Confessions of a Narcissist
How does one realize they're a narcissist? The dictionary defines it as someone who has an ?interest, often excessive, in one's own appearance, comfort, importance, or abilities.? Well, that's the second definition of it anyway. The first definition of narcissism is much kinder. Simply ?self-love?. Looking at it that way, its sort of like being a liberal. You can be either ? a liberal or a narcissist ? and still be a pretty descent person. Both, in moderation, have their place, but both have negative connotations.
This came up, in a round about way, in a conversation with a co-worker this evening. We were talking about a mutual aquiantence who's newly single and living by herself for the first time. Her new found independence has required an adjustment. My comment, which triggered my thoughts of narcissism was along the lines of:
I've never really been one to need the relationship ? I don't go chasing after one. If it happens, great. If not, well...
How do you balance being a social being and being someone who's also independent? For me, my time has always seemed in short demand. Particularly when it's nice outside and the trails are ridable. :) Seriously though, there's so much I want to do and I try to do as much of it as I can. That doesn't leave much room for intimate relationships, though.
So when does self-love cross over to narcissism? I guess when you can't be bothered for anyone else's needs or wants. Self-love, if it means being able to give to yourself, accepting yourself, and genuinely liking not only who you are striving to be, but also who you've become, can be a good thing. In excess, however, it crosses that line that delineates a narcissist.
Do I crossed that line? I can't be my own judge, but I hope I've found that balance ? or moderation ? that keeps everything in check.