Niagara Gazette

Opinion

September 8, 2013

SINGER: Dealing with Narcissism

Niagara Gazette — A well-known professor at the University of Rochester, Christopher Lasch, published a celebrated book of the late ‘70s, “The Culture of Narcissism,” which I read, but which left no memorable residue.

However, narcissism — a veiled, difficult-to-perceive, but serious personality issue — is alive and well, and if you’ve been bedeviled by someone you know who somehow doesn’t inspire your trust, and who seems too good to be true, he/she probably is! You know — the type who smiles perpetually in public and seems to have it all together, barbecues exactly the right way, has the right kind of home, etc.; but who deep down, lives only for image purveyed, and really cares little or nothing for anybody.

Authentic empathy is never a strong suit of this flawed, fundamentally false personality type. If you’d like more enlightenment on the subject, I urge you to consult a world authority on both narcissist and borderline personalities, the late James Masterson, particularly his book “Search for the Real Self.”

Narcissism is revealed in those for whom existence is simply a competition or series of mountains scaled, and ultimately, in a “look ma, aren’t I wonderful!” attitude. People are only important to such types as Christmas tree ornaments to make them look better — i.e., to enhance that all-important image they present. Very little can wipe the inveterate smile off their faces, including suffering that’s right before them, even in their own families.

I’ve denoted this personality trait in certain major historical figures, such as France’s ever sunny Chief of Staff in World War I, Joseph Joffre, committing thousands, even millions to certain deaths in ill-conceived offensives against German trench lines; and then showing (in his memoirs) not one iota of regret for it all. (During the war, he himself generally stayed back at headquarters far from the front, taking good care of himself there.)

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editorial: Let's go Buffalo! It could be a whole lot of sweet nothings being whispered in our collective ears, but talk about a Buffalo Bills stadium in Niagara Falls, has us chanting "Let's Go Buffalo." Already there are doubters all over town, who just don't want to get their hopes up. We're hearing people say they're reminded of the time those developers of the Mall of America flirted with the Falls when they were shopping for a location for their super mall. They eventually chose another city, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    April 16, 2014

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: NTCC's 'regional approach' aids all local tourism

    April 14, 2014

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Chronicling crime on the 'Island' Why is Rick Pfeiffer never around when you need him? The guy whose cubicle we shared during the Koop-Jasen-Rice era at Channel 4 now carefully chronicles criminals for the Gazette, notably those a few flakes short of Raisin Bran, but his crime wave is a mere ripple compared to ours.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The mirrors of my grandfather's fingernails What we do or don't do will have a greater impact upon our grandchildren's futures than what you might think.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page