The tragic shooting at Virginia Tech has me, along with everyone else, wondering how such a thing can happen. One of the most valuable analyses I have seen is David Von Drehle's essay in Time Magazine, " It's All About Him" Von Drehle explains that serial killers, as well as mass murderers, are narcissists. "This is the narcissist's view of narcissism: everything would be fine if only he received more attention."
Dr. Romance works often with people who are trying to understand how to relate to a narcissist. It's difficult to get the co-dependent who's pouring love into a bottomless pit to understand why nothing ever comes back. Narcissism is the emotional dysfunction of our time. Narcissism is a lack of emotional development -- the narciissist is emotionally stuck at about age two. So, when you're trying to relate, you're seeing an adult body, but the emotional response is that of a very small child. It is everywhere around us: Don Imus, Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole, O.J. Simpson -- all wonderful examples of narcissism in action. This is difficult to understand, but the narcissist does not recognize that anyone else exists except to serve him or her. For a great analysis, try http://www.n-courage.net/
Mass murderers display the extremes of narcissism. Each of us has some narcissistic tendencies, but If you are way too worried about your looks, instead of your character, consider that your value system may have been skewed by our consumer culture. On the other hand, if you're trying with all your might to love someone, and it's not working, consider the possibility that the object of your affection doesn't have the capacity to love or be loved.