Narcissus was a Greek hunter who was known to be very beautiful and handsome but like many of my former crushes, he was also kind of a douche. So, the goddess Nemesis, goddess of retribution (kind of like the karma goddess to assholery) cursed him to see the beauty others see in him in a reflection of himself in a watering pool. Narcissus saw his own beauty in the water and he was so mesmerized by it that he fell into the water and drowned.
Today ‘narcissist’ is just what we call people who won’t like us back.
On a more serious note, yesterday a strange idea was brought to my attention when I met up with a writer who felt that writing was such burden that she felt liberated when she eventually stopped doing it. She felt that writing was such a self-important act and once she stopped writing of herself and made it into an external career where she wrote about external things instead, she was able to feel a bit better about it.
As a blogger and professional over-thinker, you can imagine how much this fucked with me. I left this meeting with her and couldn’t stop myself from launching into a whole thing where I made a big deal of convincing myself that I wasn’t a narcissist.
I spent the afternoon trying to learn about types of narcissism and went home ultimately unhappy.
A modern psychological definition of narcissism would be: A grandiose view of one’s talents and/or physical appearance characterized by traits of lacking empathy, a sense of entitlement and the need for admiration.
One video says that there’s a certain limit where vanity and narcissism can be identified as self-confidence and simply a “positive view of oneself.” There’s something called Vulnerable Narcissism where one has the fear of not being admired as much as they should be, of being rejected and a certain self-victimization when not receiving praise. This is as opposed to Grandiose Narcissism where one will go into a proactive attack if you don’t appreciate them like they think they deserve.
I think to some extent everyone shows certain traits of narcissism and from what I see, it seems like a common millennial attribute where we’ve been raised being told that we have the power to do anything that we have come to believe we are incapable of failure, that we are all individually great, approval deserving people and that every tiny thing we do deserves a certain applause and attention. Many of the things I read say that if you aren’t showing extreme signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) to have been diagnosed by a doctor, that you don’t really have to worry.
I’m still worried.
I like writing and I like making things happen around me at my push influence and I sometimes get upset when someone else reaps the credit. I write of my life for reasons that I’m kind of not going to detail out anymore at this point. I’m on Social media and according to a Ted-Ed video I saw, social media is not really a tool to make people narcissists but kind of serves as a cornucopia for attention. One article says that about 0.5-1 percent of the population likely exhibits NDP at a given lifetime. The boost of dopamine and ego the number of likes gets us and sometimes what we are willing to do for them kind of eeks me out and the realization that I am unable to escape this has done a number on me.
I think sometimes we feel that calling ourselves out on it makes it better and it really doesn’t. In fact, I think it makes it worse because it makes us assume that we have reached a certain level of “woke-ness” the others haven’t reached. I think if we’re still feeding it while calling ourselves out on it, it’s like Nah! We’re still piranhas. And I wonder if this is kind of ironic because the girl called blogging complete narcissism and I kinda agree with her but I’m putting this out here with a presumption that my personal opinions matter to you. This time I’m not even saying this trying to mess with anyone. I genuinely think that the idea that we make things for ourselves and put it out for others to admire makes us, to a certain level, narcissists because, and I really hate saying this on anyone else’s behalf but, even when we say that we don’t care about the attention, it’s usually because we are complete mother fucking liars or because we know that we already have it.
So I’ve been thinking and I’m still anxious at this point not just about being a narcissist but also about letting something like what the girls said get to me at the level that it has.
I think all artists are presumptuous, self-important pricks by nature. Actually I think everyone is like that albeit in denial. I don’t know if it’s always about attention however. The deprivation of attention can sometimes be demotivating but it can also make us see where we’re going wrong and where we need to stop and re-calibrate what we’re doing. I think it becomes a problem, a Vulnerable Narcissism kinda thing when it gets to us on a massive level that it makes us feel like we’ve been mistreated.
I have decided to not let it get to me and to come to terms with the fact that I am a little presumptuous and sometimes a self-important prick by nature as I put out some of my rosy ideas for you to read.
I’ll make this promise to anyone who cares to see it though. I’ll really try not to be.