Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Narcissus (nar-SISS-us)

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a handsome and conceited young man who spurned the advances of the nymphs Echo and Aminias. Aminias, hurt in her pride, cursed the young man, wishing that he would never possess the object of his love. One day, Narcissus bowed to drink from a water fountain. Seeing his own face reflected on the water, he fell in love with it. Narcissus was so attracted to his own image that he frequently returned to the water fountain to contemplate himself. Thus he went on languishing until he died. Another version of the legend tells that, seeing himself on the water, he tried to embrace his own image and drowned in the attempt. In that place, according to the legend, sprouted a new flower that takes the name of its unhappy creator— narcissus.

It was Sigmund Freud who added the term narcissism to the vocabulary of psychology to designate love to the self-image and the stage of development when a child makes his own self the main object of his or her love. These ideas have given rise to many studies that describe and analyze the distinct profile of the narcissistic personality.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMIV) of the American Psychiatric Association, narcissists are arrogant and conceited individuals who have magnificent fantasies about themselves. They overestimate their success, need to be constantly admired, and always expect preferential treatment. Narcissists are convinced that they deserve more than they receive. They are worried about looking good and keeping themselves young. They are insensitive to the needs and problems of other people. With little tolerance for criticism, they often react with fury to real or imaginary slights.They tend to be male rather than female.

To sum up, narcissists focus on themselves, fascinated with their own personality and their body, "with an atrocious individualism that lacks moral and social values and is disinterested about any transcendental matter." What we have is a self sitting on its throne, unconcerned about anything else in life.


I had eshewed blogs in the past because of this 'theory'. As written above, I thought of them as somewhat narcissistic, which I have been accused of being. I hope those people have changed, as I have, and see this as pure entertainment. Check your brain at the door before reading any of this.


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