Narcissism is not a new concept. The term was first coined in 1887, named after Narcissus from a Greek myth about a man who was punished to love his own reflection for all of eternity after rejecting all other romantic partners, because he never found any that matched up to his perception of himself. However narcissism is a growing epidemic of our time. It is predicted that 1/6 people in Western Society have some degree of narcissism, with around 20% of these people having serious problems with narcissim.However it is very rare for a narcissist to see that they have a problem, meaning most narcissism goes undetected, with those being treated usually brought in by family or friends who cannot cope anymore.
Everyone has narcissistic traits, everyone is a little self-absorbed at times but to some these can become extreme problems. Attention seeking, manipulation, thinking others are manipulating you, lack of empathy for others, lack of care for others if they do not have the same opinions as you and emotional abuse are all commonplace to those that have problems with narcissism.
However it has interested me to learn that problems with narcissism are a lot more predominate in the West then they are in Eastern culture. Narcissism is not a problem commonly associated to Eastern culture. fascinating.
After a conversation with my good friend last night I have put this down to two different possible reasons and I am undecided as to which one it would be.
My friend commented that in Eastern culture these problems would not be documented as much as they would in Western culture, as mental health and other personality disorders are really looked down on and viewed different. They are more a fault of the individual. This may be true.
However I personally think it could be the different doctrines of these different cultures. Western Culture focuses on the individual, where as eastern focuses on the collective. Western culture encourages everyone to be individuals, do things for themselves, achieve things individually and that you only really yourself. Eastern culture focuses more on the collective. The individual state is not as nurtured as the state of being in a collective group. Your viewed by your memberships.
Perhaps us in the West could be taking a leaf out of our friends in the East’s book.
For more information on how to spot an narcissist.