Scrolling through Twitter the other day I came across a tweet of somebody asking if there are more narcissists in the world today. Having married one and knowing first hand the behaviors of these types I, too, have often wondered if our society is now full of humans walking around with God complexes. I don't know if it's always been this way or if I have extra sensitive "narcdar" since leaving that relationship but it is overwhelmingly apparent that the world is full of individuals who think of no one but themselves. This exaggerated sense of how important they are to us mere mortals runs rampant in the online world and daily I see these types having no qualms about tearing down others to obtain admiration from their hypnotized fans.
I circle around this question of narcissism quite a bit because I am just not sold on the idea that this many people are walking around with personality disorders. I am inclined to believe that instead, most of these self-absorbed individuals were just never taught true humility and how to love themselves. This lack of humility, I believe, is why we are seeing an uptick in so many placing value on transitory things such as external looks, success, and deifying themselves.
I am of the opinion that humbleness is one of the greatest virtues one could possess but modernity has taken the stance that showing any kind of humility is a sign of weakness. People fear being thought of as fragile and powerless if they allow others to completely see them exposed with their vulnerabilities on display. We have become a society that beats stoicism into the heads of our men and entitlement into our women. Gone are the days where you see unconditional support for others taking place and our self-awareness has been replaced by believing what others tell us we are to feel and desire.
These are the four abuses: desire to succeed in order to make oneself famous; taking credit for the labor of others; refusal to correct one's errors despite advice; refusal to change one's ideas despite warnings.
Confucius believed to remain humble you must always recognize the contributions of others and to be any kind of effective leader you must put the needs of your peers before your own; to help others grow you must be willing to give your time and energy willingly. A humble leader will not be defensive or judgmental and will have great compassion for humans. Take one look at some of the gurus on social media charging for their services and you will find those greatly lacking in humility by not adhering to what Confucius says. They are the ones that don't give credit where credit is due, often taking others thoughts and making them their own to sell and climb that almighty superiority ladder. They demean others and become defensive if questioned about their niche and have little compassion for those that are struggling around them.
I find it imperative that we, as humans with brains and hearts, start remembering that nobody is perfect and it is possible to be open to new ideas, criticism, and advice from others without letting it affect how we view our worth. This can catapult a journey of humbling self-reflection and in return we gain control of our ego making us less likely to behave in dishonest, aggressive, and manipulative ways. In allowing ourselves to show humility we take responsibility for our actions and correct the mistakes we make. We begin to really listen to others and allow them to listen to us by tearing down these barriers of aggrandizement our egos have built for protection. Most importantly, we return to showing gratitude, generosity, and selfless help, bringing us closer to each other for the greater good.
Practice mindfulness, recognize the inherent value of being a human, and remain cognizant of the value of others by showing gratitude. To fully master humility always be apprised of the fact that consistently pursuing the things that bring out the best in ourselves and in others will have a substantial positive impact on the world in which we live.