What is Narcissism?

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter who was famous for his beauty - think Brad Pitt, except in a loin cloth. One hell of a combo, I know. The son of a God and a nymph, he treated all who knew him as something far less than the combined worth of his own ilk. Because of this behavior, Nemesis, yeah that one, decided to teach Narcissus a lesson. Nemesis lured Narcissus to a shallow pool, where he caught a glimpse of his handsome self. Unable to stop gazing at his own likeness, Narcissus stared at himself until he died of starvation. 

Nowadays, labeling someone a narcissist has become commonplace. And that's not really a surprise. With the rise of social media, especially amongst millennials, we're sharing, tweeting, and snapchatting ourselves to the world in a way that must appear curious and/or disturbing to the octagenarian segment of our society. Surely, there's someone in your Instagram feed that you've labeled a narcissist - I know I have. Or maybe, you're worried you yourself might be madly in love with yourself. So, are you a narcissist? In order to be diagnosed with Narcissistic personality disorder, NPD, you need to possess five of the nine following traits.

 Source:  Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Here's the frightening part of a narcissism diagnosis - most of us, if we're being honest with ourselves, would tick the box of at least one of the nine traits of a narcissist listed above. It doesn't make you a bad person, and just one of these traits certainly doesn't make you a narcissist.



Interestingly, the thinking about the traits above brings up a 'chicken or the egg' type question. Which enables the other more; are narcissistic tendencies driving the proliferation of social media? Or is social media helping to bring out more narcissistic attributes in more people? I certainly don't have the answer, but it's certainly a question worth pondering while you're on your indoor trainer - and just before you post the trainer riding picture to Instagram.

If you want something to watch on the subject during your trainer ride, I'd suggest this clever piece by VICE.

You can give me the widespread admiration that feeds my own narcissistic traits by following me on Facebook or Instagram.

Wes Sovis