Narcissism. Everything you need to know. Okay, so, let’s start off by saying that not much is known or understood in the wider public about Narcissism. However, let’s bash on with this article because I do believe getting my thoughts out there will help at least a few people.
I am a person that has narcissism. I’ve already owned that title a few years back when I was discovering myself. We’ll get into that a little later. Don’t let my writing fool you though, I am a narcissist that has done at least 18 years of existential background work on himself to get to where he is in society. I am aware of my shortcomings, and equally I own them for what they are. I am self-aware. Most narcissists aren’t self aware — and that’s bad. Mainly because if you aren’t aware of the damage you are causing and the impact your actions and words have on other people then you are more likely to repeat your mistakes.
I’ve lived with narcissists for a good portion of my life. I’ve studied them in great detail, and I have a good idea where it all stems from. I’m not trained expert though, so don’t take this piece as medical advice. More so a wise man commenting on the horrors and euphoria’s he has experienced in his 39 years of existence. So, let’s talk about Narcissism.
It all starts with a (or a series of) traumatic event(s) in childhood
For me, the start of my narcissism, it was my dad abandoning me. It was my dad punching me for crying. It was my dad berating me when he was drunk. It was many things but mainly to do with my father. As a very young boy, I remember having to tiptoe around my dads sensibilities, that one false move would send him into an unparalleled fit of rage — it didn’t feel good to have to almost control the world around me to live a quiet life. I only wanted to have a peaceful life, but I had to walk around and be a version of myself to suit my father and his growing temper. One false move.. and bam. That was me, sent off crying to bed with a burning bum and ears that were ringing from his shouting. I didn’t enjoy having to control the world around me.
Narcissism is all about the control
Most of my childhood I felt totally out of control, that whatever I took my attention to it would end terribly and I’d eventually land myself in my bedroom and in tears. It felt that no matter what I did I just got it wrong. I was wrong. I didn’t like that feeling whatsoever. As I grew older I began to realise that if I controlled the world around me then that would have better results. If I was nice to my friends, they would be nice back. If I helped other people with whatever they needed then they would help me back at a later date. I kept owings and duties firmly stored in my head so I could use it as an excuse to guilt people into helping me at a later time. I learned to control my life through good deeds and binding contracts that weren’t necessary verbally agreed on, but oh boy I could make them feel it. Narcissism is all about the control.
Narcissistic control isn’t always manipulative
Some people like my good friend Dave thought I was stupid with my secret contracts and nice manipulations. He knew my game of course. What Dave didn’t know is that he was a narcissist too. He wasn’t nice to people for what he wanted. He took what he wanted, and if his closest friends didn’t put up and shut up he shouted and got angry, and if he really got angry he would use his fists. His girlfriend knew all about that, oh yes. It took her years to find out about Narcissism. Poor girl.
People with narcissism aren’t just men
I’ve known many females with narcissism in my life. Female narcissists control their partners with violence too, physically or mentally. The only difference being is that there aren’t many places for male victims of narcissistic abuse to go to, and as a result men are less likely to seek help or advice for it. Don’t get sucked into the idea that it will never happen to you. Narcissists will go for anyone.
Narcissists generally don’t have an abundance of love
I spent an entire year alone in my house one year. I think it was 2007, the second year into my sobriety. Hardly anyone came to see me. No family, no friends, no-one. I sat in that empty house watching re-runs of Buffy the vampire slayer until it was time to go to work. I learned around then that the only person that had my best interests at heart was me — and through that I recognized I was an extremely selfish person anyway, and I turned that selfishness into open selfishness rather than what it was previously. Manipulative selfishness.
It’s never a narcissists fault, though
Hell no. It’s YOUR fault for even suggesting such a thing. People with Narcissism will never take ownership of any situation they were a part of that’s went badly. Narcissists are always the victim of a situation and never truly understand the role they played in it. Every relationship they were ever in, it was always the other party’s fault for being the bad person. And that just doesn’t stop at intimate relationships, it extends to friends, family and acquaintances. Narcissists are Teflon, in their mind nothing should stick to them because they are always innocent of any wrongdoing.
You are NOT their equal
It doesn’t matter if you have a good, happy life, and they are living under a bridge with no-one. Any attempt at helping a person with Narcissism, (unless it was their idea), is seen as an attempt at dethroning them from the “best person in the world” reputation that they seem to have classified themselves with. People with narcissism see any attempt at helping, working with, or any sort of collaboration as trying to best them. You are not their equal. They are better than you in their mind, and in every way.
Narcissists don’t associate in open minded groups of free thought
People with Narcissism like to be the leader of their pack, and those that are in their friend circle must pay homage to the holy idea temple that is their mind. Any think dissent will be met with the most severest of punishments. Narcissists are closed minded and don’t like to hear different thoughts that aren’t in line with the proper selected narrative. It’s not because they don’t like to hear different thoughts and opinions, only those that interfere with their closely controlled way of living.
I’m a narcissist. Why did I say that? Isn’t narcissism bad?
Yes, Narcissism is bad, and sometimes even dangerous, but for those that are self aware it can be a really freaking awesome experience. Well, most narcissists are the way they are because of a mixture of learned behaviour and direct experiences from that learned behaviour — and it’s mostly negative. I know mine was. Imagine if you were able to use all of those traits and turn them on their head and into positive traits? It’s why I say you can teach a narcissist to live healthily with what they have once they are aware.
I turned my need to be at the centre of attention all the time as a portal for empathy
I’m doing it now. I get mega good feels from writing to an audience. Sometimes I’m even thanked for it. A lot of narcissists love being the centre focus for their friend circles, so I put my own cool spin to it. It makes me feel good, and also has a positive impact on those that read me. Narcissism can be turned on its head.
I turned my burning need for approval inwardly. I began to self approve.
Most people with narcissism have incredibly low self esteem and need other people to approve of them else their esteem takes a knock. This is usually expressed outwardly with lies and false statements of achievements. “Bigging themselves up” so to speak. I began to help people for nothing. I help, and expect nothing back. Nothing whatsoever. This way I can look back at all the incredibly helpful things I’ve done in my life and think, daaaamn. I’m a good person. I need no approval from anyone bar myself.
I foster and manipulate good connections between good people
All that negative narcissism manipulation and control over 30 years, huh? It has to be good for something, right? Well, yes. I reflect on my previous manipulation and control tactics and use my knowledge of bridge building between people to foster and manipulate solid and healthy communications.
And finally.. I owned every situation I’ve ever been in
Unless someone had a gun to my head telling me to do something unless I didn’t want the contents of my head splattered over the wall, then I had a part to play in the situation that I have found myself in. It may have been a small part, or largely to do with me, but I now own everything I do — and I do this by feeling what I want to escape from, catch that feeling, and own it. This has helped me a great deal.
A narcissist can get better. But in my opinion they will always have narcissism
An alcoholic will always have alcoholism. In the same way a narcissist will always suffer from narcissism, however they can be trained to live a healthy and fulfilled life – just like I have!!