It all began with the myth of Narcissus and Echo……
“In this tale, told by Roman poet Ovid and remembered for his verses on love, a young girl named Echo falls in love with a vain youth named Narcissus. He was the son of a woman that the river god had encircled with the winding of his streams, thus trapping and seducing her. Worried for her son’s welfare, she consulted a prophet regarding his future. The prophet reports: Narcissus “will live to a ripe old age, as long as he never knows himself.”
One day when Narcissus was out hunting, Echo follows the handsome youth through the woods, longing to address him but unable to speak first. When Narcissus finally heard her footsteps he shouted “Who goes there?” Echo answered “…goes there? …goes there?” And so it went, until finally Echo showed herself and rushed to embrace Narcissus. He pulled away and vainly told her to leave him alone. Narcissus left Echo heartbroken and she spent the rest of her life lonely and pining away for the love she never knew. Only her voice remained.
Eventually Narcissus became thirsty and went to drink from a stream. As he saw his reflection, he fell in love with it, not knowing that it was him. As he bent down to kiss it, it seemed to “run away” and he was heartbroken. He grew thirstier but he wouldn’t touch the water for fear of damaging his reflection, so he eventually died of thirst and staring at his own reflection. The narcissus flower is closely identified with the boy and was said to spring from the ground around the pool where Narcissus died. In the roman version it is suggested that Narcissus is transformed into the flower (of the same name)”.
– By Ernie Vecchio
“Black Swan” is an American psychological thriller and horror film. The plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake ballet by a prestigious New York City company. The production requires a ballerina to play the innocent and fragile White Swan, for which the committed dancer Nina is a perfect fit, as well as the dark and sensual Black Swan, which are qualities embodied by the new arrival Lily. Nina is overwhelmed by a feeling of immense pressure when she finds herself competing for the part, causing her to lose her tenuous grip on reality and descend into a living nightmare. It depicts amply the concept of narcissism, and what we might conclude about the state of Nina’s mind. The film brilliantly captures the brutal physical and emotional demands that ballerinas face in their short-lived career span.
The term narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. These advances eventually led Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus “lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour”, and finally changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.
Narcissism is a generalized personality trait characterized by egotism, vanity, pride, &/or selfishness. The concept of excessive selfishness has been recognized throughout history. It is only in recent times that it has been defined in psychological terms.
The Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) is the most widely used measure of narcissism in social psychological research. The NPI is often said to measure “normal” or “sub-clinical” (borderline) narcissism (i.e., in people who score very high on the NPI do not necessarily meet criteria for diagnosis with NPD).
Thomas suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:
- An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
- Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
- A lack of psychological awareness
- Difficulty with empathy
- Problems distinguishing the self from others
- Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults
- Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
- Haughty body language
- Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them
- Detesting those who do not admire them
- Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
- Pretending to be more important than they really are
- Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
- Claiming to be an “expert” at many things
- Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
- Denial of remorse and gratitude
There are several ongoing controversies within narcissism literature, namely whether narcissism is healthy or unhealthy, a personality disorder, a discrete or continuous variable, defensive or offensive, the same across genders, the same across cultures, and changeable or unchangeable.
– From Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia
Narcissists tend to show a lack of interest in warm and caring interpersonal relationships. Who is a narcissist? It can be anyone – a friend, a business partner, a lover or a spouse – even family. The cold hard truth is that a narcissist loves no-one, not even himself. Rather, he falls in love with the ‘impression’ he thinks he makes upon others, and falsely feels love toward those who are most in awe of this ‘impression.’ Should this fake image be discovered by those who “admire” him, he becomes outraged and abandons these people in contemptuous disrespect – even publicly. The narcissist has no real friends and only fake self-esteem. Masters of deception, they devour people and shamelessly use them to achieve their goals, whilst vehemently denying any allusion to this effect. Once you have peered through the sham of their pretenses and lies (they are pathological liars who spin a story at the drop of hat) then you become the enemy. A narcissist requires continuous admiration and stroking and if you no longer can be a source of supply, you will not be tolerated in his inner circle.
Narcissism is a term that is widely used in psychology, psychoanalysis and psychiatry. It makes reference to a personality disorder with pathological implications. Narcissism is an extreme case of vanity, egoism and selfishness. Even though cases of “ sub-clinical” or “borderline” narcissism have been noted in recent times, the fact is that the majority of the world’s population tends to be vain, selfish and egotistic till this day.
Vanity is not be confused with pride – pride is acceptable, as it is only your opinion about yourself, whereas vanity is your concern about how others think about you. The term Vanity originates from the Latin word ‘vanitas’ meaning emptiness, untruthfulness, futility, foolishness and empty pride. Vanity shares the vices of selfishness and egotism in its meaning. Selfishness is placing concern with oneself or one’s own interests above the well-being or interests of others. Egotism/egoism is the practice of talking and thinking about oneself excessively because of an undue sense of self-importance.
The goodness and benevolence of the virtues of selflessness, altruism, humility, modesty, kindness, consideration, caring and sharing need to be taught and maintained since the onset of one’s childhood – these virtues need to be taught the moment that a child can speak clearly, understand properly and read correctly. It is an ongoing lesson that one ought to continue learning in one’s adolescence, adulthood and till the onset of one’s old age but is rarely ever the case.
The majority of the world’s contemporary problems stem from the fact that most people just cannot or will not look beyond the end of their nose – they are so self-centered, so self-absorbed and so self-immersed that they fail to notice that there is life and a world beyond themselves. Selfishness and egoistic attitudes have made people evermore indifferent and callous.
The Face of Vanity, Egoism and Selfishness needs to be destroyed before you can even begin to think of making our world a better place to live in. Change for the better needs to come from within first – it is hypocrisy and absolute arrogance, on your part, if you expect the world to change for you when you have not even remotely tried to change first for the better yourself!
- Narcissism Treatment (tivalix.wordpress.com)
- Taking our ‘Narcissus’ kids down a peg (matthew.wordpress.com)
- The Narcissistic Father (psychologytoday.com)
- Masturbation and or Narcissism (Self love) (nestlines.wordpress.com)
- Narcissus In The Promised Land (sago.com)
- Narcissus and Echo (dutchwitch.wordpress.com)
- Narcissist What Are They Like (narcissistsupportgroupphilippines.wordpress.com)
- Where the trouble lies: narcissism the unknown ideal (familyhurts.wordpress.com)