Apparently I have some narcissistic traits according to a therapist. But I have seen a lot of these guys, and he is the only one who ever brought it up, so I do wonder.
Another therapist called it egotism, implied that he was that way too, and said, “So what? So you have some egotism? What’s wrong with that?”
I would agree with this. I have big ego. So what? What of it? Look around you at important people. Quite a few of them have huge egos. It goes with the territory. Now you can also become a huge asshole if you have a big ego, but it is not necessary by any means. My egotism doesn’t seem to bother anyone very much.
In fact, I note that a lot of other men feel this way too. I am not particularly arrogant, but it is something I have to work at constantly. Because I have tendencies this way, I often have to manipulate my mind when I am around certain people. I tell myself lies like, “I am a worm. I am nothing. I am zero. This person is so superior to me. I am ashamed of myself.” I don’t really believe any of that, but I can play that role if I need to and brainwash my mind into thinking it is true for a bit. You would think that people would regard a person who thinks this way as disgusting and pitiful, but possibly because I do not really believe the lie I am telling myself, apparently it just comes across and nice and friendly and not pitiful and self-hating.
When I am not doing that, I have my normal egotism thing going, which just means that I like to have a high opinion of myself. I have no idea why this is pathological, and I believe everyone should have high self-esteem. Sure it runs into arrogance, but you can control that if you try. I figure I’m great. What’s wrong with that. Everyone should think they are great. That’s how I see it.
Of course there’s no evidence that I am great, and in fact, there is a lot of evidence that the opposite is probably true, but so what?
Playing roles in life is one thing (you can technically play all sorts of different roles in life as much as the finest character actors if you work yourself into it. Actually I advise it because by playing all sorts of different roles ion life you will realize that there is no real you, there is no true self, and there’s no need to figure out who you are because its constructed and you can deconstruct it or construct new selves any old time you want. People get way too trapped up in the somewhat nonsensical belief in “being yourself” or “finding the true you,” or “figuring out who you are.” To some degree it is as silly endeavor.
Anyway when I am doing my egotist thing, I notice a lot of men are very friendly to me, and they go into this egotist mode themselves where they seem to be communicating, “Hey, I have a high opinion of myself too! I see you’re great. So I am I! We’re both great, you and me.” If high self-esteem only provokes others into a similar high self-esteem mode, I fail to see the problem.
On the other hand, narcissism is a bit like a box of matches. Sure it can be very useful in life, but it can also cause you all sorts of problems if you get careless or carried away with it. You can even burn the whole house down.
Taoism applies here. The Middle Way is moderation in all things, and I would add narcissism to that list.