In psychology and psychiatry, excessive narcissism is recognized as a severe personality dysfunction or personality disorder, most characteristically Narcissistic personality disorder, also referred to as NPD.
In psychology and psychiatry, excessive narcissism is recognized as a severe personality dysfunction or personality disorder, most characteristically Narcissistic personality disorder, also referred to as NPD.Sigmund Freud believed that some narcissism is an essential part of all of us from birth and was the first to use the term in the reference to psychology."Research does show that narcissism is related to increased social media activity," Pincus says.
Some recent studies indicate that facial resemblance between couples was a strong driving force among the mechanisms of assortative mating: human couples resemble each other significantly more than would be expected from random pair formation.
Since facial characteristics are known to be inherited, the "self seeking like" mechanism may enhance reproduction between genetically similar mates, favoring the stabilization of genes supporting social behavior, with no kin relationship among them.
"Most of us understand messages such as 'you can't win them all,' or 'I'm an average person.' But individuals with NPD are not only unable to tolerate failures and losses, they typically cannot tolerate feeling flawed in any way or even that they are just average." In the face of perplexing social media phenomena such as bear selfies, daredevil selfies, and smiling selfies in solemn places (including Auschwitz) it's tempting to join those who blame our digital era for fostering an epidemic of reckless self-promotion and lack of empathy.
"It may very well be the case that American society is becoming more and more focused on individual accomplishment, outcompeting others, and obtaining recognition," agrees Pincus.
"Another patient reported he could not attend university lectures because he could not tolerate being a nameless note-taker in a sea of note-takers.
A third patient found no pleasure in hobbies he tried because he would ultimately find them all flawed in some intolerable way." One way to differentiate between "normal narcissism" and NPD, says Pincus, is to realize that people with NPD try to protect themselves from uncomfortable feelings that most of us have learned to tolerate and cope with.As punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.I think these are the folks most people are referring to when they toss around the term 'narcissism' today." What of critics who point to the "Age of the Selfie" as evidence of a shift toward narcissism?One study suggests that narcissism in American college students is up 30 percent in the last 30 years.Andrew Morrison claims that, in adults, a reasonable amount of healthy narcissism allows the individual's perception of his needs to be balanced in relation to others.The concept of narcissism is used in evolutionary psychology in relation to the mechanisms of assortative mating, or the non-random choice of a partner for purposes of procreation.It's normal for individuals to see themselves in a positive light and to seek out self-enhancement experiences such as successful achievements and competitive victories." It's also normal to want to show off your accomplishments, he says."Some people are focused on these things more than others, and some are self-centered to an annoying extent," but if they can generally manage these needs effectively and "seek out their gratification in culturally and socially acceptable ways, and regulate self-esteem and interpersonal behavior when disappointments are experienced, that's not pathological narcissism." For instance, there are those who "think highly of themselves and will let you know it," says Pincus, "but in many cases such individuals are also highly accomplished.Or are we too lightly employing that word, which describes a mental illness diagnosis?"I don't think people are usually referring to a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) when they toss around the term 'narcissism' today," says Aaron Pincus, Penn State professor of psychology.