Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Narcissism, Celebrity Apprentice and Me.

Recently, I read a humorous story in Time magazine by Joel Stein (LINK). It got me thinking a little about how self-involved we all are, and what part society plays into this phenomenon. Dr. Pinsky's results indicate that celebrities are more narcissistic than the general population. So, do they influence us to be more narcissistic or do we feed into their narcissism?

This got me thinking about reality shows where, despite the labeling, reality is not displayed. Between behind the scenes manipulations and producer's wrangling of the circumstances and the editing process to play up the drama and tension, I doubt we get much of a sense of the "real" person, even on reality shows. This past week's Celebrity Apprentice (LINK) was a great example of the product of narcissism in celebrities. While I have to give Joan some credit for her turnaround in her behavior toward Clint Black, her initial responses toward ANYONE that she doesn't like are grounds for dismissal if she weren't a celebrity. Her name-calling and visceral personal attacks are unwarranted and immature. Melissa Rivers seems to have been burdened by some past experiences in High School and I agree with her assessment of being blocked out by Annie and Brande, but c'mon..... how personally are you going to take that?

If you can't take losing at least as well as Andrew Dice Clay or Rodman... well, Melissa, you deserve the public lashing you'll take for your behavior. NOW..... back to the narcissism discussion... do my remarks feed back into how we "socialize" our celebrities to make them narcissistic?

Here are the DSM Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, people (or institutions) who are also "special" or of high status.
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement
  6. is interpersonally exploitative
  7. lacks empathy
  8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
I think I've witnessed at least 5 of those criteria in ALL of the Celebrity apprentice contestants at one time or another. Freud would have a field day with this crowd. And the king of them all: The Trump. Thanks for a fun, show, boss.

Take the Narcissistic Personality Inventory! Post in my comments how you did!

(I scored 14)


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