Identifying narcissism in today’s digital age


Millennials may have ushered in the era of narcissism, but they are no longer responsible for its durability. Everyone else has caught up to the “toxic self-absorption” that plagues the western world.

It’s already hard enough to tell the work of an amafessional from a true artist that takes their work seriously. Everyone owns their own Instagram and Twitter microphone. So how do you pinpoint a narcissist in the age of social media me-ness?

Writer Kristin Dombeck offers some ideas on how to identify a modern day narcissist in the n+1 magazine.

The narcissist acts like a rock star

“Narcissists are the most popular kids at school. They are rock stars. They are movie stars. They are not really rock stars or movie stars, but they seem like they are. They may tell you that you are the only one who really sees them for who they really are, which is probably a trick.”

The narcissist is callous

“He cannot feel other people’s feelings, but he is uncannily good at figuring out how to demolish yours.”

The narcissist won’t do the right thing

“The narcissist, in contrast, always chooses to act in exactly such a way that if everyone were to follow suit, the world would go straight to hell.”

The narcissist aims to dupe you

“The narcissist has a priori no empathy, yours is just applause to her, and she is not just fake, but evil.”

So what do we do when we face a narcissist for the first time? Do we find the quickest exit and run a “5K right there in the middle of the cocktail party?” Consider self-reflection.

Perhaps we’re all a bit narcissistic, no more superior than the emptiness of emotion that the pixels display on our screens. Some people bath in ‘selfieness’ while others prefer to get a little wet.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.