‘The proliferation of visual and auditory images in a ’society of spectacle’ as it has been described, encouraged a similar preoccupation with the self. People responded to others as if their actions where being recorded and simultaneously transmitted to an unseen audience or stored up for close scrutiny at some later time. The prevailing social conditions thus brought out narcissistic personality traits that were present, in varying degrees, in everyone – a certain protective shallowness, a fear of binding commitments, a willingness to pull up roots whenever the need arose, a desire to keep one’s options open , a dislike of depending on anyone , an incapacity for loyalty or gratitude.
Narcissists may have paid more attention to their own needs than to those of others, but self love and self – aggrandizement did not impress me as their most important characteristics. These qualities implied a strong, stable sense of selfhood, whereas narcissists suffered from a feeling of inauthenticity and inner emptiness. ‘
The Culture of Narcissism
W W Norton & Co Ltd; New edition edition (15 Jan 1979)