Aaron Kheriaty’s post at On the Square is a fine review and insightful commentary on the narcissism epidemic, which is also the title of the book he reviews. He writes:

The symptoms of narcissism are vanity; materialism; an inflated sense of one’s own specialness or importance; antisocial behavior; little interest in emotionally close or unselfish relationships, along with a lack of empathy; exaggerated overconfidence; and a strong sense of entitlement. Sound like anyone you know?

And…

the root causes of narcissism to the triumph of the therapeutic mentality, beginning in the 1970s; to changes in parenting styles (parents wanting their kids’ approval rather than children striving for parental approval); to celebrities who are “famous for being famous” and the media that transmit their endless, self-absorbed chatter; to the MySpace/Facebook/YouTube phenomenon (dubbed Web 2.0); and to easy consumer credit (which recently came crashing down).

The authors Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell of The Narcissism Epidemic claim:

much of the blame for the epidemic [is] at the feet of the self-esteem movement, which has been enormously influential, not only in the spheres of popular psychology and education, but also as a central tenet of the “gospel of success” message heard in many evangelical megachurches.

The cure for narcissim? Kheriaty offers the distinct Christian virtue of humility.

The virtue of humility is the real antidote, and Twenge and Campbell endorse this. But even among the noblest pagans such as Aristotle, humility was not included among the list of virtues. Humility is a distinctively Christian virtue, grounded in the doctrine of Christ’s kenosis. It is not triumphalism, but simply a fact of history: Christianity was the leaven that shaped a more humble and humane culture; gave rise to America’s founding values; and, ultimately, prevented us from worshipping ourselves. The cure? Either we will become the salt and light that purge and dispel the insipid narcissism that surrounds us, or our culture will continue to descend deeper into the loud, crass, and aggressive cult of self-worship.

Spread the word (please & thank you) 

3 Comments

  1. What can you expect when our government in Washington DC starting at the top are all Narcissist.

    It time for a house cleaning.

  2. “The symptoms of narcissism are vanity; materialism; an inflated sense of one’s own specialness or importance; antisocial behavior; little interest in emotionally close or unselfish relationships, along with a lack of empathy; exaggerated overconfidence; and a strong sense of entitlement. Sound like anyone you know?”
    I do!

  3. Of course, Washington officials are there because we have elected them; at least the majority did.

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