And now we come to another stop on the journey to self-discovery. Today, we discuss the fact that I am apparently a narcissist — or, at the very least, someone who exhibits traits of narcissistic personality disorder.
I have always believed that I think differently than other people. Not just in a political, scientific or creative way, mind you, but fundamentally. I believe my brain works differently than the brains of the people I encounter in my daily life.
It’s rather funny that this bit of information in itself is enough to label me a narcissist. But wait, there is more. Oh, how there is more.
After doing a bit of research, I was shocked to discover that I show signs of narcissistic behavior. I had never thought of myself as a narcissist; however, I was ignorant to the more modern meanings of the term. Now that I am a little more educated, I have to admit that I fit the profile much more than I expected — and certainly much more than I would have liked.
Taken from Wikipedia, these are the signs of a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
Requires excessive admiration
Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
When I first started reading the list, I didn’t want to finish it. Within seconds of beginning it, it became a checklist without a single empty box. “Yes, yes, yes, that’s me, yes, done that,” etc. It was a shock to my system that I could be associated with something so negative, but it is true. Of course, I exhibit some of these traits a bit more than others, but I can think of examples for each of these — a situation for every single trait listed. It may not be a constant behavior, but it is enough to cause me distress. It is disconcerting … but also very eye-opening.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have much work to do. I do not wish for this behavior to rule my life as it has so far, wrecking and ravaging the relationships that sustain me. This is something I will fight, and something I will overcome.
The first step toward making anything better is to understand the problem that is hindering it. More and more, I am discovering that I am that problem. So, putting two and two together, the more I understand myself, the closer I am to making everything better. I just need to be prepared; if this has taught me anything, it’s that the things I unearth aren’t all going to be things I actually want to know.
The journey is underway. Thankfully, I have much more support than I rightfully deserve. And I am forever grateful for it.
- Living with a Person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (brighthub.com)
- Who, me, a narcissist? (boston.com)