Narcissism and Selfishness
by Marcus Antebi
Article at a Glance:
Yet we exhibit the same type of behavior as two squirrels fighting over a nut or two raccoons fighting over an attractive female.
People use the word “narcissist” often. Many who use the word don't fully understand its clinical definition.
People who label others as narcissists usually mean that the people they’re referring to understand things in the outside world only as those things pertain to them. They have a hard time understanding how other people feel in most situations.
Narcissism is a very serious diagnosis. People sometimes mislabel self-centered people as being narcissists. Self-centeredness is extremely common. Most people are self centered until they become awakened and enlightened. A person's senses naturally rivet them to themselves.
How do you differentiate between self-centered people and people who function better in society when they are around others? Some in society recognize that other people exist and they have empathy for them. In the context of that empathy, they’re essentially saying, “I feel bad for that person. I have felt that way before and I didn't like it.” That may still be a self-centered mentality, but that self-centeredness is leading the person to experience empathy for another human being.
Self-centeredness can be very toxic in a relationship. It's in play when a person is frequently defensive, skewing things in his or her favor and trying to make things fit without having empathy and compassion for their partner.
Leaders in the world often make statements such as that they are only looking out for what's best for their particular countries. But diplomacy should be more focused on what's good for humanity in general and what will promote world peace in particular.
It's puzzling and heartbreaking that at this point in time in world history we view people in light of their countries of origin, skin color, and religion. It's tragic that we are prone to fighting and even prone to fighting about unimportant things.
I used to think and say that people were highly defensive creatures. Now I realize that we are both highly defensive and highly offensive. We attack because we feel the need to defend, and we defend because we feel as if we’ve been attacked.
We have cures for debilitating diseases. We have remarkable technologies of many different types. We have almost unfathomable knowledge and the ability to disperse it worldwide instantaneously. Yet we exhibit the same type of behavior as two squirrels fighting over a nut or two raccoons fighting over an attractive female.
I believe that the human race will move away from this type of behavior over time. But it will take millennia. And it will begin with our moving away from our naturally selfish tendencies.