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Narcissism as a Social Problem of Personality Essay

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Updated: May 17th, 2020

Introduction: Defining Narcissism as a Distractive Aspect of Social Life

The modern era demonstrates an increasing role of self-esteem, which is known as narcissism, in the sphere of social relations. The sources of narcissistic behaviors have multiple roots. Thus, some scientists dwell on the relation of the crisis to the high-tech development, which provides access to the virtual world. Moreover, it is claimed that the problem of self-love is derived from the individual models of parenting. However, after the analysis of particular behaviors, one can deduce that a number of successful personalities, which made a decisive influence on the development of global history, possessed the apparent features of narcissism. Therefore, it is logical to raise some doubts as to whether excessive self-esteem is an adverse or beneficial trait.

This paper provides a consistent account of narcissism-related conduct patterns, which appear to be undesirable for the global society. Furthermore, it dwells on the issue of individual, interpersonal, and societal interrelations that are predetermined by the feeling of self-love. Finally, in this paper, the plan of narcissism counteracting is developed on the basis of the available empirical data.

The Power of Self-Esteem: Global Implications

Undesirable Behaviors as the Direct Consequences of Narcissism

The notion of narcissism is commonly interpreted through the variety of behavioral impact. Thus, the concept is often regarded as a personal feature, which is tightly bound with the feelings of self-love, authority, and grandiosity (Campbell, Hoffman, Campbell, & Marchisio, 2011). The psychologists acknowledge that the trait of narcissism provokes a range of undesirable behaviors, which damage both the personal self of a person and the surrounding society. In this section, three critical harmful effects of self-love are regarded.

First, it is acknowledged that the individuals, who suffer from narcissism, tend to evict an attachment to violence. Moreover, the psychologists conclude that self-assured people are prone to sadism and abnormal superiority evictions. In this respect, it may be claimed that the notion of narcissism is interrelated with the desire of absolute authority. For instance, one may recount the traits of such world leaders as Napoleon Bonaparte or Adolf Hitler, who, due to their personal ambitions, established the regimes of inferiority and repressions so that to inflict the world under their dominance. Indeed, the private correspondences of these figures provide an evidence of their heightened feelings of self. The historians claim that Napoleon Bonaparte used to hide from the surrounding society the fact that his wife was cheating on him with his close friend since the authoritative person could allow neither the global public nor his subordinates and colleagues to make laugh at his family drama or, worse, to consider him weak.

Second, the feeling of narcissism is a primary stimulator of virtual life entering. This feature primarily targets the teenagers and students, who both derive their traits of malignant self-love and transfer it into the world of unreality. In other words, the young people, who are the active users of information technologies and Internet services, tend to turn into the permanent residents of virtual settings. The idea of narcissism age distinction is proved by the current research study, which suggests that elderly citizens are twice less likely to experience the authority absolutism than the youngsters (Foster, Campbell, & Twenge, 2003). The instances of cyberbulling and Internet crimes stem from the fact that many children substitute their practical needs for the authority over the users of information technologies. It is quite customary for the students to offense each other through the social media as well as develop their self-esteems through becoming successful in the Internet space. For example, due to the research study that aimed at the investigation of narcissism progress among the American college students, it was deduced that there is a consistent increase in the tendencies of narcissistic behavior throughout the years 1989-2009 (Twenge & Foster, 2010). With the course of time, the Internet experience becomes a provoker of turning people into the virtual life since it is easier to gain status and authority in the ideal settings than in the challenging reality. The tendency often stimulates the development of mental disorders among the young people.

Finally, the malignancy of self-love is a primary source of manipulative behavior. The individuals, who adopt the attitude of superiority towards the members of the surrounding society, rarely establish any genuine friendly bonds with people. The general tendency is for the narcissists to treat their colleagues and family members as the subordinates, which can be easily ruled. The act, however, may turn disruptive for the manipulated society since those people, who actually appreciate their narcissism-prone friends, often feel abused through the acts of the latter.

Multilevel Impact of Narcissism

The idea of narcissism consequences possesses a three-fold nature. Thus, it is suggested that the trait of self-love provides some logical implications for the personal level of development as well as for the surrounding society and interpersonal relations.

The individual parameters of narcissism follow-ups account for some distinct physical and mental effects. The psychological implication of narcissistic conduct encompasses the feeling of excessive aggression, which may result in the violent behavior, alcohol, and drugs usage or even suicidal inclinations. The effects are often inflicted by the so-called ego injuries. In other words, if narcissists are underestimated or abused, their heightened feeling of self-esteem provokes the adoption of abnormal behavior, which may, subsequently, lead to mental disparities or death (Bushman & Baumeister, 2002). From the other side, it is acknowledged that the power of narcissism accounts not only for the feelings of personal hardiness but for the intensity of vulnerability as well. Thus, the representatives of narcissistic behavior are more susceptible to stresses and psychological traumatism than those, who do not possess the feeling of excessive self-esteem. The problem primarily concerns females (Cheng, Tracy, & Miller, 2013). The crisis of narcissistic vulnerability is a provoking factor that inflicts traumas and Post-Traumatic Stress Disease.

Narcissism hinders the qualities of mutual associations. Primarily, the communication between the individuals, one of which possesses the trait of malignant self-love, is often pointless since narcissists do not accept any judgment or criticism. These instances of social interaction are, however, the parts of traditional interaction between two people. Therefore, the interpersonal association is often disrupted if the narcissists are provided with the critical appraisal of his deeds. Second, the quality of self-love substitutes customary interaction for exploitation. In other words, narcissists are much more interested in the accomplishment of their orders and wishes by other people than in the establishment of real trustful relationships. The members of surrounding societies are, traditionally, the tools of manipulation for such individuals. Nevertheless, the psychologists claim that the typical narcissist often becomes a source of admiration and power for their acquaintances (Kaufman, 2010). That is why, they attract much attention and are known for the maintaining of multiple social contacts. Still, such form of interaction traditionally involves self-conscious individuals, who need to be “supervised” by their acquaintances.

The malignancy of self-assurance accounts for the establishment of social incompetence of narcissists, who disrupt the rules of normal behavior. Thus, the individuals, who adopt the feeling of superiority towards the other members of surrounding society, do not appreciate the laws of social conduct and constantly try to reveal their opposition to the rules of a state. In other words, such people are often responsible for crimes such as disobedience of traffic regulations, under-tipping, etc. Moreover, narcissists affect the global society in terms of gathering “trophies.” Such individuals always strive to expose their achievements to the general appraisal. In this context, they are likely to practice multiple sexual intercourses or abuses as well as adopt religious and cultural blasphemy behavior. Such revelation of selfishness disrupts the norms of social conduct and provides an adverse effect on the members of the community. Finally, narcissists, primarily the political and social leader, often possess the excellent qualities of persuasion, which assists them in manipulating the surrounding populations.

Fighting against the Malignancy of Self-Assurance

The problem of narcissism provides a threat to the quality of public health. Thus, the undesirable behaviors, which evolve as the consequences of self-assurance, encompass alcohol and drug addictions (Hill, 2015). Therefore, it is crucial for the global society to reduce the level of narcissistic behaviors through the application of diverse psychological intervention.

The therapy of society relations learning is one of the most widely-spread practices of narcissism eradication. According to the regulations of this intervention, the self-assured clients are provided with the models of rewarding interaction, which aims at teaching the individuals to relate to their acquaintances in a favorable manner.

Moreover, narcissists are instructed on the emotions regulation since it is acclaimed that the need for power and dominance stems from the disparities of personal empathy. Thus, the psychologists create the specific practical methods of emotion control, which assists people in reducing some negative feelings, which contributes to the normalization of human interaction.

The narcissistic behavior often extends into a severe mental complication, which is called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In this case, the treatment therapy usually involves clinical treatment.

Consequently, one may conclude that the traits of narcissism represent a complicated mental problem, which should be addressed on three levels of social treatment.


Bushman, B., & Baumeister, R. (2002). Does self-love or self-hate lead to violence? Journal of Research in Personality, 36(1), 543-545.

Campbell, W., Hoffman, B., Campbell, S., & Marchisio, G. (2011). Narcissism in organizational contexts. Human Resource Management Review, 21(1), 268-284.

Cheng, J., Tracy, J., & Miller, G. (2013). Are narcissists hardy or vulnerable? The role of narcissism in the production of stress-related biomarkers in response to emotional distress. Emotion, 3(6), 1004-1011.

Foster, J., Campbell, W., & Twenge, J. (2003). Individual differences in narcissism: Inflated self-views across the lifespan and around the world. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(1), 469-486.

Hill, E. (2015). The role of narcissism in health-risk and health-protective behaviors. Journal of Health Psychology, 2(5), 1-12.

Kaufman, S. (2010). Web.

Twenge, J., & Foster, J. (2010). Birth cohort increases in narcissistic personality traits among American college students, 1982-2009. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1(1), 99-106.

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