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Are You a Social Narcissist?

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You’re typing away inside your cubicle when your narcissistic co-worker waltzes in and brags about his most recent sexual conquests (plural) over the weekend.

What do you do?

Smartphone Journalists

It can be very difficult to be around a narcissist. Unfortunately, if you’re around one at work or your neighborhood, you’re stuck with him or her. More people in our society are displaying narcissistic traits in part because the press and social media celebrate “selfies” and every other form of self-promotion.

Why is this bad?

Excessive self-promotion screams insecurity. If you’re truly happy with your life, you’re probably too busy cherishing the small special moments instead of frantically pulling out your iPhone so you can self-publish the sugary dessert the restaurant waiter just delivered to your table.

Credit: Commons/Flickr (Shannon Kringen)

Credit: Commons/Flickr (Shannon Kringen)

Self-Service

One or two generations ago, Americans emphasized service to their country and local communities. We were inspired to join the Peace Corps, military service, or local church.

In previous generations people felt they belonged to a larger group, and they served causes larger than themselves. Putting a man on the moon was not about trying to become the most famous human in history; it was about making a giant leap on behalf of all mankind.

How times have changed.

Before, we wanted to help others. Now it seems we’re more interested in advancing petty interests, such as social fame, Twitter swag, and Facebook reputations.

The “me first” culture prioritizes the self.

Thus, employees constantly remain vigilant about their salaries and bonuses, and how they rank against colleagues. Instead of serving others and improving the institutions to which we belong, it’s now all about who drives the fanciest cars, who has the trophy girlfriend, and who earns the most medals.

According to psychologists, narcissists lack empathy and are often control freaks. Instead of acting like humans, they are more like programmed robots acting out their childhood neglect or abuse.

Hyper-Narcissism and Selfies

Social media has put our “me first” society on steroids.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram encourage us to toot our own horns – to brag about our new shoes, to post images of fancy meals, and to upload videos of expensive vacations.

We selectively micro-publish about the pleasant aspects of our lives (leaving the bad parts out) to feel good about ourselves.

The next time your co-worker brags about how much he enjoyed his weekend – and before you silently criticize him, ask yourself if he’s the only narcissist inside your cubicle.

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About Marv Dumon

Marv Dumon has written over 6,000 articles for publications such as Forbes, Yahoo!, Investopedia, Technorati, Digital Journal, and Examiner.com. He worked in corporate finance and Six Sigma, and holds BA, BBA and MPA degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Contact him at marvin.dumon@gmail.com.
  • Dr Joseph S Maresca

    Some people actually have some good products and services to promote and the social media fits the bill as a potential mode of communication affordable to both the rich and poor. Having said that, the social media does take people away from reading real books, as well as, interacting in face-to-face communication.

    People have become like a couch potato preferring to interact with social media instead of exercising daily. In addition, the junk food diet has aggravated the situation considerably because many people have severe nutritional deficiencies which exacerbate many of the behaviors cited by the author. As a case in point, childhood diabetes was virtually unheard of during the time of the Beatles. Today, child diabetes is an epidemic in the inner cities in particular. A lack of required gym in the elementary schools fuels the disease even more.

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