Are You A Narcissist?
It’s been said that your answer to the following question says a ton about you. I agree. Here’s the question:
When you enter a room full of people, is your first thought, “Here I am!” or, “There you are!”
Think about this for a second. And really picture this happening. You show up at a party. You mingle in the foyer with the hosts for a minute. The party is in full swing. You walk into the crowded kitchen. Again, is your first thought, “Here I am!” or, “There you are!”
When I first heard this proposition, I had to think about it for a few seconds. Being blind, it’s impossible for me to scan around to find a familiar face, hence, I thought the “There you are!” scenario was far flung. So, the opposite? “Here I am!” to me, sounds like one thinks so highly of him/herself that they believe everyone at the party was just waiting for him/her to show up. This is definitely not me. I also put myself back into the situation in a perfect world, i.e., one where I COULD scan around for familiar faces. Then, the answer became apparent. Undoubtedly, I would first think, “There you are!”
Does this whole scenario mean anything to you? Do you wanna share which side you fall on? Do you even think this question has any validity?
I’ve been reading Erich Fromme’s “The Art of Loving.” Contrary to the title, this is not some Harlequin romance with Fabio on the cover. Instead, Fromme is a psycho-analyst who studies something that is really hard to study: love. The book was written in the 1950s and explores all types of love; parental, sibling, erotic, spousal and self.
Now, it doesn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I’m not a psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, therapist or anything else in the mental health field. I am, however, fascinated by the human brain and personality. I love personality quizzes, evaluations, IQ and EQ tests, etc. For one, it gives me insight into myself, and for another, it gives me insight into others. I value relationships of all kinds and any additional insight I can gain will be put to good use.
So, here’s my unprofessional diagnosis: If you answer, “Here I am!”, that shows some degree of narcissism. And we’re all narcissists to a certain degree, if for nothing else than self preservation. But in a typical scenario, those who answer, “Here I am!” are probably a bit unhealthy in the self delusion category. And if this is you and I’m insulting you, I apologize. I hope you’ll take a second to really think through if this is truth, as you see it.
Fromme gives the example of narcissism like this: A patient calls her doctor and says she’s not feeling well, can the doctor see her today. The doctor replies that he is booked solid today, but he can see her first thing tomorrow. The woman replies, “But Doctor, I’m only five minutes away!”
This shows that the female patient cares not for what the doctor is able to do, but only for the world as it relates to her. Same thing with the idea of, “Here I am!”
When you’re forced to choose between two things (not you specifically, but anyone), it sets up an in group/out group scenario. It’s black or white, right or wrong, us and them. In the “Here I am! Vs There you are” scenario, I realize I’m proposing you make a choice, one way or another. I don’t tell you my way of thinking to try to show my side, that I’m right, whatever.
Yet, I think our world might spin a little better if we spend a little more time putting our “Here I am!” feelings on the backburner and focusing on the importance of others.