Narcissism - a Psychological Disease

(Syed Manazir-ul-Haq, Karachi)


Raise the ego to such height prior to each affluence.
God, self asks His slave what is his acquiescence?

Having been read out the above verse written by the great poet of the East Allama Iqbal, one such aspect comes ahead, which is free from proud, big-headed and arrogant. It is the destination of self identification, which is self-Centricity, self-conquering and self-made. According to Poet Iqbal:
If the ego is self-Centricity, self-conquering and self made.
It is possible that even death could not make man fade.

In order to understand the meaning of conceit (ego), we have to move towards the science of Psychology, where we have found the terminology of “Narcissism” the meaning of which is self-absorption or self-centeredness. Psychologists are of the view that the healthy characteristic of self-praising or self-loved is found in every man naturally, i.e. the self-confidence and self-respect which are considered the sound human characteristics because it is the healthy shape of Narcissism. It is related to the self-respect or an ego. Self-conquering, i.e. positive building of self-personality, the foundation of which is not laid down over the destruction of others is a good effort. The self-analyzing, i.e. comprehension of self-weaknesses and strengths known as self-recognition or self-control is also a good characteristic. These qualities save one from vital and downfall attitudes. Also, all these elements is the essence of the dynamic society, the correlation of these senses also relates to the ego of an individual.

One segment of an ego is Narcissism. Narcissism is generally the name of a disease in the psychology; the disease is attributed to a primitive mythology story of Greek – the central role of which is NARCISSUS, who was very handsome Greek Youth. He was indifferent to his lovers and surroundings. He became the worshiper and elegant by virtue of constant praising of his beauty that one day having seen his reflection in the water engulfed as a lover of himself. Day and night glimpsed on his reflection – did not drink water because he was frightened that beautiful reflection would break up by the flooding water and the attractiveness of his structure scatter into a thousand pieces. Therefore, he arrived at the fallout condition owing to appetite and thirst. He deteriorated on physically and mentally due to non-use of food and water; at last he succumbed to thirst and appetite. In a myth statement, it is told that Deity made him a flower of NARCISSUS that is why the self-loving has been named “Narcissism”.

Narcissism is attributed to such condition which must be healed up because it is the disease of the personality which may become the vital issues in the organizational, the social and the domestic affairs. The victims of this disease may become a cause of destruction and pain in the surrounding world and the most dangerous element of this disease is that a patient has never believed to be the patient. He meticulously defenses himself and tries to prove those people as jealous or bad temperaments who want to treat him. Therefore, for the treatment of such patient, the relatives and friends, at least have to make appropriate measures. When individual narcissism is gathered to collective edge, it leads to disturbance, upheavals and conflicts in the world. Like individual’s narcissism the collective or ethical narcissism becomes a cause of tension and anguish in the local and the international organizations leading to encounter also prevents the way of the collective growth of brotherhood.

Here, firstly we would like to submit the outcome of an analysis made on individual narcissism. This research is conducted for the solution of the issues developed in the multi-national companies, the other giant businesses or administrative organizations which are emerging due to narcissism of powerful and important individuals. For example, unbounded self-loving and assaulting ego of any person produces such obstruction and confusion in the collective efficiency of any organization owing to which the entity faces losses. Whereas, the concerned individual does not feel any sense of guilt, neither he accepts his faults when pointed out by someone. There is a unanimous opinion of experts regarding such people that the only treatment for them is using collective and harsh criticism. Their hands are tied up and their lips are shut up through which they harm and hurt the organization.

It is a quotation of Dr. Dewd Thames that the recognition of narcissism patients is difficult because they protect their ego to each motion through their pretending and acting approach and keep an artificial identification before the world. Therefore, the patients of narcissistic have become the master of cheating and deceiving, but their identification is vitally essential because they hurt the creative efficiency of the organization with their negative attitudes and approaches.

A writer named Mubarak Haider in his book “Civilized Narcissism” has declared the following features considerable taking benefit for research work already made by different experts on the subject:-

1) A common person does consider himself faulty in case, he does fail. On the other hand, the self-loved person (patients of narcissistic) pulls out his failure from his essence and blames to others. Such person feels failure as cursing and by considering failure as shameful, has the intention to dilute it to his psychology. Therefore, this shameful deed, i.e. self-failure by removing it at all cost from himself, puts it upon someone as he considers it, an appropriate act. However, off and on when a self-loved person does consider his status above all, he does not feel any cracks in his status so it may be possible that he accepts the responsibility of failure. However, in this way also the passion of the superiority of his good ethics upon another is given priority and before accepting his responsibility of failure ensures that the fruit of it should emerge in his favor in the shape of praising and admiring.

2) When the ego of self-loved person is in danger, he reacts more emotionally than a healthy man, even he demonstrates the rage and anger. When the result of encountering analysis he is less awarded against others, he shows more anger and agitation against a common man. Actually, the up and down of his temperament is related to this act that what news comes up about him in social interaction & encountering, i.e. if praising occurred makes proud over it and if he is declared at the lower category, he becomes outraged or in compulsion becomes the victim of oppression.

3) It is not possible for a self-loved person that he should give priority to collective needs against self-need. He is free from the passion of sympathy and empathy. For example, if he asks about the soundness or health of anyone, it is bound to traditional habit and demonstration of pretending good manner prevailing in the society. In fact, he is careless about the welfare of mankind.

4) Denial from thankfulness and repentance is a fair cunning of a self-loved person through which he protects his insight, superiority and greatness. It means that if he has to repent over his fault or has to make thanks to others for their kindness, he feels his insult. Therefore, in a meeting if he comes late, he says that he was kept engaged in talking with someone so he observed late or if he gets lost in the business he attributes it to the gambling of international investors or his partners’ discredibility and disability, etc.

5) Proud, self-demonstration, haughtiness, and skill-full selfishness; these are the characteristics of self-loved personality demonstration of which he makes openly or sometimes in a covert manner or unambiguous words or at times in a meticulous way. He is eager to be praised and applauded. The apparent points of personality, conduct of a self-loved person are: Degrading characters of others, self-demonstration or becomes outraged. Sometimes, he speaks up about his counterpart or learned personality that they envy him or make a conspiracy against him. Such blame, he sometimes imposes openly or at times in non-understandable words and sometimes in a handy way.

6) Although in his talking, self-demonstration is being seen clearly, yet the self-praised patient tries to keep the effect of his importance in such a way that it was not his purpose to expose himself. For example, meeting with a big personality is an ordinary matter, if not an ordinary matter for someone, but it should not be expressed in boosting way or Mr. XYZ came to his home for dinner, etc. There are two purposes of this talking, one to keep a separating boundary with a hearing person and the 2nd is to fix prestige and fear of his better status over others.

Psychologist Dr. Dewd Thomas has described brief features of self-loved people in his Ph.D Profile:-
i) When a self-loved person entrusts any work to someone, he keeps on to interfere in his designated assignments even in tiny nature and asks details again and again. If the task is accomplished by safe and sound, he takes the credit of its accomplishment, but on the other hand, if the job is deteriorated or failed, he transfers the blame on the head to whom the work was assigned.

ii) When anybody shares him in respect of any work, he must be remembered that the major part of the work he would have to accomplish himself.

iii) In each work relating to the self-loved people, there is indifferent (unconnected) with the passion of others. For example, for demonstration of their formal morals (ethics) and self good virtue asking about the welfare of someone in which they have no interest at all.

iv) All their behaviors and thoughts are borrowed from others, i.e. self-loved people make imitation of others’ behavior and always think about whom, they admit figure-personality or certified character. It is called to follow the reflection or mirroring. Actually, by following the big figures, they feel themselves the great personalities.

v) In consequent to indifferent attitudes in respect of others’ problems and feelings, they are accustomed to strike out others’ talking and haste to make listening. They only listen to others with a view what is to be answered about posing matter. Therefore, their act of teaching is limited and their knowledge is overlapped on account of proud.

vi) If they are ensured that they would not be arrested or brought to book, they do not refrain or avoid making corruption and fraud.

vii) According to their view, they are exempted to follow the rules and regulations to accomplish any task.

viii) They are not ready to take any small or tiny work and put its responsibility on other shoulders because in their opinion to waste time in a tiny or petty job is not equal to their personalities.

ix) When the subject matter of some discussion are themselves - they listen carefully in a stagnant way and never obstruct and interfere in the talking and neither are tired. However, if the subject matter is other than them or such issue that is under debate in which they are not calling for or remembered, they feel uneasiness / troubles during the discussion and have become indifferent.

x) The mental and psychological stress is increased upon the people who work with self-loved people, i.e. Narcissist people. Accordingly, in those organizations or institutions where they are empowered, the tendency of absenteeism by employees and office bearers is increased. The place where they are in subordination or subjective position, they remain in a conflict position with their colleagues or have become victims to the feeling of oppression.

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