I Just May Be a Narcissist

by D.J. Paris on November 21, 2012

I was called a narcissist a few days ago by a reader.

I recently crossed over the five thousand mark in comments on they blog. I would say 99% are positive/funny responses to posts I’ve written. Once in awhile I invoke someone’s ire.

This particular reader yelled at me in a private email writing that I am a crazed narcissist and with all the hurt I cause my girlfriend I need to remember that I’m the lucky one to have her in my life. One of my comedy heroes, Marc Maron, has a response to a women whenever one starts passing judgement from the audience and interrupting his set. He’s a fantastic comic and talks openly about all his challenges. I try to do the same thing here. Anyway, his response is to look at the woman with compassion and then say, “I’m really sorry for what he did to you.” It’s one of the greatest power-move dismissals ever.

It’s true, of course. Whenever we are bothered by someone else’s behavior there is something within us and about us that is bothered. Usually it’s a reflection to something you’re going through yourself. Since most of my readers are women who are married with children, every so often I get a, “You should be ashamed of the way you treat your girlfriend!” Well, first of all, the blog wouldn’t be that interesting if I simply wrote, “Today I sent Jessica flowers! (which I do, by the way) She really appreciated it!” It’s hard to make something like that engaging. Talking more about the wounds I have myself or have inflicted upon others is more interesting to me. So, I’m sure I can come off like a dick now and then.

But when I receive a negative comment I go through a few stages. My first response is anger and I want to fire back a short reply reducing the person to tears. I am really good at this, by the way. Just ask my exes. However, hurting people in this way really isn’t a fulfilling strategy since I then feel shame an hour later. So, I let the anger pass and then I realize, “Hey, in a really crazy way this person cares about me. She wouldn’t bother to write this if she didn’t give a shit.” That allows me to feel good about them even though I didn’t love their message. Lastly, I get sad because I know she was probably triggered by something I said that hit close to home. We’re all wired up for projection and denial and mostly we just react to the outside world on what is happening internally we can’t face. So, the sadness comes when I think that maybe her home life is similar to what she hates in my writing.

What I do love, though, is honesty. I try to create a safe place for myself here where I can share openly. I have boundaries, of course. For example I have never shared about the time I went into Brooks Brothers and put on five suits at the same time and walked out tipping my cap to the salesman saying, “Nothing for me today, good sir!” Hey, cashmere single-breasted sports coats are like $800. Ballers don’t pay.

I will encourage you to continue to respond honestly. If you hate something I say or do, first go f yourself. Then, please write it and submit. I’ll work through my anger and sadness. Since I have such low self-esteem I eventually get to a place where I go, “Hey, haters still read!” Plus, if you met me in person, you’d love me. I’m that amazing. For real. Just ask around.

And with that I believe I have finally put this narcissistic silliness to rest.

dj paris collage

Speaking on narcissism I found this today in my parents’ house. Had no idea it existed.

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26 comments… read them below or add one

MicheleLeAnn November 22, 2012 at 1:07 am

Well, I haven’t been reading your blog for years and years  But I HAVE been reading long enough to see you point out your own faults, and discuss how you wish to improve them on more than one occasion.  No one is perfect!  And I don’t think you’re a dick.  I think what would make you a dick, is if you had no desire to change your behavior.  When you’re all internet famous, of course you’re gonna attract some hate.  Keep your chin up, and happy Thanksgiving.

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D.J. Paris November 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

MicheleLeAnn Well, since the blog’s only been up for a year, any reader is an “old time” reader! Internet famous? I don’t suspect that will happen. I’m happy just to keep writing every night. Not that I won’t take a book deal or a television writing gig. I will. :)

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Angela @Momopolize November 22, 2012 at 1:32 am

I read something recently that said “to be a successful blogger you have to be egotistical” and I thought “Oh boy, I’m out of luck.” LOL I actually think bloggers in general are the opposite of egotistical. I think we need the positive feedback of people telling us they like us. They really like us. I was going to write a post about it but couldn’t come up with a good antonym for egotistical to use for a catchy title. ;)
I’m new enough to blogging that I haven’t had a negative comment yet (but since comments are still few and far between, I haven’t had many positive ones either, lol) but I dread the day I do because I know it will crush me (temporarily). I’m glad you wrote a post about it. Even a “seasoned” blogger like you still has the same reaction I think I would have.
And, for the record, I don’t think you are narcissistic

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D.J. Paris November 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Angela @Momopolize Hmm… I don’t think you have to be egotistical, but I think you do have to be honest. Being honest means you’re going to speak about what’s inside – most people don’t do this in a public forum (nor should they, probably) which can appear to the public to be egotistical/narcissistic. But there is never shame in honesty, in my opinion. When you share vulnerability you will open yourself up to attack. It’s just part of the deal. Those comments really don’t bug me long term because I’m happy with my work. I seek first to entertain myself which someone else’s negativity can’t change – I like what I like. Thanks for reading!

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ArieFras November 22, 2012 at 4:07 am

I don’t think you’re a narcissist. You’re just human like the rest of us. I’ve had those days where life kicks my ass, and when I call someone for some support, they immediately launch into their own hard-luck story, so instead of having empathy–an emotion I have a deficiency in any way–I think, “Oh great. Thanks for stealing my, my-day-was-crap, thunder.” the entire time. When I read your story i thought, “Yep. Been there, and done that.” and then I hoped that your girlfriend understood things from your point of view. We don’t intentionally set out to wound people the people we love, but sometimes we do. The fact that a person sent you a private email to insult you tells you a lot more about them. I think it’s noble to put your flaws on display because it shows that you aren’t ashamed to admit that you have them. We all do.

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D.J. Paris November 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm

ArieFras There’s a great quote that I forget who said that went something like, “The question isn’t ‘will we wound are children’ but ‘how deep will the wounds be?’” Support is critical, especially during sadness.

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Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom November 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Oh stop it.  You KNOW you have copies of that picture in your glove compartment, on your bookshelf, next to the bathroom mirror, in the closet….  ;) 
I agree with Angela.  Who of us in the blogging world aren’t narcissists to some extent?  (You beat all of us hands down, but still…) KIDDING!  
Just do what Bieber does.  Flash ‘em your stats and say “This is for the haters!”

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D.J. Paris November 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom Would it be narcissistic to admit that I pleasure myself to the photo? Wait, yes. Yes, it would mean that.

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CiaraBallintyne1 November 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm

If you were a narcissist you wouldn’t see anything wrong with your behaviour. Since you’re clearly trying to change the way you behave in some respects, because you’re recognising it’s not good, and you don’t like, you’re obviously not a narcissist. Sad to say, I and my friends have had relationships with men with a whole gamut of psychological disorders, including depression, narcissism, multiple personalities, bipolar, and addictive personality disorder. The consistent thing between all of them is they rarely understand what they’ve done wrong (especially the narcissist) and it’s impossible to expect them to respond the way any other person would. So not only is her comment wrong, but even if it had been true, saying so would have achieved diddly squat.

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D.J. Paris November 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm

CiaraBallintyne1 Thanks for the thoughtful reply! I always exaggerate a bit – I don’t really think I’m a narcissist. I definitely struggle with self-absorption, but that is fixable with more intimate connection with others. Thanks again!

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SimonHayHealer November 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Say hi to @CiaraBallintyne #fantasy writer, supporter of writers #publishing & a #KillBill ninja! It’s Australian for gorgeous & talented.

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CiaraBallintyne November 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm

@SimonHayHealer Ha, funny, I am thinking of taking up martial arts after this pregnancy LOL

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SimonHayHealer November 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm

@CiaraBallintyne I did karate for 12 years & some jijutsu, kickboxing & boxing. What will you do?

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CiaraBallintyne November 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm

@SimonHayHealer japanese jujitsu or jung fu – depends what is available in my area

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CiaraBallintyne November 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

@SimonHayHealer Dammit, kung fu LOL

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SimonHayHealer November 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm

@CiaraBallintyne Jung fu is better! ;)

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CiaraBallintyne November 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

@SimonHayHealer Well it sounds interesting at any rate LOL

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KateHall November 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I think this is funny and the picture is hilarious – because of its timeliness. I appreciate your honesty and I’m learning a lot about the kind of writer I want to be by reading your blog. And I’m not sucking-up (I have no reason to, except I do get a lot of people visiting my blog because I comment on your blog – thanks!), I’m just being honest.

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D.J. Paris November 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

KateHall Wow! Thanks, Kate!!! I need to be less of a jerk and read yours more often. I’m really sorry. So busy… But I will do it!!!!

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KateHall November 24, 2012 at 8:42 pm

tfpHumorBlog It’s ok, I kind of deserve it. Plus, I don’t think your writing is rubbing off on me yet. As much as I’d like to be as honest as you, I don’t think I can.

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annaban November 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Like I always say (well, I’m sure I read it somewhere but let’s not fuss about the technicalities), “Haters gonna hate!” I personally enjoy your blog & find you quick-witted. You have a way of talking about the ordinary things and then turning it into something enjoyable to read about.”Plus, if you met me in person, you’d love me. I’m that amazing. For real. Just ask around.” – This made me laugh. In a good way.

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D.J. Paris November 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

annaban Thanks Anna! I’m just glad I have a friend in the Philippines. Oh, we’re friends by the way.

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hollowtreeventures November 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

I’m hoping one day I break through to the more mature part of your response. For now I just get angry, take a deep breath, then Google their email address, go to their house, and fill their charcoal grill with dirty cat litter.
I’m kidding, of course.
As far as anyone knows.

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D.J. Paris November 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

hollowtreeventures the charcoal grill with litter is AWESOME. Can’t wait to do this a few times with enemies. Everyone should have an enemy list. It’s healthy!

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prennifive November 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Love your outlook! I think you summed it up perfectly too. And–you made me laugh! Keep em coming! -Annie

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PamGills November 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I haven’t had a chance to comment on this until today.  I originally read this just after receiving a rather nasty email from my brother about Thanksgiving.  I did the mature thing – I ranted back to him and then saved it in my drafts folder and didn’t send it.  But I debated with myself for a few days on whether to send my reply to him.  Then I read this blog and for whatever reason, it calmed me down – maybe because of your description about the stages of your reaction to the negative comment.  I didn’t send the email and I deleted my draft.  However, I can say you are not even close to being a narcissist if you are measuring your narcissism in relation to my brother’s narcissism.

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