NARCISSISM AMONG YOUTH

“Believe in yourself.”

“Have faith in yourself.”

“Let the children express themselves and discover the good inside of them.”

These are some of the statements you’ll hear these days.  The intention is pure yet statistics show that this hasn’t been the healthiest trend.

“Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all…” may not necessarily be a helpful statement.

Andrew McAffee wrote an article for Harvard Business Review recently talking about how young people today are getting more narcissistic.  Read his article here.

He mentioned a book by Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell entitled “The Narcissism Epidemic” and quotes an excerpt from the book.

“”We found that… college students in the 2000s were significantly more narcissistic than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The Boomers, a generation famous for being self-absorbed, were outdone by their children. By 2006, two-thirds of college students scored above the scale’s original 1979-85 sample average, a 30% increase in only two decades… The upswing in narcissism appears to be accelerating: the increase between 2000 and 2006 was especially steep.”

Twenge and Campbell present a lot of evidence that “overconfidence backfires” and that narcissism does not equip people to succeed in today’s competitive world.  They really make good solo performers and make great entrepreneurs because of their high tolerance for risk.  But in most contexts, narcissism is a handicap.  It makes them less valuable professionals and less valued collegues.  In a world of increased team play, the one man show syndrome is not highly valued as we thought it would.

Jesus was right when He said that “to be the greatest, you have to be the least.”  He also said that to lead, you need to serve.

As parents, we need to teach our kids to learn the value of team and serving in that context.
As leaders, we need to exemplify the team spirit and realize I don’t have to be the know-it-all.
As citizens of a nation, lifting others up and putting their needs first may be an ultra revolutionary concept that will take this nation around.

“Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Jesus made it clear that our confidence, our strength and our source has to be Him and Him alone.