Narcissism is a very common personality disorder, present to some extent in practically everyone, but especially narcissists. It is usually mild, harmless, and completely unnoticeable. The author of this article doesn't have any sort of formal education in psychology (other than a bachelor's degree from a highly-respected institution), and has never been a practicing psychoanalyst, though of course he could have been, if he'd wanted to. But that doesn't mean he's wrong; in fact, just the opposite.
The first thing to understand about narcissism is that the author of this article had nothing to do with causing it. It's not his fault; it's a completely natural occurrence, and an integral part of every human mentality. All the experts on the subject agree with this, so this is certainly not in dispute. And frankly, the author of this article (whom we'll refer to as "the author" from now on) is deeply hurt and angry that you would even suggest such a thing. He's really a wonderful person once you get to know him, though few people really do, usually because they're just incapable of understanding him. He's very complex; his motivations are largely opaque and mystifying to others. He likes to plan ahead, because he's smart. Basically, he just doesn't think or react like other people, so he can't possibly be a narcissist, can he? Obviously not.
Psychologists have suggested that the tendency towards narcissism is instilled in an individual during early childhood, when the person fails to make the transition from the "monarchic" phase of development to the "dualistic" phase. In other words, the person never moves from the infantile "me, me, me" mentality to a more adult, empathetic "you, you, you" mentality. This clearly shows that the narcissistic individual is inferior to the author. It stands to reason that this is the fault of the parents, who are incompetent parents, unlike the author's perfectly capable family. There's no proper instruction manual for parents, but there really should be — because parents can really screw a person up, what with their constant criticisms, unfair rules, and general lack of support for anything a person wants to do, no matter how harmless or innocent it is. Luckily, the author managed to avoid being screwed up, due to his unusually sharp and coherent mind, which is able to easily overcome, intellectually, any negative "feelings" or "emotions" that might get in the way of his leading a normal, productive life. Of course, that assumes that people will someday stop blaming him for everything that goes wrong in their lives, which they won't, as if it's his fault, which it isn't.
As pointed out earlier, narcissism is present in practically everyone, to some extent. True, some people, such as the author, are able to dispel and remove any negative inner tendencies towards the condition simply by developing a keen sense of intellectual self-awareness and emotional calm, but most people — no doubt including you — may find that extremely difficult. In the vast majority of cases, this is nothing to worry about, and not something you should have to "correct" or cure yourself of, though it would be nice if you would at least try.
The problem, of course, is that you'll never, ever, ever, ever know you're in the presence of a narcissist, because the narcissist is too clever for you. He is very crafty and cunning. He can hide his condition so expertly, so effectively, that nobody, and that means nobody, could ever figure it out, not in a million years. All the psychoanalysis in the world would have no chance whatsoever of penetrating that shell of outward normality, that perfect illusion of simplicity, that banality that masks the narcissist's true personality — because the narcissist is better than you. Not to mention more clever. In fact, in some situations, a non-narcissist may deliberately behave like a narcissist in order to fool you into thinking he's a narcissist when he really isn't, just to mess with your head. That same non-narcissist might even write a lengthy article about narcissism and post it on a public internet site for everyone in the world to see, just to show everyone how non-narcissistic he is. (After all, non-narcissists are like that. By the way, another thing non-narcissists do is use lots of italics. An actual narcissist would never use italics at all, obviously.)
It should be noted that if you begin to notice these symptoms in yourself as a result of reading this article, and you probably will, you should not blame the author for pointing these things out to you. That would just be "killing the messenger" — which is certainly typical of the sort of mentality commonly found among
people narcissists who constantly surf the web looking for cheap entertainment. You're the one with the problem, so you should deal with it in your own way, as best you can. Obviously this article can help prevent things from getting any worse, since it's written by someone who knows what he's talking about, but who doesn't have a hidden "agenda" like a "professional psychologist" does. Psychologists just want to blame you for everything. That's why Scientologists don't like them, by the way. Even though Scientologists are all wackos, they understand that someone who makes it his or her business to tell you what's wrong with your brain is definitely not someone you can trust. That's as opposed to the author (whom we'll just refer to as "The Author" from now on), who has no agenda whatsoever, and doesn't even know who you are. And doesn't care, either, quite honestly. As far as The Author is concerned, you can just go ahead and do whatever you want! YAY!
That isn't to say you shouldn't care about The Author, though, since after all, he's just trying to help you, and isn't even asking for anything in return, except maybe just a little smidgeon of respect. It is, indeed, his vitally important mission in life to help others, and not just you, but everyone else, too. God has chosen him for this mission, so he does this without asking for any payment or gratitude whatsoever. In fact, The Author really likes you, and wants you to be happy. After all, he wrote this whole article just for you, didn't he? Of course he did. That took a lot of valuable time and painstaking effort and skill. So you really should thank him for selflessly pursuing this goal, this vital purpose, by maybe voting for him, or something he's written — such as this very article you're reading now, for example. Or maybe give him some sort of award, since he clearly deserves one. (Actually, several. In fact, there should be some sort of special series of "uber-awards" created just for him, probably.)
Anyway, if you should come to the conclusion — based on this article or some other unbiased information source (not that you'll ever find one as unbiased or as well-informed as this one) — that you are a narcissist, there are several things you could conceivably do about it. For example, you could become a hermit, or lose all your self-esteem by moving to New Jersey, or just get really depressed and spend all your waking hours watching television, playing video games, and eating too much food. Or both. But that wouldn't make things any better; The Author knows this for a fact. All you would do is get grossly fat and fart all the time. Disgusting. Instead, to put it simply, here's what you should do: Stop being a narcissist.
See that? All you had to do was stop, and bingo, problem solved! And it was really easy, too! It certainly was for The Author (whom we'll refer to as THE AUTHOR from now on, for clarity's sake), who has found that life after narcissism can be a truly warm and wonderful experience. Everyone
likes loves him now, and all those people who went around "bad-mouthing" him and criticizing him for no legitimate reason are now among his best friends! (The ones that are still alive, anyway!)
And rest assured, THE AUTHOR asks for nothing - not one thin dime - for imparting this great wisdom to you, since THE AUTHOR is of a consecrated heart (of course, you don't know what that means.) THE AUTHOR is enlightened. Take it and do with it as you will. Just remember, if it doesn't work, it's your fault, not his. He tried, really hard, to make you understand, but you wouldn't listen. You just didn't get it. And now look at you - you're worse off than you were before, aren't you?
Well, isn't that just completely predictable.
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1. According to Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States from 2001-2009, the "quintessential narcissist of the 21st century" is an individual known only as "Ziebron." However, Cheney's rationale for this claim appears to indicate that Cheney has made the common mistake of confusing egotism and egomania with narcissism, stating that the mysterious Ziebron (who has never been profiled in any known physical or online publication whatsoever) "suffers from an advanced pyschosexual complex in which he failed to advance from the anal stage to the phallic stage as a child." In addition to misspelling the word "psycho-sexual," Cheney fails to recognize that there is, in fact, no such thing as a "phallic stage" of child development, and that the notion of an "oral stage" vs. an "anal stage," a concept taken mostly from Freudian-Jungian psychoanalytic theory, has since been largely discredited. Meanwhile, Ziebron himself (now believed to be a pseudonym for President George W. Bush) continues to "subjugate weak-minded people," an activity that will, in Cheney's estimation, lead to the "full completion (sic) of an Oedipus complex."