Instead of cracking up.
In my previous post I’d written about directed actions from people. That was a passive mention about something that was occurring real-time. I was ready to be settled in the conclusion that people don’t do things directed at me most of the time, and that thinking such is a self-absorbed perception of another reality.
As it turns out, I think I was wrong about at least one instance. I find myself falling into the trap of broad brush “reasoning” quite often. It’s part of the perfectionist in me that wants to control outcomes and simplify results. But I know I need to open my mind, because life is shades of gray, not black and white.
Over the weekend, I came across a YouTube video, quite randomly, about narcissists. I can’t confirm that I actually know a narcissist–I’m not exactly the type of professional to diagnose someone with such a disorder. I can say I know someone who displays qualities of a narcissist.
The narcissist is someone who feels the need to one-up other people with respect to material things, personal experiences, work, and relationships. At every gathering they attempt to be the center of attention and subject to others’ envy. They are driven by competition, because they lack healthy human qualities like empathy. They are insecure that they will be found out, so they deflect by displaying they have everything you don’t. However, if you are the subject of their competition, they want what you have and they can never possess unless they seek healing.
I was feeling envy about this person and about to submit to the logic that I was not a subject of their attack. Then, a day later, I saw that YouTube video. The following day, I went to a gathering and that person was there. I made a point to remain disengaged, authentic to myself, and observe that person from a distance. And I’ll be gosh-darned if those qualities weren’t displayed at the gathering! They attempted to single guests out to get their attention. They pursued the host when the host was giving me the tour of the venue, even though the person had been to that venue several times before. They even left the gathering early! Strangely, everyone at the gathering seemed to have an understanding of that person’s antics and essentially ignored their cries for attention.
It’s comforting to come to the realization that I was not as delusional as I’d made myself out to be. It’s not as comforting that I almost convinced myself to believe otherwise. Among countless other things, I’m learning that I need to work on trusting myself. I guess now is as good a time as ever to admit (and submit to the fact that) I’m an ongoing work in progress.
May good things come to you always.