After writing about how painful (some) modern teenager are these days, I was interested in research undertaken by Jean Twenge at the San Diego State University.  She studied 16,000 university students across the USA and found that showed "30 per cent were narcissistic in psychological tests, compared with 15 per cent in 1982. ''They are all 18 and 19-year-olds, so this is clearly a generational shift,'' she said”.  The article goes on to say “Professor Twengel said that permissive parenting, celebrity culture and the internet are among the causes of the emerging narcissism epidemic”.

Narcissists had an inflated sense of self, lacked empathy, were vain and materialistic and had an overblown sense of entitlement. Some resulting social trends were a greater interest in fame and wealth, more plastic surgery, and an increase in attention-seeking crimes - for example, ''beating someone up at school and post it on You Tube''.  This is very true — we (as in society) are bringing up a generation of “its all about me” and “look at me, aren't I great”.  Just imagine what it will be like when they are in positions of power?

The ME generation believe they are invisible and therefore can do anything they please, without any concern for the consequences to either themselves or to others.  However I would argue they didn’t get this way by themselves, parents have played a huge part — they did bring them up and probably over-indulged them.   Perhaps the whole “helicopter” parenting style that we are seeing is creating children who are told they are “precious” and now believe they are precious (the princess syndrome - I read somewhere the term "raising royalty")  and as a result we have created the vain materialistic generation of “I must have it now” and I don’t care what you think.   

My son is encountering this right now with a person who he trusted who has turned out to be selfish and doesn't seem to care who they hurt.  He can't understand why people behave like this and finds it hard to comprehend —and to make it worse the person in question is only a few years younger than he is. I am praying for a solution so my son and his fiance can be spared any further problems.



  1. This is a delicate balance I think, Jo. On one hand our kids need a reasonable amount of narcissim & self~confidence. That is healthy. It's the too too much that causes all the problems.

    I know my Star has a huge ego ~ which she needs to perform ~ but she also has a servant heart. She takes the baby on Sunday's to give mum a break, prepares & sets out the meal so the adults can talk, cooks tea if I am unwell. However I agree the widespread lack of empathy for other's pain is hugely concerning. I hope your son's situation resolves quickly. ♥

  2. You are quite right Ganeida - it all comes down to balance. Being able to slow down that ego and having empathy for those around you. Sadly so many young people struggle with that.

  3. I think this narcissism is a direct result of being taught that we have evolved rather than we have been CREATED by and for God. The elimination from God in education puts "us" on the throne. We can therefore think and do whatever we want.

    Even good moral behavior can keep us from the truth if it always points to "us".

    Hope things work out for your son.

  4. I think narcissism is bad no matter which way you look at it. After all, the definition of narcissism is "EXCESSIVE interest in or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance" (from Oxford dictionary) - and interestingly (on the side), the word comes from Greek mythology.

    While we shouldn't be feeling like we are inferior or anything like that, if God had His rightful place in people's lives and in human society, we wouldn't need to worry about this issue. Like the little old saying goes, if we are to have JOY, we must place JESUS first, OTHERS next, and OURSELVES always last. But in today's society, that doesn't seem to be so easy to do - a servant's heart is so difficult to find. I believe we can have confidence without narcissism - but for that to happen, our confidence must be in the right place - it must be placed in GOD and NOT ourselves!

    And yes, we do all need to be more empathetic. Sometimes I feel like everybody in this world acts like life is a competition and there is a lot of anger and like you say, way too much ME out there - "me" first, always "me" first. Sad.


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