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Do We All Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Ten years ago if I looked in the mirror and thought I looked good, that was basically all that happened. I would maybe make a face to myself, fluff my hair, and then probably fart because I was in the bathroom so why not? I didn’t call my friend’s to alert them. Nor did it occur to me to search through my room, find my camera, document my perfect pout, walk to the closest convenience store, drop off the film, come back a week later, look at the picture, and then show everyone I’ve ever met.

Yet now with social media we feel the compulsion to share our dewy eyes after a day in the sun. We will even go so far as to cut other people out of the shot, and zoom in closer so everyone can bask in the glory of our new pixilated profile picture. But doesn’t my smile just look so cute?! YES IT DOES!

Instagram and Facebook fan our vanity. It’s a virtual culture that feeds the ego, and the adoration is addictive – whether it’s sincere or not. I don’t ACTUALLY like everything I “like” that you post… nor do you. I “like” things because I want YOU to “like” MY things. It’s just the way it is.

Even though there are positive elements of social media, it’s also fostering narcissism. Not just with the selfies, but also the insatiable compulsion to communicate our thoughts to our cyber audiences. We all have our fan base, as well as being fans of others. It becomes a feedback loop of self-importance, just like that snake eating its own tail – which I tried myself, but my feet really do smell.

What we are ultimately looking for is validation for our existence. Look at my kid and tell me how cute. Check out my food and see how delicious. Gaze at my relationship and feel jealous because of its perfection. Hear my accomplishments and make me feel worthy. Weep at my sadness because it is now in your newsfeed while you are sitting on the toilet. It isn’t just about bragging or expression, but a need to be noticed and thus alive.

In a way, most of modern society is battling narcissistic personality disorder…

“Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” –Mayo Clinic

You may say to yourself “I don’t have a lack of empathy for others…” but how many times do you gag, roll your eyes, or make fun of someone’s lame status update? SHUT YOUR FACE I KNOW YOU DO IT!!!!

Rather than denying the fact that this is a cultural phenomenon, we have to instead admit it, and embrace it. The only way to truly battle the contagious influence of arrogance is being able to laugh at yourself when you are seduced by it. It’s only if we are being real about our motivations that we will avoid being completely corrupted. Now go ahead and please “like” this post because if you don’t I will probably cry about it.

(PS this blog was inspired by a conversation between me and my brother… As we were discussing how everyone is a narcissist we then starting talking about ourselves and if we were narcissists because you know… narcissism).



6 Responses to Do We All Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

  1. Laszlo Nagy says:

    OK first off, I like this and I “like” this. And it is absolute truth. This NPD has become a global disease that is literally going to kill all of us .. and we see it in micro and macro levels. And there are engines for it. Technology is certainly a driver. Loss of God I think is a very significant other. But this has been my own essential .. how shall I say .. mission. Basically, if you think about the cybernetic and financial implications of “like” mentality, the results are truly horrifying in terms of their dytopic features. One or off. Like or unlike. But with this then comes the endless echo chamber of second guessing. // The only thing I have come up with that would allow for the “like” model to continue without turning us all into doubters and addicts to a bottomless affirmation of a putative cybernetic self-hood is the following thing. Meta-liking. Let me give you an example. I go on Facebook tomorrow (if I can remember) and “like” this post officially. Then, what you should do to break us out of the cybernetically thought disorder is to simply like the fact that I liked it. That way it closes the loop and we can keep with the Hegelian model of thesis, antithesis and SYNTHESIS. Thesis is what you wrote. It wants a response. The anti-thesis is whether this thing is liked or not liked. But then, of those who liked what you wrote, which of those likes do you like. Because to say that you like that I liked something is to bring us back to Attman, Self, and not the mini-me self. I LIKE this.

  2. Olga Davidson says:

    I LIKE this too.

  3. Shine says:

    You are amazing in every way!

    …. There that hit should last you at least 20 minutes

  4. Rosemeowy says:

    agreed!!! And, you’re beautiful, dahling!

  5. Will Fehlow says:

    Yes to your thoughts and love the pix. I love aware intelligent beautiful women in general, right, so *you* had me at first click; those eyes, that potty mouth, the flurry of xo’s in the contact reply email you sent, all sealed the deal… …but, enough about you! 🙂 *I’m* currently reading Daniel Boorstin’s classic sosh critique “The Image,” about what he calls the modern graphic revolution. This man is sooo smart, where you read page one and go, “omg!” He didn’t live to see facebook, but 1961he is already talking about exactly what you are describing!!! He calls the reality-replacement artifact deluge that we are now embedded in like flies in fake amber “psuedo events.” HIGHLY recommended, three thumbs up! (can I do that?) mkay, love/peace/out xoxoxo with cheers on top!

  6. Yep, the older gen saw this coming w/ repulsion, but in the end we signed up too, and posted – hey, we were the same people for whom those princess phones were a lifeline. The bottom line MUST be to keep things real: don’t just ‘like’, LOVE -with passion and commitment, CARE about people and social injustice, EAT REAL FOOD – and be conscientious about eliminating junk in all of it’s manifestations, WORK – hard and tirelessly at what you believe in, SAVE – the good earth that enables our lives and every other living thing that we know of. Oh, and whenever time allows after doing all of that , GET OVER YOURSELF, have FUN with social media and watch TV!

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