Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Narcissism Epidemic

Narcissism is defined by Google as: extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents… You get the picture. Someone who thinks only of themselves and are surprised when others don’t share their view.

Don’t get me wrong loving yourself has its place. After all, you are the most important person in your life. Whitney Houston sung about it - a whole song! The thing is, everybody else is also the most important person in their life. Many people don’t seem to realize this simple fact.

Over the years I have had a lot of contact with generation Y. Gen Y grew up in a world of instantaneous communication and many of them are heavy users of social media. I am well aware of the buzz you get when you post a status on Facebook and get 20 likes. On social media we are all very much our own celebrities and I think this might be having some negative consequences.

These days it is a tragedy if you don’t answer someone’s text message straight away. I know people who have lost friends or even partners because "they don’t answer my messages". Some even try to bring their narcissistic adulation into the real world.

An example of this is the insanity that is weddings these days. Weddings now have to be perfect. Brides and grooms now feel it is their right to have everything their way no matter what the cost. They put unfair expectations on the members of the bridal party - such as making them pay for a very expensive dress etc. There is so much stressing and so much money splashed around for just one day. Isn’t it really just an event to publicly declare your love for somebody, with a party afterwards? If I ever get married we are having takeaway pizza as the main course, okay?

That is just one example, but you see narcissism at work in all aspects of our culture. We all need to understand that everybody is important. If somebody doesn’t answer your text message within five minutes, or ever, they are not doing it because they hate you - they are doing it because they are human with their own lives. You cannot have unrealistic expectations of others as you will only make them and you miserable.

You may ask, how do I know I am doing right by others? The answer to this is simple and ancient, the golden rule: treat others the way you wish to be treated.

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