Narcissus was a character in Greek Mythology who was so proud and egotistical that he fell in love with his own image reflected by a nearby river. Narcissus eventually died because he was so obsessed with his own self-image and wanted to make love to it.
The Ancient Greeks were truly a wise and insightful people, much of Western Civilisation is influenced by their ideas. In particular, this myth of Narcissus yields an underlying, universal Truth about human nature and its flaws. As a side note, if you read the Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung’s work on the Archetypes, he also gains insights into the meanings underlying many of our Myths. Narcissus is very similar to arrogant and vain people, people that you surely have met in your daily lives, yes? These types of people are to be avoided at all costs or if you have the misfortune to share your moments in life with them, they are merely to be tolerated with until an opportunity arises to leave them permanently.
Arrogant people get angry when their wishes are unfulfilled, they believe they are always right, they act very rudely towards others, they will not accept most people’s ideas that are contrary to their own etc. Arrogant people hold this belief that they are far greater than everyone, are flawless and they are trapped in this grand delusion which they are not aware. Their mind and its thought do not align properly to the Reality that occurs before them; their interpretation is skewed and incorrect. This idea of perceived superiority expresses itself in their rude, brash and brazen behaviour towards others they consider lower in status than themselves. They lower or devalue people so they can feel better and elevate themselves which is a parasitic and weak thing to do. There is no point disagreeing with them because of that deeply fixated belief in themselves. The best thing to do is “agree” with them which works wonders and lowers their guard. When you “agree” with them, they will no longer be hostile to you because you appear to mirror them and their attitudes when you agree with them. Hence they see a mental reflection of themselves in you as you defer to them and fall in love with that mental projection which is similar to how Narcissus loved his own image. Thus, this prolongs the cycle of their arrogant thoughts and behaviour. When you mirror their behaviour and thoughts, you camouflage yourself from them. They think they are superior but in fact this idea of theirs opens them to attack where they can be controlled just like with the mirroring technique. In their belief that they are perfect, they are in a state of self-denial and are wilfully CHOOSING to be ignorant. That is stupidity defined clearly. We see forms of arrogance everywhere like when the old colonial Western Powers would roam outside Europe, doing as they pleased, taking other countries’ resources, subjugating native populations etc. It is through the process of Colonisation that they project their own self-image to the countries they conquer which is reflected back at them, fuelling their arrogance and feelings of superiority.
Vain people, like arrogant people, tend to be obsessed with fashion, they put a lot of attention to their appearance, they get angry if you make a mocking comment on their appearance etc. They want to derive pleasure from being visually and aesthetically “perfect” and when they come across someone who does not reflect their thoughts back at them, they respond with anger and frustration; their minds doesn’t align with the Reality that they observe before them.
Much of what I have written on arrogance and the self-love gained from mirroring the arrogant/ vain person’s attitudes and beliefs originated from an author called Robert Greene.