Like it or not, we are living during a time of great self-importance.
The days where we took the time to consider the feelings and interest of others are far gone. Instead, these days we demand attention from one another.
We want attention, praise, and celebration, even if it’s undeserved. This fascination that we have with ourselves is a problem and it isn’t leading to anything good.
The incredibly thin line between confidence and conceit
There is nothing wrong with feeling good about oneself. Believing in your ability, expecting praise and reward for hard work, and expecting respect from others are traits associated with being confident in oneself.
Confidence is very attractive, and it is often rewarded with achievement.
We can all aspire to be more confident in ourselves, no doubt. However, there is an incredibly thin line that sits right at the border of confidence, and if a person isn’t careful, they may find themselves teetering over to the side of conceit if they aren’t careful and incredibly self-aware.
The process of being self-absorbed isn’t one that simply pops out of nowhere. It takes time to manifest, and in some cases, it can be created with the assistance of outside help. Children who are spoiled by their parents is a perfect example of this.
Young children who are not disciplined, who get anything they want without earning it, and who are always told that they are wonderful and are provided an over-abundance of attention will most likely be the victims of conceit—as well as becoming perfect players in the game of narcissism.
Social media sealed the deal
If we ever thought that we could turn the world of self-absorption around, especially with the younger generation, we can now forget it! Social media has fueled the fire of narcissism by allowing young people to take selfies, post them, and then receive praise in the form of ‘likes’ for nothing more than…well…posing.
The obsession among young people to receive ‘likes’ from others has grown to dangerous levels and has placed our children in the way of harm. Young people now value themselves based on the attention they receive on social media, and they allow the comments of others to determine how they view themselves.
There are currently hundreds of stories surrounding the death of teenagers who attempt idiotic deeds while filming live on their social media feed, all to earn praise through ‘likes’ and comments.
One teenager drank himself to death, but not before filming himself drinking a bottle of cooking oil, to earn more likes from his followers. This is only one example among thousands that exist. People harming themselves, or others, just to earn the praise and attention of complete strangers is the new realm we are currently stepping into and it’s scary as hell.
Escaping the hell of narcissism
The only polar opposite of being self-absorbed is the process of placing one’s attention on those outside of oneself. It’s impossible to simply tell a narcissist to stop being so. Instead, maybe we can start with ourselves by getting an idea of how important we feel we are.
Are we overly concerned with how others feel about us? Do we become overly agitated or depressed when we say something, and no one seems to care or be listening? By looking at our own level of self-absorption, we can better position ourselves to solve the problem that currently exists. Rather than posting photos of ourselves smiling and posing, try posting images of others so that we can transfer all praises to that person.
We can begin the process of feeling good when we see that we have contributed to the wonderful feeling that begins to manifest itself in others. We can also use social media to promote global initiatives such as climate change and a million other items that touch the lives of every person on the planet. The process must begin with each one of us. It’s truly the only way to transfer the energy of narcissism into an energy of love.