I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.




Narcissism and egotism are different. Egotists are greatly influenced by the approval of others, whereas narcissists are gratified by their own self-admiration.

In mythology, Narcissus was so proud of his own beauty that he became fixated on his own reflection in a pond; unable to drag himself away, he stayed there, staring at himself, until he died and was transformed into a flower. 

Unconnectedly, Narcissus is the scientific name for the daffodil family, because of the narcotic qualities of the bulbs. 

Are You a Narcissist?

Research shows that narcissists feel so good about themselves that they don’t mind admitting it – so, if you think you’re a narcissist, you are.

Narcissists rate themselves as being particularly intelligent, attractive, likeable and funny. They also think they’re unusually power-oriented, impulsive, arrogant and prone to exaggeration – but they just don’t care. 

KURT COBAIN (1967-94)

I don't care what you think unless it is about me.


For the most part people are not curious except about themselves.

Narcissism Epidemic

We are apparently in the midst of a narcissism epidemic: US data show that narcissistic personality traits have risen just as fast as obesity from the 1980s to the present, with the shift especially pronounced for women. Of course, we’re all on the narcissistic spectrum to some degree, but the criteria for an actual narcissistic personality disorder include:

  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Having a sense of entitlement 

  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you 

  • Requiring constant admiration 

Are You Smiling at Me?

Some narcissism-linked study findings:

People who have been primed to think of themselves as having elevated status think people are smiling when they look at their work more than those primed to think of themselves as low status do – so your boss thinks you are smiling at her, whether you are or not.

And powerful people perceive themselves as taller; the test involves showing them a picture of a pole in a field, without any clue as to how tall it actually is, and asking your subjects whether they are taller or shorter than the pole, and by how much. 

Narcissists tend to have low self esteem.

Narcissists often react to contrary opinions with anger or rage.

More men than women have narcissistic personality disorder.

There are more single, divorced/separated narcissists than married ones.

More young adults (20-34) than older adults (50+) have narcissism.