I can be weirdly chipper for depressed person sometimes. Take today for example, I got rejected for a big commission (again!) and this would have been a doozy, money, support, publicity and all that good stuff. I was a little disappointed but the first thing to really go though my head was, “oh good! I’m not a narcisist”.
I guess that needs a bit of explaining, so I shall. I been reading a lot about narcisists recently, so much so that I thought I might actually be one. Suggestion is a powerful thing and I am the sort of person who daren’t read the possible side effects on medication in case I get every single one of them. It was the same when about a month back a friend of mine joined me up with a couple of on line support groups for the victims of narcisists and other toxic people. I’d been talking about some of the ludicrous things I’ve been through including events that fall under the description of the term “idealise, devalue and discard” a common action of toxic people and those with narcistic tendancies. They bombard you with attention, then they knock you off your pedestal and, once they find others to give them attention and praise, they discard you without a second’s thought. I’m not exactly sure how applicable any of that is to my situation, but it rings a few bells. It’s hard to truly gauge anything for sure though when you live in a town where grandiose actions seem to be the norm rather than an exception. Around Hastings and St Leonards “normal” can include any of the following, painting yourself green and getting pissed, wrapping your bike in fairy lights, parading up and down the sea front and getting pissed, dressing like a pirate and getting pissed, dressing up for Mardi Gras and getting pissed, pretending you are gay and getting pissed, pretending you are homeless and getting pissed, dressing in random fancy dress and getting pissed, throwing shitty charity galas, throwing teenage house parties when you are middle aged and generally arsing about in a grandiose manner and acting like a tit. In circumstances where seemingly everywhere you look you see the same groups of people clamouring for attention in more and more ridiculous manners, your perspective of who exactly is a narcisist can become skewed because it is no longer about who is a narcisist, it’s about degrees of narcissism and sub genres thereof. When you are surrounded by abnormally high levels of attention seeking and, let’s face it, mentally unstable behaviour, getting a decent perspective on anyone or anything is nigh on impossible.
When trying to gauge whether I am indeed a narcisist have been hampered by the job I do, i.e being an artist. Being an artist per se isn’t necessarily narcisistic but being a poor one has definite degrees of it. Mostly in terms of the promotion aspect, like writing this bloody blog for example, there is a high degree of introspection and over sharing of my perspective and opinions that definitely fits into the territory of a narcisist and add to that the constant need to post my work on social media. That it all makes me squirm is perhaps a saving grace though. I did worry recently though as there are a handful of things that have really pissed me off over the past few years. Could this be the famous narcisist rage I’ve heard about?
Well, I got the answer I was searching for today, a resounding “no!” I coped rather well with rejection, what I couldn’t deal with was unfairness. When the reason you don’t get a job is because it’s whole being was engineered by someone crooked enough to rig the system and people corrupt enough to let them and it happens that someone who was supposed to have your back was actually aiding and abetting this person in their corruption and also allowing someone else, who should by rights be tarred and feathered and ran out of town for causing the neglectful death of a teenager, to gain even more attention for themselves, that is the reason I got so angry. You couldn’t make it up really, something that screwed up is bound to send anyone over the edge.
You can easily start questioning yourself, especially if you are a decent and moral person but with distance on the events I have experienced over the past few years, I got angry exactly when I should have and no more. It was just more often than I was used to as I have never been exposed to that much disgusting behaviour from so many appalling people in all my life with so little support. The truth is that the greatest percentage of the world is filled by those who just want to get by with as little fuss as they can, they don’t want to be the centre of attention, they don’t need everyone to think they are amazing, they don’t even need to be liked. Most people don’t want to save the world, most people have a hard enough time sorting the recycling every week. The last thing your average person wants to do is be in charge of anyone or anything because they know what a pain in the arse it is, the question is, why would anyone? Unless they are earning money from it, what would be the point?
Hopefully, all the drama has left my life now and there will be no need to engage with another narcisist and especially a load on mass. Plus, now that I have both distance and clarity, I am quite sure that I’m not one myself.