there is too much; and a pathological state when it overwhelms a personality."

So being a little narcissistic ain't all bad!

The article describes narcissism as one of the traits that "fuels drive and ambition, a desire to be recognized for one's accomplishments, a sense that one's life has meaning and importance."

So, in theory we are all at least a little narcissistic, right?

Here's where I had my Ah ha! moment.

I took a few psych courses in undergrad and have used those and this article to diagnose the problem around this place: I'm living with a bunch of narcissist that have moved on to the second, less healthy, gradation of narcissism in which it has become the "primary principle" in their (OK really just #2 & possibly #3, and on occasion Hubby) personalities.

The article goes on to discuss various traits that narcissist have, and I'm certain that each of these are present and therefore further support my diagnosis.

1. feeling that rules don't apply...check

2. need for constant stroking... check

3. using self pity as a refuge... check

4. trait wreaks havoc on those around... check again, let's make that two checks for this one

5. lack of shame...check

I am hopeful that these narcissistic tendencies are temporary, developmental stages which they will naturally out grow (well, too late for Hubby).

I am frightened that I may be breeding future NPD sufferers who will look back on my parenting skills as the reason for their distress (although if they stay focused on themselves I'm probably safe).

Regardless, I think it's time that I adopted a little narcissism myself.

But, I'm gonna try to keep mine in the healthy ambition and recognition categories and stay away from the troublesome and obnoxious strains of the disorder that are currently infecting my household.

We can't all be annoying, self centered, egoists if we want to get to school on time.

3 comments:

Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) said...

I love to diagnosis people! (I have 3 quarters of psychology you know!) Narcissists are my personal favorite...they spend lots of money on looking good! lol

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Look at this amazing blog that I have happened upon. And, I see many of my favorite people are following you. I can see why. Great posts and amazingly beautiful children...what's not to love?

-Francesca

tara said...

wow, gorgeous photos of your children -- who can blame them for being a little narcissistic!

thanks for following my blog.

best,
tara

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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