“but i’m too perfect to be a narcissist” – part one


i’ve finally discovered what is wrong with me…its YOU!  all of you. you irritate me (especially in traffic) and you do not deserve to be breathing the same air as i am.  you see, i am a narcissist.  i have come to the conclusion that the world is too small for anyone but me, so you are going to have to move.

i’ve been reading an illuminating book by drs. jean twenge and keith campbell (foremost experts on narcissism) entitled “the narcissism epidemic.”  i don’t know how i missed it until now, but i can now see–quite clearly, i might add–why i am such a loser.  it’s because all of you think you are as wonderful as i am and i have been unable to convince you otherwise.  consequently, all of us self-absorbed christians have been unable to persuade all the arrogant, fat-headed sinners that they are more messed up than we are, and that they need to become christians like us.

seriously, there are some “shake your head in disbelief” claims in this book and i believe they point directly to many of the maladies in our culture.  twenge and campbell claim that theirs is the first study on narcissism to go beyond conjecture.  they provide empirical evidence of the damage and danger of narcissism.  in fact, we have long known narcissism to be a personality disorder (NPD), but twenge and campbell describe narcissism as “a psychocultural affliction rather than a physical disease.”   and narcissism, as they define it, has become so pervasive that one can see it anywhere one looks.

even in oneself.  hence my epiphany.

i want to take the next few days to share some of the more conspicuous symptoms of narcissism that twenge and campbell point out in their book.  as i said earlier, i found them quite illuminating.  i leave you with a quote from the introduction to “the narcissism epidemic.”  buckle your seat belts…i can’t wait until tomorrow’s post!

The United States is currently suffering from an epidemic of narcissism.  Merriam-Webster’ dictionary defines an epidemic as an affliction “affecting…a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population,” and narcissism more than fits the bill.  In data from 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980’s to the present, with the shift especially pronounced for women.  The rise in narcissism is accelerating, with scores rising faster in the 2000’s than in previous decades.  By 2006, 1 out of 4 college students agreed with the majority of items on a standard measure of narcissistic traits.

Not only are there more narcissists than ever, but non-narcissistic people are seduced by the increasing emphasis on material wealth, physical appearance, celebrity worship, and attention seeking.  Standards have shifted, sucking otherwise humble people into the vortex of granite countertops, tricked-out MySpace pages, and plastic surgery.


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