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Description: Ok so, I am going to talk about Narcissists but as many of us are not entirely familiar with the myth of Narcissus and, regardless, Narcissus did not live in the modern world, so we need another example to hold in mind as we consider the role that the generation of social chaos plays in the day-to-day lives of narcissists. After reading the article linked below you may well be able to bring to mind, as examples, several people with whom you have regular contact. In the meantime, it might help the call up your recent memories involving a rather high ranking politcal figure in North America who shall not be named but whose behaviors often work quite well as examples for the purposes of psychological consideration and discussion. The research discussed in the article linked below looked a tendency for those high on the personality dimension of Narcissism to engender social chaos in the situations in which they find themselves (e.g., workplace settings, friend or family gatherings). Think about what you know about the trait of narcissism and see if you can predict why it might be that people high on this dimension might actively sow seeds of social chaos even if they find it somewhat distressing. Once you have an hypothesis or two in mind have a look at the article linked below to see what the researchers found.

Source: Why Narcissists Thrive on Chaos, Susan Krause Whitbourne, Fulfillment at Any Age, Psychology Today

Date: May 5, 2018

Photo Credit: J.W. Waterhouse, 1903. Public domain. And

Article Links:

So do the behavior and social attribution patterns found to be associated with narcissism in the research article make sense? Do the patterns of contingent self-esteem, entitlement rage, hiding the self, and devaluating others fit the social chaotic behaviors of people you know who may have narcissistic tendencies? How about he who shall not be named? Seeing the patterns over time can be quite fascinating. The article also suggests research based strategies for engaging with or even confronting the chaotic person in your life (other than through the ballot box).

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What does Narcissism involve?
  2. How and perhaps why do narcissists create and take advantage of social chaos?
  3. What are some of the strategies you might consider using when you find yourself in social situations with a narcissist?

References (Read Further):

Dawood, S., & Pincus, A. L. (2018). Pathological narcissism and the severity, variability, and instability of depressive symptoms. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 9(2), 144.

Wetzel, E., Brown, A., Hill, P. L., Chung, J. M., Robins, R. W., & Roberts, B. W. (2017). The narcissism epidemic is dead; long live the narcissism epidemic. Psychological science, 28(12), 1833-1847.

O’Reilly III, C. A., Doerr, B., & Chatman, J. A. (2017). “See You in Court”: How CEO narcissism increases firms’ vulnerability to lawsuits. The Leadership Quarterly.

Andreassen, C. S., Pallesen, S., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey. Addictive Behaviors, 64, 287-293.