I would be very cautious about using Sam Vaknin as a source. He promotes himself relentlessly as an expert on narcissism, but he has no scholarly or clinical standing. Like many other pop psychology writers, he broadens the definition of narcissism so that the reader can comfortably apply the term to virtually everyone–particularly those he or she doesn’t like.
Vaknin can be interesting, but take anything he says with many handfuls of salt. He’s more interested in playing with his audience than he is in conveying accurate information.
“I would be very cautious about using Sam Vaknin as a source. ”
+1 came across him way back and though he sounded interesting, on further digging there were some things that didn’t fit right. Though now I wouldn’t be that concerned about his lack of credentials. Some of the best work regarding male/female psychology that I have come across has come from someone who doesn’t have much grounding in academia.
The best writing by far that I’ve seen on narcissism is over at The Last Psychiatrist.
vaknin has a lot of insights, and for the most part he explains very well the narcissist personality. he’s particularly interesting when talking about how narcissism can manifest on a society-wide level, as it appears it is doing now throughout the west. but he does tend to overreach and classify as narcissistic what could just as easily be termed the normal functioning human ego. the ego is humanity’s greatest pride and greatest sin. it’s self-serving flaws are universally present in everyone to greater and lesser degrees. narcissism is a special case of ego inflation, but not all egomaniacs or attention whores are narcissists.
Yadda Yadda Yadda
We so love to hear foreign accents when we discuss psychology. It’s like our fascination with German scientists and engineers. If it doesn’t come with a German accent, how can you take it seriously?
Narcissism is predominantly a masculine characteristic? Yeah. And have you ever heard of female hypergamy? The female of the species mates with the highest status male she can acquire?
I wouldn’t trust a woman’s gaydar. I used to think any man who wasn’t into me was gay. This wasn’t always the case.
If you want to see if a man is gay or not, you have to observe how they act around attractive men. How they act around women isn’t as telling.
Assuming I heard him correctly, he says: “If narcissistic personality disorder is not related to cultural and social contexts, then it should occur equally among men and women.”
Why? I see no basis for the assertion that genetic predispositions can’t influence one sex more than the other.
Also, I see far more women with narcisstic traits than men, though I suppose “narcissistic personality disorder” may be a different animal.
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