THE GLOBAL THREAT OF NARCISSISM

OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE

From: Intelligence Officer (Field Agent H)

Ref: H/Int(FA)08/10/O-S/GTN

Date: 8 October 2016

OFFICIAL REVIEW — THE GLOBAL THREAT OF NARCISSISM

  • Initial assessment of narcissism.
  • Data and statistics.
  • Review behaviours and traits.
  • Summarise details.
  • Action steps.
  • Conclude findings.

INITIAL ASSESSMENT

Origin: The term ‘narcissism’ derives from the greek story of Narcissus. There are several variations of this legend that tell the tale of a man who has a fixation with himself and his physical appearance. He eventually dies by a lake staring at his own reflection.

Definition: Characteristic patterns of narcissistic behaviour include egotism, an unhealthy need for attention, inflated sense of entitlement, and obliviousness to the rights, needs and wants of others — unless they are somehow useful. A self-centered way of relating to others can be common in people who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Causes: No one trigger is identified as causing NPD but a combination of possible factors, usually experienced in early life. These include; abuse, environment, family upbringing, genetics, neglect, and overvaluation in childhood.

Treatments: NPD is difficult to diagnose due to a narcissists belief they are never at fault. The lack of acceptance and responsibility makes it hard to treat. Counseling and support groups are proposed as more effective treatments than medication. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) can also be used as psychotherapy treatments for sufferers of NPD.

DATA

  • Narcissistic personality disorder is estimated to affect 1% in the general population and 2–16% in clinical populations.
  • The incidence of NPD has more than doubled in the US prior to the past 10 years.
  • 1 in 16 of the population have experienced NPD.
  • Narcissists are more common in the financial sector.

REVIEW

Narcissism can be experienced in family life, friendships, intimate relationships and work. People exposed to narcissistic abuse can suffer from; abuse (mental, physical and verbal), anxiety, depression, distorted reality, fear, guilt, humiliation, low self-esteem, and neglect.

People with previous abusive encounters of narcissists are referred to as ‘narcissism survivors’. Survivors can take many years to get over abuse.

BEHAVIOURS AND TRAITS

Grandiosity: belief in own self-importance and position within society.

“I believe I am destined to be someone great.”

Preoccupation with success and power: hunger for influence, power and wealth often to the detriment and unfair treatment of others.

“One day I will be the President.”

Belief in being unique: delusions of being chosen or exceptionally better than others due to some unique quality or trait only they have.

“I have always believed that I am special.”

Sense of entitlement: believing themselves to be of greater importance than others.

“That’s not my responsibility.”

Requiring excessive admiration: over-sensitive requirement to being acknowledged, noticed or adored.

“Why aren’t you paying attention to me?”

Envious of others: feelings of inferiority and envy to those who threaten their spotlight.

“He can find someone much better.”

Lack of empathy: unawareness or neglect of others feelings and suffering.

“It doesn’t hurt, you’re just exaggerating.”

Exploitative: taking advantage of others for own personal gain.

“Could you do my homework for me again. Thanks.”

Arrogant and domineering: provocative behaviour meant to offend, cause harm or threaten others.

“Probably I should be with someone else, I have plenty of other offers.”

SUMMARY

  • The term ‘Narcissist’ derives from the Greek myth of ‘Narcissus’.
  • Narcissists use negative behaviours towards others despite the outcomes.
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) affects 1–6% of the population.
  • NPD has doubled in the US over the last decade.
  • There are 9 defined behaviours and traits associated with narcissism.

ACTION

  1. Remove yourself from the narcissists presence.
  2. Do not engage with the narcissists tactics.
  3. Avoid causing a narcissistic injury or damaging a narcissists ego.
  4. Seek support and safety if you discover you are subject to narcissistic abuse.
  5. If you are a ‘narcissism survivor’, use the experience to self-reflect and grow.
  6. Do not self-blame.
  7. Learn more about NPD and share with others.

CONCLUSION

Narcissism poses some serious consequences to future generations if more people are not educated on the topic. NPD has seen a significant rise (doubled) in just a decade, ranging between 1–6% of the affected population.

If not addressed correctly the global threat of narcissism could reach a tipping point that poses serious negative impacts on society. I think it of no coincidence that the current 1% of affected population correlates with the top 1% of society. Due to the amount of power and influence wielded it is not unimaginable that narcissists could influence others with their behavioural traits.

In a world that increasingly celebrates individual triumphs over collective ones, it is worth asking this question: Are we likely to survive the next 50 years?

APPENDICES

i. Narcissism behaviours and traits - Info-graphic). (External link)

ii. Interactive NPD test. (External link)

Yours Sincerely

Agent H