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Narcissism has long gotten a bad rap. Its unseemly reputation dates back at least to ancient Greek mythology, in which the handsome hunter Narcissus (who undoubtedly would be gloating over his present-day fame) discovered his own reflection in a pool of water and fell in love with it. Narcissus was so transfixed by his image that he died staring at it. In 1914 Sigmund Freud likened narcissism to a sexual perversion in which romantic attraction is directed exclusively to the self. Contemporary views are hardly more flattering. Enter the words “narcissists are” into Google, and the four most popular words completing the phrase are “stupid, “evil,” “bullies” and “selfish.”

[Facts & Fictions in Mental Health: All about Me; January / February 2013; Scientific American Mind; by SCOTT O. LILIENFELD AND HAL ARKOWITZ, IMG]

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