A place for a

28.02.2015

How to respond warmly with authenticity

I mentioned that I am a narcissist. That means that I am obsessed with the image other people have of me. When I say obsessed, I mean like with a drug. You can abstain from a drug for a long time and be happy; for me, that means to be alone or act in a way that will alienate people quickly. But if I am exposed to the drug, it’s hard to think clearly about it, especially if I haven’t had it in a long time.

For me, that is to get some form of admiration – or rather, being identified with a self-image I like; ironically, even being called an asshole can function that way.

How can I overcome that in order to be authentic and warmly answer an email?

I had written an honest mail about my newly found compassion to someone I had met in Peru and even linked to this place, despite my fear that he would see me as a weaker person than I may have presented myself.

The man has had his own set of problems and you can see that it has made him a tough guy, mentally. I perceive him as direct and honest. He also is an American; ever since visiting my dad in the States, I exalt the stereotype of the strong individualistic man. I enjoyed being around him, for I would like to be such a man. More, I would hope like a junkie that he would accept me as his equal. I am aware that the very wish evidences the truth that I don’t think I am, but that’s the way it goes; maybe the lesson to become a man is not to need to convince yourself that you are one.

He followed up to my email and answered that he was very happy about my words and would be reading my articles gladly and write me about it. He wrote me I was a great man and had a great smile – that honest humble one I had had after being totally defeated by a Sapo frog venom ritual, I think.

Now this man I was somewhat putting on a pedestal was giving me great feedback about myself. Ironically, as much as I enjoy it, it makes me angry in the way that the drug addict will hate anybody who brings him even close to his drug; when I was still living with my mother, I would hate and attack her viciously for buying sweet and unhealthy food. Such is The Way Of The Junkie. You should investigate this thoroughly.

But I knew that he was being honest and I wanted to give it back. I didn’t know how at first. My lower stomach was tense and mory like in defense. I felt that if I write back nice words, it will not be authentic and I would not be able to do it were this to happen in real life. Also, after such great feedback, I felt the urge to not ruin it and keep up the high. A solution needed to be found.

My first idea was to write “Thank you, looking forward to your words”, since he had promised to be in touch about my articles. I really was hoping for that, so it would be honest. It would be much better than to write back nothing. But it wasn’t quite right.

I decided to have a dialogue with my self. Such an answer was, after all, kinda cold and seemed like I was obliging him to keep his promise. I wanted to make him feel as happy about my answer as I had been about his, but I didn’t want to be inauthentic at any price. Hard task for a beginner.

Why would I want to make him happy. There is a discussion to be had about self-interest and whether altruism serves the self, particularly in view of hallucinogenic drugs. That said, I simply wanted him to be happy despite myself or my self-image. But I kinda needed to let go of the self-image for that.

I was happy about his answer and maybe I wouldn’t hesitate so much now to simply write that. But it didn’t feel right. It had to do with status. He was above me. This was true because he had the power to make me feel great and drugged, whilst I didn’t perceive myself to have that power. As a narcissist, you are always potentially a slave, know that. You are a slave to anyone who gives you positive feedback. And it does mean nothing to a master to get a compliment from a slave. That’s what I perceived subconsciously. That’s why I knew there was no point and no way for me to try to make him happy – you can’t uplift someone from below.

Then I had the idea to try to reverse the perception in my mind. I imagined that I had the power – my first email had already made him happy, after all. I imagined that I am the person who has something to give and that it matters to him how I felt about his email. In the beginning, this felt wrong to me; I often despise power despite secretly wishing for it. I remembered something about self-acceptance. You must not only accept your weaknesses, but you must accept your greatness, too. Sounds weird for a narcissist, because he is convinced of his greatness all along. So that’s counterintuitive at first. But when you realize that a narcissist only tries to project the greatness of his self-image, not his self, it makes sense.

Yeah, if I had some great fantastic tale to tell, that would be a great answer; but who the hell cares about my puny feelings? They aren’t great, they are small and unimportant. And that’s true, in a way.

It’s just a fucking feeling, I’m above that, I have to offer more. I have to offer great insights. But, think: Why?

If I imagine my self in power, my feelings become important. If I am in power, people are interested in my feelings; no, my feelings are more important than other peoples interests. But that really means that my self has to be in power, not my self-imageAnd, since your honest feelings cannot be controlled the way your self-image can, this power is also a form of surrender. Because my feelings, once in power, may dictate a way that will lead me away from admiration and power over other people.

It was clear what to write then; I would thank him and tell him that I was very happy about his positive response. It was the truth. The part about looking forward to his words? Not necessary. I’m not dependent on it and neither do I want to force him; if he meant it, he will do it anyway and we’ll both be glad. I hit Send.

So there is something true to the saying Just Be Yourself / your self. But if you have been selling something your whole life, you may not be able to understand it.

On a side note: I have also tried my combination techniques to get closer to equality. I think it may have worked as well here, but perhaps differently.

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  • Wald

    By your definition of a narcicisst, I’m one myself. Or I at least have narcissistic tendencies.

    I’m perpetually fascinated by the way people perceive me, though I might say more out of curiosity and how I can manipulate it (image or people seeing me a certain way).

    Wald

    • I do not think that you are a narcissist. But maybe you are, I do not know. It is important to tell, in hindsight, that those urges were overwhelming and inescapable. It was not just mere curiosity; today, I can understand your view better. It is the curiosity of a Machiavellian, I suppose. Still, having been a faker most of my life, I am now more intrigued with the idea of exposing everybody to who I really am and then see what happens. Burn those who dislike me and warm the hearts of those who like me. And all that automatically.

      You could say I am bored of that which has started to fascinate you. But that is something that may change, so I take no identity in that.

      • Wald

        Curiosity of a Machiavellian. That’s a good way to put it. I’d add the caveat that I feel as if I was made into a Machiavellian as much as I turned into one.

        Wald

        • Who knows. Maybe there is genetical predisposition, maybe not. Does it matter?

        • How do you consider to have been made into it?

          • Wald

            As I intimated in the purple pill – I transformed (adapted) out of necessity and the desire to keep going came from the fruits of such.

            Wald