The Pitfalls of Narcissism


There's an interesting new scientific study released this week (read here for a layman's version), that supports one of the key tenets of The Bliss Experiment: that being self-centered and narcissistic is bad for you.

Specifically, the more egotistical and self-centered we are, the more stress we have and feel in our lives. To live without empathy and compassion for others radically shrinks our world. And with a shrunken world comes the burden of stress. That's the thing about being an egomaniac, especially when we see it in others, we often think it must be easier for them to be so self-centered and focused on themselves. But the truth is it takes a lot more effort and creates a lot more negative mental and spiritual side effects to live this way.

There's one person I know who is the classic, text-book narcissist. If you administer him the test (which he would never take), he'd get a perfect score. It came as no surprise to me that after years of increasing self-absorbed behavior, he finally had a near-complete mental break-down. The last I knew, he was hiked up on a combination of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and anti-psychotics. The sad part is that because he still couldn't admit there was a problem--a symptom of his narcissism, of course--he was still spiraling downward.

The bottom line: we've all got to work on being expansive, compassionate, loving, and do our best to forget ourselves. Any type of relentless focus on our self, whether seemingly "positive" or "negative" is sure to create problems.That's the real key: narcissism and its problems aren't avoided by saying negative things about ourselves or to ourselves, it's achieved by mostly just forgetting ourselves altogether. The more we feel in complete harmony and attunement with our environment and Higher Self, the happier, more peaceful, more blissful we become.