Monday, July 30, 2007

narsissisticly obsessed. got a problem with that?

So no posts for weeks, and here I am twice in the same evening. You must be special. Stirring memories of warmer days when my heart was not as cauterized as it is now, days when I actually cared. I am not uncaring in the least, but I remember a time when many things moved me deeply. I remember my shell not seeming so hard and my core not feeling so rancid.

Can you be the opposite of something? I sure ain’t narcissistic. Here’s the definition I pulled.

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive admiration
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Well, it isn’t all that far off in some respects. Let’s deconstruct it.

Grandiose sense of self-importance? I am important, dammit. But the disproportionate aspect of effort to reward doesn’t apply to me. In fact, I work hard regardless of the reward. Narcissism 0, Clyde 1.

Preoccupied with fantasies? Isn’t everyone? The issue I have is with the word “preoccupied.” If I am here thinking about something, I am occupied with those thoughts. To be “preoccupied,” is it asking what I was thinking before I was thinking? That is very confusing to me. I am taking the point. Narcissism 0, Clyde 2.

Well, I am special. That’s what the lady on the short bus told me as I entered wearing my foot ball helmet. She was nice. Gave me cookies sometimes. Associate with high-status people? You mean the beautiful people? I would rather have my colon removed, again. My point. Narcissism 0, Clyde 3.

Admiration? Try this. Shut the fuck up; leave me alone or I’ll call the cops. Narcissism 0, Clyde 4.

(I should be a psych. I’m good at this!)

Entitlement. Seems a close variation of number 1. I do, however, think that people should automatically comply with my requests. It only makes sense, because I am right. Exceedingly so. OK. Narcissism 1, Clyde 4.

Exploitative? No. I use people for my own bitter purposes – but exploit them? That’s cold. My point. Narcissism 1, Clyde 5.

Lacks empathy. No argument here. In fact, we’ll give them a bonus point! Narcissism 3, Clyde 5.

Often envious? I could give a rip if the person next to me spontaneously exploded. My point. Narcissism 3, Clyde 6.

Arrogant? Moi? It is to laugh. Fine. Be that way. Narcissism 4, Clyde 6.

Conclusion? Borderline Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Very cool.

My twin said to be today that I have a bit of OCD in me. I think if she thinks it is “a bit” then she doesn’t see me enough. I’ll look for a self-diagnosis checklist for Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and continue this discussion.

Can I write my own scripts?

OK, back. Sorry for the delay. Had to find the American definition for OCD. Isn’t it comforting to know that between use and Europe, with two different standards, one could be saying, “Oh, he’s fine!” and the saying, “Medic!”

Obsessions as defined by (1), (2), (3), and (4):
1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress
2. The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems
3. The person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action
4. The person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind (not imposed from without as in thought insertion)

Compulsions as defined by (1) and (2):
1. Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly
2. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive

Ut-oh. We better not go here yet. My leg is tapping and throat getting dry. Boy, my left thumb aches so badly. I gotta go.


  1. Why does the "Narsissis" part sound like my daughter's father?!?!? Hi Prof. Middleton! Its good to see you still expressing your thoughts. I hope all is well with you.

    M. Williams
    Old student @ SJU

  2. all is well. thanks for checking in. everything well with you?

  3. Yes it is as a matter of fact. I had a baby girl in December and managed to graduate on time (in May). Did you come back to teach a course? I heard you did but I wasn't sure. Anyhoo, keep in touch.