Narcissism

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by P Thought, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I don't think most people can tell you the story of Narcissus, the legendary character for whom the syndrome is named. I know I can't; I only found out recently that he drowned, and I was sorry to hear it. I also doubt that very many people can intelligently discuss Sigmund Freud's description of narcissism in his psychoanalytic theory regarding it (I can't either, at least without looking).

    But it's become a buzzword in our culture. Every time I turn around I see someone accusing someone, or someone being accused of being a narcissist. This happens in everyday life as often as it does in the media.

    Some of this I know happens just because it's fun and sometimes profitable to marginalize people. I doubt that real narcissists, the kind with the clinical personality disorder Freud described, constitute a greater percentage of the population than they ever did, but our culture seems to have shifted, and the average person today has a much stronger focus on ther self--interests, desires, opinions, possessions, etc.--than did the average person of, say, 50 years ago.

    I (eye, aye-aye, ai-yi-yi) blame this on consumerism and the explosion in advertising. The average person today is bombarded constantly with advertising for everything, and from all directions. The target of all advertising is the consumer's self: live longer, feel better, ask your doctor, be safer, look better, be slimmer, be cooler, eat and drink things that are more delicious more convenient more exciting sweeter healthier, have the latest, deserve the best, live in the nicest house in the world. . . . Social media, which really are only vehicles for more advertising, fan the flames.

    I don't know. I'm just a guy, although it's true that I am one of the smartest, best looking, coolest guys in the universe, who deserves to be much wealthier and universally adored than he is. Not that I care, but what do you think?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  2. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    I think seeing advertising as the problem is a gross oversimplification and doesn’t really get to the heart of it, which we of course can’t effectively discuss here.
     
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  3. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    But I’m a crank.
     
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  4. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Holic

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    I would suggest social media, and the internet in general are far more to blame than advertising. "Likes", "retweets" and "views" have become far more important to people, while actually interacting well within a community or society has seemed to slip in importance.

    But what do I know.

    Edit to add: Love the part in the OP about condolences for Narcissus.
     
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  5. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    @Manual Slim, I've noticed that, but I didn't want to marginalize you. :D
     
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  6. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    The swing between me-centric and us-centric is a natural phenomenon - the 20's were more me-centric, the 40's and 50's were more us-centric, and the 60's - 80's were me-centric, the 90's more us, then the housing boom pushed us hard towards me, then social media fuelled that trend - it did not cause it, but it was like gasoline on a fire.

    I could be way off-base here; just my $0.02.
     
  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Narcissism predates consumerism, materialism, and the Internet, but I believe it is a reasonable hypothesis that these things may exacerbate it.

    I also think that it is quite possible that some cultures breed it more than others. For example, many Asian cultures focus very much on the family and community, and
    expect people to respect their elders and to focus on what they can do for their family and their community, rather than focus on themselves. Ditto Native American
    culture.

    These cultural imperatives are always in dynamic tension with the myth of the "hero", the "superhero", the "champion", the great one who is better than the rest
    and conquers all. However, think about the classic line in Spiderman-- "with great power comes great responsibility". In most cultures the tension is resolved by having
    the hero be selfless and use his/her power to help others. If he/she uses the power to rule over all and be cruel and selfish, then he/she is not a hero but a villain.

    American culture tends to glorify the maverick, the heroic individual, the person who fights their way to the top. I suspect that American culture tolerates and even
    rewards narcissism more than perhaps any other culture. Think of the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street.

    However, pathological narcissism is toxic. Have you ever noticed how a lot of great athletes have horrible personal
    lives? Because the universe revolves around them, and everyone around them, including their wife and kids, are expected to act like sycophantic groupies and to give, give, give,
    never asking for anything but to bask in the glory of the wonderful hero. Think about how pro sports often enables this kind of behavior, even starting at the high school level.

    I like to think that Tiger Woods hit bottom, learned something about life, and now is no longer such a narcissist, but who knows? I suspect that many people later in life
    come to realize that the world actually doesn't revolve around them. That's part of growing up actually-- in some ways narcissism is just a failure to mature but instead to act
    like a 4 year old, emotionally, forever. It's quite sad when that behavior is rewarded and encouraged rather than tamped down and morphed into something healthy.
     
  8. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    unixfish, when you were talking about 20s, 40s, 50s, I almost thought you were talking about people's ages. Because I do think that teenagers and people in their 20s
    naturally are more focused on themselves, but as they get older they start focusing on others. Having kids can really help speed up the process. I know personally that
    if I had a choice between my own life and the life of my 9 year old son I would choose him without question. After all, I've lived a pretty full life already and he is just
    getting started.
     
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  9. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Afflicted

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    Both the internet and social media exist and survive because of advertising.

    We may live in a perceived narcissistic culture. But I'm not entirely convinced narcissism, clinical or otherwise, is any more of an epidemic now than it ever was. Else we still wouldn't be still be calling it the name of an ancient Greek character.

    In any case, real narcissism is not really about "hey look at me". That's just the most visible and/or recognizable manifestation. It's far more about need for recognition at the expense of empathy. In fact, it can be argued the main difference between narcissism and anti-social is levels of aggression and/or malevolence, and need for control. Both share lack of empathy and remorse. Sometimes what differentiates them is purely contextual. Socioeconomics often play a role in what is perceived as narcissistic versus anti-social.

    There is a glaring example of this playing out in the news, daily. That's all I will say about that. Any more would be stepping over the line.

    EDIT: Probably should clarify that anti-social does NOT mean not wanting to be around people. In fact, it's often just the opposite. It's the need to injure, control, and manipulate humans for one's own desire and/or status. Cult leaders, for example, love having people around them. Cult leaders are almost invariably anti-social.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  10. Jimmy Owen

    Jimmy Owen Tele-Holic

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    He fell in love with his own reflection and gazed into the water until he fell in. We name in his honor a white flower the blooms of which bend down to the ground.

    I think of this with the explosion of selfies.

    Somehow, a wood nymph named Echo fell in love with this chap. He didn’t notice her, and she pined away into nothing. We can still hear her, though.

    I do think I live in a more “me-centered” culture than my parents or grandparents did. I’m not really sure what resulted in this shift. Didion suggests it’s the fact we’ve been so mobile that we no longer have extended family and friends to be a part of.

    Sadly, I have experience with a person with diagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It’s not the result of advertising or social media or any such environmental enabler. It’s a severe mental illness.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    They told us "You're free now! You're human now! Worthy of the "I" pronoun."

    "Wanna buy this blanket?"

    See, they stopped giving them away.
     
  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yup, can't discuss it here.
     
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  14. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    That little i is supposed to stand for intelligence, isn't it. . .you're not suggesting. . . ?
     
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  15. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    Unfortunately, social media is no longer just social. I have had job interviews where I was asked about my use of twitter, facebook,and "insta." I was hoping to be retired before this was an issue!
     
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  16. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Right. Here is a pickture of my personal pic collection.jpg collection:
     
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  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Nicely curated!
     
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  18. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This thread would be a lot better if there was more of ME in it ...


    On an early episode of Conan OBriens podcast he interviews fellow comedian and podcast pioneer Marc Maron.

    At the end he asks Maron if there’s anything he wants to ask him.

    And Marc slowly proceeds to ask Conan why , during the tiny amount of time he was host of the Tonight Show, he didn’t have him on as a guest ?

    And Conan proceeds to do a deconstruction of how Maron took the worst , most embarrassing professional experience of Conan’s life and made it about him .

    https://twitter.com/conanobrien/status/1083542169577611265?lang=en
     
  19. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Afflicted

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    Then there is the tdpri, the big enabler for tele-narcissism...
     
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  20. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    Good thing we have this thread to not discuss it in!
     
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