The narcissistic nature of society
Are we all infected with the “look-at-me” virus?
Last year, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) announced that in 2013 it would not list narcissistic personality-disorder (NPD) as a personality disorder. DSM defines narcissism as an intense sense of self-absorption and a grandiose sense of self—the idea that one is owed greatness, whatever their talent.
The DSM, the handbook for mental health professionals, currently lists 10 types of personality disorders, but when the new edition is released in 2013 narcissistic personality disorder along with four other disorders (paranoid, schizoid, histrionic and dependent personality disorders) will not be listed as major disorders. They will be collapsed into one of the five remaining types. The DSM states that the reason for the change is that patients with NPD seem to have traits from more than one disorder. Not all narcissists behave the same way and may share characteristics from one or more disorders.
The reason for this change may be because narcissism has become a prevalent custom in our society. With social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it seems like everyone has a desire to be seen or heard. In addition, there are countless blogs where anyone can post their viewpoints. People have become attention seekers broadcasting any and everything about their lives in order to gain a sense of greater importance.
In the reality television era, we no longer see skilled actors and actresses in front of the camera. We find reality TV stars whose sole purpose is to gain attention and maybe become famous. As a result, there are countless people who aspire to be a reality TV star just so they can have their face in front of a camera and tell the world “look at me.”
What exactly are we looking at? Perhaps a person’s severe desire to be seen, even if in some cases they jeopardize their self-respect for fame. Does the pay they receive make it worth it? Does it make a difference either way?
Celebrities may best exemplify the narcissistic spirit in our society perhaps because they are rarely held accountable for any of their actions. They are constantly praised, and that type of admiration may go to a person’s head. The best way to maintain the fanfare, many believe, is to stay in the public’s eye. With that in mind, it’s no wonder so many celebrities consciously or unconsciously act in ways that bring them constant attention.
Take, for example, Charlie Sheen. In a recent radio interview, Sheen called out “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre claiming that he made Lorre’s show the success it is today. Sheen said Lorre is not showing him the gratitude he deserves, and that bad-mouthing possibly led to the cancellation of the final four episodes of the show by the network.
Sheen was an important factor on the show, but his self-absorbed nature probably caused him to believe he could do and say anything he wanted without any repercussions. His behavior showed some common narcissistic traits such as contempt, selfishness and egotism.
Perhaps we all have narcissistic tendencies. Possibly everyone needs some type of validation which makes us seek the attention of others. The love and admiration of the people around us is an important aspect in our lives, but trying to be the center of attention can be harmful to our relationships.
Troy Avery is a recent graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biology.
Yikes! Just when you thought you had safely come to terms with Twitter, tweets and tweeting, let alone LinkedIn, Instagram, and seemingly hundreds of other digital headaches, here comes another one straight down the YouTube downloads, called Twerking.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Charlie Sheen and his estranged wife, Brooke Mueller, appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom today to discuss custody of their twin boys, amid reports that the actor wanted to take his sons along on his continuing theater tour.
After Sheen showed up in court around 9:30 a.m., Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hank Goldberg decided to hold the hearing behind closed doors, saying it would be in the ``best interest of the children.''
The couple have twin sons—Bob and Max—who were born in March 2009.
Singer Michelle Shocked lived up to her name over the weekend when she went on what some perceived to be an anti-gay rant at a performance in San Francisco.
As Yahoo! Music reports, the folk-rock artist told the crowd gathered at her show on Sunday that they could “go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates f**s.”
Her statements, which included remarks in opposition to gay marriage, led to most of the audience walking out of the venue, Yahoo! says.
In a statement, Shocked says her comments were misinterpreted.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The life and apparent death of the ex-Los Angeles Police Department cop who declared war against police corruption has generated a social media fringe of fans who are asserting that Christopher Jordan Dorner was really a hero seeking justice, despite being a suspect in four killings.
A Louisiana TV station has defended its decision to fire a Black meteorologist, Rhonda Lee, insisting that she repeatedly violated company policy by responding to comments on its Facebook page.
Lee first spoke out on the Facebook page of KTBS-TV in October when a viewer wrote: “the Black lady that does the news is a very nice lady. The only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair, I’m not sure if she is a cancer patient,” he continued, “but still it’s not something myself that I think looks good on TV.”