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Student Psychology Major,

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Is Narcissism Adaptive or Maladaptive?

In a capitalistic society, where reward is granted to the greedy, is Narcissism Adaptive? I think I could make a very good argument that dropping the conscience would be rather helpful, in regards to climbing the corporate ladder. On the other hand I could argue that pathologically selfish behavior is absolutely maladaptive and would probably lead to suffering on the home front and workplace.

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    Jun 12 2012: none of them, narcissism is balatovative.
  • Jun 12 2012: I lived with a narcissistic psychopath for 25 years, not for choice. But I will say this. When I first realized that there was never new things with this person, meaning he never ever changed. He didn't adapt to anything to cause change in himself. He used everything to his own advantage. In all the research I found, time and time again I would read that this behavior is learned at a relevantly young age, between 5-9 yrs old. What happens is the emotional or frontal grey portion of the brain enlarges and grows abnormally. Most narcissistic people will have higher rates of illness as it associated with
    the stress to play people to get what they want.

    I believe there is a distinct difference when an individual strives for success, he won't be wasting his time with you or I if that is the single minded goal , I believe also, that how we are taught to deal with gain and loss will also provide and accurate maintenance to achieve success, or it can cripple the ability and to any degree all the way to narcissism.
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    Jun 6 2012: I do not agree with your base scenario, where reward is granted in a capilistic society only to the greedy. Even in such social constructs, rewards can and are celebrated for humanistic endeavours and selfless acts. I feel the question itself is biased and flawed, therefore can not be argued logically.
    • Jun 6 2012: Robert, I of course have an opinion on this topic and you cleverly deduced this. However in the spirit of discussion, if you could spare the slight bias in the question I think that would be best. I of course could also could cut apart every statement you made in your response and eventually break the entire conversation down to semantics,. Do you not think that Western Culture celebrates the greedy? In my opinion, most people who have the highest status and social influence almost can't be separated from embracing a lifestyle that is at the very least superficial and at worst hedonistic. If I removed "where reward is granted to the greedy" would the question then fit your standards of logic? If so could you then reply with an opinion that would be helpful towards a meaningful discussion of capitalism and its consequences? Thank you for pointing out my leanings in this question, I will edit it.
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        Jun 10 2012: Brian thank you for your elegant response. Indeed I will give an opinion as you graciously requested.

        I feel that the machinations of a very small minority of people control to a large extent the behaviors of the many.
        Their are many addictions that a person can display, one that goes widely un-investigated is the addiction to power. I am not really writing about power in the sense of desire to control humanity or even a neighbour, that type of control or power is a by-product of this addictive behaviours exploits.

        I would put forward that some if not most of very influential and therefore powerful people, have an addiction to the game of attaining wealth.

        I am also suggesting that the wealth itself matters little to them, only the game.

        Of course like any addiction the desire to attain the goal is in itself insatiable. Due to the nature of capitalism this insatiable hunger feeds donwnwards into the differing layers of society and effects core values of every one within that society. Eventually it becomes embedded as a cultural characteristic.

        I do not think the system is wrong. I do however feel that extreme wealth is not the right of any one individual.

        If a nation can outlaw tobacco due to the addictive nature and health damaging effects of smoking, then I feel power addictive behaviors should also be identified and treated in similair terms/parameters and action taken for the health of societal culture.

        I could suggest a financial limit of the wealth of any one person or even family.

        I am well aware that this posting will not sit very well with a lot of people, still I think it was worth stating a left of field view.
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    Jun 5 2012: This is an example of what I call 'pretzel logic". Even if you could present and persuade- why would you do it? The people who are trying to make a positive difference do not need more opposition.
    • Jun 6 2012: I agree, but the hope for posting this is that we can develop an interesting discourse that can allow for someone who hasn't considered this idea to form a developed position using critical thought. I think that can be beneficial for those who are trying to make a positive difference.