Confessions of a Narcissist…
I always find it really difficult to swallow compliments. On the one hand, my ego loves them and swells with pride to hear my praises sung, even about the most simplest matters, but for the most part, I find myself feeling like a spotlight has just been cast upon me, beckoning a response that I am never poised enough to give. I suppose there are worst troubles in life, but I struggle to get to the source of this one. How can I be so self-assured and carry such a burden of insecurity. How can I be so humbled by the acknowledgment of others, yet not give a fuck how they feel about me? I am happy I can affect positive change in this world simply by being myself. For so long I tried to be what I thought I was supposed to be. What resulted was a fragmented, confused, empty shell of myself, searching for happiness in the opinions of others. So there I was, no shit, being the truest version of myself I’ve ever known how to be in my entire life and getting criticized for it… and boy did I not like it.
I tend to stay tight-lipped because it’s difficult for me to put my thoughts into words for others without it sounding like word vomit. Try as I might to remain as intact as possible, there is always someone who is trying to pick my brain. Are they intrigued? I don’t know… Do I want to share myself? I believe that I do, but perhaps I don’t really possess the know how. What I do know is that I shouldn’t care so much about the opinion of someone who knows nothing about who I am or what I’ve been through to make me the person they see before them, and I shouldn’t let their judgments of my actions have such a profound impact on me. So the question is, why the fuck do I care?
Apparently, I’m a narcissist. The fact that my social anxiety issues come off as me thinking I’m better than people is not something I haven’t been challenged with before. I am always that person sitting in a corner, sipping my drink, watching everyone else, thoroughly enjoying myself, all the while making everyone around me uncomfortable by my simple presence. I know it’s other people’s insecurities that are played up by my silent observation, but I am not judging anyone. So to attack me as some sort of defense, or counter-judgment is utterly ridiculous to me. I don’t say much because I don’t desire to do any battles with anyone else’s ego. I have my own demons to play with…
I have come to the realization that I give of myself to a fault; most times to people who are undeserving. I try to share who I am, but people have grown accustomed to those who are too afraid to let their light shine and I think this makes it difficult for them to understand someone like me. I know my worth and apparently that comes off as narcissism. Well, if loving myself enough to say someone has to earn the right to get to know the most vulnerable parts of me makes me a narcissist, then I wear the title proudly. You’d do well to find the self esteem necessary to protect yourself from the takers in this world also. The fact of the matter is, anyone can become a parasite. I have been leeched onto on more than one occasion and have been sucked dry far too many times. If I finally have the courage to put my foot down and say enough is enough, that is my fucking choice. Your opinion is neither desired nor required.
So why am I sitting here writing this post at 6:30 on a Wednesday morning? Because I’m fucking angry. I did my best to let someone in and all I was met with was judgment and criticism. Am I being overly sensitive? Yes. Because I am a sensitive person behind these carefully crafted walls of mine… and when someone lets you into their fortress, no matter how fucked up the interior may look to you, you don’t walk around pointing out what’s not good enough. You take a seat and appreciate the fact that you’ve been let in, try to understand why everything looks the way it does by getting to know how it got that way, AND THEN you offer your advice on how to make things better. Honestly, if you’re embarrassed about where you live but you invite someone up anyway, you obviously have some kind of trust for this person. The last thing you want is for them to come in and tell you your house looks like a pigsty. You already knew it was a pigsty! That’s why you were having so much trouble inviting them up in the first place! Have some fucking respect and take a seat before you start turning your nose up at the smell, or just turn around and leave. That’s what a person who respects you would do. That’s not what happened to me.
Now, I wouldn’t exactly relate the inner workings of Trinity to that of a pigsty, but I was trying to make a point. I have a lot going on inside of me. I fight a daily war no one will ever know, as most people do. It takes a lot for me to trust people. It takes a lot for me to let people in. It didn’t use to be this way. I used to want to help people to the point where my life was severely inconvenienced. Did I go around sounding a trumpet whenever I gave of myself? No. I did it because I have a love for humanity. I have been used… yet I continue to give because it is my nature. I understand now that I have to be careful who I give of myself to, because not everyone understands how quickly my love can turn into a crutch or an obsession with trying to fix a person.
Am I worth the time and effort to get to know. Abso-fucking-lutely. Am I an amazing person? Definitely! I’ve been through a lot and my progress is impeccable. Does knowing this about myself make me a narcissist? I don’t think so, but I guess an opinion is like an asshole, right? I guess I should just beat myself down and tell myself I’m not good enough like everyone else does to be considered normal. Well, the fact of the matter is, I DO do that… but tell me, why the FUCK would I want to let anyone know that? Why would I want to show my weakness? Why would I ever show all the cards in my hand and expect you not to play me? Trust is earned. Access to my citadel needs to be earned as well. If that makes me a narcissist…
It took me a long time to begin sharing my private thoughts with others. I sat for years on books of poetry in fear that they were not good enough to help anyone and that people would think I was a crazy person… but here I am sharing my deepest, darkest parts with total strangers, completely opening myself up to all kinds of criticisms and judgments.. I don’t believe a narcissist would ever do something so dangerous. It was a big step for me to overcome my debilitating shyness and start this blog and I won’t allow anyone to turn that into some perversion. The fact is, I believe I have a gift and I believe the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to share it with others. So do these obviously conflicting parts of me do battle on a regular basis? Of course. Does the fact that I believe I’m talented make me a narcissist? Perhaps… but if that is all it takes, then who the hell isn’t? People with low self-steem… That being said, I think I have found a balance between the two, but if not, I’d rather be a narcissist than someone who hates herself.
So let’s review some narcissistic traits:
- An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges [Definitely]
- Grandiosity [No]
- Arrogant and Domineering [Arrogant-No, Domineering-Yes]
- Preoccupation with success and power [No]
- Belief of being unique [Absolutely]
- Requiring excessive admiration [Nope]
- Sense of entitlement [No way]
- Envious of others [Nope]
- Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships [Yes]
- A lack of psychological awareness [Definitely not]
- Difficulty with empathy [Absolutely not]
- Problems distinguishing the self from others [Yes]
- Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults [Absolutely]
- Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt [50/50]
- Haughtybody language [No]
- Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them [Definitely not. I don’t even know how to take a compliment]
- Detesting those who do not admire them [Not at all]
- Using other people without considering the cost of doing so [No way]
- Pretending to be more important than they really are [Lol sometimes. Fake it till you make it, right?]
- Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements [Nope. I downplay my achievements]
- Claiming to be an “expert” at many things [Never have, never will]
- Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people [No. I am empathetic to a fault]
- Denial of remorse and gratitude [Hell no!]
Final tally suggests 8 out of 23 narcissistic traits… so maybe some healthy narcissism is in order? Who knows these things…?
What I am certain of is that I am always learning about myself and trying to grow everyday. I know I need to stop being so sensitive and I know I need to tear down these walls and start over. I know these things… they’re just not the easiest things to do. I’m working and I’m trying. If that’s not good enough for anyone else, that’s perfectly fine. I can’t expect anyone to understand my struggle but me and to give someone else’s judgment as much power as my own… that is something that needs to change ASAP. Maybe I am a bit narcissistic, but I’ve shook the hand of that demon long ago…
Scream. Breathe. Let it go…