Is Gen Y the Most Narcissistic Generation Ever?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / September 14, 2010

NarcissisticSelf-confidence is good but to much can be a bad thing. A recent article on The Harvard Business Review shows that Generation Y may be the most narcissistic generation ever. The articles takes an excerpt from The Narcissism Epidemic saying:

“We found that… college students in the 2000s were significantly more narcissistic than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The Boomers, a generation famous for being self-absorbed, were outdone by their children. By 2006, two-thirds of college students scored above the scale’s original 1979-85 sample average, a 30% increase in only two decades… The upswing in narcissism appears to be accelerating: the increase between 2000 and 2006 was especially steep.”

The article goes on to point out that this is a bad trend and can cause Gen Y to be less successful in their careers or entrepreneurial ventures. It states “Narcissists apparently make good solo performers, and are more likely to become entrepreneurs because of their high tolerance for risk. But in most contexts narcissism is a handicap. It makes you a less valuable professional and a less valued colleague.”

It is obvious that narcissists would make good entrepreneurs as taking that leap and starting a business can be viewed as crazy, cocky, and insane just to name a few. But it is that confidence that allows people to try things and build those companies of the future. However there is caution here because there is a difference in being confident but knowing when to ask for help and being to confident and thinking you can do everything yourself. Entrepreneurs must balance the two in order to be successful.

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The author of the article also states “I’m tired of people who show no other passion or interest than themselves, of parents who can’t separate from their kids, of Millennials who apparently think that talking about how much they’re going to help the world is some kind of important precondition to doing so, and of the cottage industry of folk who encourage and amplify this talk.”

It is true that most people out there are all talk. Every young person is going to change the world but who really does? In the end it is about backing up what you say and taking action. Anyone can say something but it is the few that actaully go out and do something that make a difference.

Is this characteristic going to lead more younger people to find their passions and pursue what they love because they have the confidence to do so? Or is it a negative trend in Gen Y and will it lead to more problems for this over-confident generation?

What is your view on Gen Y being narcissistic?

Read the full article here

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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