Report: Delusions of Grandeur at All-Time High
New York, July 1 (AP) – Following decades of doting parenthood, reluctance to impart criticism, and the ever-increasing availability of social media to feed narcissistic tendencies, the number of people who see themselves as great, or at least destined for greatness, is at unprecedented levels, according to a report from the National Association of Really, Cosmically, Indubitably, Super Special Unique Stars (NARCISSUS).
The 95-page report, published Monday, analyzed the findings of several studies, though this analysis was preceded by 90 pages of exploration as to the source of the association’s manifest awesomeness. The studies determined that as a result of exclusively positive feedback from parents, teachers, and other figures of authority, the emerging generation of young adults, especially in the United States, contains a higher percentage than ever of individuals who wrongly believe they are God’s gift to the universe, the opposite sex, potential employers, academic institutions, and other prospective participants in relationships.
Before the emergence of the Baby Boomers and Generations X, Y, and so-called Millennials, relatively few people had sustained, outsize images of themselves, according to Maya Eego-Booszt, editor of the journal Mine, who was not involved in the study but supported it under the assumption it was, as everything else, about her. “The people who genuinely believed themselves to be of global importance has been steadily on the rise for almost half a century,” she noted, citing the mass navel-gazing of the 1960’s and the Yuppie mentality of the 1980’s as markers of the trend.
“But once upon a time life was challenging enough that the vast majority of people encountered the sobering reality early on,” she explained, meaning that any illusions of greatness they harbored were dashed in all but the most obtuse, sociopathic individuals. “Invariably, those sociopaths went into careers that attracted such personalities, such as politics or entertainment, which is how we wound up with Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Song-Il, Mussolini, de Gaulle, James Brown, and every operatic tenor.”
But with the rise of mass media and the softening of living conditions of billions around the globe over the last fifty years or so, countless young people reach physical maturity without encountering any situations that pose serious questions about their assumed ability to surmount all obstacles. As a corollary, the same masses of individuals continue their parents’ work in nurturing the sense that everyone else, and everything they encounter, is theirs to exploit.
For some, says social critic Constance Facepalm, their delusion is narrowed to specific fields of endeavor, such as expressed loyalty to a specific sports franchise, or ability to sound off endlessly on certain political, social, or cultural issues such as Lindsay Lohan and her latest escapades.
“There’s a natural affinity that these deluded egomaniacs have for other misguided, corrupt souls,” she says. “What other period in history could have such attention showered on a Kanye-West-Kim-Kardashian-type story and have so many people genuinely believe it’s newsworthy? Only a generation that sees itself as illuminated by that story in ways it considers flattering.”
“But they’re all ridiculously obese,” she continued. “It boggles the mind.”