Turn Unproductive Narcissism Into Something Useful

That didn’t happen, and if it did, it wasn’t that bad, and if it was, that’s not a big deal, and if it is, then its not my fault, and if it was, I didn’t mean it, and if I did then you deserved it, and if you’re upset, I’m sorry you feel that way.

This is known as the narcissist’s prayer; not my philosophy, but it’s the form of narcissism we are all too familiar with.

Image by Sambeetarts on Pixabay

Hi, my name is Jason. I am quite a narcissistic individual, I took a test online, and it said that I am about 3% more narcissistic than your typical US president. Just know that I had only scored 18/40, so don’t worry, you will run into worse.

I am a Narcissist with plenty of room for Improvement.

You wouldn’t like thinking of yourself as narcissistic it just doesn’t have a nice ring. It’s a truth you’d tend to avoid; paradoxically, it is pervasive in society but treated as a taboo. I have inherited these personality traits from my surroundings; my upbringing was not positive. You can mature your narcissistic side to limit the self-destructive and pathological effects.

I regret never prioritising or embracing the narcissistic elements of my character; you shouldn’t make that mistake. I have many psychological traumas collected over the years of my youth which cause me to place the needs of others over my own continuously. Don’t do that; giving too much of yourself opposes narcissistic compulsions, which does even more psychological harm; the effects build up as feelings of resentment and impulsive actions. My urge to seek validation came from a sense of abandonment, wanting to please people out of fear of losing them. You become much better off when you take more time to prioritise your own life and needs.

Self-esteem is a fragile thing; it’s strange, I do care what people think, but at the same time, I don’t care what people think; Im only listening if you have good things to say. If you ever feel that way, you are just as bad as me, and you should probably keep reading.

You should commit to fully embracing your needs as a narcissist, perhaps even taking up more Machiavellian policies in your interpersonal relationships and pursuing your goals. I am not trying to validate evil; there is a fine line between productive narcissism and flagrant toxicity

Narcissism is neither good nor bad; it is centralised around four key themes; leadership/authority, superiority/arrogance, self-absorption/self-admiration, and “exploitative behaviours”/”feelings of entitlement”. Narcissism is a crucial component of self-esteem and fundamental self-worth; these behaviours are social strategies and coping mechanisms to inflate or protect self-esteem. It is human nature to be selfish and boisterous to a certain extent. It took me a while to learn the differences between productive, healthy narcissism and the mental illness corresponding to “narcissistic personality disorder”.

Narcissism is a self-orientated personality style characterised by an excessive interest in your image or status and a preoccupation with your own needs, possibly at the expense of others. The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of a handsome young man named Narcissus who rejected the advances of many lovers. God punished him by making him fall in love with his reflection. Once Narcissus realised the object of affection would never love him back, he died in a self-loathing, depressed state and wasted away.

I feel I’ve done myself and others significant psychological harm throughout my life by not fully embracing the narcissistic elements of a well-rounded personality. Even as you pursue financial independence and entrepreneurial success, narcissism can get you places; It’s common for narcissists to find corporate success, another reason to properly develop your personality.

Unproductive Narcissism: Taking a look at our weaknesses

I want to start with the weaknesses of narcissistic people. We all know how exhausting it can be to work with someone whose excessively narcissistic. They are not the most pleasant people; working with them can sometimes be a traumatic experience.

Narcissistic leadership doesn’t always mean successful leadership. Today it’s common to find narcissists taking the reins at the head of many corporate bodies. A narcissist turns unproductive when they lack self-knowledge and restraint; you’d be more likely to pursue unrealistic dreams; combine this with distrustful, sometimes belligerent tendencies, and the weaknesses of our character are apparent for all to see. To make narcissism work, we must ensure that we do not self-destruct; we are often at fault for our demise.

We are highly sensitive to criticism; I don’t like unconstructive criticism, you know, people who only point out flaws without making valid suggestions for improvement. They can see things aren’t perfect but lack the brainpower to make things better, meaning they were never qualified to speak. If we take criticism as an attack on our self-esteem or goals, both are unacceptable; we will reject whatever ideas people throw at us.

As you can see, this resistance to criticism does mean that listening can be an issue, especially when we perceive that our goals or image are under threat. Narcissists can be thin-skinned, and it does apply to me as well; the ego can bruise easily. Additionally, achievements inflate our egos; if you find yourself correct whilst going against standard convention, it reinforces the logic that we shouldn’t listen to others. Sometimes it results in wasted time; on other occasions, it yields a juicy reward. If you prefer to see precisely where your instincts and intuition lead you, instead of listening to others, Prepare to be wrong and don’t be overconfident.

Listen to the right people; if you don’t view them as specialists, ignore them to either seek out first-hand experience or an actual specialist.

We don’t like people telling us what to do; narcissistic compulsions make you resist authority. Younger narcissists will want to establish peer-like relationships with authority rather than seeking a mentor or parent-like relationships. They will be willing to argue against authority if it’s within their best interests. Our independence and poor empathy can make us very hard to be taught and teach others; we may be better suited to instructing rather than teaching.

Narcissists lack empathy, and it can harm our image and interpersonal relationships. I often take things slightly up a notch; I am on the autism spectrum, and I can feel empathy to a certain extent, but it is complicated. I can imagine what another person is feeling by putting myself in their shoes, interpreting how I would think in a given situation and then projecting it onto the person. Other than that, I have no clue what’s going on; when it comes to formulating an appropriate response to other people’s emotions or figuring out what motivates someone’s response to a given situation, I usually get it wrong.

Narcissists A lack of empathy is a double-edged sword, tough decisions like firing people, closing down or moving business locations become much easier when you have low empathy.

Narcissistic leaders like Elon musk, steve jobs, bill gates, henry ford, and Jeff Bezos are not known for their compassion; you don’t need it to become successful. Having a lack of empathy does make us unlikeable at times; we can be cruel and exploitative. Generally, I don’t exploit people; I try and undertake challenges that I can pursue alone. Predating on people’s good nature for selfish reasons is a highly toxic habit; people will gradually distance themselves from you if you are consistently exploitative.

Narcissists are often more interested in controlling others than knowing or disciplining themselves. The key to working on our flaws is to explore our personalities deeply. If able to introspect and self-reflect, a narcissist can detach themselves from and laugh at their irrational tendencies. You’ll learn how to express yourself more constructively, perhaps maintain healthier relationships, and develop enough humility to carry on learning.

Productive Narcissism: Taking a look at our Strengths

Psychologist Sigmund Freud noted that the narcissist was the most challenging personality to analyse. It’s easy to think that having narcissistic traits is a negative, but it can be beneficial; these traits do not have to be wrong; we all have these tendencies. Productive narcissists are gifted and creative strategists who see the big picture; they can find meaning in the complex challenges of a changing world, striving to leave behind a legacy. They push through and withstand the massive transformative changes society undergoes while converting the masses to their plans.

Business plays a much more significant role in our lives than it used to; it influences governments and politics, from how public money is spent to what kids should be learning in school. Narcissists enter positions of power; they take up roles as leaders and shake up the status quo. People with these traits impress others by being personalities.

The CEOs transforming modern industries are more like celebrities. Today we have CEOs like Elon Musk, who was impulsive enough to accuse a public servant (a hero, mind you) of paedophilia. Modern CEOs write books, give interviews, and promote themselves all over social media. A narcissist rejects the world as it is and instead tries to mould the world to their desires.

The productive narcissist is independent, uneasily impressed, innovative and driven to business by power, success and status; they aspire to be experts in their industry and are willing to do anything to bolster their assets. Demotivating thoughts won’t stop us, allowing for the relentless pursuit of our desires.

A productive narcissist is a pain to work with but has an essential and valuable skill set for a particular corporation. Due to their charismatic, confident and goal-orientated mindsets, they possess many traits and skills that make them highly desirable. Hence why you frequently encounter them in corporate environments.

People often look at the things in the world, asking “why” narcissists look at the things that don’t exist and say, “why not”; the narcissist will be comfortable taking risks where others are not. We aim to create brand new spaces and put our names on them. Napoleon Bonaparte, a legendary war general and narcissist, once stated, “revolutions are ideal times for soldiers with a lot of wit and courage to act”. Our societies are less likely to be exposed to dramas that mirror the French revolution; however, we frequently engage in technological and industrial revolutions where napoleons sentiment is still relevant. The narcissistic leaders of today will change the rules (or act as if they don’t apply to them). It is not enough for a narcissist to win; we must immortalise our legacies and achievements.

Narcissists can make for great leaders; we can be inspiring. We will take up roles as leaders or influencers, sometimes both, or are willing to interchange between the two. One of the skills that make a narcissist charismatic is a talent for public speaking. When you see narcissists perform, they’ll be great at drawing in people’s attention, stirring up enthusiasm and influencing people’s behaviour.

Just like our lack of empathy is a double-edged sword, our capacity to influence, motivate and inspire people is also a double-edged sword. Narcissistic leaders can become highly dependent on their followers for their needs, emotional support, and praise. When a narcissist’s ideas are received with praise and admiration, the narcissist will gain confidence and self-esteem. As we become increasingly self-assured, the less restrained and more spontaneous we will become, almost as if we believe we are invincible. Eventually, we can start to disregard advice and words of caution.

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Autistic and Opinionated

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Jason Maverick

Jason Maverick

Autistic and Opinionated

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