Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Narcissism, Divorce Rates, and Capitalism
Although these things sound unrelated, they are actually a lot more related than they might at first appear. The term "narcissism" originates from a Greek mythology tale wherein Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection in a pond at the expense of loving and being loved by others. Today, psychologists better understand the debilitating interpersonal effects of narcissism, however many questions remain, including whether as a society we are all becoming more narcissistic? I would propose, however, that if it can be accepted that our society has become increasingly more capitalistic (increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few) and materialistic in the past 40 years, it follows that an increase in narcissistically-oriented individuals is required for this evolution. The ever-increasing profit growth inherent in capitalism requires that individuals see themselves as important, grandiose, and entitled to constantly better and improved products. These narcissistically-oriented mindsets, then, can have dramatic negative effects on people's marriages and partnerships, as it is clear that when both partners think that their desires and wants are more important, both lose in the end.