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Home » Managing A Narcissist: Ann Barnes at TEDxCollingwood (Transcript)

Managing A Narcissist: Ann Barnes at TEDxCollingwood (Transcript)

Ann Barnes

Here is the full transcript of Edica Naturals’ CEO Ann Barnes’ TEDx Talk: Managing A Narcissist at TEDxCollingwood conference.


Narcissist. It sounds nasty, doesn’t it? Like an open, oozing sore, painful to experience. Social narcissism reflects our current cultural reality. Its growth is an increasing challenge to businesses worldwide. The word ‘narcissism’ stems from Greek mythology Narcissus, a young hunter and an exceptionally handsome man, one day, tired from hunting and heat, he lies by a splendid spring. As he is drinking the water, he sees his beautiful image. He falls madly in love. He refuses to drink for fear that his lovely image will disappear. In time, he wastes away, still enamored with himself. And his death is marked by the growth of a single flower.

A narcissus. In our unmythical world, we are surrounded by these selfish, thirsty beings. Like our parched Greek friend, they are addicted to feeling special. Admiration is everything. And if left unchecked, this cyst boils over into feelings of entitlement, blame, overrating one’s abilities, lashing out at criticism, arrogance and bullying, with very little room for empathy.

You all know one! You might even be sitting beside one! You might even be one. Well, one thing we know for sure is that their numbers are increasing [“ME-llennial”]. A thirty-year study reviewed the narcissistic and empathetic traits of college students. In the 1980s, when the study began, the numbers were pretty good 30 percent showed high traits of narcissism, with 70 percent showing traits of empathy. 30 years later, into our millennial generation, the inverse is true. They found that 70 percent of the students had high narcissistic traits, and only 30 percent had traits of empathy.

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