Last March, Dr. Drew Pinsky wrote about "Narcissism and the Economic Crisis?" for the Huffington Post.
And I think it is time to look even more deeply into this disturbing trend. There are simply more and more narcissists than there were a few decades ago. There is less community and more selfishness. And this will affect how quickly we come out of this financial crisis, as well as how. When the narcissist is confronted with harsh, unpleasant and unflattering realities or relationships, he or she flees them. And there are most definitely some American high rollers who have stashes of cash (and all those offshore no tax bank accounts being looked into at the moment) and are ready to move on to kinder countries as the dollar falls into the abyss and the huge, superficial profits dry up. They trade in the old for a new younger model and leave. But what about when the narcissist has nowhere left to go? In other words, when America and other places that are suffering from the past excesses, are stuck with themselves, the healthy sane folks get to work at making their communities (or what is left of them) better places to live. While those with unhealthy narcissistic tendencies follow the money to places where their grandiosity remains intact. And they can leave havoc in their wakes (Ponzi schemes which fall apart, pensioners, wives and children left to clean up the mess).
When a narcissist hits a wall, that's when it becomes really ugly. Narcissists are poor losers. They are the ones who either turn over the Monopoly board when they are behind, or, what tends to be more common these days, when confronted with a mirror which shows them their true selves, they become silent, and walk away. They deny and negate those people and situations which do not supply them with narcissistic supply and go looking for new victims. In other words, most of them are vampires. And they leave people with debt, empty bank accounts, broken hearts and not even turn around to look back. Entire lives, marriages and businesses have been built around this kind of emptiness, and when the bubble is shown to be hollow, the narcissist is usually already long gone.
No wonder vampire films, books and television series have become increasingly popular in America ... we are living surrounded by narcissistic financial and emotional vampires. In fact, these people were considered to be "successful" "role models" with lifestyles people aspired to even though nothing they did or said or "felt" was sustainable. Hey, some of them even committed horrible crimes, and were defended publicly by their fellow narcissists when they fled the "reality" of the crime scene. The society which has grown up around the economy of distracting America and the rest of the world from reality (video games, Facebook, cinemas, bowling alleys, sports related everything ...) all of the sudden benefits, as people at first try to deny the reality of the difficult situation, but later, as that same economy sucks from them like vampires, they wake up to the harsh light of day. The projector is turned off and the images of what could be now appear to be simply plays of shadow and light.
The hard lesson to learn is simply this: Avoid Vampires and anything that resembles them as they are too good to be true and turn into nightmares. They never cared about you and never will. Madoff not only cheated his investors, he cheated his wife. And unless you want to write a book about it or create another TV series, leave the vampires out in the cold, alone with themselves, or better yet, in prison, where they belong.