It seems like every Psych mag and blog is posting content about narcissism. There has been a recent influx of ebooks on the subject too. So why all the buzz about narcissism lately?
Is there a pandemic? Have the untrained egos of the world started a revolt against those of us at the other end of the spectrum; the people-pleasers and self-depricators?
I don’t believe so.
I suspect there are more than a few people who would like to attribute the recent awareness of the issue to an actual increase in occurrence of narcissistic behaviour. And then probably attribute that to social media and the general way of the world these days.
While I don’t disagree 100% – I think this is less about a physical increase and more about increased awareness.
We have started talking honestly; to each other AND to the world. And you know what, maybe we can even thank social media for that, for making the world smaller and our voices louder.
It’s not that long ago that domestic abuse was taboo. I grew up in the eighties, raised by two abusive parents. In my thirty-five years on the planet I have seen and felt attitudes change.
Honestly, there was a time I couldn’t even say what had happened to me to a policeman because I was too ashamed. But in the last few years, I not only speak openly but even wrote a book about it.
I wonder if it’s not that narcissism is on the increase, but more that with the internet and the media we are just much more informed these days. Noxious behaviour to spouses by otherwise upstanding citizens is no longer kept behind the front door of the family home. Power-hungry CEOs are no longer protected by their PR department. And crazed celebrity-types are shamed on Twitter.
Narcissists have been around for much longer than the articles and books written about them. But now we have the platform to stand on and speak out for ourselves.
But will speaking out help?
I can’t say, and I really don’t know what goes on in the mind of a narcissist. Perhaps they are aware of the issue, but don’t recognise it in themselves, and therefore don’t seek to change their ways. Or perhaps they just can’t hear us over the sound of their own issues.
But now that we have increased awareness, people affected by the narcissistic behaviours of others can support each other. There is strength in numbers.