I really like me.
A headline the other day read, ‘the narcissist in all of us.’ A little bit of narcissism is a healthy thing but moderation in all things is the key, is it not?
In the work place a little bit of narcissism can keep us a balanced despite the ups and downs and unpredictability found in so many offices interactions. Face it, when your coworkers are constantly staring at either a mobile device, an office monitor or their home gaming setup, human interaction is probably not their key skill.
They will say dumb things.
So a healthy self view can help protect us.
But how do we know when the narcissist becomes narcotic and takes on an unhealthy pallor?
You may be a narcissist if –
- You’re convinced every performance review you ever had was wrong: you weren’t that bad
- The [latest] project team that kicked you off is crazy (its you, not me…)
- Your lack of career progression is simply because people can’t handle the truth
- Every position you’ve ever held was beneath you
- You believe you really are… the smartest person in the room
We could go on, but enough about me.
Seriously, some of us have lost the balance we need between the necessary self reserve to keep our spirits up in the face of difficulties and a full-out mis-understanding of our skills. We’ve fed our ego a steady diet of empty junk food so its now a raging out of control monster.
Unbridled narcissism is unhealthy because it distorts the truth so much: perception is not reality when the perception is so off-base, its illusion.
But there is a way to put the genie back in the bottle, to get control of ego and find that place in life where we can feel good about ourselves – including both our skills and needs – without falling into the void of narcissism.
We have to start building relationships again.
Real relationships which can be just as real and healthy over the phone, or through email and txt, but are also perfect for a shared cup of coffee or a pint or two (nods to David D’Souza). Relationships by definition include ongoing dialogue, exchange, communication and growth.
Ups and downs, good times and bad. But most of all, caring.
Caring about coworkers and friends means in part confiding truths, sharing how things others do and say appear. Being real as they say. But not to be hurtful, and not for gain or leverage. Sharing because we actually care.
A little truth is a great tonic for us all.
But we won’t get the truth and the real insights we need from casual acquaintances and fleeting friends: we need to invest in and develop lasting ties to nurture and develop relationships based on truth.
So, if its possible your inner narcissist has begun to take more control of your life than you are comfortable with (or perhaps, want to admit) take a breath, pick up the phone and make a date with a friend.
Meet them, break bread, and leave your narcissist at home.
You are just fine without it.