Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Am I a Narcissist?

I was reading comments in an article at a running website, I won't tell which one, but one commenter called the person at the center of the article a narcissist. This started to worry me, so I took the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and scored a 16, and it takes a 20 to qualify as narcissistic. Still, 12-15 is normal, so given one 40 point quiz (statistically not very big) I am more self centered and egotistical than normal. I would admit to that. Maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I do worry about it. Even the word narcissist is not a nice word. It brings to my mind darkness and not the warm and fuzzies that words like sunset, happy, friendly, social, or altruistic do.

I worry that I am self centered and that prevents me from having the kind of relationship I want. I'm not sure it's a problem, I mean, I would not say that I use people, although I do know of a few people in my life that certainly feel used by me. That being said, I think those people might say that they are used by most people, so while I don't feel good about those relationships, the relationships are where they are because I am not sure what I can do to change that perception. In other words, "Haters gonna hate." -Taylor Swift

The antonym of narcissism would be altruism or selflessness. I can site a couple examples where I was selfless, but then again, I spend a fair amount of time taking care of myself. In part it's not really possible to be a high level athlete without taking care of yourself. Similarly, I coached for three years, trying to help the younger generation, and while I plan to coach again, it was taking a lot out of me.

Often I walk with a friend at work over lunch. Something he often tells me, that I would agree with, is that priorities change. Who knows what the future holds? I told my running partners a few weeks ago, "what would I do if I didn't run?" And that is where I am, doing my thing because I know how to and I don't really see a better option at the moment.

What I'm saying is, I don't think I am a narcissist now, and I plan to keep it that way, by occasionally worrying about being one.

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