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Adolescent Egocentrism

Teen life was the most difficult part of my life since I was trying to adjust to the daily physical and psychological changes. Life was on the brink of destruction for me at that time. I felt like a social outcast in this world. Relationships with adults and my peers became extremely strained. At some point I was worried if I was really the one to blame for all wrongs in the whole world. I had developed a sudden dislike for certain things that I used to be perfectly comfortable with before. I thought that since I was behaving just like the other people of my age, there was nothing wrong with me or them. This idea of not being in the wrong was derived from the fact that I felt it was the adults who did not understand us, teens; more than ten teens cannot be wrong, can they? Sometimes I was just moody and had difficulties in making choices. When anyone approached to help me make a particular decision on something, just like a typical teenager I suddenly turned argumentative.

Psychologist David Elkind, in his widely read book, describes the negative attitudes in a typical teenager, which are the cause of adolescent egocentrism. The psychologist claims that adolescent egocentrism is a youths’ conviction that their behavior and appearance is of great interest to others. Egocentric adolescents deem that they are in the limelight. David claims that the negative attitude leads to the creation of a guilty conscience in the teenage mind. Teenagers feel as if they are being monitored in everything they do. Their thoughts are filled with questions “What will people think of me? What are people saying about me? Do people like me?” These doubts make teenagers lose confidence in life and at some point make them withdrawn or rebellious. In such a case, teenagers become unpredictable and their easy embarrassment can lead to depression. Adolescent egocentrism creates a platform for two interconnected beliefs seen in the last teen days: the “imaginary audience” and the “personal fable.”

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