Everyone needs a reasonable degree of self-love to function normally. However, some people love themselves so much that it destroys their relationships with others. This is called egotism, which is an aspect of narcissism. A person may become egotistical as a result of getting too much attention or from being neglected by those close to him, according to psychotherapist Samuel Lopez De Victoria, in the article "Narcissists Who Cry: The Other Side of the Ego," on Psych Central. Egotism displays itself in excessive levels of conceit, pride and a belief that one is better than everybody else.
It’s All About Me
The sign that people will most easily recognize when in a social situation is that the egotistical person must be the center of attention. The conversation simply can’t flow freely because the egotist constantly breaks in to make the point be about herself. There may be an excessive use of the pronouns "I," "me" and "myself." She must be the center of attention at all times and will go to great lengths to put the focus on herself, according to the Psychology Today's Diagnosis Dictionary. You may find that you spend more time listening to her talk than saying anything yourself.
It's All About the Bling
It's normal to want enough money to meet our needs and to buy nice things. For the egotistical person, that concept is taken to an extreme. He will spend a lot of time, money and attention on dressing well and taking care of his body. He buys nice clothes and expensive things so that he can appear more important and successful than he actually is. It may be for this reason that the egotistical person will make friends easily, as people are drawn to his attractiveness and the glitz of his possessions and status.
The Potential to Be Violent
Hell has no fury like a completely self-absorbed person who has her ego insulted. Having an inflated ego can cause a person to act violently and become aggressive, according to research conducted by psychologists Roy Baumeister and Brad Bushman in their study "Threatened Egotism, Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and Direct and Displaced Aggression: Does Self-Love or Self-Hate Lead to Violence?" published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. If an egotistical person feels that she is not getting the attention and recognition she deserves, she is quite likely to react negatively.
The egotist may also exaggerate excessively, sometimes to the point where the claim is too outlandish to be true. Often this is after others make statements about themselves. For example, if someone says, “One of my favorite shows is Star Trek," the egotist may say, “I was a candidate for the space program, but after spending some time at NASA orientation decided that it wasn’t right for me.”
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- Psychology Today Diagnosis Dictionary: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- PsychCentral.com: Narcissists Who Cry: The Other Side of the Ego
- Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Threatened Egotism, Narcissism, Self-Esteem, and Direct and Displaced Aggression: Does Self-Love or Self-Hate Lead to Violence
Latoya Newman is a novelist who wrote and published her first novel in 2012. She has a background in education, research and counseling. She taught at the elementary level for eight years, and has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada.
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