“They think they can fix me!”, Ola roared as he threw the flower vase at one of the 16 mirrors hanging on different parts of the walls in his room, shattering the massive glass into crystals.
“How can they fix what isn’t even broken? They say I’m losing it. They say I’m going nuts; going cuckoo, going cooo-coocooo, going cock-a-doodle doo.” He said, now dancing to the imaginary beats the DJ in his mind was playing. What a display of madness.
“But I for one, know that I am the only sane one, and it is they, who are mad psychos. Filthy homo sapiens! They know not how to respect a supreme being like me. I am better than everyone else.”
He sauntered up to another one of the mirrors, this time not to break it, but to check himself out; as he always did.
He flexed his arms admiring every contour, line and curve of his biceps and triceps. He raised the T-shirt he was wearing to have a view of his torso. “Mamma Mia! My oh my, ọmọ lo dun toyi. Okporrr, I am a spec! I am the spec of their spec. I am the spec of the spec of their spec’s spec.” He chuckled as he ran his hands across his hard chest, palpating his rectus abdominis.
He walked up to another mirror to get an up close look at his face. He stared for minutes using his fingertips to trace lines across his jaw, nose and lips; adoring what he was seeing.
He moved from mirror to mirror gazing at different angles of his being, conversing with the man he saw in the mirror: Hercules reborn, more or less. Well, that’s how he saw himself.
A twenty-one-year-old tall, brown, built, bearded lad; “the man of every girl’s dream”, as he labelled himself.
Then he remembered how Zara, his coursemate, had hissed and walked out on him -the previous day when he approached her for a conversation- and the things she had said to him.
“Leave me alone. You need help, Ola!” She had yelled. “You’re such a self- centred egoistic psycho. You’re a freaking narcissist and you need to see a doctor. Get help first, before you think of ever being my friend”.
“It’s like the only one you ever care about is yourself. I saw you looking into the mirror eight times today. Eightttt timesss!”
“Do you even go anywhere without your pocket mirror? She sighed putting her face in one of her palms.
“You were staring long and hard at your appearance. I’ve never seen another human look so long or endearingly at a mirror. Is it me or are you actually in love with your reflection?
“Everyday in class, It’s troubling to see you laugh, giggle and talk to yourself; Not caring about the people around you and trampling on their emotions. Not everything has to be about you.”
“When you change to become a better and loving person, then, we can talk. But now, you’re not my type of human”. She hissed and walked away.
He snapped out of his flash back and started talking to himself again. “So why doesn’t she like me? She isn’t even that pretty. Who does she think she is? Why is she the only one in the world who doesn’t like me? Doesn’t she find me handsome? Am I not good enough? Am I no longer the greatest?” Before he finished the statement, he broke into tears.
NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER (NPD) is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.
Usually, behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism. So, narcissism is kind of paradoxical; sufferers may act superior and confident, but are often fragile and lack self-esteem, in reality. Talk about defence mechanisms.
They are usually seen as being cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding.
Narcissists think they are better, smarter and more important than other people and that they deserve better treatment.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER SIGNS TO WATCH OUT IN A NARCISSIST
Instead of listening to others, they relish talking and imposing their opinions on people.
They hate criticism and never want to be wrong.
They spend too much time on admiring their looks.
They take undue advantage of others without guilt or shame.
They crave attention and always feel the need to be admired.
They believe they are way more attractive than they really are.
They bully, belittle and look down upon those around them.
They believe themselves to be infallible.
They exaggerate their achievements.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS A NARCISSIST WOULD SAY:
“It wasn’t my fault, you started it”.
“ Okporrr! I am plenty”.
“I deserve an apology.”
“I’m the best!”
“Well, enough about your problems, let’s…”
“I’m so pretty and sexy”.
“ Don’t interrupt me”.
“ My problems are bigger than yours”.
“ You’re too sensitive, you’re just being insecure”.
“I’m smarter, let’s go with my idea”.
“You can’t blame me, I have a problem”
“I’ve had it way worse than you do, so come off it!”
“I am such a spec.”
Amongst many other self appraising statements.
Do you suspect someone is a narcissist? Perhaps a friend, sibling or even a parent. Or do you yourself think that you might be one?
HERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
Just like the first step to treating any problem, the narcissist has to identify that they have a problem.
Evaluating things that could worsen or make their condition better.
Seeking support and talking to others about how they feel.
Identifying the effects of their acts on others.
Letting go of the need for validation.
Taking responsibility for mistakes and eliminating the defensive word “but”.
Focusing on gratitude and appreciating those around.
Getting psychological therapy; NPD co-occurs with other mental health issues.
Now hold up… Just because someone loves their-self doesn’t mean they are a narcissist. Narcissism is beyond self-love, it’s more like self-obsession going overboard.
One could behave in a narcissistic way and not have NPD. But chances have it that the person that came to your mind while you were reading this might actually be a narcissist. So do them a solid and share this piece with them.
There’s really nothing wrong in loving yourself. But when that love starts affecting your relationship with others negatively, PLEASE CHECK YOURSELF.
Bint Hussein(H.K), University of iIlorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.