- having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.“a narcissistic actress”
Am I narcissistic? If you make a judgement from that definition then maybe, but admiration? Certainly not. Could someone who shows excessive disinterest or dislike for themselves also be considered a narcissist?
Where do you draw the line between being an obsessed narcissist and just wanting to put yourself first?
It once came to my attention that someone thought I talked about myself too much. I don’t think they had any proof to back it up, I think it was just a thoughtless comment designed to undermine me and make me question myself and my actions. It made me very conscious from thereon out that I have nothing to add to a conversation unless it’s about myself, or my opinion or point of view. Suddenly, that’s all I started noticing. If someone would tell me about something that happened to them that day, I would respond with something like “That happened to me once” or “I hate it when that happens”. It did then make me wonder if it was true. (It makes me cringe knowing how many times I’ve written “I”, “me”, and “my” in this post already, but this is a personal post, so it’d be pretty difficult not to do so). I’m not particularly well-read, I hated the thought of speaking up in class and I wasn’t taught to question anything, so maybe all I had to offer was my own personal thoughts and experiences? I sometimes struggle to think of engaging questions, and I’m always worried that if I try to talk about something I don’t have much knowledge or experience of, I’ll just end up sounding like a complete idiot, so should I just stick to what I know?
I’m one of those people who will check themselves in a mirror at any given opportunity. Not because I love the way I look, but because I want to make sure I don’t have anything on my face, or my dress isn’t tucked into my knickers, or to make sure I haven’t been shat on by a bird (apparently that’s lucky?). I wouldn’t say that’s being a narcissist, I guess you could call it a defence mechanism. By making sure I look half-decent, at least nothing can be said about the way I look? Surely I can’t be the only one who does that? I also can’t ignore the elephant in the room – I do enjoy posting a selfie or ten on instagram. Even though I am 100% incapable of ever taking a compliment, they are nice to hear and it does make me feel good about myself for a few seconds. Most of the time I post pictures to try and convince myself that I’m a normal human, and not this unrecognisable beast staring back at me in the mirror first thing in the morning. Is this narcissism? Probably not.
Over the past year I’ve been trying my hardest to focus on self-improvement and growth. I’ve bought books on decluttering and how to live well, I’m taking more care of my skin, drinking more water, practiced meditation, and removed toxic people from my life. I’ve gone through life not having many people there for me, and I can count the number of my true friends on one hand. I’ve always been a bit of a people pleaser, always concentrating on making other people happy so not to cause unnecessary upset or confrontation, and every single time I’m always the one who suffers. I think I’m at the stage now where I’ve put my trust in the wrong person too many times, so now I’m going to focus on what’s best for me, not compare myself to others, and put myself first for once.
The grass may well be greener on the other side, but that’s probably because their grass is fertilised with bullshit.
It’s hard to know where the line is between being a selfish narcissist and simply just taking care of yourself. We’ve all heard the phrase “Look out for number one”, but then when you do actually try to do that, the same person will tell you you’re just being selfish and you should put others first – you can’t win. One thing I’ve come to accept is that you can’t please everyone, and trying to do so is not only exhausting, but completely pointless because it will never be accomplished. Never make someone else happy if it makes you unhappy. Know when to give to others and when to give to yourself. I’ve noticed that people love to tell you what you’re doing wrong, but rarely do they ever tell you what you’re doing right. They’ll ask you if you have a job, when you’re getting married, when you plan on having a baby, but they won’t ever ask you if you’re happy.
I recently did a positivity post on Twitter. You may have seen it going around – basically, it involved reposting a picture asking your followers to say something nice about you, then you tag 10 people to repost it and do the same for their following, and so on. Honestly I wasn’t expecting to get any replies at all, but I was shocked at the amount of people who praised me for being so supportive of other bloggers. Am I really that supportive? I always felt like I didn’t engage with other people enough and that all I posted about was my own content, so to hear other people say that they’d noticed me building other people up made me so happy. I always want to be the person who praises others, because there have been so many times where no one has been there to do that for me, and I know how awful it feels and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
If you take away anything from this post, take away the knowledge that no one is perfect, and we can all learn from ourselves and from each other. It’s completely acceptable to want to focus on bettering yourself and taking care of YOU. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Let them continue doing them, and you do you.