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Look At ME!!! October 6, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, People.

My BFF brought home a fascinating book from the library today:  Living in the Age of Entitlement ~ The Narcissism Epidemic.

According to the authors, narcissists are:

* Materialistic and status conscious
* Arrogant, self-centered, vain
* Aggressive when insulted
* Manipulative and exploitive
* Willing to cheat and lie to get ahead
* Uninterested in emotional closeness
* Attention seeking and desirous of fame

And, if the authors are correct, the number of narcissists among us are growing by leaps and bounds.

 Why the surge?  Twenge and Campbell see the epidemic being fueled by four primary factors:

(1) parents who are raising royalty;

(2) our fascination with celebrities and fame;

(3) the quest for attention fed by internet social networking sites (if you’ve got it, flaunt it; if you don’t got it, flaunt it anyway); and

(4) easy credit which allows people to pretend they’re better off than they really are (even if they are in debt up to their eyeballs).

The authors provide ample evidence of the growth in both narcissistic entitlement and cultural narcissism:

* A girl planning her 16th birthday party wanted a major road blocked off for a marching band and a red carpet.

* Paris Hilton

* People hiring fake paparazzi to follow them around town, snapping photos, in order to appear to be celebrities.

* Lindsay Lohan

* The increasing reliance on plastic surgery (a five-fold increase) to maintain or attain a desired look.

* Increasing exhibitionism on Reality TV, YouTube, and Social Networking Sites.

* Spending more than we earn to live in over-sized houses filled with stuff we don’t need or use.

* A growing desire to be famous, no matter what . . . talent optional.

Bottom line, if you see narcissists everywhere you go these days, you’re not alone.  

Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D., and W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D., see them too!


1. Beth - October 6, 2010

I feel as though I could easily have authored that book, as much as I’ve complained about these very things. I’ll have to find the book and read it. Thanks!

nrhatch - October 6, 2010

I’ve only skimmed it at this point. But if they are describing narcissists correctly, I see them everywhere.

It’s like The Sixth Sense: “I see narcissists . . .”

2. cindy - October 6, 2010

Gosh, you’re talking about me, aren’t you. I never dreamed of the hired paparazzi …
*lifts phone and dials rent-a-crowd*

nrhatch - October 6, 2010

Over here, it’s called Celeb 4 A Day.

For $3,000, you get 6 fake paparazzi, a publicist, a limo, a bodyguard, and a mocked up celebrity tabloid with your photo on the cover.

3. theonlycin - October 6, 2010


nrhatch - October 6, 2010

So bizarre the things people do to manipulate public opinion in their favor . . . hiring people to intrude on their solitude so they look like “winners” makes them “losers” in my book.

What if they’re eating Spinach Tarts in the park, and get Spinach stuck in their teeth, and that photo ends up on the cover of MyStar magazine (the fake tabloid). . . would they demand their money back?

4. Paula Tohline Calhoun - October 6, 2010

I see your BFF discovered the unauthorized biography of yours truly.

Oh well – couldn’t remain a secret forever. The price of fame. . .

nrhatch - October 6, 2010


You didn’t spring immediately to mind when I thought about the narcissists in our midst.

5. Julie - October 12, 2010

It’s because many people are way more focused on what is outside of them instead of what is inside of them.

nrhatch - October 12, 2010

Just so.

Outer beauty is only skin deep . . . but it can be time intensive to maintain.

As can “keeping up with the Joneses,” appearing to be uber successful with the cars we drive, the houses we buy, the clothes we wear, and the vacations we take.

When we start to care more about WHO we are, rather than about who others THINK we are, the world will settle into a better groove.

6. Maggie - October 19, 2010

Definitely sounds interesting… I’ll have to see if my library has this book. Reminds me of something I saw at the State Fair – there was a game booth set up and a sign on the booth said “All children win a prize.” The kids would play and even if they lost miserably, they’d still win a stuffed animal or something. (I guess that puts the “fair” in State Fair – but in the long run, it’s not fair at all.)

Every child is perceived as a “winner” in today’s society; even if they lose a simple game, they still get a prize. I think that’s where some of the narcissism comes from – children believing that they’ll always turn out to be the winner. When they grow up, it’s not going to be that way – losers don’t get prizes and winning isn’t all about instant gratification. In real life, it can take years and years to work towards your goals and become a real “winner.”

These narcissists believe that because they see themselves as “winners,” they’ll be waited on hand and foot… basically I think that nothing should be handed to anyone, even a child. It’s a good life lesson to have to work hard for the title of “winner” rather than to expect a prize/reward all the time. Nobody should be able to buy “winner” status. It’s something you earn and work hard for.

/end rant.

nrhatch - October 19, 2010

Excellent observations, Maggie. Confidence is good. Feeling entitled, not so much.

Some of the anecdotes in the book just amaze me. For example, people getting plastic surgery . . . for their pets! Quel idiot!

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