Author: alexho9

What Factors lead to Narcissism? (Working Title)

The Factors of Narcissism

Are we born initially self-centered?

Throughout my school years, kids play and tell jokes. They leave the kids who are boring, or more accurately those who threaten their self-esteem in the corners and just hang out with “cool” kids. They are excited to be selected as candidates for Prom late March and nothing else matters. Popularity seems to be a staple for this terminology.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)? Narcissism is the definition of individuals who are self-centered. The traits of domineering, arrogant and egotistical are closely associated with NPD.

What are some factors I’ve found out contributing to the occurrence of NPD?

Impact from Parents

This article is one of the less focused studies on narcissistic traits across cultures particularly across the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. But universally, they’ve stated, “Parenting practices have been proposed as one of the main proximate factors in the development of narcissistic predispositions.” During tests, experiments have determined higher scores on Entitlement/Exploitativeness are correlated to culture and low paternal care.

For supporting details, Dr. Gray of Boston College stated, “Some of the speculation has centered on the misguided “self-esteem” movement that began to take shape in the 1980s. Parents, teachers, and others involved with children were advised to build up children’s self-esteem through frequent praise. Many parents, especially, began telling their children how beautiful, smart, and generally wonderful they are, or began bragging about their kids to others in front of them.” Adults are only giving their children a narrow minded pathway.

Another aspect is when parents push their kids to be highly competitive, motivated by self needs, “…the increased pressure on children and adolescents to achieve…defined as beating others in competitions…getting the best grades in school, getting into the best college, winning individual sporting competitions…the focus of thought is on the self and others are seen as…people you must defeat, or as people you must manipulate to serve your ends.” Dr. Gray concluded in this issue that empathy, in the end, doesn’t show up on a resume.

Perhaps the most damaging hindrance parents can do to their children is limit contact with other kids. Fellow classmate, Dreanna’s post about friendship follows similar ideas here about developing healthy relationships. The concept here is “free play,” where children interact with other children by handling conflicts and dealing with negative emotions. It is a time period where “children overcome narcissism and build up their capacity for empathy.” (Dr. Gray, Boston College)

The Media and its Emphasis on…”Likes!”

In one journal, a teacher shares a story on how the speaker asks the audience if any had over 1000 friends. The teacher observed one individual wildly waving both her hands up in the air. Courtney Crappell talks about the media and poses the question, “Are Our Students Self-Absorbed or Just Afraid?” He points up whether students are really self-centered or just afraid. Teachers are students’ best influence requiring passing through cultural norms and showing to the students a balance of self.

Regarding the digital world, Courtney states,“…Many media vehicles facilitate and contribute to this trend…including prevalent attitudes displayed by reality TV contestants, the popularity of plastic surgery for young people, self-promoting song lyrics…”

I agree, it is a disturbing trend. Some shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and magazines in stores attempting to portray celebrities’ lives can cause some unrealistic visions within other individuals. I see that the Media has easy access to the rest of the world and its influence should not be ignored.

Culture Aspects in Play

This research entry mainly investigated friendship quality based on gender traits of narcissism. However, discussion was fixed on Chinese cultural context which is where cultural differences either favors NPD or not. Research stated, “People in individualistic cultures are more narcissistic than those in collectivistic cultures…China is a typical collectivistic country” that “downplay[s] on the significance of the self.” In comparison, the cultural discussion concludes that “Western cultures may perceive themselves as attractive, intelligent, extroverted, and successful…” As for China, “…The quality of one’s social relationships is a strong determinant of one’s self-worth and well-being.”

 

Environments are the crucial factors in determining whether a child will act narcissistic. Parental care is essential if the child is to develop a happy social connection, though cultural values can be just as benefitical depending on execution. The Media, however, stands a force to be reckoned with as it can reach everyone around the globe.

Comment down below and let me know what you think!

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Melanie Yazzie: Geographies of Memory

A couple of weeks ago, we have taken a visit to the Art Museum near Pope Joy of the University of New Mexico. I got my mind ready that day with a hearty breakfast and some chocolate, ready to absorb any information as we inspect artworks of varying significant degrees inside. I didn’t want to miss any pictures from artists of different time period.

That day in English, we head off from the classroom and off to the Art Museum. Some walked in a brisk pace, some not in a hurry and some were already there. For me, I was eager to explore the messages artists have put into a code. A painting is a painting, but minds can pick up codes left behind the author. When inspecting the codes deeply on a microscopic scale our minds can visualize, traces of data convey the author’s experience from everything including factual information, history, events, etc. It isn’t always obvious, but the code has crucial data to deliver.

My mother is also an artist who has been in expeditions in California and Vietnam. One art I can share from her is one piece about urban growth. Around the perimeter, there are tall buildings. In the middle, there are rural, single story structures surrounded by the “perimeter” of more, modern structures. As mother put the time to create this image of hers, she stated that humans should never forget their footsteps with progress. The rural houses in the center represented part of our history with architecture with the modern, tall buildings in our post-modern time period. It is keeping track of the passage of time.

Artists’ intention didn’t seem any different than from my mother. As we stepped foot into the museum, we were greeted by a lady who took us inside the place where all the visual collections lie. At first, I thought the class will go around finding which piece speaks to us. Instead, we sat down in front of four pieces arranged on the wall in a rectangle being given clipboards to write on a paper with the questions, “What I see, what I think and what I wonder.”

The four pieces we gaze upon belong to Melanie Yazzie. The artist librarian told us to sketch anything from what we see from the paintings.

Here is a photo of some of the elements I’ve sketched from the artist:

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A brief description of those four paintings:

-Deer, centipede on its back with a winter landscape. There was a figure inside a woman’s body.

-Rainbows with arms sticking out. A giraffe and a goat can be seen. Spirals are craved.

-Spring season hails with a dragonfly in the background.

-A whole land with mountains and a warm season.

In a group with the lady who toured us, we looked and discuss some of the elements. Some elements included spirals, goat, human-like figures and, most importantly, geographical features.

As I inspected the “code” Melanie is leaving in these paintings, I can see a pattern of traveling across lands and seeing many organic objects coming together. She has pieced together human cultures and, more attentively, to the physical environments of the Earth. The history I can see here echoes back from her Navajo culture. As I wrote in my “What I think” column, I inferred that because of these physical, geographic themes, she must have traveled the world incorporating environmental features, symbols such as the spiral, and that time is vast.

As I interpreted my own thoughts, the passage of time never changes from centuries back to the modern time. We still have agriculture, nature and the vivid view of the Earth. I, myself, am adventurous and can travel the lands and probably piece together a pattern of these “referents” the artist has brought us. We celebrate these objects we pass by and keep them in our memory. It is but a taste of Indian artwork.

We eventually left the art history museum for our next class, much to our busy schedule in today’s world. But as stated earlier, time is vast. As we continue to move, we must inspect our surroundings. Soon, it will change, perhaps a car to flying car or floating cameras. We make progress, but we shouldn’t forget our early roots of success and how we worked from the ground up. Humans will continue to evolve, but there still is the pattern of memory through the land.

New Seed and Poison Water

The Scenario

It was a stormy night where Holly stayed indoors to play. While observing her, she had so much passion and joy. But does this one sided view tell the story of her whole youth period?

(Please watch the video. It is only a minute and a half, but has a very important topic to cover for the rest of this post)

“Oh honey, how was work?” Holly plays with her dolls.

“Good.”

“What would you like for dinner?”

*Snap*

As Holly played with her dolls, one of them lost an arm. Holly called and went to her mother with the doll and broken arm piece in hand. The mother was on the phone with her “honey” having a pleasant conversation as suggested by her laughter. Holly successfully obtained her mother’s attention. Mom puts down the phone and turns to Holly abruptly.

“What?” The mother said with annoyance.

Can you fix this for me?” Holly raises her toys.

The mother looked at the toy, then at Holly with seemingly, impending indignation. She grabs the doll and throws it down. Holly is scared, signaling that this wasn’t the first time that-

“Now listen here you ungrateful loving brat!” Mom raises her voice. “You’re going to show your loving mother some little respect!” She pushes Holly. “Let’s go!” She immediately grips Holly and drags her outside, slamming the door of the front entrance of the house to leave her daughter in the rain after yelling more.

“I didn’t do anything Mom.” Holly softly whispers looking down and covering herself from the cold.

As time shifts into the future at an unknown period, we hear a loud bang on the door in front of a now grown-up Holly. Holly appears to have locked herself into a secular room away from her mother who repeatedly bangs on the door violently.

“Get outta there, I’m going to beat the crap!” Explicitly yelled mom, “Get outta there you stupid whore!”

“Let me alone!” Holly shouts back. “I can’t take this anymore!”

As mom continues to throw offensive words at her daughter, grown-up Holly opens and leaves through the window behind her. Mom continues to throw explicit words now echoing in the background. The video concludes with Holly walking away from that terrible place and fading to black.

“How long will this go on without your help?” Followed by, “National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD”

It was hard…hard for me to watch this video the first time around. Friends and I have remembered being toss out of the house like Holly by relatives.

Why was this video created and what did I choose to show it? It’s because it’s an issue that is not always obvious and requires a careful awareness.

What they don’t tell us

Child abuse should be brought to attention and its consequences directly relate with fellow classmate, Dreanna’s post about “child rage,” Destruction of the Mind, Body, and Soul. How could parents treat their children like this? They wouldn’t harm their pet(s) or friends, but would do this to a child who traditionally should be the figure closer to the parent than a friend?

The effects of child abuse shouldn’t be ignored. The article, provides additional in depth overview of the issue. Child abuse has been on the rise during recent years. They come in different manifestations that are mutating even today.

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This graph was taken from a 2012 statistics

-Child abuse occurs every ten seconds (In the nation only)

-Child abuse can occur regardless of socioeconomic, ethnics, culture or education status

-Costs of child abuse have range up to $124 billion in 2008.

-Maltreatment was not accurately displayed in this investigation, but 50-60% of child abuse have led to death.

When a parent physically attacks a child, that child learns that aggression is appropriate for handling conflicts and performs it when away from parents, say at school. In addition, children under age 4 die from abuse in 70% cases.

Some say it isn’t abuse unless violence is involved. This is not really true as emotion can be just as damaging as physical contact (Correlating to how cyberbullying seems more impacting than traditional bully). The child can be given the “silent treatment,” being ignored as punishment. Yelling, constant belittling, shaming and humiliating are another set of extreme cases. And because the parent is supposingly the main source of protection and caregiver, losing this essential bond may cause the child to not know what a healthy relationship is. She may end up in poor relationships imaginable during her journey through school, workplace and marriage.

Perhaps another form of this hidden, dark world is neglecting. Some parents see that their responsibility is to only give food and nothing else to the child. This is not enough. Child neglect occurs when a child does not have sufficient food, clothing, hygiene or supervision. Besides homeostasis, the parent may not do anything or stick to emotional abuse should the child develop diseases, both physically and mentally. This includes depression or an injury. The parents’ judgmental ability may, of course, be affected by use of alcohol or other mental conditions. But in the end, the child suffers.

Substance abuse may even become more of a problem. Returning to the graph shown above, two-thirds of abused individuals have reported being abused. In fact, a third of abused victims will be more likely to use substance before their 18th birthday.

In the long run, as children mature, just like Grown-up Holly in the video, they probably won’t show signs of any abuse (This wasn’t covered in the video) as they have already adapted for the real world. Still, victims are still at risk of continuing this terrible cycle. About 30% of abused children can later abuse their own children. It is true that abused victims are most likely to repeat this form of child abuse in later generations, but those who developed awareness are carrying data to the next generation. Those parents, whom developed such awareness, will have a strong motivation to protect their children again from they have encountered.

Please, don’t ignore what trauma or PTSD can do. Again, I will bring up fellow classmate, Dreanna’s Post, Destruction of the Mind, Body, and Soul. Child abuse can lead to criminal activities in the future:

-14% of men and 36% of women in prison were abused as children.

-Children who experience child abuse or neglect are 9 times likely to commit criminal acts.

This is very disturbing. Both bullying and child abuse contribute to the shootings occurring in recent years, including this year. Parts of the children’s brains were poorly developed.

To the Horizons

Since doing this post, I have become more awareful in my surroundings. If I see others smoke, they have a story. If I see others with a bad group of friends, they have a story. If I see others shoplift, they have a story. If someone carries a weapon to school, they have a story. The story is the same and it could possibly be that same cycle of that hidden, dark world unconscious to all. It’s none other than what happened during the beginning when they were given birth.

When I see parents abusing their kids, it was something I wouldn’t want to treat my own children. Others, including relatives, tell me it’s not right to tell other parents how to treat their kids. I strongly disagree. If people can stand up to bullying in school or protesting in political matters, why can’t we do the same to cases of child abuse? People’s failure to notice other human beings’ sufferings relates to my other posts of “Behind the Human Exterior” and “Don’t Wait.” Why are we oblivious to what is going around in the world?

Children are like new grown seeds. If poison water or any polluting substance touches the seed, its growth is severely affected as it matures and affects other seeds. Children are no exception to this analogy. Trauma haunts the helpless child unable to realize or act out of this terrible situation. The abusing parents have already put a ticking time bomb inside their own child. It must stop and it will end this century as long every human being with a heart heeds this.

Don’t Wait…

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   When the day of high school graduation came, I was sitting in my column. It seemed like someone just turned a stack of pages in our lives in a split second. Nobody took the time to read through each page thoroughly to embrace the moments we have had with teachers, friends or relatives. Then, there was the announcement of her name of one of the individuals nominated for being one of the school’s top academic students.

   “Ari!” *Followed by applause*

She walked down the middle to the podium as her name was called. She was bright, smart and unique. She really must have been very excited, but I wasn’t. We had a troubling chapter before that day as like we haven’t communicated enough. We were in the same English Honors class, in the same room. We remain silent from each other. Did she not see something that was wrong? Did she not see how I was feeling?

When graduation ended, we lost contact with each other permanently, probably from getting a new phone number. My best friend now gone…

When first semester of college begun, I often decided I wasn’t ready or in the mood to conversant with one of my instructors in her office hour, befriend that individual who was so bright and focused in class or explore the campus. Thus, I missed a chance to share my thoughts with other human beings. I lost the opportunity to take every chance I had to interact with individuals. Eventually, it came to the finals and the end of the semester and it became too late to interact with the individuals in my classes as we all leave that classroom never to come back together as a whole. I was saddened.

As I was in a meeting or appointment with several of my instructors during both semesters (This present one included) and after calling the Agora Hotline Service and coming back from the Deans of Student counseling, all the administrators and volunteers stated dearly that they wanted everyone to be comfortable in speaking to them about any concerns we had.  It was not like the stereotypical, mean gym teacher or principal shown in the media where they would act skeptical or tense the child who needed to speak about concerns or anxieties. Also included; portraying the majority of college students partying and behaving inadequately, which further separate us from each other with these false perceptions.  Portraying this for entertainment and money brings a consequence of possible social anxiety and distorting in perception of the world. (Fortunately, we’re already showing those companies and those so-called celebrities who’s in charge by electing ideal adults, with a heart, into the office.)

But in the end, why are we hesitating to approach each other? I have been through all my classes, some with 180 students and some with 30 students. But nobody took the opportunity to interact with another individual to share their troubling thoughts, and soon finals will come and we won’t return to the same wagon of people we have been around for 4 straight months. Here, individuals keep waiting, ignoring each other and forgetting that we’re in the same room chirping like parakeets until we fly away for good. When did friendship become so hard to establish?

   As I read articles, friendship seems hard to establish in college than in high school and before. In our youth, it might have been hard deciding up a list of whom to invite to our birthday parties. In our later years, such as in college, it seems students are very focused on their own problems. Completely understandable; there’s jobs requiring so many hours, not enough time for “beauty” sleep (Importantly, this really causes negative effects imaginable), financial concerns (including meal plans, dorms, groceries) and career planning. Here in college, we are told to “get involved.” However, it is becoming harder to do so with all these responsibilities listed above to make room for fostering new bridges to friendship.

   But, I grow disappointed in individuals or false friends who claimed that they’re “busy.” I made time to ask a former classmate for her phone number. One night during first semester, I decided to call her.

 She said, “Can I call you back later?”

A week later, she hasn’t called back. I texted her,

“You haven’t returned my call in a week.”

“Between work and school, I haven’t had time to talk. I’m sorry.”

When she says “I’m sorry,” I felt it was the same thing of using “lol (Shortcut for ‘laugh out loud’ from the texting culture)” in a text about writing a five paper essay, which I and most others don’t find particularly funny at all. I feel like she isn’t true to her words. I feel like I was the one participating in the friendship, something called One Sided Friendship. (Another article of similar nature can found here.)

Aside unacceptable degrees of citing busy as an excuse, a rather interesting article, Residential Mobility, Well-Being and Mortality claims that individuals who moved a lot during their childhood are more likely to suffer with social relationships. An individual will have already made a sizable amount of friends in her original vicinity, and then, for any reasons, moves to another state and is forced to “recreate social networks.” While this won’t have damaging effects with those who are extroverted, those who are introverted will have difficulty in a new, alien environment. I have had friends before who have moved from places to places during high school and even those who have moved to America for college. I can tell they were introverted due to lack of confidence when public speaking to the class, taking passive roles in group activities and often remain silent in the classroom. Still, I don’t want to judge individuals negatively and I want to lend a help. I just don’t know if they know I’m a friend worth befriending.

In the end, I still want to value friendship and encourage everyone to be more extroverted. Whenever friends come into our life, they open up a new world within us. Please take every moment to talk or call your friends about everything. Don’t wait. Don’t be silence. Don’t let there be another situation like mine where my friend and I didn’t bother approaching each other in the same room when something was wrong. The opportunity could be lost and we will never see each other and have the chance to make a contact. That’s why I’m asking for everyone to take every chance to come talk to anyone, professors, new friends or making up for old friends. Please don’t be afraid to approach anyone.

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http://www.hercampus.com/health/mental-health/what-do-if-you-re-feeling-lonely-college

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born” (Anais Nin).

Behind the Human Exterior

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http://www.jesshusband.com/ Photography by Jess Husband

On campus, college students pass by each other without a single thought of each other. Eyes are glued to their IPhones. Ears are stuffed with earphones, diverting hearing. Attentiveness seems to have lost its place in society.

If my teachers ask me to color the world, I would color it gray. Gray, because it seems humans have lost their connection to other beings. Why are we moving pass each other without a thought?

Examining Human Emotions

The video, Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care created by Cleveland Clinic showcases the silent, inner stories of humans inside. As the title suggests, medical environments are the only locations shown. The video begins with a quote from Henry David Thoreau, “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” There are individuals walking, working a shift or waiting patiently for their medical exam. Messages of the person’s story, as indicated by her exterior feelings (Facial expressions, etc.), are explicitly shown. An example in the video is when a woman looking very worried is seemingly awaiting her appointment. A caption appears and states, “They saw something in her mammography,” suggesting she could have cancer. Another one is when a man is pushing a cart full of medical supplies, working his shift.  He seems tired and frustrated, followed by “Haven’t had a vacation in six months.”  One more is a woman cherishing her birth-defected infant’s hand under special care, followed by “hoping to hold her today.” The video concludes with, “Hear what they hear, see what they see, feel what they feel, would you treat them differently?” Has any individuals turned to observe and think about what the other person’s circumstances are like?

Empathy is not just directed in the doctor field, but to every human. The grey-scale photography foreshadows the absence of human empathy. It seems individuals are disassociate from each other, marking a change in society’s social dynamic. When did listening become obsolete since the rise of digital contexts like networking sites? Why all of a sudden, in the universe’s hair of time, have humans begun to disassociate with others?

And I repeat again, why are we moving pass each other without a thought?

Communities have been created in response to this disturbing trend. There is a hotline service I’ve known and have used that opened its doors in 1970. It was founded due to an individual’s suicidal fate because this individual’s interaction with others was unheeded. Neglected, filled with apathy from others, the individual proceed to stopped living and proceeded to end a precious life. Since the tragedy of the individual who committed suicide, all from the passing of students giving not a care on campus and presumably any public streets, Agora was founded to bring back the concept of empathy. Students, professors, elders, parents and anyone else who need to speak out can dial these services, the National Suicide Hotline included, to have a volunteer to reach out to. The topic can be anything, including but not limited to recalling PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) events and death in the family. Communities formed combat the isolation behind these fences society has created today.

I have used these services, wishing I could have these same connections with any individuals out there freely. I call in to talk about college and having no break in between, how careless individuals have impacted my self-esteem and even simple topics of how anxious I am about my exam done last week. Family problems are ranked quite high in a graph based on what callers have talked about. Other callers, including myself, miss having a special and intimate connection with another human being that public is failing to provide.

As I set foot on campus, I observe the people. Something seems unsettled and unfulfilled behind these brilliant, individuals’ mind and heart. There were scars…battle scars to represent every traumatic and impending traumatic event in our road maps. They’ve already been marked historically: Cancer, child abuse, friendship betrayal. I ask that we all treat each other as we are meeting for the first and last time, with passion and care. Don’t let apathy take that common heart in all away from us.