Donald Trump’s meteoric rise in the Republican presidential race has both his proponents and his haters talking about narcissism. What fuels the candidate’s endless supply of self-confidence? And will it be his downfall or the key to his success?
Like it or not, we’re living in a pretty narcissistic society (the psychological condition is technically defined, by the Mayo Clinic, as "a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others”). Consider the evidence: According to a British study, women between the ages of 18 and 25 spend an average of five hours per week taking selfies. Moreover, Psychology Today recently noted that members of Generation Y scored an average of 30 percent higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory than did their same age group 30 years ago.
Not only is it increasingly prevalent, but narcissism also seems to be rewarded (e.g. Kim Kardashian West published a book called Selfish, now in its fourth printing, having sold more than 100,000 copies).
So how do you determine if someone is a narcissist—or just has very healthy self-esteem? According to a study published in the journal PLOS One, it’s as easy as asking them one simple question: “To what extent do you agree with this statement: ‘I am a narcissist’?” Those who answer affirmatively probably are. And when it comes to success in today’s cultural climate, this might not be such a bad thing.
Do you consider yourself a narcissist? If not, do you find yourself wishing you were? Feel free to talk about yourselves in the comments. We won’t judge.