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Self-Esteem

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The article by Sharon Begley in the July 13, 1998 issue of Newsweek entitled "You're OK, I'm Terrific; '' Backfires" talks about one of the possible problems with instilling in today's youth: violence. The article proposes that "narcissists are super sensitive to criticism and slights, because deep down they suspect that their feeling of superiority is build on quicksand." I agree with the article that "unjustified feelings of self-worth cause aggression" and the cause of these feelings is the policy of repeated, hollow praise that society has adopted.
Think of someone that you know who you think fits the definition of a narcissist and chances are that person overreact to insults and criticism. This is exactly what Begley is trying to bring attention to in this article. One example that Begley's paper is of a kid in Mississippi who killed his mother and two of his classmates and is found by three different psychologists to exude narcissistic traits.
It's not just a coincidence that narcissism is connected with aggression. A study at Case Western Reserve University found that "the most narcissistic people were the most 'exceptionally aggressive in the wake of criticism." It could be argued that it is, in fact, the other way around; the most aggressive people tend to be the most self-centered, but these two fact are ...

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