Simply stated, narcissism is an inflated view of the self, combined with relative indifference to others.
There are two distinct categories of pathological narcissism: exhibitionist and closet. Both stem from an inability to adequately develop an age-appropriate self due to problems with the quality of nurturing provided during their childhood by the primary caregiver, typically the mother.
The seven deadly sins of narcissism:
- Shamelessness: inability to process shame.
- Magical thinking: seeing oneself as perfect.
- Arrogance: diminishing and degrading others with self-importance.
- Envy: coveting others’ images, possessions, or achievements.
- Entitlement (a.k.a. privilege): feeling and acting extra special and better than everyone else.
- Exploitation: using others without regard for their feelings or interests.
- Lack of boundaries: no boundary between self and other.
At the community level, we need to work to reverse the alarming trend of narcissism in society by promoting altruism in children and teens. This can be accomplished by incorporating the explicit teaching of emotional intelligence and mindfulness through both traditional learning institutions and home schooling.