Inflation of self. Preoccupation with self. Self absorption. Selfishness.
Apparently, the word “narcissistic” is being thrown around as a common label these days.
When I was growing up, it was not a common label. I heard the term first in graduate school when I had to familiarize myself with Narcissistic Personality Disorder for an exam.
Until recently, I would call a narcissist an “egomaniac” ... a person who is completely into himself; totally self-focused.
As I type this, I must say that I am baffled by the epidemic of self-absorption.
I see it every single day ... even in Christian circles.
We want what we want when we want it.
We want what makes us happy. What makes us feel good. What provides comfort.
We are selfish with our time, our money and our relationships.
As an only child, I have battled self-absorption for years. Most of my adult life has been spent undoing the “only child syndrome.”
Though my parents did not mean to instill selfishness in me, I was the center of their world and I was quite accustomed to having what I wanted when I wanted it.
Now that I have a little girl, I can see how parents can very innocently instill this self-absorption in their children because, quite honestly, the world does revolve around my little girl at this point in time.
Until she has siblings or begins spending time with friends or classmates, she will not know what it means to have to share and sacrifice as some children must.
We will try to teach her these valuable lessons early, but until she experiences them firsthand, she will not completely understand what it means to give of herself.
The same is true for us, as adults.
If we do not put ourselves in situations where we are forced to consider others, we can become very self-absorbed.