神话,自恋的由来

The psychology of narcissism

The psychology of narcissism - W. Keith Campbell

Way before the first selfie,the ancient Greeks and Romans had a mythabout someone a little too obsessed with his own image.In one telling,Narcissus was a handsome guy wandering the world in search of someone to love.After rejecting a nymph named Echo,he caught a glimpse of his own reflection in a river,and fell in love with it.Unable to tear himself away,Narcissus drowned.A flower marked the spot of where he died, and we call that flower the Narcissus.

诞生很久以前,古希腊罗马流传着一个神话,有关”某个人有点过于 迷恋自己的影像”.有一个版本说,那希瑟斯是一个英俊的小伙子, 他环游世界为了寻找自己的爱人.在拒绝了森林女神 艾寇之后,他瞥见了自己 在河里的倒影,并且爱上了它.由于其无法自拔,那希瑟斯最终 溺死在了河里.一朵花在他死去的地方冒了出来, 那朵花因此得名为”那希瑟斯”(水仙花).

The myth captures the basic idea of narcissism,elevated and sometimes detrimental self-involvement.But it’s not just a personality type that shows up in advice columns.It’s actually a set of traits classified and studied by psychologists.The psychological definition of narcissism is an inflated, grandiose self-image.To varying degrees, narcissists think they’re better looking,
smarter,and more important than other people,and that they deserve special treatment.

这个神话体现了 自恋的核心意思,被高估的而且有时候 有害的自我陶醉.但这不只是一种 会出现在建议专栏里的个性,事实上,它由一系列的特质组成, 已由心理学家界定和研究.自恋在心理学意义上的定义是 一种夸大和膨胀的自我形象.不同程度上,自恋者认为 他们更好看,更聪明,而且比别人更重要,于是他们理所应当 要有特殊的待遇.

Psychologists recognize two forms of narcissism as a personality trait:grandiose and vulnerable narcissism.There’s also narcissistic personality disorder,a more extreme form, which we’ll return to shortly.

心理学家区分了 两种形式的自恋:浮夸型自恋 和脆弱型自恋.还有一种自恋型人格障碍,它是一种更极端的形式, 我们待会再回来谈这个话题.

Grandiose narcissism is the most familiar kind, characterized by extroversion, dominance, and attention seeking. Grandiose narcissists pursue attention and power, sometimes as politicians, celebrities, or cultural leaders. Of course, not everyone who pursues these positions of power is narcissistic. Many do it for very positive reasons, like reaching their full potential, or helping make people’s lives better. But narcissistic individuals seek power for the status and attention that goes with it.

浮夸型自恋最常见, 它的特点是外向, 强势 和希望得到关注. 浮夸型自恋的人希望得到 注意力和权力, 有时候作为政客, 名人名媛, 文化领袖. 当然, 不是每个追求 权力地位的人都自恋. 很多这么做的人 是基于非常正面的理由, 比如为了施展 自己全部的才能, 或者是为了帮助 人们生活得更好. 但是自恋的人 是为了寻求权力,
是为了那种状态, 还有随之而来的备受瞩目.

Meanwhile, vulnerable narcissists can be quiet and reserved. They have a strong sense of entitlement, but are easily threatened or slighted. In either case, the dark side of narcissism shows up over the long term. Narcissists tend to act selfishly, so narcissistic leaders may make risky or unethical decisions, and narcissistic partners may be dishonest or unfaithful. When their rosy view of themselves is challenged, they can become resentful and aggressive. It’s like a disease where the sufferers feel pretty good, but the people around them suffer.

而脆弱型的自恋者 可以文静且内向. 他们对待遇 非常敏感, 但是容易被威胁 或者被怠慢. 这两种情况,自恋中最阴暗的部分 是经过长时间之后才显现出来的. 自恋者容易有自私的举动, 所以自恋的领导人可能会 做有风险或者不道德的决策, 自恋的伴侣可能会 不诚实或者不忠诚. 当他们美化自己的视角 被挑战的时候, 他们会变得愤愤不平 和具有攻击性. 它就像一种病, 得了病的人自我感觉良好, 但是身边的其他人 却在遭罪.

Taken to the extreme, this behavior is classified as a psychological disorder called narcissistic personality disorder. It affects one to two percent of the population,
more commonly men. It is also a diagnosis reserved for adults. Young people, especially children, can be very self-centered, but this might just be a normal part of development.

回到前面提到的 那个极端的情况, 这种行为被界定为 一种心理障碍, 即”自恋人格障碍”. 人口中1%-2%的人 有这种障碍, 而且多为男性. 它还是一种只针对 成年人进行诊断的病症. 年轻人,尤其是儿童, 可能非常自我为中心, 但是这可能是 成长过程中的正常现象.

The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual describes several traits associated with narcissistic personality disorder. They include a grandiose view of oneself, problems with empathy, a sense of entitlement, and a need for admiration or attention. What makes these trait a true personality disorder is that they take over people’s lives and cause significant problems. Imagine that instead of caring for your spouse or children, you used them as a source of attention or admiration. Or imagine that instead of seeking constructive feedback about your performance, you instead told everyone who tried to help you that they were wrong.

第五版的<美国精神病学会的 精神疾病诊断与统计手册>中 描述了自恋人格障碍的多种特质. 其中包括自视清高, 难有同情心, 特权意识, 和需要被尊重和关注. 使得这些特质成为真正的人格障碍的是 他们主导别人的生活 并且造成重大的麻烦. 试想一下,不去关心爱护 你的伴侣或者孩子, 你利用他们作为一种 获得关注或者尊重的资源. 假设你不去寻求对于你自己 表现的建设性意见, 而是去指责 每个试图帮助你的人.

So what causes narcissism? Twin studies show a strong genetic component, although we don’t know which genes are involved. But environment matters, too. Parents who put their child on a pedestal can foster grandiose narcissism. And cold, controlling parents can contribute to vulnerable narcissism. Narcissism also seems to be higher in cultures that value individuality and self-promotion.

那么,是什么导致了自恋呢? 根据两项相关研究, 是一种很强的基因成分(导致了自恋), 虽然我们还无从知道 究竟是些什么基因参与了其中. 不过,外在环境的原因 也不容忽视. 如果家长把孩子 捧得很高, 那么他们的孩子就可能 变成浮夸型的自恋者. 冷酷的控制欲强的家长 容易培养出脆弱型自恋者. 在注重个人价值和 自我推销的文化中, 自恋程度也似乎更高.

In the United States, for example, narcissism as a personality trait has been rising since the 1970s, when the communal focus of the 60s gave way to the self-esteem movement and a rise in materialism. More recently, social media has multiplied the possibilities for self-promotion, though it’s worth noting that there’s no clear evidence that social media causes narcissism. Rather, it provides narcissists a means to seek social status and attention.

比如在美国, 从上个世纪70年代以来, 自恋作为一种个性特质一直在增加, 这一时期不仅自我主义运动取代了 其60年代对于公共的关切, 而且物质至上精神 不断高涨. 最近,社交媒体极大地 提升了自我鼓吹的可能性, 虽然需要说明一下 目前没有明确的证据显示 社交媒体导致了自恋; 但是,它为自恋者提供了 一种去寻求社会地位和关注的渠道.

So can narcissists improve on those negative traits? Yes! Anything that promotes honest reflection on their own behavior and caring for others, like psychotherapy or practicing compassion towards others, can be helpful. The difficulty is it can be challenging for people with narcissistic personality disorder to keep working at self-betterment. For a narcissist, self-reflection is hard from an unflattering angle.

那么,自恋者能不能 修正这些缺点呢? 能! 任何可以帮助自己 客观审视自己, 和关爱他人的事情, 像心理疗法或者增强同情心的训练, 都是有效的. 难就难在, 有自恋人格障碍的人 难以不断地 自我努力和自我完善. 对于一个自恋者而言, 从不讨喜的角度进行自我反省是困难的.