I spent some quality time downtown on Saturday afternoon, taking pictures of whatever I thought was interesting or pretty. They're up on my Flickr site if you want to check 'em out, and if you scroll back further, Breast Fest pics are still up.
I read a great article on narcissism today, and it said two things that stood out to me as very interesting.
1. That the narcissistic credo is "I am the piece of crap that the world revolves around."
In other words, the narcissist has a very low self esteem but inflates it with delusions of grandiosity, critical comments to others who do not revolve around them properly, and people who don't go along with their ideas. They see them as a threat.
2. The only way to deal with someone who is narcissistic is to keep your distance emotionally, lower your expectations, and to stop trying to please unpleasable people.
An exerpt from the article:
(Real Simple August 2006, by Merrill Markoe)
The good news is that learning about narcissism has protected me from wasting a lot of energy. Now when I find myself unexpectedly under attack and thinking, How did I get in the middle of this stupid fight when I’m not even angry? the new, smarter me knows that the answer is not to look within and figure out what I did wrong. The answer comes from without: I am probably hanging out with a narcissist.
And once that piece is in place, I also know I have only two sane options - either agree with everything they say or pick up and go elsewhere. To stay is to understand that a healthy relationship is not in the cards. To fight is to confront an irrational, wounded animal. Knowing how all this works also helps me when I find myself being magnetized by the considerable charisma of some factory-fresh narcissist seeking my worshipful love. I rely on my sonarlike early-warning detection abilities, fine-tuned from years of static and misread signals.
I still think back proudly to a flirtation at a party years ago where I met a guy who set off all my alarms: sad-eyed, brooding, artistic, articulate, hilarious, and utterly self-absorbed. I knew instinctively how to draw him out of his shell: ask many flattering questions, then listen to his answers with rapt attention and appreciation bordering on awe. I knew that if I greeted his every anecdote with extreme empathy and selfless offers of support, he would be mine. But despite the fact that every microbe in my body begged to do these things (old habits die hard), I was amazed when I heard myself saying instead, “Well, you seem like a smart guy. I’m sure you’ll figure it all out.” After which I turned and went off to talk to someone else.
I’m happy to report that these days, I no longer have to defend my opinions on trivial matters, such as what lightbulb to buy, or apologize for things that make no sense. It’s a relief not to feel guilty for failing to read a person’s mind or fan the flames of someone whether or not I think he has any flames to fan. In short, I’m not being battered like a cat toy by narcissists anymore. And, in a way, that is the greatest life lesson I received from my mother.
(Merrill Markoe, Real Simple Magazine August 2006)
So now I'm fascinated, and am looking all around to identify narcissism. And wondering if I am a narcissist? I'm sure there are degrees of narcissism in all of us, but this article certainly paints a grim picture of how to deal with other people who are. It doesn't really say what to do if you think you might have narcissistic moments (days--weeks--months--years?)
Anyway, I'll think about this tomorrow. Thanks for reading about ME.
ME ME ME ME ME...