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All About Me

by Deborah Horton (writer), Montana, December 10, 2010

Credit: shoG Gibi
Me

Narcissism and the young - an epidemic growing worse by the day.

I have long held the belief that almost anyone from the age of 12 to 25 is a complete narcissist. They are all about the me. What are you doing for me? What are you giving me? How are you helping me? Me, me, me. Most of them cannot see beyond their own nose in the mirror, which is where they spend most of their time. It's an epidemic that has become more and more prevalent in the last few years.

Most American kids have it easy. They are well taken care of. They pretty much get what they want. They feel entitled. They are not forced a lot of them to work for anything that includes an education. It's just handed to them. For some of them, if they have to expend any effort they feel it's some kind of punishment. Everything they want in life should just magically materialize and you should be happy to provide it. If you stray from the constant me, me, me of their lives well you are just selfish and mean. Narcissism is their life. It is all they know. Unfortunately, it will also shape what kind of adult they become.

A recent study came out that said kids brains are not fully formed until around age 30. I had thought it was at around age 25, hence my narcissism beliefs. However, it appears that it may not be truly formed until age 30. So, in a lot of respects kids do not have the ability to make good decisions until they reach age 30, most kids. Some are the exception to the rule, but of late I've noticed that the narcissism and inability are much more prevalent than the opposite. A lot of the narcissism though comes from the environment in which kids live. They see the athletes, singers, movie stars they idolize getting anything they want and doing anything they want with little or no consequence. A lot of the kids are given anything and everything they want and they never work for any of it. They get through school with little effort and in some cases with none and are just passed through. They learn little to nothing about life and education. They have no concept of what it means to actually work for something, anything they want. They expect to be given. They expect to be as those whom they idolize are - rich, poorly behaved, and all about me for the rest of their lives with no effort.

When they do reach about 30, in some cases younger, they realize that they actually have to get a job and make a living. They realize that they are not about to become LeBron James or Tom Brady. They realize that their parents expect them to get out of the house at some point and support themselves. They realize that at their jobs they will have to actually perform in order to get promotions and raises. They realize that they are absolutely unprepared for what real life is about. Some of them learn to deal with it. Some of them suck it up and realize it's not about me anymore it's about making ends meet. Some them though become nothing. They take jobs that are well below their capabilities. Some don't work at all. They can't manage personal relationships with others. They turn to alcohol, drugs, and some even to criminal activities to support their me, me, me lifestyles.

Is the kids fault? The parents? The culture? The non-formed brain? Of course it's a combination of all of these, but 3 of the 4 can be changed. Kids can learn from a young age to be responsible. That actions have consequences. That wants have prices. That work is not a bad word. Parents can stop handing over everything and anything. Parents can require decent grades. Parents can manage what the kids are exposed to culturally. Parents can be responsible. While one cannot change what others in the culture do, they can control what comes into their own lives and their kids lives. They can have meaningful discussions about choices that a child's idol makes. It can be instilled in a child that ME is not all there is and that if they want to be more than need to be about life as a whole. All about me will not work forever.



About the Writer

Deborah Horton is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on All About Me

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By BusinessLife on December 10, 2010 at 05:52 pm

Great article!! I watch 'Criminal Minds' all of the time. There is a small group of us that watches the show. Often the 'unsub,' unknown suspect is classified as a narcissist. Should anyone want to see what a little narcissist can become, check out 'Criminal Minds.' You can pick out which serial killer best represents the little narcissist in your neighborhood.

Though the standard reply from my sons is 'well, none of my friends have to do it,' I hear my mom every time I respond with, 'well you are not your friends and I am not their mother.'

Look forward to your next article on a similar topic. Thanks for sharing. :)

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By Deborah Horton on December 11, 2010 at 09:34 am

Thanks Business and thanks for reading....I hear the same thing from my 3 boys as well. Shockingly - they are not narcissists as many of their friends are :)

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By Deborah Horton on December 11, 2010 at 09:37 am

Garry - Hence the reason I said almost anyone. I knew there would be comments on the generality of it - there always are but I am not so thinned skinned as to care. Most every child I have met in that age group is a complete narcissist. They ONLY ALWAYS think of themselves first - their reasons are many and varied, but it still makes it a character flaw they possess for a variety of reasons.

Can it be overcome? Of course it can. Many, many do. Though not many do at a young age - that is rare. Having 3 teenage boys and having worked with kids in this age range for many many years I know what I say is the truth from my experience. I have met some who are not narcissistic and who have never been - but they, their parents, their influences made a conscious choice that they not be = as we as humans are all born concentrated on the me, as an infant and toddler it is the "normal" way to behave - as a teenager and young adult it is not.

Thank you for reading and for your comments.

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By Lady D on December 12, 2010 at 05:53 pm

The whole banking meltdown was a pretty narcissistic act and there were'nt a lot of 18-25 year olds involved.

Politics breeds narcissism or maybe you have to be a little narsisey to want to be a politicion.

But where was I. Anyway humans will evolve. Personally I hear so many good stories about kids and see some amazing things they are doing. May you be able to see those qualities soon.

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By Deborah Horton on December 13, 2010 at 07:17 am

Thank you all for reading and commenting :) I have met some outstanding children between 12 and 25 over the years....but most of my experience has been that the ones I have met or know indirectly are narcissists. It is not 1%…I can assure it it is a much greater number. It's wonderful that seemingly they are all concentrated where I have lived over the years, but I highly doubt that to be true. Narcissism is definitely not reserved for the young, but it is much more out in front with them as they have little ability to control themselves in public situations. Again, my generalization is of those I know personally or know indirectly - I am not so arrogant as to comment on populations as a whole....that would make me one of those without a fully formed brain :)

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