Once upon a time, in the mythological times of Ancient Greece, there lived a young man called Narcissus. Narcissus was such a vain so-and-so that he fell madly and passionately in love with his own reflection in the water, so much so that the poor chap fell in and drowned. According to some versions of the myth, young Narcissus became a flower –the narcissus.
Just like the narcissus flower, you’ll find narcissists everywhere. Is your pen-gnawing, hair flicking, ten-times-a-minute legs crossing, eyelids-batting drama queen co-worker a secret narcissist? Oh, pass me that pen to gnaw –of course she is! Narcissists are egotistical. They’re self-centred. They’re vain. A few easy ways to spot them: an ego that won’t be tamed; an over-developed sense of entitlement: “Why should I do the photocopying?”; collecting for charity but never actually donating anything themselves (according to one report, less than half of the people who took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge actually donated money to the cause); spending an age in the toilets (when they should be in a meeting) or however long a time is needed to ascertain best hair/make-up rearrangement for the next half-hour. Then there are the plethora of meticulously curated social media accounts that refract their lives into a glamorous slide-show for all to see. Truth be told, we probably all have a little of Narcissus in us. Perhaps more so now than ever before: our selfie-society is suffused with narcissism. And according to one study, narcissism has a generational dimension: you’re more likely to find it in the younger age group than in those who are aged over 65.
There are two types of narcissism worth noting. You either suffer from “grandiose narcissism” or “vulnerable narcissism “according to W. Keith Campbell, author of The Narcissism Epidemic, in an article for The Independent. The former is typically associated with extroverts and is rooted in an over-developed self-image. Those who are vulnerable narcissists, by contrast, suffer from a low self-confidence but still believe they are or should be in line for some form of special treatment.
Whichever the form of narcissism, the condition is problematic not just for the narcissist but also for the society as a whole, according to Professor Brad Bushman, in an article for Medical News Today. He observes that those who already have a great opinion of themselves don’t see the need to improve themselves. Furthermore, he adds, narcissists only think of their own interests, and their own interests are not necessarily of help to others.
But if you’re a narcissist, you probably couldn’t give a single solitary stuff about what Brad Bushman, or anyone else for that matter, thinks. Professor Who? President Who? (Narcissists are well versed in that old trick of belittlement whereby they suffer from a complete disregard for the opinion of experts, no matter how well regarded those experts may be.) No: what matters is what’s best for you.
If you’re looking for work, or a change in jobs, check out these great jobs for narcissists. They all have higher than the national average percentage of narcissists within them - narcissists flock to these jobs; they gravitate towards them because they provide an endless supply of the drugs narcissists need: adulation, attention, affirmation, applause, obedience and even notoriety. Take your pick, narcissist!
If you’re a narcissist and you go into the teaching profession you can look forward to showing off your intellectual prowess to awe-struck students. The good news is that each year brings a new crop of narcissistic ‘supply’: new students to pour more adulation into you! It could be never ending if you managed to live forever!
2. Medical doctor
Another great profession for narcissists. Here, the devotion of devoted patients awaits you. All you need is a stethoscope and the odd prescription- for the very, very deserving. And patients are just like implements: they’re objects. You can use them and toss them aside at will. Use them as instruments for your instant gratification; they’ll provide you with short bursts of awe to keep you going throughout the day in your self-enclosed, narcissistic space where you alone are king.
If you’re not a narcissist, avoid a narcissist doctor like the Black Death. These guys would unplug your grandad’s life-support machine just to charge their iPhones.
Have you considered going into management? Plus point: you can recruit obsequious, kow-towing robots into your department. Way to go!
If you’re not a narcissist and are in the position of recruiting staff, be careful of prospective hires who exhibit narcissistic tendencies. Narcissists tend to excel at interviews but they are also more likely to lie about credentials, skills and accomplishments - which could spell ruin for your company. Furthermore, narcissists don’t do corporate rules and regulations. They don’t regard themselves as subject to the usual pedestrian laws of corporate life. And collaborative team player and narcissist don’t belong together in the same sentence. You have been warned.
The window of opportunity is positively panoramic here! All those voters hanging on to your every word! Low-life hanging fruit for you to manipulate, cheat and lie to! Obsequious dimwits trotting after you like obedient pigs!
5. Business tycoon
As a narcissistic business tycoon/entrepreneur, you can look forward to a coterie of fans, sycophants and devotees who will treat you like a god, not to mention employees whom you can work like slaves to construct your empire.
Narcissists seek to interact with others from a position of superiority advantage or authority. They aren’t interested in interacting with ‘equals’ because, heck, no-one is their equal. No matter that no-one trusts them –narcissists will lie about their credentials, their talents, their accomplishments, anything to preserve the divine status they’ve ‘worked’ so hard to cultivate. The problem for the narcissist, like any addict, is when their ‘supply’ runs out. When their sources become sick and tired of their incessant demands, their cravings for attention, their exaggerated and often paranoid fears. When this happens, narcissists can become highly abusive and exploitative. Their sense of entitlement and conviction of their own superiority leads them to believe they are invulnerable and immune to social norms and moral constraints, which they disdain as weaknesses. Thus they act out with impunity, often leaving a trail of human destruction in their wake. Unlike their ‘normal’ counterparts, narcissists in authority lack empathy and have no ethical standards; thus they are prone to abuse and misuse their position of authority.
If you’d like to know whether you meet the criteria for narcissism you can take an online test here to find out. The test is only one question but, as reported in Medical News Today, it’s an extremely revealing one, based on results from a not insignificant sample of 2,200 participants. The researchers noted that the responses from participants to this one question aligned strongly with a number of validated measures of narcissism.
Do you work with any narcissists? Are you a narcissist? If so the above jobs will allow you continue your love affair with yourself, undeterred. But stay well away the rest of us morons who are just not that into you.
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