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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Why narcissism carries such automatically negative associations.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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 why narcissism carries such automatically negative associations. It may have something to do with religious injunctions around the notion t...

 why narcissism carries such automatically negative associations. It may have something to do with religious injunctions around the notion that it's better to give than to receive, though I suspect it's too easy just to blame religion. For one thing, the religious law is to love your neighbour as you love yourself. That is the mature understanding of self-love captured in a nutshell. Love others as if they were yourself, yes. But also, love yourself so that you can love others. Proper self-regard resources other-regard. 

Could the wariness of the word narcissism be because our culture is secretly, unhealthily, narcissistic?

It's also striking that the word "altruism" - the opposite of selfish egoism - is only 100 years or so old. It was invented by the 19th Century sociologist, Auguste Comte. It was as if he felt the need to distinguish the good love of selflessness from the supposed bad love of selfishness and drive a binary opposition between them. It's a modern division.

The evidence, too, suggests this is a contemporary issue, witnessed by the way problems to do with self-esteem and self-image often appear in the psychologist's and psychotherapist's consulting room.

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