Steer Clear of Modern Society’s Narcissistic Tendencies, Says Pope

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Youth from the Catholic Shalom Community received a piece of advice to avoid narcissism from Pope Francis during an audience on 4 Sep.

Calling it a vain “illness”, the Holy Father encouraged them to concentrate on helping others and on developing a healthy ability to laugh at themselves.

“One of the characteristics of youth and of the eternal youth of God is joy,” he reminded while describing how narcissism only lead to sadness.

“[Narcissism] produces sadness, because you live worried about ‘dressing up’ your soul every day to appear better than you are, contemplating to see if you are more beautiful than others,” he said.

He likened narcissism to a “sickness of the mirror” and cautioned its deceptive nature. “A young person who gets into themselves, who only lives for themselves, ends up in an impassioned self-referentiality” he explained.

“And if one day you want to look at yourself in the mirror, I will give you a mirror: look in the mirror to laugh at yourself,” he added. “To know how to laugh at ourselves gives us joy and saves us from the temptation of narcissism.”