Mixed, chilled, and in a pretty cocktail with an olive pip to choke on at the end!
It's 2024 and that time again for a renewal of vows committing myself to changing what isn't working and protecting what is. It has become one of those favourite, social, cliches to make resolutions, mainly because no one expects you or themselves to live up to them. And yet, I'm a fan of making them nonetheless because we all need reasons for doing most things. Motivation is probably the biggest factor in change of all sorts: good and bad.
However, this piece isn't exactly about New Year's Resolutions.
It isn't a motivational speech towards self improvement either(I do believe there are plenty of books out there on the subject).
It is part and parcel though of fixing stuff that doesn't work.
Analyzing the past decade...Yeah! I generally go all out with End of Year Evaluations...It dawned on me the exact extent to which I'd grown soft on people with a particular personality trait:
Having always been on the side of the underdog, I've probably never had any friends without issues of some sort. I've worked around some stable people, and chosen long-term, romantic partners that have valued me and my assets (pun intended). However, for the most part, most people I've crossed have been some or other version of fucked-up.
Personally, I have some sociopath traits, of which I am well aware. Hence I choose to avoid the hypocrisy of looking for pure virtue in a sea of my own vice! In layman's terms: I can't (out of principle) exclude people based on their own brand of psychopathy.
Beware the narcissist though!
A very obvious conclusion to my decennial evaluation is that it isn't wise to make principle virtuous for its own sake. There are some personality traits that are best avoided or challenged without mercy. The narcissistic personally trait has finally made it to the top of my list after many years of trial and error of having it in my life in one way or another.
Narcissism is nuanced!
It's not always easy to differentiate between the egocentric individual, and the narcissist. The former usually manifests in a kind of mental rigidity where the common denominator is winning. The latter is about much more than simply winning. It's about altering.
The narcissist plays upon the insecurities, trauma's, and overall mental or physical weaknesses of an individual for their own entertainment. He or she will toy with subtleties in words and actions in order to change the behaviour, habits and thought patterns of the individual they have targeted. In short, it's a game of cat and mouse. What's to gain from modifying another person's individuality?
Financial benefits, sexual satisfaction, emotional attachment...and sometimes just because it's convenient fun.
When the tough gets rough, the narcissist gets going.
And by rough I mean anything from severe illness to bankruptcy to overly aggressive opposition to their ideology.
As long as things run smoothly and minimal investment is required of them, they will stay...and PLAY.
In romance, one major red flag would be: Undermining actions and words.
Often in small doses, like a slow poison, sometimes jokingly, the narcissist breaks you down by breaking down your self worth.
You will stay out of guilt. You will wonder if you're the one who's crazy. Your love will be used against you.
In work (the toxic boss), in family (the manipulative parent/sibling/child), in politics (the charismatic leader), in religion (the radical) all different sides of the same trait and often served mixed, chilled, and in a pretty cocktail with an olive pip to choke on at the end. And it's a long and painful process like a snake writhing the life out of you.
Ladies, your best defense against the narcissist is an iron will (both figuratively and literally). No free passes to your wealth, your mind or your body because you feel lonely or depressed. Mix your own cocktail and watch some Friends!
And choose the Nice Guy for goodness sake! Bad boys aren't that great in bed nor for your bank account.
Gentlemen, your best defense against the narcissist is self control. Do you want a partner or a hole? And by hole, I mean in your budget...of course...(grin)!
Look closely at the woman in front of you before you undress her in your mind. Date her for a while to see how she functions. Ask her questions! Lead, don't be lead. Be honest about what you want long-term and the kind of sex that pumps your blood.
"It's okay." Shouldn't be the answer to that special question (you know what I mean!).
And with that, it's a wrap for me and one of my New Year Resolutions!
Also a wrap to my unsolicited version of that age-old Agony Aunt we (the 80's babies) used to read up in the newspapers and magazines (Google it!).
Have a great, narcissist-free 2024!