One of the big things in the news today was how Kanye West stole Taylor Swift’s thunder at the MTV awards. Now, I’m not a fan of either. So this post is not about them or music or about the awards.
Another big thing over the weekend was Serena Williams’ temper tantrum in the US open semis. (I am annoyed, by the way, at how reports said that the penalty helped Clijsters win! She was leading and would have won anyway!!! In case you didn’t figure out…I like Clijsters…and I’m stoked she won!)
What do these two have in common? Well, they both involve narcissists. In fact, in Kanye West’s case, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This PD (personality disorder) made news here in Australia a few weeks ago when Brendan Nelson accused Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull of having a narcissitic PD.
So anyway, due to having so much exposure to NPD lately, I thought I would blog about it. This is not something new to me. I haven’t worked with clients having NPD (although I reckon there would some in the making for sure!) but it’s something I have learnt about and as psychs, we talk about amongst ourselves.
So what is NPD? Well, to put it simply, it’s when a person thinks everything is about them and has a supremely inflated ego, cannot see others’ points of view and think they are always right. They are also not very receptive to being criticised and like to be noticed as being important. And of course, this needs to impact their life, their relationships, their work.
Unfortunately, in the world today, there are several narcissists. I don’t know how many would fit the criteria for NPD though. Research too is unable to clearly show that because as you might guess…people with narcissistic personality disorder do not think they have any problems and so do not present themselves for therapy. I have met narcissistic people and I’m sure some of you have as well.
They can be extremely annoying. For one, they will not listen to your point of view. It’s always what they say. I have had to do group projects with individuals such as these. It is no picnic. Especially given that I can be a control freak as well due to my anxiety.
The problem is society nowadays promotes narcissism. We promote it by idealising celebs. They tend to be entitled and we give them the publicity for that entitlement. Kyle Sandilands is a perfect example for NPD. Yet, he has a huge fanbase and several supporters. In fact, last year or the year before, he had a psychiatrist on the show who diagnosed him with NPD but then said something along the lines of him not being responsible for his actions and that people needed to listen to him! What the?! There are probably several more celebs out there with NPD…the divas for instance are probably entitled. They think the world revolves around them. And sadly, the public acts like it does.
The other way in which society indirectly promotes narcissism is that you have to be entitled to get to the top. You have to sometimes not give a shit about others and think about yourself. The result — narcissism. Believing you are better than everyone else. Believing you are entitled to certain things because you are ‘up there’ on top of the ladder.
And finally, what about some of the kids today. Who have parents that think they are little angels. Who condone negative behaviour. Who give their children everything they ask for, no matter how unreasonable. The result — the kids think everyone is out to do their bidding. And if not…the result is a Serena Williams-style temper tantrum.
So now…I’d like to put this out there — has anyone had experience working with or been friends with a narcissist? Do share your experiences.
Unfortunately, I think this is the way the world is going. The narcissists are being given the importance they crave. And it might just become the norm.
Tomorrow, we may be a universe of just that.
And probably, no such thing as a Narcissistic Personality Disorder will exist then.
Rather, there may be a submissive personality disorder or an unachieving personality disorder.
Until next time,