Skip to comments.An army of narcissists?
Posted on 04/11/2006 12:07:23 PM PDT by qam1
A few weeks ago, U.S. champion skier Bode Miller turned in a stunningly poor performance at the Olympics, with two non-medal finishes, a disqualification and two incomplete races.
Unabashed, he told the Associated Press: "I just did it my way. I'm not a martyr, and I'm not a do-gooder. I just want to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here."
Mr. Miller's exuberant self-assessment makes him "a poster child" for "Generation Me," says San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge.
Americans born after 1970 -- including the so-called Generation X and Millennial Generation -- have become "an army of little narcissists," says Mrs. Twenge, who explains her views in her new book, "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled and More Miserable Than Ever Before."
Unlike their parents and grandparents, "GenMes" have "never known a world that put duty before self," she says. Instead, they were raised in a culture obsessed with self-esteem and feel-good mantras such as "Believe in yourself, and you can be anything" and "Never give up on your dreams."
The result is a generation of youths who are tolerant, confident, open-minded, ambitious -- and have wildly unreasonable expectations about how they fit into the adult world.
"They expect to go to college, to make lots of money, and perhaps even to be famous," Mrs. Twenge says. But when reality hits, and they don't get the coveted college placement or high-paying job, or they discover the high costs of housing and health care, many members of Generation Me crash emotionally, she says.......
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
I suggest the author read "The Culture of Narcissism" by Christopher Lasch, published 1979. Pretty much dissects the Boomers. (Yes, I am one.)
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
Welcome to the Real world bump.
Narcisist ---perhaps. Genme? Perhaps
So it's my parent's and society's fault that I didn't end up an astronaut? Cool! Who do I sue?
And all this time I thought it was all the beer and girls I chased in college!
This is true for Canadians of this generation as well. I know, because I belong to this generation. Fortunately for myself, I was born to Eastern European immigrants who taught me a good work ethic. I know many friends who are like this guy, and it has got worse with each subsequent generation.
How did such a loser even qualify for the Olympics in the first place?!
I just blame my ex.
In other words, Bode kept another olympic hopeful from going just so Bode could rock.
Having just completed the rest of the article, I don't think this new self centred generation is any better off, because I know far too many with serious drug and alcohol problems who have or are in the process of destroying themselves.
My kid is GenX, an independent SOB if there ever was one. He knows he is going to get screwed and therefore is very Conservative, family oriented, and hates rats, what more could you ask for in a Son. He also learns from his mistakes and never repeats them.
I have to put two more cents in here.
With the diminishment of the Christian culture of life in our nation, people have had to turn to "feel good" stuff in order to validate their self worth.
According to Judeo-Christian belief, people are worthy because they are made in God's image, by a loving God. There is a simple inherit worth in the nature of our being.
We are loved by the one who created us, and pronounced his creation "good".
If you have crawled up from the fishes, the self concept has to be totally different.
From what I see, today's youth are doing just fine.
Well, I've already proved that theory wrong, and I hope your son does too.
I would think that it would be easier to be narcissistic if you hadn't had too many bumps on the road.
Sheesh. I guess the guy should have just committed suicide for having a bad week.
It's because of the media, and mostly tv...especially the constant ads for ...'doing it your way'...'have it your way'...'no questions'....'you deserve a break today'...'break the rules'...etc
When I was a young man, I was full of piss and vinegar too. My only regret is that I didn't party more in college. Now, entering my last decades, I am in agreement with Lin Yutang, the Taoist philosopher of old China, who wrote:
"Happiness consists of being able to get your hair cut every couple of weeks. . . and watching your industrious neighbor take a tumble off his roof."
"I would think that it would be easier to be narcissistic if you hadn't had too many bumps on the road."
It would be easier to be narcissistic if they didn't have mirrors.
I never heard of Bode Miller until today (don't care about winter sports). This is from his bio on NBC sports (up to the Torino games):
Bode Miller is the reigning champion in the World Cup overall, the most coveted prize in Alpine skiing. He won two Olympic silver medals (giant slalom, combined) at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, and also has five career medals (four golds) at world championships. He had flirted with the overall title for years (fourth in 2002, second in 2003, fourth in 2004) before finally winning it in 2005."
Yea, real loser.
They crash emotionally, then blame everyone and everything around them, except for themselves.
Because they have been permanently endowed with the inalienable right to Self Esteem, no failure nor horrible misdeed can ever take it away.
Self Esteem should be the natural consequence of success, not a detached hubris bestowed by misguided teachers.
I dont think Bode is going to join the marines.
Collectively, psycohology professors and university faculty have done more damage to the American spirit than one flip remark by an Olympic hopeful could ever do. I agree, she should STFU.
U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division
Good insight! My profession (shrink) calls them narcissists, but "asshole" actually IS the equivalent lay term. Or, more politely, "jerk".
I'm glad someone posted this. I was just about to. Thanks.
I've never been a fan of "generational" thinking; it's all a pose to get people to buy more books, thinking they are "part of a generation" when we are all individuals who are part of the groups we join, whether religious, political, etc. I have no more in common with other people born in 1965 than with anyone else, but some seem to think that because we recall the same awful 80's tunes we are somehow "fellow Gen Xers" or whatever. How stupid.
Who cares? One writers opinion piece, hardly a fact driven one.
EVERY generation has its losers and winners. I never bought into the "greatest" generation, or all boomers are whiners etc.
"When I was your age, we ......."
My favorite part of this piece-
"Mrs. Twenge agrees that today's youth are optimistic, but she still worries about them. Another case in point in her book: Tone-deaf "American Idol" wannabe William Hung, who advises his fans, "Always try your best, and don't giveupon your dreams."
OH NO, she is worried about William Hungs advice??
"This walking, talking piece of fecal matter has obviously not even bothered to look towards the Mid East and other parts of this world where "kids" born from 1970 on, are fighting and dying for her right to spew this sewage from her pie hole.
She needs to STFU and in a hurry."
I was going to say essentially the same thing, but I think you said it better anyhow.
Nice job! :-)
(I love it how folks can stereotype entire generations consisting of millions of people.)
As long as he doesn't sing his advice.
Greatest movie ever made about duty, honor, sacrifice and love of country.
It makes my eyes water up just thinking about it.
Yes, in general the "silent generation" as well as the "greatest generation" that had a MILITARY DRAFT was greatly helped by their enforced military service. Generation X makes due within a military that has enormous day care centers on every post.
I don't think Bode Miller is a "loser". He is an insufferable jerk, however, as narcissistic as they come.
No doubt it would do him a world of good.
The time to party is AFTER the job is done.
This turd spent his time partying and never once had the brains to remind himself of all the good parties he would have had if he had done his job. he could have been a hero and gotten laid a thousand times, Now he is a dunce and might find a woman who likes losers.
Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Puh-leese. So all the people fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and else-where are narcissists? Silly op-ed journalist.
You might be right. I didn't read whether or not he bothered showing up for practice. If he really did party and not prepare, then it is an example of wasted potential.
An assessment of military volunteerism comparing the Baby Boomers to younger generations would strongly refute this article. The most nihilistic overall generation is the Boomers, the second most are Gen Y, whom they raised wrong.
Actually, I enjoyed reading her cv, which I think is useful:
She's likely no boomer, having gotten her undergrad in 1993.
However, conclusions may be intentionally skewed to sell books (bearing in mind book sales to Gen X are probably lower than sales to the Oprah-book-club-reading Boomers) or please superiors (since she's working at San Diego State, and a UChicago/UMich grad, she probably has ambitions to grander things). She has a few studies that lead one to think perhaps her bent may be typical psychological babble, but I think she's done some interesting research. Nonetheless, if I bother at all with it, I'll read the book on the shelf instead of buying it.
What's funny is that she has on the SDSU site a q&a about this that will lead everyone here to realize what a psych major she is. Her theory is that Gen X was built to high self esteem and when Gen Xers don't meet their own expectations, they lash out against attackers. This is particularly funny, because anyone who disagrees with her conclusions from Gen X will be in her eyes a typical Gen Xer. So this whole thread would 'confirm' her theory.
Doesn't that sound like some of the circular logic other psychobabblers have thrown at us? We're slackers...so we're bitter...so we're cynical...so we're slackers...
Never could stand psych majors.
...agreed. Many of the psych. and soc. majors and instructors at my university had a reputation for being nutty. It's no wonder, as much as people from those departments told others about themselves (and about their disfunctional families, etc.).
the Clinton Generation comes of age.
when I was a young man, a pussy like this wouldn't have lasted a week at my school.