Their concern is not with themselves but with the group and how the group is faring

“I once watched a highly intelligent Pueblo Indian engaged in intercultural education programs struggle and sweat to put into words a problem he and his people were having to cope with. vulturesWhenever a white man is put down in the middle of a pueblo, the Indians must cope with his narcissism as expressed by his almost total preoccupation with how HE is doing (providing he is well motivated) or how HE is being treated (if he is less idealistic).

Regardless of motives, behavior of this sort is threatening and disruptive to Pueblo life, because the Indians are just the opposite. Their concern is not with themselves but with the group and how the group is faring.

The Indians see what we call narcissism in all whites – a trait that goes far beyond and is much more inclusive than self-love and individual differences. Since the Pueblo Indians themselves are not this way, how can they describe what they themselves do not include in their experience?

And what does the well-motivated concerned white man do when he has devoted much of his life to “helping” the Indians only to discover that cultural insight reveals him as a disruptive force in Pueblo life, even though he considers himself an ally?

Why hadn’t any of his Pueblo friends told him this?”

Beyond Culture, Edward T. Hall, pg 153, Copyright 1976