The question is, are young adults narcissistic? But before we dive in to answer this question, let’s define this personality disorder.
The term “narcissist” comes from the Greek word narcos, which means “to deprive of reason.” The condition has been around since ancient times, but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that the term “narcissistic personality disorder” (NPD) was coined.
In 1952, Dr. Robert Spitzer published his book, The Basic Personality Disorders, which included narcissistic personality disorder, among others. He described the condition as having three main characteristics: a lack of empathy, a tendency toward grandiosity, and a desire for attention. It affects people of all ages but most commonly occurs during adolescence and early adulthood.
So, are young adults narcissistic? The answer is, that it depends. Young adults may be a little more into themselves. They may be less empathic, a little more selfish, and a little needier for attention than young adults in previous generations. But this does not make them narcissistic. It is more telling of the culture and the times they exist in. Narcissism cannot be a disorder shared by everyone. Some people can be selfish while others are not. This means that it is not possible to label all young adults with this condition.
Today, we use a lot of labels, and most of them mean what we want them to mean, not necessarily their actual definition. Narcissism is one of such labels. If a group of people shares a different view from what is popular, it is easy for them to become labeled. Young adults are one of such groups.
The Rise of Narcissistic Young Adults
In today’s world, narcissists have become more common among young adults. They often see themselves as attractive, charming, and successful. They appear extremely confident but have a fragile ego, which can easily be upset by criticism or a lack of attention. They are under a lot of pressure to appear a certain way, and they need to feel like others look up to them, and they also may look down on others.
Young people with NPD often believe others should cater to their every whim and demand. They also tend to be arrogant, demanding, and exploitative.
While the cause of narcissism is unknown, we can only guess that culture and access to technology greatly influence this disorder in young adults.
Why Are More People Becoming Narcissists?
There are several reasons why narcissistic behavior has increased in recent years. One reason is that technology has made it easier to express oneself online. This means that people who previously would not have been able to show off their talents and accomplishments now have access to millions of potential followers.
Young people are told that they can be anything or anyone. They are made to believe they are above all. They use terms like Boss, Queen, and King to refer to themselves encouraging each other to “slay” on social media. They portray themselves as superstars and spend tons of money and time, trying to appear like they have everything.
What Does This Mean For Society?
Since narcissism is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration. NPD is also associated with low self-esteem, feelings of entitlement, and a tendency toward manipulation, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
These traits make narcissists challenging to deal with because they tend to be insensitive to other people’s needs and emotions. It isn’t easy to deal with these individuals at work, school,, or in different social settings.
Narcissism Is Not Always Bad
While some negative consequences of selfish behavior, such as being manipulative and lacking empathy, there are also benefits. People who exhibit self-centered behaviors are usually very confident and charismatic. This makes them good leaders and motivators. They also are more likely to accomplish more.
Narcissists Are More Likely To Be Successful Than Others
There are several reasons why people with narcissistic tendencies tend to succeed.
First, narcissists are generally self-assured and confident. They believe in themselves and their ability to achieve whatever goals they set out to accomplish. Second, narcissists are typically not afraid to take risks.
They are willing to try new things and explore different options. Third, narcissists are driven by a need to feel special. They seek attention and admiration from others. Finally, narcissists can motivate other people because they are so charismatic.
Why Do Young People Become Narcissists
What causes narcissism? Is it genetic or environmental? Find out more about why people become narcissists in this article.
The Need for Attention
To feel good about themselves, people who have narcissistic personality disorder crave attention. They will do anything to get it, even manipulating other people. This includes lying, stealing, cheating, bullying, and abusing others.
To understand why people become narcissistic, we must first understand what makes us human. We are social creatures who thrive off of interaction with other humans. When we interact with others, we learn from them, gain knowledge, and grow. However, if we feel neglected or unappreciated, our brains release chemicals called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. If we feel neglected or unimportant, our brain releases less dopamine than usual. As a result, we crave attention and approval.
A Lack of Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem is a trait that is typically shared among individuals with a narcissistic personality disorder. This leads to most of the other traits described in this post.
An Unhealthy Relationship with Parents
Many people with NPD also have a poor relationships with others,, including their parents. Interestingly, these individuals are likely to have one or both parents with NPD themselves.
A parent who has narcissistic tendencies will not only make themselves feel better by putting others down but also by making them feel bad. They will do this because they need attention and admiration. This is called projection.
Individuals with NPD may also have low self-control. If you have low self-control, you might find yourself doing things you later regret. You might even start to think that you deserve what you get.
A Lack of Empathy
To understand narcissism, we first need to understand empathy. Empathy is the ability to put ourselves into another person’s shoes and feel how they must feel. It’s an essential part of human nature because we would not be able to relate to others without it without it.
Dr. Robert Spitzer, who described it as a condition marked by a lack of empathy, believed that people with NPD could not understand other people’s feelings and emotions because they lacked emotional awareness. He said that narcissists had “no capacity for love.”
Signs that Someone Is Becoming a Narcissist Include:
- You often put yourself first.
- You believe that you deserve special treatment.
- You expect everyone else to treat you with respect.
- They Think Everyone has to be just like them
- They have no sense of self-worth.
- They don’t know how to take criticism.
- They think they’re better than everyone else.
- They believe they deserve everything.
- They feel entitled to anything.
5 Reasons Why People Think Young Adults are Narcissists
Below are the five reasons young adults are narcissists?
Millennials are known for being self-absorbed, entitled, and selfish. But why? Read on to discover the five main reasons millennials are narcissistic.
They’re Typically Selfish
According to Psychology Today, millennials are selfish because they believe everyone should do what makes them happy. This means that millennials will often put themselves first before others.
They Don’t Seem to Care About Others
Also, in an article in Psychology Today, millennials think that everyone else should do what makes them feel good. This means that millennials are selfish and self-centered.
They Have Low Empathy
Many young adults believe that other people should do things so that they will feel better. They also don’t think they should be bothered about other people’s problems. You can interpret this behavior as low empathy.
They Want Everything Now
This generation wants everything now. They expect instant gratification. They become angry and frustrated if they don’t get what they want immediately.
They Think Everyone Else Is Just Like Them
Many young people think everyone else is just like them. This means that if they are selfish, entitled, and self-centered, then they believe that other people are just as selfish, entitled, and self-centered as they are.
Is There Anything We Can Do About This Trend?
While there isn’t much we can do to stop the rise of narcissism. There are some things we can do to help ourselves and others cope with these individuals. First, it’s helpful to understand how narcissism works so that we can recognize when it’s happening.
Can You Prevent Narcissism?
Health professionals agree that there is currently no way to prevent narcissism. This is simply because they do not know what causes it. But, if you feel you are developing NPD, you may take intentional steps to stop it. The problem is that most narcissists do not believe anything is wrong with them, so they are unlikely to seek help or take steps to change their behavior.
5 Ways To Stop Being A Narcissist
We’ll also look at some ways to stop being a narcissist since narcissism is a personality trait that causes people to focus on themselves rather than others. Plus, it is often associated with self-centered behavior, including treating others poorly. Stopping oneself or another from being a narcissist will involve changing one’s behavior to show care for people and learning to treat people better.
Don’t Be Selfish
If you’re a narcissist, you might think you’re just being nice by focusing on yourself. But when you act selfishly, you’re hurting yourself and others. You might not even realize what you’re doing because you focus on yourself.
Don’t Take Things Personally
It’s easy to take things personally when others criticize or make fun of you. But if you do, you’re probably acting like a narcissist. Instead of taking things personally, try to see how your actions affect others.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
If you compare yourself to others, you will likely feel bad about yourself. You might even start thinking that you’re not good enough. This will only lead to more negative feelings. Instead, focus on what you’ve accomplished.
Don’t Expect People to Treat You Differently Because Of Who You Are
It’s easy to become self-absorbed when you think people judge you because of who you are. However, there’s no reason to expect people to treat you differently just because you’re different. You should be proud of who you are.
Don’t Let Other People’s Actions Affect You
If you are getting upset by other people’s actions, try to take a step back and ask yourself why you feel so strongly about what happened. Is it possible that you’re projecting your feelings onto others?
Don’t Treat Others Poorly
Attempt to treat others well. Try to join a community club focused on giving back to the community in ways that directly impact the lives of underprivileged individuals. Beginning to get gratification from other people’s benefits may change a narcissist’s perspective.
Getting help should be the first resort, but most narcissists do not believe anything is wrong with them (as mentioned earlier). Because of this, most narcissists live out their entire lives without getting any help. If your situation is different, such as you have been shown to be narcissistic, and you believe so, get professional help. It will help you improve your quality of life.
A Few Final Words
So, in answering the question, are young adults selfish? We have concluded that many may be but not all. Some people may also show traits of NPD without having the disorder. There are many ways to determine if an individual is, but luckily, treatments are available.