Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Recognising Greek Legends in the Every Day...

The Narcissist...
When I was nine I received a book of Greek Mythology as a Christmas present from my sunday school teacher (yes, I guess that does seem a bit odd, but for many years afterwards I loved my sunday school teacher for picking this book for me!),,,
In that book I read about many of the wonderful Greek gods and goddesses and the various blessings and punishments they bestowed upon their subjects at their own discretion. My favourite tale was of Echo, the nymph who Zeus employed to distract his goddess Hera while he made off with other nymphs. When Hera discovered Echo's part in the deception she punished Echo by making her hide in the wood and not allowing her speak except to repeat the final words of others as they passed by... I always felt sorry for Echo - maybe because I also love to talk and tell stories and often feel others aren't as willing to listen as I wish they were...
Anyway, one day Echo spied and fell in love with the young boy, Narcissus, but when she wouldn't talk to him except to repeat his words, he turned his back on her... Shortly after he fell in love with his own reflection and eventually died of heartbreak and was changed into a beautiful flower...
Narcissus was beautiful and Echo loved him so much, the story is filled with so much sadness...
The stories of modern day narcissists are no less tragic. Often they are surrounded by adoring and fawning admirers. They tend to be very attractive to others because of their self-confidence and because of how, when you are playing your part in their 'self-actualisation' they tend to shed sunlight and love like a shower over you in equal measures! Being in the good favour of a narcissist can be a delightful place to exist.
Woe betide the person who questions or doubts any aspect of a narcissist, though. That way lies only sorrow.
So, I thought I'd share a list of clues for anyone who might believe they have unwittingly found themselves entangled with a narcissist. I have known a couple in my life, and like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead, when they are good, they are very, very good and when they are bad, they are horrid!
A narcissist - from my experience - will not think twice about rewriting history, even when their own words and action are on record and can be produced. They will deny, deny, deny, and when that doesn't hold water, they will justify, justify, justify. Even if this mean unraveling the fine tapestry they have been weaving all along. What they judge others harshly for, they will see as their right to do. Tread with caution.
  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power or beauty
  • Believing that you are special and can associate only with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Having an inability to recognize needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

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