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Narcissism and Social Isolation

Thesis Statement: narcissism can lead to social isolation because of inability to appreciate anything around them aside from themselves.

Introduction

  • Narcissism is a personality disorder wherein the individual feels an extremely elevated sense of self-worth compared to normal.
  • A Narcissist thinks that he is like no one else, special and unique in every single way manageable and therefore believes that he is superior to all.
  • A narcissist seem like the perfect kind of company in the short run but in the long run unfolds, so do their true colors begin to show.

Body

  • Narcissism is a psychological disorder that is gradually developed overtime by the involvement of biological and environmental factors.
  • According to research, Narcissism has something to do with genetics.
  • Narcissism can be triggered as early as the preschool years and may develop over the passage of time.
  • Media has a big impact in transmitting narcissism to vast populations.
  • Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self worth that they value themselves as inherently as others.
  • Narcissists believe they are special and unique.
  • Most narcissistic individuals require excessive admiration.
  • Narcissists are incapable of completely empathizing.
  • The narcissist recognizes himself as human and others as 3-dimensional cartoons in the background.
  • The narcissist over values people, uses them and then devalues them.
  • Narcissists are one track minded – they’re not interested in other people.
  • “A narcissist is a human roller coaster – fun for a limited time, nauseating in the long run.”
  • Non-narcissistic individuals get easily attracted to narcissists and their charms at first glance and want to be part of their circle.
  • In the long run however, others will realize that narcissists only care about themselves and are incapable of genuinely caring for other people and eventually want out of their suffocating circles and shadows.

Conclusion

  • Narcissism can lead to social isolation because of inability to appreciate anything around them aside from themselves

I. Introduction

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” asks the queen from snow white’s fairytale and always the magic mirror would reply, “You are, you are the fairest in the land.” This cycle went on and on and pleased the queen. One day someone became fairer than her. It displeased her in many ways and disturbed her self- esteem so much that she would do anything to regain that title. More than anything, she wanted to be admired. A mythological Greek youth named Narcissus came across a lake and saw his reflection in the water. As he stared at his image, he slowly felt a great deal of admiration for himself. He began to fall in love with his reflection and found that he could not dare to look away from such beauty. No longer grasping the world around him while neglecting his physical needs, he died there still admiring himself.

What happened to the queen, to Narcissus and to many more who get unconsciously attached to their own images is what people, today, call Narcissism. Have you ever been described as a vain individual? Have you ever tried describing someone as egocentric? Do you even know what those two words mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, vain refers to having or showing undue or excessive pride in one’s appearance or achievements while egocentric is defined as limited outlook or concern to one’s activities or needs. Too much of either or too much of both becomes a disturbing characteristic for any individual in general. These two characteristics are also words suitable for describing a narcissistic individual.

Narcissism is a personality disorder wherein the individual feels an extremely elevated sense of self worth. He may also insist on being first in line to grab opportunities to gain more fame and admiration. A narcissistic individual thinks that he is like no one else, special and unique in every single way imaginable and therefore believes that he is superior to all. This mindset lets the narcissist feel like no one can shine center stage as much as he does. Since he assumes and is convinced that he is unique, he feels that everyone is bound to give parts of their attention to him from time to time. He also believes that he was born to be treated in an extra special manner.

Since these individuals seemingly shine in the spotlight and stand out in a crowd, people would get attracted to them. People would want to shine with them and share the same circle with the beautiful and the famous. Unfortunately, narcissists would seem like the perfect kind of company in the short run but as the long run unfolds; so do their true colors and inner divas begin to show. “Narcissists can’t empathize or love and therefore have no friends (Rachel, 2009).” Narcissism can lead to social isolation because of inability to appreciate anything around them aside from themselves. Social isolation potentially leads to depression, placing narcissists at high risk for developing suicidal ideations on the longer run.

III. BODY

Narcissism is a psychological disorder that is gradually developed over time by the involvement of biological and environmental factors. According to research, Narcissism has something to do with genetics. It is said that children who have Narcissistic parents are most likely to develop Narcissism hence making it a natural and heritable character trait. Geneticists have also started to relate the existence of particular differences in genes with personality disorders. According to a study featured in the 2007 issue of the “International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology”, a particular gene referred to as tryptophan hydroxylase-2 may be associated in developing certain personality disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder. Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 aids in regulating the production of serotonin, an important brain chemical involved in mood regulation.

Narcissism can be triggered as early as preschool years and may develop over the passage of time. Parent-child relationships including the different styles of parenting are the center of the development of Narcissism. It is believed that narcissism would likely develop as a result of parental rejection. A study from Kohut (1971) attributed narcissism to the inconsistency and lack of empathy of parents to their child. With this, the child seeks attention from others because it presumably is lacking from his parents. The child may behave to the extent of promoting himself through his self-perceived talent (Kernberg, 1975) to gain positive comments from others which he can’t receive from his parents. Empty Praises causes the child to feel entitled while lacking the true confidence necessary to feel good about them. The child may then believe he can trust nobody but himself. In contrary to that, narcissism may also develop as a result of parental indulgence. A child may develop an inappropriate high self-appraisal if his parents give him inappropriate positive remarks. He or she may view himself as a person with grandeur and power.

We are now living in an increasingly narcissistic society. Media has a big impact in transmitting narcissism to vast populations. According to Laura Buffadi, online social networking sites like Facebook are common avenues for narcissists since they believe that others are interested in what they’re doing and would want to inform the public of what they are doing. It appears that it might also be possible that this has more to do with the social networks we have at home rather than with those online. Studies have shown that children are left feeling emptier and more prone to insecurities when they are praised for skills or talents that they haven’t mastered. Meanwhile, praising children for real accomplishments help build up a real self-esteem.

Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently as others. In narcissists, there’s a grandiose sense of self-importance. Narcissists like to stare at the mirror and admire their physique. They assume that everyone else is interested to listen to their stories. They think as if they have the natural talent in influencing people. He needs constant attention. Thus he shows a sense of entitlement of deserving others’ adulation (McAdams, 2006). They tend to use singular pronouns when talking like I, me, my, in a spontaneous speech. Most narcissists require excessive admiration. They may feel as if everyone and everything exists to serve them. They never get satisfied until they get what they think they deserve. They love to take credit of successes and are responsive to opportunities of self enhancement (Wallace & Baumeister, 2002).

The narcissist recognizes himself as human and others as 3-dimensional cartoons in the background. Narcissists care more about themselves than others. They tend to be in a circle of friends where they first overvalue them then use them and eventually devalue them. Intimacy and transparency are important parts of true friendship, in which narcissists are incapable of. They are one track minded. “If threatened by being told that someone else has outperformed them, they’re more likely to put the other person down (Morf & Rhodewalt, 1993).” They use their so-called friends as instruments to bring them a sense of entitlement or elevate their status. They sufficiently withdraw themselves from others. They love themselves too much that they lack empathy. They express envy when someone gains recognition because they think it should have been rightfully theirs (Videbeck, 2011). Narcissists expect special treatment from others and often result to anger if not given what they want. To a narcissist, nothing is ever good enough and it’s always the fault of others.

Since narcissists have a high self-esteem and are charismatic, non narcissistic individuals get easily attracted to them at first glance and want to be part of their circle. A narcissist may have a lot of “friends” at first but eventually they would grow tired of his countless “me, myself, and I” conversations. They soon realize that narcissists only care about themselves and are incapable of genuinely caring for other people and eventually want to walk out from their suffocating shadows. According to Kluger (2011), you’re bound to fall in love with narcissists at hello but when you get to know them better, you slowly realize that they’re actually quite unbearable. Their confidence becomes arrogance; charms turn to senselessness; smarts turn to conceitedness. They will talk endlessly about themselves, and never mind you. They have trouble working with others since they can’t easily accept criticisms and negative feedbacks.

III. Conclusion

Narcissists tend to have fewer friends in the long run because narcissism makes individuals feel superior, making it hard to treat others fairly. A narcissist believes that he is the “only one” and that he is special and unique, and no one is more superior to him. He feels an extremely elevated sense of self worth. He is grandiose, vain, and egocentric all at the same time. With these traits, narcissists are not capable of empathizing. A narcissist is not interested in other people; all he wants is their attention. He only thinks of what is most beneficial for him, not minding the people surrounding him. Since a narcissist can’t appreciate the things surrounding him, he will find himself in many similar situations in the future. A few episodes of peer rejection such as these can possibly lead to social isolation then to depression and might even be a reason for the development of suicidal ideation.

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