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The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement Kindle Edition
Narcissism—an inflated view of the self—is everywhere.
Public figures say it’s what makes them stray from their wives. Teenagers and young adults hone it on social media, and celebrity newsmakers have elevated it to an art form. And it’s what’s making people depressed, lonely, and buried under piles of debt.
Dr. Jean Twenge joins forces with W. Keith Campbell, PhD, a nationally recognized expert on narcissism, to explore this new plague in The Narcissism Epidemic. Even the world economy has been damaged by risky, unrealistic overconfidence. Drawing on their own extensive research as well as decades of other experts’ studies, Twenge and Campbell show us how to identify narcissism, minimize the forces that sustain and transmit it, and treat it or manage it where we find it.
Filled with arresting, alarming, and even amusing stories of vanity gone off the tracks, The Narcissism Epidemic is at once a riveting window into the consequences of narcissism, a prescription to combat the widespread problems it causes, and a probing analysis of the culture at large.
"A must-read for anyone who is a parent, a relationship partner, in the workforce, in school, or on the job market. Twenge and Campbell not only define narcissism but detail its antecedents, consequences, and underlying processes in a way that brings together so much of what one sees in modern western culture. Grounded in research and peppered with media and anecdotal stories, The Narcissism Epidemic offers practical, much-needed solutions to coping in the age of entitlement." -- Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D., University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professor, Editor of "Self and Relationships: Connecting Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Processes"
"An important and illuminating book. Drs. Twenge and Campbell expertly analyze many strands of American culture and reveal an alarming tapestry of psychocultural narcissism. They also offer sound strategies for slowing this epidemic." -- Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author of "Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel" and "So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids"
"Filled with important, disturbing research detailing the alarming cultural spread of narcissism today -- a serious social problem to which many people are unwittingly contributing without realizing the disastrous consequences. The authors give sound advice and provide an important resource for anyone who cares about compassion, empathy, and emotional connection rather than ME, ME, ME!" -- Karyl McBride, Ph.D., author of "Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers "
"Phenomenal..."The Narcissism Epidemic" clearly and succinctly identifies the dangerous disease and the catastrophic ways it threatens our society and future, and reveals urgently needed solutions at every level. The chapter on parenting alone makes this book priceless and should be compulsory reading." -- Patrick Wanis PhD, Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert, author of "How to Find Happiness"
"The evidence Twenge and Campbell have compiled is compelling and appalling.... Twenge and Campbell marshal statistics, polls, charts, studies and anecdotes to assemble a complete picture of the epidemic's current state of contagion, brought on by the Internet, reality television, a booming economy, easy credit and other developments over the past decade. The authors dismantle the prevailing myths that have made us inclined to tolerate and even encourage narcissism: that it's a function of high self-esteem, that it's a function of low self-esteem, that a little narcissism is healthy, that narcissists are in fact superior, that you have to love yourself to be able to love someone else." -- "New York Times Style Magazine"
"The other night, when I was reading Twenge and Campbell's excellent and timely new book, my husband was busy framing a fake "Sports Illustrated" cover, with a picture of our 7-year old over the caption, "Player of the Year." "The Narcissism Epidemic" will hew close to the bone, rouse, and provoke many readers as it shines a spotlight on an important -- and highly costly -- trend in our lives. Rooted in hard data and illuminated with revealing anecdotes, stories, and solutions, "The Narcissism Epidemic" is both a pleasure and an education. But enough about this book. Let's talk about me." -- Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of "The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want"
"This insightful book shows us how the epidemic of narcissism touches almost all aspects of our lives. Twenge and Campbell's astute analysis and salient anecdotes powerfully map the problem and the high price we all pay. They expertly show us the kinds of actions we can take to free ourselves of the epidemic's ruthless grip and how the future wellbeing of humane society depends on our doing so." -- Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education at Wheelock College and co-author of "So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
"An outstanding accomplishment by two people who truly care about the debacle of self-worship."-- "Robert L. Leahy, PhD, author of Anxiety Free"
Filled with important, disturbing research detailing the alarming cultural spread of narcissism today.-- "Karyl McBride, Ph.D., author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough?" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B00256Z3AY
- Publisher : Atria Books (4 April 2009)
- Language : English
- File size : 7357 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 410 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 222,715 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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The authors do a highly credible job of proving the symptoms and causes of narcissism in society drawing on extensive and rich research. Their starting point is the differences between self-esteem and narcissism providing a platform for the entire book. They write, "Narcissists are overconfident, not just confident, and - unlike most people in self-esteem - place little value on emotionally close relationships." They discount the commonly held myth that narcissists are insecure and are compensating for low self-esteem.
Among the most interesting aspects is their contention that narcissism is so pervasive that it impacts core social values to the point we are losing our way. Our culture is replete with examples of ridiculous behaviors that are symptoms and contributing factors to narcissism:
- Botox and tanning to fulfill unrealistic notions of physical beauty (skin cancer among women 15-34 has jumped 20% in the last decade)
- Reality television (e.g., My Super Sweet 16 where kids have over the top parties)
- Greed and materialism with emphasis on extravagant homes (over the last 35 years, family size has shrunk but home size has increased 66%)
- Social networking (vacuous and/or inappropriate content: 25% of teen girls have appeared nude or nearly nude on the Internet or on cell phones)
- Music lyrics (the average teen spends at least thirty minutes a day listening to songs describing degrading sex)
- Cheating in school (two-thirds of teens admit to cheating on tests/exams)
- Behaving badly in the workplace (I recommend the book, The Cost of Bad Behavior, on this subject)
- Theft (one-third of teens have stolen)
- "Hooking Up" (a convenient phrase for very casual sexual relationships)
- Loss of perspective between work and pay, value of a dollar, and value of earning for accomplishment
I took to heart that much of reversing poor behavior lies with parents. The authors write, "Not that long ago, kids knew who the boss was - and it wasn't them. It was Mom and Dad. And Mom and Dad weren't your "friends". They were your parents." They point out that now parents want their children's approval not the other way around. So a great many parents are doing their children a disservice by emphasizing materialism, indulging incivility, and accepting what has become all too common in society, namely, a lack of discipline, poor manners, service for the community.
A Time/CCN poll found that 80% of people thought kids were more spoiled than they were in the 1980's and 1990's and in the same poll two-thirds of parents described their own kids as spoiled. And while that is qualitative data, the authors provide the following empirical backup, "Adjusted for inflation, kids in the 2000s spend 500% more than their parents at the same age. Many kids don't earn the money to pay for such things, instead expecting they will just be given to them. This is the very definition of entitlement, one of the central facets of narcissism."
But the book is not focused on teens - it is just that a great deal of research has been applied to them of late. Overall there are two aspects of our society that have troubled me for some time and apply to all age groups: incivility and lack of reciprocity. I am amazed when someone is surprised that I hold the door for them (which to me is so utterly basic). The authors write, "Reciprocity is the glue that binds society together, and entitlement dissolves that glue."
The book is filled with facts, examples to make you shudder, and clear, level-headed thinking. And the authors not only diagnose the problem but provide ideas to remedy the situation. They are hopeful when they write, "we have a chance to slow the epidemic of narcissism if we learn to identify it, minimize the forces that sustain and transmit it, and treat it."
Top reviews from other countries
This very important work raises issues that will get you thinking about the future of the Western Mind and the Western World.
This book tackles that basic issue very well and in a reasonably balanced way, written as it is by a left-leaning Democrat and a libertarian Republican and, although written by Americans for primarily an American audience, it transfers easily to other western societies and, indeed, the developng world. A 'must-read' in many way.
Only criticism is the repetition and waffling that creeps in towards the end of the book where same points are repeated.