A sociologic look at the increase of narcissism in American culture.
In The Narcissim Epidemic, as Dr. Jean Twenge’s previous book, the authors parsed similar data from psychological studies over the decades to see that overall Americans are scoring more highly on narcissistic traits than before.
It’s a little sad to see that there’s empirical data to show that yes, we really are a nation of self-obsessed assholes. But I’m writing this while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” and the humility and receptiveness of the dancers to criticism gives me hope. You never see those dancers talking about how great they are, they listen to the criticism and seem to really be taking it in. I don’t watch other reality shows (anymore) so I can’t speak to whether this is unique or not.
Also, they do pick on homeschooling as an example of people putting their kids at the center of their lives, and while I don’t doubt that this could be true for some, it’s not for us. We’re using homeschooling as a way to teach our kids traditional virtues like humility, charity, modesty, obedience, and respect for others. I love the book’s reminder that focusing on what makes us similar (as opposed to what makes ME unique) is the best way to promote unity in a group.