Distinction Demystified: What It's Really Like to Love & Accept Your Individuality
"Shawty got that existential narcissism."
That's a phrase I saw somewhere recently - I have no idea where. Could've been Instagram, but I can't be sure. Either way, I loved it when I saw it.
Literally, narcissism is defined as "an inordinate fascination with ones self; excessive self-love; vanity."
Beyond this, I'm no psychologist, but I can for sure tell you, there are many more forms of narcissism out there. Covert narcissism, overt narcissism, toxic narcissism, etc.
Those aren't really relevant to the point I'm making today. But existential narcissism is. Existential narcissism is just that - narcissism that we all have, because we're human beings - because we exist. Focus on who we are (or our self) is essential to life, love, & functioning as a human. We all have some level of narcissism.
This brings me to today's topic ever so gently - a case can be made for introverts and extroverts both having some level of narcissism. And if we were really here for it today, I could make a case for narcissism for both of these personality types.
What I'm really here to do is empower you as an introverted woman to embrace all of your individual nooks & crannies - and to really learn to accept that individuality in its totality & beauty.
And trust me, I'm aware that loving something and accepting it are two different things.
We can accept a marriage we might have gotten into a bit too early. We can accept a job we don't really like because we need to pay the bills. We can accept where we are right now in our life (which we always should - there's power in the present moment). But loving our marriage, our job or our life as it is, takes another set of skills and personal development. I get that.
Today is about acceptance. It's about self-care and the idea that going inward, meditating, reflecting, watching - these are not narcissistic qualities.
They are instead, powerful qualities that cultivate awareness, growth, and individuality on a level some people only wish they had access to.
I really want you to see that today. You carry within you an innate & powerful set of tools & abilities that really lend to how you effect the world and those around you.
Introverted women are sometimes labeled as narcissistic. Our intuition can be intimidating, our observant nature annoying, or our inquisitive mind frustrating. Some people might think that, because we are in our own heads a lot, we must always be thinking about ourselves. It's usually quite the opposite - most of the time, our thoughts are centered on others. It's a misconception that I'd like to get straightened out for once.
Yes, I might quietly ask myself in the mall or at the grocery store, "hmm....I wonder what possessed her to wear that?" but it's literally just a question - if I could truly know the answer, I'd like to. Why did she make that choice? But for the most part, my thoughts are more like this: "she looks like she's been crying - I hope she's okay." "I really hate the way that guy is treating his girlfriend - if he only knew how much she needs his support and for his words to be much more loving." "I wish I had money in my purse to give to that guy."
This is my nature, and I have accepted it. Loving it? I'm not fully sure I'm all the way there, but I'm getting there.
We all make decisions, and we all have our qualms & quirks. It doesn't make any of us any more narcissistic than the next person - it's what makes us individual. And that individuality calls for self-care. Once we've accepted who we are, we then have a responsibility to protect and safeguard it.
So, if I'm invited to the movies with a group of friends and I decide that I don't want to go - that my own company feels the most satisfying in that moment, am I then to be labeled a narcissist because of my decision? No - I'm a woman who understands the need for her own self-care. I'm a woman who, in that moment, has not only accepted who she is but has also chosen to love it as well.
Last week, after what has quickly become the most popular post on this site to-date, a new member of this community sent me an email that was really beautiful. In that email, she truly captured the spirit of this post. Here's what she said:
[quote author="Private Author"]I definitely have some growth to do there, as I struggle with a less than stellar self-image that was more created for me than chosen by me, and I piece together a better whole person.[/quote]
Can we say 'gorgeous'?
To me, this really depicts the picture I wanted to paint today and that is that we truly haven't had a say in how we were created or the core of our personalities. You are exactly who you are for a reason. There's a specific way you effect those around you, a reason you meet the people you do, and have the set of struggles you have.
I call this being an individual, not being narcissistic.
In the comments, I'd like to know...
What is your experience with this? Have you ever been unfairly labeled narcissistic because you chose self-care or healthy boundaries over someone else's agenda? I'd love to hear the story or your thoughts...
Thank you for being here, reading, & contributing your wisdom & insights as always,