Monday, April 25, 2016

Blogging and Narcissism


Indispire edition 114 #IAmABlogger inspires the narcissist in me.  Why do I blog?  To feed endless hunger of the narcissist in me, I suppose.  Like Narcissus gazing neurotically at his own image in the water, I decided to gaze into the eyes of my enduring benefactor, Reverend Tormentoro, and extract his view on why I blog.

Narcissus by Caravaggio, gazing at his own reflection.
Source: Wikipedia
“You display all the signs of NPD as listed by the DSM,” he said.  NPD elaborates as Narcissistic Personality Disorder for those who are not initiated.  And DSM is the Bible of psychiatrists: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). 

Can anyone be a serious writer unless he/she considers him-/herself important to some degree?  I did not voice my question.  No one dares to question the Rev.  Not if you know him personally.

“You still look for appreciation from your readers,” explained the Rev.  “You want them to write appreciative comments.  Thank your stars that these days no one dares to write negative comments since the whole virtual world is founded on the basic premise of mutual back-scratching.  Otherwise you would have run away from blogging long ago.  Your very identity is determined by others’ appreciation.  Symptom number 1 of the neurotic narcissist.”

I pulled out my pen and looked for a scrap of paper to jot down notes.  Sin #1: Seeking Appreciation.

“No,” the Rev made a dismissive gesture that bordered on contempt.  Have you ever been to shrinks?  If yes, you would have noticed the tremendous effort they make to conceal their contempt for you, for the whole of humanity.

“Narcissists never forget anything related to their ego, positive or negative, especially the latter,” he condescended to explain. 

“That’s why good writers don’t need notebooks,” I blurted out.  I don’t keep a notebook, you see.

He stared at me as if who asked for my view.

“Having made their personal life a hell with the constant need for others’ approval, the narcissists go out to make others’ lives miserable with their insensitivity,” the Rev went on.  “Symptom number 2 according to the DSM.”

“My sins, my sins, my most grievous sins,” I went into the confessional mode which usually made the Rev very happy.

“Wait,” he frowned.  “I’ve just begun.  The Narcissist thinks that he is entitled to all honours.  You are a teacher and you think you deserve the Best Teacher’s Award.  You are a blogger and nothing would deter you from imagining yourself bagging the Best Blogger Award from Indiblogger.”

The Rev went on.  I began to understand the glorious sinfulness that provokes all writing.  The most grievous sin of vainglory.  Insensitive, pathological, neurotic, prejudiced, jealous, lustful, most sinful... attention-seeker.  That’s what I am.  According to the Rev.

Why do I blog?  I returned to the question at hand.  And the answer is what I have written above. 


PS.  “A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.”  Oscar Wilde.

18 comments:

  1. Lack of negative comments is undermining my confidence. When I read my posts again, and find glaring mistakes, I feel they appreciate out of sympathy.
    Anyways, I think everyone is a bit of narcissist. Writers, naturally, a little more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too much sympathy? I think it's a kind of new social etiquette evolving necessarily because of the system in which popularity is more important than content/substance.

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    2. I think I agree with the Rev. Most symptoms, I share too. I'm unable to agree with his reprimands for the Best Indiblogger too.
      You see, a writer is after all the one who sits and reflects in chair more often than comes to his feet for action, no?
      But is he true when he says, "... jealous, lustful, most sinful... attention-seeker." ?
      I think these are the silent demons not put to work because of the same reflection and deep thinking by a writer.

      Delete
    3. The Rev is the sort of person who is more interested in maintaining a system at the cost of dissenting individuals than about people. We had one such person at SPS. One who sacrificed a few staff who he thought were potential threats to his position. I escaped because I had no administrative aspirations. Still one day he told me, "I cannot appreciate your achievements in public because people will be jealous of you." He chose to award and reward people who helped him achieve his personal goals. The Rev is of the same mould. But such people pretend to be doing you some great service. The society is with them too. Because it is a mutually helping game.

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  2. Ironically I did write an article on narcissist and tried to give an alternate view point on his death. here is the link http://pranjuchakrapani.blogspot.in/2014/12/the-alchemist-narcissus-and-suicide.html . Hope you enjoy reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whatever writing of yours I've read so far was absolutely
      loveable. So here I come to your Narcissus.

      Delete
  3. You've quite an honest answer..Anything that is normal or ordinary couldn't create any piece of art,not even writing..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, mediocrity can create religion and gods but not art!

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  4. Introspective, sincere straight from heart article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life. Stupid life. That's what makes every writer introspective. My personal experience is that religious people enable that introspection very generously. Alleluia!

      Delete
  5. Absolutely true.

    One can't continue to write without a degree of narcissism in him. He can write his first piece out of creativity but not a second one unless he falls in love with the first one (and as an extension of this, with himself).

    Your post relieved me of my guilt of being a narcissist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your post prompted me to write this, Saket. Glad we found each other.

      Delete
  6. Thank you for owning up to your sins and ours too, haha! I agree with the mutual back-scratching, but sometimes we bloggers need honest critiques and we hardly ever get that.

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    Replies
    1. Bloggers are very sensitive, it would appear from the way they shy away from voicing differences of opinion. Healthy debates would be welcome.

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  7. Great post and true to the core. We writers crave for appreciation. We all do. But lack of critique is a bane.

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    Replies
    1. Debate is not in fashion among bloggers, it looks like.

      Delete

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