Narcissism

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Photo of a painting of a young man looking into a pool of water.
Narcissus saw his reflection in a pool of water, fell in love, and pined away for all time; unable to consummate his love, he turned into a flower named Narcissus.

Narcissism is a personality flaw denoting excessive vanity, egotism, and self-love. The word's etymology derives from Greek mythology in which a handsome male Greek youth with the name Narcissus rejected the seductive advances of the beautiful nymph Echo. Perhaps as a form of punishment, he was fated to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He pined away forever and eventually turned into a flower with the same name. The psychologist Sigmund Freud speculated that all humans have some degree of narcissism in us, but that it is a trait of adults to have a kind of balance to keep it from getting excessive.