Narcissism is a mental disorder in which the victims experience an exaggerated sense of self importance and great desire for admiration. The victims of narcissism are known as narcissists. Narcissism is a type of personality disorders. In many cases personality disorders affect people socially limiting them from well functioning in relationships, work places and social places like school. Narcissists believe that they are superior to other people around them and they have little concern in regard to their feelings. Despite this, narcissists have a delicate self esteem and are highly affected by the slightest form of criticism. They are easily angered whenever they fail to receive any special attention or whenever certain favors are not provided to them. This is a persuasive paper, which seeks to analyze why the current young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled and more miserable than ever before.
Professor Jean Twenge argued that young people in America are experiencing a destructive lifestyle, which has seen an immense rise in anarchism. Due to the changing behavioral changes in the contemporary world, young generation has continued to risk their lives over the earthly pleasures. They have continued to influence one another, a move which has practically continued to harm their current and future lives. Currently narcissists are described to be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). They display various traits, which include aggressiveness, abusiveness, defensiveness and manipulation of others, especially whenever they want favors.
Professor Jean Twenge in her book “Generation Me,” argues that the young American generation is the major victim of narcissism. The young are open -minded and ambitious but yet depressed, lonely and anxious. She further tells how the generation is focused with individual. Quoting from her book, she says that “the individual has always come first, and feeling good about yourself has always been a primary virtue”. The generation is so ambitious and optimistic that they go to college to make money and become famous. Many teenagers have the notion that the world demands perfection, even the young and employed have the feeling that their jobs do not provide sufficient income as they had anticipated. Setting high expectations is a source of narcissism. Twenge stresses that high expectations by young people is costly, because when the goals are not achieved, they tend to blame other people for their problems, which results to anxiety and depression.
The advice and mentorship given to the youth and young generation is also a cause of narcissism, as provided by Twenge. Parents rather guardians encourage them to pursue their dreams and just be themselves. This creates individualism among the youth. Rachel, interviewed by Twenge in her book says that “as long as I believe in myself, I really do not care what others think”. This is a clear indication that she suffers from narcissism disorder, since she cares less about other people’s feelings and individualism is highly portrayed. Cases of the disorder are on the increase, especially with the current generation. Issues dealing with self esteem, anxiety and self image in general are the core reasons for narcissism. The young in the American society are exposed to these and many factors regarding the disorder.
Narcissism, being a personality trait varies within its victims. Some have much of the traits than others. It exists in the present America and it is an epidemic. This is because many people are suffering from it. The condition has risen drastically as compared to how the situation was in 1980s and 1990s. 1 out of 20 was found to be narcissistic from the research study carried out in 2005 on Americans in their 20s. On the other hand, only 1 out of 30 had experienced narcissism throughout their entire lifetime in the age of 64 and beyond. It is a vivid indication that young Americans are prone to the disorder and that there was a remarkable increase. It has been incorporated into the present culture and various indications show its existence in the society. Cases of materialism, aggressiveness, public violence and desire for uniqueness are some of the indicators of narcissism in the American society today. These are heavily characterized by the young people.
Despite Twenge drawing a conclusion about the young Americans in her book that they have their fate around self destruction, violence and civic decay, Neil Howe, William Strauss and Duncan Greenberg are skeptical about this. The authors express their objection in the editorials “Generation Y and the myth of narcissism” and “Will the real generation Y please stand up”. In their editorials and articles, they claim that Twenge is mistaken about the millennial generation. They insist that the millennial generation values one another, their parents and the community at large. This is the complete opposite of what Twenge said in her book where she claimed that the generation is self centered and individualism is a characteristic in them.
Strauss and Howe go further to demonstrate that Twenge is wrong in her findings. In their article, they describe various examples with the aim of explaining that narcissism is not an epidemic among the young Americans and that it has reduced. Rates of violence and related crimes have dropped, teenagers are having sex less and they’re protecting themselves, what have seen in early pregnancies and abortion cases decline, drug abuse. Alcohol consumption is not a concerning issue anymore. Cases of selfishness are not possible, because no child would end up getting along with their parents. These are the same factors addressed by Twenge in support of her topic on narcissism among the young Americans. Srauss and Howe have a different opinion, which goes against Twenge’s findings. They insist that it is right for the young to have big dreams for their future and high expectations of themselves as this will only work in making their lives better. The issue of volunteerism is also addressed by the two authors and it is a great virtue found amongst the youth. Willingness to contribute to the community is not only advantageous to the society, but also ways of proper character build up among the Americans.
The opposite of a narcissist is an extrovert. This is a normal person who is empathetic and caring. It is a good character trait to be caring about the feelings of other people. Individualism is followed by self destruction, depression and also a low self esteem. Narcissism is a big concern to parents and their responsibility is to bring up their kids without the disorder. Proper counseling, open talks and free interaction are the biggest step towards eradicating this personality disorder. The society should educate the young generation on the important aspects of life and ways of creating achievable and realistic goals in order not to cause depression and destruction of their self esteem. Issues regarding desire for attention from the public should also be addressed. It is also important to know what is important in life. Demand for favors at the expense of others and putting high expectations in them lead to self destruction. This is so whenever the favors are not met. Narcissists are easily angered and good counseling and anger management practices are highly advised. The most important is treatment of everyone around equally and required fairness. This is a great step in curbing narcissism among the young people.