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Old 04-29-2007, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,495 posts, read 24,568,183 times
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It has been awhile since I read that book- has anyone else?

To me it rings true- especially the last 10 years where people are more and more self-involved (and actually believe their "drama" is more important than anyone else.) Even the word 'drama' is something I see 20 year olds use alot more- as if issues in their life are so fascinating.

In this book the author reviews society and its trends, why people act the way they do. He has chapters on psychological issues, fictive personalities and actors. Mark David Chapman was a narcissist. Many politicians are.

Any thoughts?

sunny
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Old 04-29-2007, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,194 posts, read 25,446,856 times
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I take the word narcissist behavior to be clinical not societal, although we use the word interchangeably with other behavior--selfish, self-involved, self-absorbed, among others.

A true narcissist is pathological and some of the young people today, and old ones, too, fall into a neurotic form not the more serious clinical definition.

I haven't read that book, but another that describes the pathology I found very helpful in understanding how this psychosis unfolds is Dilemma of Narcissus by Louis Lavelle.
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
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Thanks. I will have to read Lavelle. I was thinking more about personality disorder-not necessarily pathological.

I think it is aptly refelected in pop culture- and the reason people watch garbage in the media ("The Simple Life", "American Idol"). Its easier for some Americans to be self-absorbed.
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
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No doubt about it, but I am so self-absorbed I don't watch television

The Lavelle is a good book. If I find a good library up the road a piece, I'll check on the one you recommended.

The mind is a fascinating subject--it never fails to absorb me

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyhelena View Post
Thanks. I will have to read Lavelle. I was thinking more about personality disorder-not necessarily pathological.

I think it is aptly refelected in pop culture- and the reason people watch garbage in the media ("The Simple Life", "American Idol"). Its easier for some Americans to be self-absorbed.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:07 AM
 
Location: The great state of New Hampshire
792 posts, read 2,960,367 times
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Myspace.com and other homepage sites would back up the author's contention very well I do believe.
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Old 04-30-2007, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
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lol. I have also noticed when some people have their infants in a department store, and the child misbehaves/starts screaming- they dont try to fix the situation- they just sort of look around and smile- like its so entertaining-thie even occurred when I was in the libraray- the woman diid nothing until the librarian complained- JMO (maybe Im a cynic) but it seems like the coddling and drama are a particularly American thing. (Or maybe I am just remembering something Bill Maher said-lol)

Also- in Europe I dont recall seeing tv shows like Orange County housewives being popular. We seem to be at the forefront of narcissism, and are teaching our children even more!!
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:00 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,420 posts, read 9,030,747 times
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Excellent book! Borrowing from that, has anyone noticed the parallels between current ultra-conservatism (a.k.a. Neocons, Wingnuts, the "base", etc.) and the classic criteria for Narcissism (the personality disorder) listed in the DSM (Diagnostics and Statistics Manual)?

-Narcissism, a pervasive pattern as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior)

(2) has a sense of "entitlement", i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
I'd further suggest that the Wingnuts are obtaining Narcissistic supply (ego reenforcement) from others' reactions to their rants online and in the media, and that they also project all their hysteria, fears and emotions onto "Liberals", just as Narcissists do in their relationships. Finally, their over-sensitivity to criticism, and a chronic need for a "rage" fix (obtained from hot-button issues like "immigrants", "the culture wars", "Socialism", "the Intellectual elite", etc.), resembles the cycles of poor emotional control and rage also displayed by Narcissists. In short, perhaps Right Wing Extremism has become a sort of magnet for NPDs.

Last edited by mateo45; 11-11-2008 at 01:08 AM..
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,495 posts, read 24,568,183 times
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Interesting thoughts!. i like what you wrote.

Sarah Palin seems to be a prime example. Her photo ops look like an audition for a new reality show (i.e. where she is ladling moose stew while talking to the reporters) i really cant recall elections being this, insane ten years ago........
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:17 PM
 
1,281 posts, read 2,240,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamofmonterey View Post
It has been awhile since I read that book- has anyone else?

To me it rings true- especially the last 10 years where people are more and more self-involved (and actually believe their "drama" is more important than anyone else.) Even the word 'drama' is something I see 20 year olds use alot more- as if issues in their life are so fascinating.

In this book the author reviews society and its trends, why people act the way they do. He has chapters on psychological issues, fictive personalities and actors. Mark David Chapman was a narcissist. Many politicians are.

Any thoughts?

sunny
Wow. I read the book when it came out 30 years ago. I think the problem has gotten worse since then. For a contemporary view of the same subject in the digital age, pick up a copy of 'The Narcissism Epidemic' by Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell. I just finished it a few months ago. I don't think it's as well written or as comprehensive as Lasch's book, but it's interesting nonetheless.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:43 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,420 posts, read 9,030,747 times
Reputation: 6048
Quote:
Originally Posted by smithy77 View Post
Wow. I read the book when it came out 30 years ago. I think the problem has gotten worse since then. For a contemporary view of the same subject in the digital age, pick up a copy of 'The Narcissism Epidemic' by Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell. I just finished it a few months ago. I don't think it's as well written or as comprehensive as Lasch's book, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Will take a look at their book! BTW, speaking of Narcissism in the digital age, Sam Vaknin, an authority on Narcissism, has some interesting things to say about the special appeal of the internet for Narcissists, including:

"To the narcissist, the Internet is an alluring and irresistible combination of playground and hunting grounds, the gathering place of numerous potential Sources of Narcissistic Supply, a world where false identities are the norm and mind games the bon ton. And it is beyond the reach of the law, the pale of social norms, the strictures of civilized conduct."

"The positive characteristics of the Net are largely lost on the narcissist. He is not keen on expanding his horizons, fostering true relationships, or getting in real contact with other people. The narcissist is forever the provincial because he filters everything through the narrow lens of his addiction. He measures others – and idealizes or devalues them – according to one criterion only: how useful they might be as Sources of Narcissistic Supply."

"He fervently and aggressively tries to impose the "natural order" – either by monopolizing the interaction or, if that fails, by becoming a major disruptive influence."
(a.k.a. "trolls")
Cyber (Internet) Narcissists and Psychopaths
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