In defence of narcissism

(I just spent a few minutes distraught over the spelling of the word “defence.”  I actually like the look of “defense” better.  But defense is the American way, and defence is the British and Canadian way.  So I guess I’ll have to stick with that.)

I’m a self-identified narcissist.  I wasn’t always.  No one has actually ever outright told me that I was a narcissist.  A few may have strongly implied it.  My friend asked me why I thought I was narcissistic and I asked “Would a non-narcissistic person post daily selfies of herself?”  Well, would they?  I’d like to know.  It’s more something I joke about than something I’m actually concerned about.  Being too narcissistic is definitely the least of my worries.  It’s not even on my list of worries really.  I use the hashtags #narcissist and #vanity on Instagram whenever I post photos of myself.  I used to actually hate selfies.  Like, really hate them.  I thought they were something that only extremely self-absorbed, narcissistic individuals did.  And then I realized that I am a self-absorbed, narcissistic individual.  And I embraced it full on.

Throughout my life, I’ve always seen things about “learning to love yourself” and “being happy with who you are.”  It’s kind of sad that these are messages that have to be repeated over and over again to such a strong degree, because it implies that a lot of people don’t love themselves and aren’t happy with who they are.  And that’s really sad.  Every person in the world has some degree of insecurity about themselves.  No one is perfect.  I’ll bet even Beyonce has moments when she doesn’t feel absolutely flawless, as shocking as that may sound.  Even the richest and most powerful people in the world must have moments where they wish at least one little thing about them was different.

I feel like the whole idea of loving yourself is embraced by society, but only up to a certain point.  As if you should love yourself, but not love yourself too much.  Because then you’re just seen as selfish and self absorbed.  I don’t mean you should only and always put yourself first and say to hell with everyone else, but you are important.  I don’t think I’ve always been narcissistic.  As I child, I don’t think I was.  I often joke about hating myself and use self deprecating humour whenever I have the chance.  But in order to really pull off self deprecating humour, and to have the ability to laugh at yourself, I think you need and possess a certain degree of self confidence and security.  Otherwise it’s less humorous and more depressing.  I don’t like to boast about my accomplishments and achievements the way some people do.  Maybe I would, if I’d accomplished more in my life.  I also don’t need to post daily selfies.  It’s just something that I do.

I’ve also seen a lot of articles about “learning to do things alone” and “making time for yourself.”  It seems odd to me that these are things that people need to learn how to do.  I’ve always done things by myself and thought nothing of it.  It took a while for me to realize that not everyone feels secure doing things on their own, especially when they are so used to having someone always be there.  Going to a concert alone seems like such a foreign concept to some people.  Like they wouldn’t be caught dead doing so and to do so would somehow be pathetic.  But why?  Why do we feel the need to have someone accompany us to all things all the time?  I’ve been to concerts and other various events by myself and had a great time.  Some people would hate the idea of being alone on a Friday or Saturday night, but sometimes it’s nice to have a night off to yourself to just relax and do whatever you feel like doing or not doing.

One of the main reasons why it’s important to be comfortable with yourself and who you are and make yourself a priority is because you’re stuck with yourself.  Your relationship with yourself is the most secure one in your life.  You can’t take a break from yourself.  You can’t take a night off from yourself.  You are always there.  You are always you.  How awful would life be if you were stuck with a person you didn’t like 24/7?  It would be truly miserable.  Loving and appreciating yourself for who you are, despite your flaws, is essential if you want to get through life and not be unhappy.  This doesn’t mean you have to take selfies, or love the way you look, or shun everyone else.  But as long as whatever you’re doing that makes you happy isn’t hurting anyone, then I say go for it.

I found myself wondering the other day if a person could go to rehab for narcissistic personality.  But I wouldn’t want to go for a cure, I’d just want to go because rehab always sounds fabulous, at least when rich celebrities do it.  Maybe I’m not actually a narcissist.  Do truly narcissistic people even realize that they’re narcissists?  Sometimes you need to be a little self-absorbed, especially if you have health concerns or legitimate reasons that you need to take extra care of yourself.  I think that it’s possible to be narcissistic in a good way, as long as your narcissism isn’t having a negative impact on the people around you, and as long as you are still capable of extending love to others, as well as yourself.

I do realize that today’s society is filled with selfish people and if certain individuals were to think of others instead of themselves for a change, that would do some good.  But in contrast, I also believe there are many people who neglect themselves and don’t put enough focus on embracing who they are.  I think it’s important to strive to achieve a healthy balance of valuing yourself and valuing other people.

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Because this wouldn’t be a post about narcissism if I didn’t include a selfie

Clubbing

It’s stupid.  It makes no sense.  It’s a major waste of money.  And yet we do it anyway.  Why?  Are we stupid?  Maybe it’s just me who feels this way.  I’m a major hypocrite.  Much of what I do in life is highly counterintuitive and clubbing happens to be one of those things.

I remember one day I was having a conversation with a few of my older coworkers.  They were recalling a time, not even that long ago, when they could take $20 to the bar and get plastered.  Upon hearing this, I sat there upset, with a “this is so unfair” look on my face.  If I were to take $20 to the bar today, I wouldn’t even be able to get in anywhere.  Some clubs have a cover charge of $21 now.  Why?  Why such a random number like that?  I remember when I heard that I thought, wait, 21, is that the cover charge or the age you have to be to get in?  It’s dumb, you can’t even give them a $20 bill, you have to fish in your purse for change.  I feel like in this case, it should be acceptable to give them a twenty, and then throw 100 pennies at them just for the inconvenience.

As I was trying to figure out which club to go to last night, we were trying to weigh the cover charges, length of lineups, etc.  One thing I hate is when pubs suddenly start charging cover at night.  I don’t want to pay money to be able to be at a pub.  If you think about it, it really doesn’t make much sense.  I’m going to pay you money, to allow me the privilege of being able to spend more money once inside.  And then there’s coat check which goes up to like $5.  And then you get creative, shoving your jacket into your bag so you can check them both together, or saying, no, I don’t need a jacket even if it’s cold and raining, I’ll be fine…  Or risking it and leaving your jacket/bag in a corner, under a table, hidden, assuming no one will take it, because it’s the decent and honest people who frequent the clubs…

In the end, it’s probably not even the money that’s the biggest problem.  It’s what you’re paying for and what you’re getting from the experience.  What I usually get is stepped on, shoved, drinks spilled on me, creepy people staring, ugly guys hitting on me, and my personal space invaded.  I remember telling a friend once that I hate crowds.  And then he said, but you go clubbing all the time.  And yeah, I couldn’t explain myself with that one.  I don’t know why I keep going back?  Maybe it just seems like the appropriate thing for someone of my age to be doing?

But really how I justify it is that I like dancing.  And it’s more socially acceptable to dance badly when you’re at a club.  I mean I’m not the worst dancer in the world, but I wouldn’t say I’m great.  So-so maybe, at best.  I remember a few years ago, my very conservative aunt and grandma had a conversation with me about clubs and how they were bad and I shouldn’t go to them.  My aunt said that girls in Vancouver go to clubs because they’re looking to hook up.  What’s funny is that at that point in time I had only been clubbing a couple times.  But after that, I began to frequent them more.  Maybe because I was told not to?  Who knows?

But yes, I go clubbing because I like to dance.  I’ve learned that clubs are an awful place to meet guys.  I mean I’m sure it works for some people but not for me.  I don’t go there for that purpose.  It’s just unfortunate that more often than not, the ugliest guy in the club will be the one to express interest.  And if you want to go and just dance, couples tend to ruin your experience by surrounding you and getting in your personal space.  I’ve realized that gay bars are better, because you don’t have to deal with the creepy straight guys.  Although, the creepy straight guys have caught on that us straight girls have become fans of gay bars, and now they show up there too.  They’ve gone and ruined a good thing.

So will I continue to go clubbing when it never really turns out the way I had hoped?  Probably.  Simply because I tend to do things that are counterintuitive.  And because I can.  And because I just want to dance?  And people say I may as well go while I’m young and still can.  At some point in time I suppose I will just suddenly stop being able to?  Although every time I go, there’s always the one lone old person on the dance floor, probably desperate to feel young again, pretending as if this is where they belong.  Maybe someday that will be me.  Maybe I don’t appreciate what clubs have to offer right now, but when I’m old and lonely, I will see the value…