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Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one's own attributes. The term originated in Greek mythology with Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.
- According to recent cultural criticism, Narcissus has replaced Oedipus as the myth of our time. Narcissism is now seen to be at the root of everything from the ill-fated romance with violent revolution to the enthralled mass consumption of state-of-the-art products and the 'lifestyles of the rich and famous'.
- Jessica Benjaminin: The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, & the Problem of Domination, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1 May 2013, p. 136
- The trademark of a narcissistic mother is her inability to give love or empathy to her child. One of the hallmark symptoms of a narcissist is her inability to perceive others as people with needs of their own. A narcissistic mother is only able to see her children as extensions of herself-little mirrors that reflect back to her. She values her children only so much as the children can benefit her; she is exceptionally self absorbed, sometimes to the point of grandiosity. A mother with narcissism may demand that her children excel in school and sports for the simple reason that it will make her look like an admirable mother to people outside of the immediate family. It is of no importance to her whether or not the children develop, or even learn, from these achievements as long as her reputation remains intact.
- Alexander Burgemeester in: Do I Have a Narcissistic Mother? 21 Signs of a Narcissistic Mother, The Narcissistic Life
- Oh man, at that end not much has been left of your excellence, nothing of all that you have been boasting about through life - only sex, fear, self-admiration and a few other things you are usually ashamed of.
- Karel Čapek, "Last Things of Man" (Stories from the Second Pocket, 1932)
- When you are 18, 19, 20, you're used to being photographed all the time, in a certain way. So, the narcissism becomes almost out of control. And the way that young women are photographed, they become addicted to this feedback of the image.
- Marianne Faithfull in: Reluctant pin-up: Marianne Faithfull reveals how she was damaged by her early brush with fame, The Independent, 31 August 2014
- Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have, so to speak, pawned a part of their narcissism.
- Sigmund Freud in: Cindy Gabriel Unexpected Intimacy: Everyday Connections that Nourish the Soul, My Sane Life Publications, 2008, p. 117
- The difference between narcissism and self-love is a matter of depth. Narcissus falls in love not with the self, but with an image or reflection of the self—with the persona, the mask. The narcissist sees himself through the eyes of another, changes his lifestyle to conform with what is admired by others, tailors his behavior and expression of feelings to what will please others. Narcissism is … voluntary blindness, an agreement … not to look beneath the surface.
- Sam Keen, The Passionate Life (1992), p. 163
- I am a recovering narcissist. I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it. It is actually drearier than self-love; it is unrequited self-love.
- Life is a stage, and when the curtain falls upon an act, it is finished and forgotten. The emptiness of such a life is beyond imagination. I have emphasiszed the incongruence or opposition of self and image in the narcissist.
- L'Oreal's slogan 'because you're worth it' has come to epitomise banal narcissism of early 21st century capitalism; easy indulgence and effortless self-love all available at a flick of the credit card.
- I do not love; I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit. I have none of the selfless love of my mother. I have none of the plodding, practical love...I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world.
- Narcissism and self-deception are survival mechanisms without which many of us might just jump off a bridge.
- Todd Solondz in: Bob Spencer Sanity and Solitude: Cogent Ramblings of a Lone Aesthetic, AuthorHouse, 1 November 2012, p. 81
- Consumer-orientated and media-saturated cultures have given rise to `a new narcissism'...within cultural studies there has been a recent proliferation of accounts of the rise of narcissism in analyses of consumer culture, celebrity culture and new media...narcissism is the pathology of our time...narcissism acquired its meaning and force as a critical term through its stigmatizing attribution to specific sexual and social groups...the contentious cultural and political history of narcissism needs to be acknowledged within contemporary theoretical accounts of `cultural narcissism' and `media narcissism'.
- Imogen Tyler in: From `The Me Decade' to `The Me Millennium', Lancaster University, International Journal of Cultural Studies
- Hate is the complement of fear and narcissists like being feared. It imbues them with an intoxicating sensation of omnipotence.
- Narcissism is often the driving force behind the desire to obtain a leadership position. Perhaps individuals with strong narcissistic personality features are more willing to undertake the arduous process of attaining a position of power.
- Manfred Kets de Vries and Danny Miller. "Narcissism and leadership: An object relations perspective." Human Relations 38.6 (1985): 583-601.
- This story ["The Depressed Person"] was the most painful thing I ever wrote. It's about narcissism, which is a part of depression. The character has traits of myself. I really lost friends while writing on that story, I became ugly and unhappy and just yelled at people. The cruel thing with depression is that it's such a self-centered illness - Dostoevsky shows that pretty good in his "Notes from Underground". The depression is painful, you're sapped/consumed by yourself; the worse the depression, the more you just think about yourself and the stranger and repellent you appear to others.
- Self-awareness is not self-centeredness, and spirituality is not narcissism. 'Know thyself' is not a narcissistic pursuit.