It is not often that one gets to do what one enjoys the most, and I do. I get to announce to the world my life and web history. Unfortunately, the latter is almost always more exciting than the former and that is completely on me.
As an emotionally stunted child who wore the ugliest orange-brown clothes, I wondered which vehicle would zoom me out of my very own, personally customised hell. Turns out, it all begins with writing the lyrics of Turning Page (from Twilight, duh) in a yellow, Winnie-the-Pooh diary. That and more, enveloped between multiple pages about overbearing mothers and underwhelming crushes can pave you the perfect path. My road to this pleasured life - wherein one learns to write like a jilted lover who married Freud’s second cousin, while may not have been easy, but it surely has been interesting to talk about. I may think I am all snark and sass, but underneath it all, I believe I am just an underdeveloped adult (read: kid) who barely has any control over herself and her relationships. Seldom have I ever given thought to who I would be if not me (not that I know who I am to begin with). A narcissistic go-getter? A quiet soul that fills everyone around them with peace? A bubbly know-it-all? Who!? Hold up, what if I am all of these or worse, none of them? What if I am just an unseasoned cardboard? Ah, the suspense.
Narcissism, come to think of it, is a word quite widely used and abused. Have you not called your ex one when he forgot your birthday? Or when your best friend buys that pair of jeans you had chosen for yourself? Often, the term is shrouded with the veil of self-love, and is even explained as vanity. But to be able to completely comprehend what it means, maybe we ought to step into the shoes of a narcissist. But first, should we test ourselves? How narcissistic are we? I have managed to find us all a risqué, not-all-that-legit test. If you tell me your scores, I will tell you mine (wink, wink), and then we can open a club!
The word ‘narcissism’ commonly describes someone who is excessively self-absorbed, selfish and egotistical, self-enhancing, arrogant, and shameless; but it is also used to explain individuals who are headstrong and may as well be used in a positive connotation. You see, before the Pandemic of Foreverland, they trended the idea of ‘Narcissism Epidemic’. It was based on the foundation of the ‘ME! ME! ME!’ life that many of us (us being Millennials and Gen Z) are leading. The social media influencers amidst us, have both literally and figuratively made a living out of just talking about and being concerned about oneself. From ‘OOTDs’ to ‘My Skincare Routine’- we’ve all been witnesses to the magic. I will watch Zendaya, or Harry Styles put on sunscreen any day, any time, no questions asked. And that may just be me with a keen level of fascination - but to each of them, the artists, they have to live with the idea of being famous for being ‘them’. This ‘Me’ culture quite vividly personifies the definition of Narcissism.
This is not to say - any and every celebrity is a narcissist, just the ones who do not care about anyone else but them, such as Trump- (Melania, of course. Since the other Trump is irrelevant). It has been found that narcissistic traits afflict almost 10% of people in their 20s, compared to the 3% of people in their 60s, suggesting that as we grow older, our personalities are more settled and well-formed. I must say, this proves me right about how babies are just cute li’l narcissistic tiny-humans. All they care about is their milk and toys, the ‘me’ time never ends for them (oh the absolute joy!). I wonder if my suggestion of being a narcissist is also narcissistic. I wonder if we have made it so that anything but downgrading oneself beyond humility is how you prove you are not a narcissist. I wonder if only at the DSM’s criteria can we lay down the damage of narcissism and anything else is just immaculate fake news. The personality disorder of Narcissism is not something I’ve delved into, maybe due to the inconsistencies it may bring to our lives (self-fulfilling prophecy is real, people) or perhaps because no collection of symptoms is worth the trauma of self-diagnosis.
Authority, self-sufficiency - a belief that one has achieved everything on their own, superiority, exhibitionism, exploitative-ness, vanity, and entitlement: these are the factoids used by the aforementioned risqué test, all quite all-encompassing, all traits of serial killers and great actors. All not all that bad sounding. Hitherto, the true problem that underlies narcissistic traits is not that they are problematic but that they are unrealistic. However much one is to believe otherwise, the belief in one’s own extraordinariness will sooner or later come to an end. Disillusionment is at bay. Now, one may choose to cross the bay, or stay stagnant and enjoy life while giving others’ plight - it's obviously a fair choice.
You see, with a topic such as this, I can go on and on - hell, who am I kidding, I can go on and on about the most mundane of things - but today is special. I type all this knowing I might not get to do this again for some time now. Each time that I have penned down my thoughts, I have thought about how maybe it's just me and my editor who get a good chuckle out of these. Each time I tell myself my editor probably does not chuckle at all. Each time I am glad for the opportunity, upset about my own expectations and ecstatic over having been able to transfer my head-junk on paper. Narcissistic or not, I’m glad to be here.
Disclaimer- I did score a 23 on the test, and if you did, too- please let’s form a Club! We can name it “Harshita’s”.
Subscribe to The Pangean
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox