Spoiled Boys and Toxic Masculinity

Are we creating more narcissists?

Shefali O'Hara
3 min readJun 13, 2022


Photo by yang miao on Unsplash

Narcissism makes a person focus on his or her own needs and ignore what others need. Everyone sometimes behaves like this, but narcissists frequently show a lack of empathy for those around them. They disregard or dismiss others’ needs and feelings and ignore how their actions affect others.

Narcissism is more common in men, though of course it also occurs with women. It is one component of NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder.

Lately it seems that we are seeing an increase in this lack of empathy. For example, the school shooter in Uvalde obviously did not care about the lives he took, whether they were innocent children and cats or his own grandmother.

Is this just the pinnacle of toxic masculinity? And what could be contributing to it?

I remember several years back, when a little boy asked me if he could pet my cat. My cat at the time, Snoopy, was beautiful and very fluffy and she liked to go on walks with me. It was during one of the walks that the boy came up to us.

I told the boy, “Yes, you can pet her, but only if she allows you to, and only if you are gentle.”

He didn’t comprehend because he immediately tried to snatch at her. She of course bolted under the nearest car. So he tried to crawl in after her.

“Stop that!” I said. “She does not want to be petted. Leave her alone!”

He didn’t listen to me and kept crawling until he could grab her. She immediately scratched his hand and drew blood.

He came out from under the car wailing. “She’s a bad cat!”

“No,” I said. “She is a good cat. She didn’t attack you. She defended herself after making it clear she didn’t want to be touched. YOU should have left her alone!”

Fortunately I didn’t have to deal with the boy’s mother. I thought the boy was a spoiled brat, and his parents were probably the cause.

I have seen this on many occasions, where a parent allows their child to misbehave and thinks it is cute or acceptable. I have friends who are veteran teachers who have told me horror stories.



Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.