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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/6/08

Three Types of Narcissism That Are Damaging Democracy

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Narcissism (self-centeredness, entitlement and non-self-responsibility) is one of the most widespread and devastating issues we face today. Yet, it is perhaps the least discussed of the major issues we face. It is high time that we pull this profoundly damaging integrity deficit out of the closet, expose it for what it is, and stop it from continuing to create dysfunction at all levels of society.

Based on the radio interviews, speaking, workshops and consulting about various aspects of integrity that I have been doing throughout the United States and worldwide, I have developed an impression that far more people suffer from dangerous levels of narcissism (self-centeredness, entitlement and non-self-responsibility) than most people realize. As an American, I believe that no other issue is more vital to restoring the health of our society today than putting an end to the tyranny that the three primary groups of narcissists that I will discuss further below have perpetrated on American society and our constitution.

But, before we get to that, I invite you to first view a really effective one-minute video that is circulating the internet. It that does a great job of depicting ONE of the three forms of self-centered, non-self-responsible entitlement that are profoundly damaging the fabric of society at all levels.

Watch this 60 second video below and then read my comments below.

Now, here's the catch: this brilliant depiction of narcisissm (self-centeredness, entitlement and non-self-responsibility) is being spun into a portrait of the typical Democrat in the United States. Ah, if only it were this simple. In reality, this spin hides the real truth, which is that narcissism is absolutely rampant, and cuts across the entire political spectrum. The real truth is that attributing the narcissim depicted in the above video to Democrats is in itself an example of one of the three forms of narcissism that are paralyzing relationships, communities, businesses, journalism, education, health care, religion, the economy, and government.

The three primary forms that narcissists (self-centered, entitled and non-self-responsible individuals, as well as far too many special interest/lobbying groups) come in include:

1. Learned Helplessness: Narcissists imprisoned in the belief that they are innocent victims of other people and of the 'system,' and that this entitles them to be taken care of or rescued, rather than having to become self-responsible and empowered. The two fools in the outstanding video you watched above are a powerful example of this form of narcissism. 

2. Greed: Narcissists imprisoned in boundless ends-justifies-the-means greed, in which they want what they want when they want it and in the quantity they want it, no matter how much this damages other people or society-at-large.

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3. Rightness Addiction: Narcissists who are so blinded by their own political, religious, philopophical, economic, or educational ideology, that they believe they are entitled to inflict their allegedly superior or "right" world view and beliefs on others.

All three groups of narcissists have been allowed to damage the fabric of our society to equally devastating degrees for far too long. No, folks, narcissism is not even remotely limited to 'liberals' or 'democrats,' as the title of the above video professes. Nor is it limited to the financially greedy who helped create today's economic mess. Not by a long shot. It is not limited to any single political or societal group. As I said above, and I'll say it again, narcissism cuts across the entire political political, religious, philosophical, economic, and educational spectrum.

To go a step further, accusing one political party of harboring a society's narcissists is just plain nuts. NONE of the people in the three groups of narcissists I listed above reflect the high-minded principles that live at the core of both the conservative AND the liberal perspectives – and, believe it or not, there ARE high-minded principles at the core of both perspectives. Also as I said above, vilifying either the conservative or the liberal perspective by equating either perspective with these groups of narcissists only magnifies the problem by over-focusing on one group of narcissists while overlooking other groups of narcissists. The same goes for indulging in selective attention about narcissism in different religions, educational systems, economic strategies, health care models, and so forth.

The time has come for political leaders to upgrade their ability to neutralize the profound societal damage created by all three forms of narcissism. They need to have:

* A clear vision of the damage that EACH of these three groups of narcissists has been perpetrating on our culture, and the extremity of the threat these three groups of narcissists present to our republic.

* Authentic passion to neutralize the negative impact that ALL three of these types of narcissists are having at all levels of society and government.

* The skills necessary for freeing society and government from being manipulated by all three of these types of narcissists.

The time has also come for everyday citizens to pay close attention to how rampant narcissism has become, and to become better at spotting all three forms of narcissism across the entire political, religious, philosophical, economic, and educational spectrum.

Start insisting that your local, regional and national government representatives become narcissism-busters. Alert them to how damaging and widespread narcisissm has become. Teach them about the three major forms of narcissism described in this article. Most of all, make sure they understand how important it is that they neutralize narcissism in both special interest groups and government employees so that the solutions we so desperately need to today's issues can actually be created.

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Dr. David Gruder is a seasoned psychologist, eight-award-winning author, and integrity educator whom the media have dubbed the "Integrity Warrior." His latest book, "The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our (more...)
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Three Types of Narcissism That Are Damaging Democracy