When it comes to providing a positive service experience, the dictum “the customer is always right” usually makes sense. But especially for expertise-driven service businesses, it is critical to differentiate between managing the service experience (e.g., responsiveness, fixing problems, staff friendliness) and the content of the service itself. For example, a physician shouldn’t agree to an unnecessary operation simply because their patient desires it — though the physician and their staff should always be pleasant and efficient. A driving instructor shouldn’t allow their student to drive recklessly simply because the student wants to — though the instructor should always be supportive and give instructions politely. A good service experience and saying “NO” are not incompatible. Indeed, you need and fully expect experts that you hire to tell you “NO” when required in their judgment, whether or not you want to hear it.
So why is the word “NO” so completely absent in commercial weight loss programs?
Are we “entitled” to eat whatever we want?
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), a condition first formally recognized as a clinical diagnosis in the early 1970’s, is characterized by self-centered and self-promoting behavior, overconfidence and inflated self-esteem without basis in reality, and a deep personal sense of deserving (e.g., fame, fortune, good grades, good looks, professional advancement) without merit or valid rationale, or out of an unfounded sense of being “special”.
In my recent reading of “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement” (2009) by Jean Twenge, PhD and Keith Campbell, PhD, I was struck by the fact that the growth in clinical narcissism diagnoses across the last 40 years directly parallels the growth in obesity diagnoses across the same period. It turns out that clinical narcissism is now as prevalent as obesity in our society, and like obesity, is present across all demographic groups – so it appears we’ve yet another problem of “epidemic proportions” on our hands (see Blog Post: “Is Obesity Really an Epidemic?”).