Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.

The name narcissism was coined by Sigmund Freud after Narcissus who in Greek myth was a pathologically self-absorbed young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. Freud believed that some narcissism is an essential part of all of us from birth.

It is argued that a reasonable amount of healthy narcissism allows the individual’s perception of his needs to be balanced in relation to others.


Ingratiation is a strategic attempt to get someone to like you in order to obtain compliance with a request. Ingratiation is generally conceptualized as a variant of impression management tactics. The three major tactics for ingratiation are other-enhancement, opinion conformity, and self-presentation.

– Other-enhancement means flattery. People use this tactic to gain compliance by flattering an individual or reasoning with him or her instead of forcing compliance.
– Opinion conformity is conforming to the various ways of the target person. The belief is that people like those with apparently similar values. Allow the target to convince you of their opinion. Either consistent conformity or conformity preceded by sufficient resistance are both good strategies at ingratiation.
– Self-presentation is to present one’s own attributes in a manner that the target would approve and like. The level of status between the ‘ingratiator’ and target are important.


Compliance refers to the act of responding favourably to an explicit or implicit request offered by others. The request may be explicit, such as a direct request for donations, or implicit, such as an advertisement promoting its products without directly asking for purchase. In all cases, the target recognizes that he or she is being urged to respond in a desired way.

Some principles are commonly used to increase the probability of successful compliance, including reciprocation, credibility, liking/friendship, scarcity and social validation.


In retail sales, a bait and switch is a form of fraud in which the party putting forth the fraud lures in customers by advertising a product or service at a low price or with many features, then reveals to potential customers that the advertised good is not available at the original price or list of assumed features, but something different is. This use of this term has extended to similar situations outside of the marketing sense.

Door-in-the-Face Technique

The door-in-the-face technique is a persuasion method. Compliance with the request of concern is enhanced by first making an extremely large request that the respondent will obviously turn down, with a metaphorical slamming of a door in the persuader’s face. The respondent is then more likely to accede to a second, more reasonable request than if this second request were made without the first, extreme request.

It is suggested this as a form of reciprocity, for instance; the first request creates a sense of debt or guilt that the second request offers to clear. Alternately, a reference point may explain this phenomenon, as the initial bad offer sets a reference point from which the second offer looks like an improvement.

For example:
“Will you donate thousand pounds to our organization?” [Response is no].
“Oh. Well, could you donate ten pounds?”

“Can you help me do all this work?” [Response is no].
“Well, can you help me with this bit?”

The Overton Window

The Overton window, in political theory, describes a ‘window’ in the range of public reactions to ideas in public discourse, in a spectrum of all possible options on a particular issue.

At any given moment, the window includes a range of policies considered to be politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme or outside the mainstream to gain or keep public office. Overton arranged the spectrum on a vertical axis of more free and less free in regards to government intervention. When the window moves or expands, ideas can accordingly become more or less politically acceptable. The degrees of acceptance of public ideas can be described roughly as: unthinkable, radical, acceptable, sensible, popular, and policy.

The Overton Window is a means of visualizing which ideas define that range of acceptance by where they fall in it. Proponents of policies outside the window seek to persuade or educate the public so that the window either moves or expands to encompass them. Opponents of current policies, or similar ones currently within the window, likewise seek to convince people that these should be considered unacceptable.

Biblical Sarcasm

The Bible tells us very little about Dathan and Aviram. They were just two Israelites who complained during the forty year sojourn in the wilderness.

The way they complained, however, made them stand out, even amongst a group of perpetual complainers. When Korach’s rebellion against Moses started, Moses attempted to make peace and summoned Dathan and Aviram, Korach’s co-conspirators.

Their complaint to Moses dripped with so much sarcasm that it caused Moses to immediately protest to God about them. They told Moses (Numbers 16:13): “Is it but a small thing that you have brought us up out of [Egypt] a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness, but you also have to lord over us?” The ‘land of milk and honey’ was a term used to describe the promised land of Israel, not Egypt.

We learn a good deal about the personalities of Dathan and Aviram from their nasty remark to Moses.