Americans: More Self Centered… and More Lonely

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On April 1, 2011, Matt Cantor, Newser Staff, posted “As Americans Get More Self Centered, So Do Lyrics Study finds increasingly narcissistic words in top 10 hits.”

Today’s hit songs aren’t about “us”-they’re just about “me,” a study finds. researchers examined Billboard’s top 10 songs in the US each year from 1980 to 2007, and found that “popular music lyrics now include more words related to a focus on the self”. Using a word-counting program, they discovered that first-person plural pronouns like “we” and “us” were used less and less over the years; first-person singular pronouns like “I” and “me,” on the other hand, grew more common, Miller-McCune reports.

Meanwhile, the use of words tied to antisocial behavior or anger – “hate,” “kill” – increased, while words linked to social activity – “talk,” “share” – decreased. The same was true for words about positive emotions, like “love” and “nice.” It all echoes “recent evidence showing increases in US loneliness and psychopathology over time,” says a researcher. It’s also worrying, writes Tom Jacobs, when you consider recent research that says songs with antisocial messages can prompt “aggressive thoughts and hostile feelings, while those [about] peace and love can increase empathy.”

I find it ironic that the ego wounded self believes that being more self centered leads to anything good.

Many do not understand the vast difference between being self centered and being self responsible and self-caring.

The wounded self says: “I have to focus on me and get all I can or I will lose out.”

The loving Adult says: “I want to focus on taking responsibility for my own feelings and actions so that I can do what I came to the planet to do – express my gifts and share my love with others.”

The wounded self says: “I deserve to get all I can and I will do whatever I can to get others to give me what I want. I’m entitled.”

The loving Adult says: “It’s my responsibility to give myself the love I didn’t receive as I was growing up.”

The wounded self says:”Getting all I can will fill me up and take away my emptiness and loneliness.”

The loving Adult says: “Filling myself with Divine love and sharing that with others is what life is all about. If I feel lonely around self centered, self absorbed people, I can choose to be around caring, loving people instead.”

Many of the people I work with believe that taking responsibility for themselves is selfish; they don’t yet understand that selfishness is when you expect others to give themselves up for you.

It is heartbreaking that we are so very off-track in our society.

While the “me” lyrics reflect our current society, they also contribute to the problems, as the above research shows. Adolescents especially are often deeply affected by music and lyrics. Conscious, caring singers and songwriters can have a major impact on bringing about more empathy and less aggression.

If you are not feeling passionate about your life, consider that you may be stuck trying to get something like money, attention, approval, or sex – believing that these externals will fill you up and make you feel happy and worthy. Yet happiness and self worth come from only one thing: love. And contrary to what you might currently believe, the love that deeply fills is not what you get from others – it’s the gift of Spirit that fills your heart when your heart is open to loving yourself and others.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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