Friday, August 26, 2016

Metaperceptions of the Ego


Long ago, when I was young and more foolish than most of my contemporaries who were worldly wise, my godfather told me that I was a narcissist.  I possessed all the characteristics of a person suffering from the narcissistic personality disorder, he said.  Then he read out the list of my personality disorders from a diary.

1.     You have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
2.     You expect to be recognised as superior even though you have achieved nothing worthwhile
3.     You exaggerate whatever little you manage to achieve.
4.     You are often in your own dream world, fantasies about...

Then he stopped and looked at me.  “Am I correct this far?” he asked.  I nodded my head like a penitent at the confessional.

“... fantasies about success, power, intellectual brilliance...”  He paused and stared into my eyes again.  “Are you with me?”

“Bound to you with a chain,” I wished to say.  But I was trained to listen quietly when  the ‘personal scrutiny’ was being communicated.

5.     You believe that you are superior and can only be understood by some special people.
6.     You require constant admiration from others.
7.     You have a sense of entitlement.
8.     You take advantage of others to get what you want.
9.     You are insensitive to the needs of the others.
10.            You are envious of others in the community.
11.            Worst of all, you are arrogant and a total misfit in the community.

He pursed his lips and probed my eyes.  I felt like the lamb whose throat was going to be slit for the next day’s feast.

I saved my throat by leaving the community.  I chose to live as alone as possible.  But I was bound by an invisible chain to my godfather.  Godfathers have more tentacles than the octopus.  Protean tentacles. Eternal tentacles that tether the lamb with an invisible chain to some spooky pillars. 

Like Kafka’s protagonist, the lamb strayed through the labyrinthine corridors of the human world looking for the redemptive Ariadne’s thread.  Redemption is an illusion.  Godfathers are real.

When I saw the latest Indispire theme, No one knows you better than yourself.... Peep into your heart and describe yourself in one sentence #Knowyourself, this post materialised in the musty corridors of Kafka’s Castle.

Who am I?  In one sentence?

My Twitter profile describes me as “Destiny’s Clown.”
My Facebook profile describes me as “The Joker in the Pack.”
That’s a natural climax of narcissism, I hear my godfather snickering sitting invisible somewhere in Kafka’s Castle.



Note: In psychology, a metaperception is how a person views other people's views of him. It is essentially how an individual perceives others' perceptions of himself. In other words, they are how we feel about how others feel about us. Metaperceptions are frequently inaccurate - they are shaped by our individual self-concept and personal biases.



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17 comments:

  1. It takes courage to write this post...would a narcissist be able to write this?

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    1. One who has little to lose has little to fear, Shweta.

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  2. This is a great post! How do I contact you, to ask you if you'd be kind enough to write a guest post for Happiness India Project - a Positive Psychology and Happiness Science resource site - please? If you wish so, please go visit this page to get a fair idea about what we're doing there: http://happyproject.in/happy-project/

    Once again, congratulations for your great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went through your site. It's a great endeavour trying to bring happiness to people. I'm not sure I will be of much use in the process. However, if you feel I can contribute something, do let me know at tgmatheikal@gmail.com

      Delete
  3. Why does the natural climax of narcissism sound defeated? I am sure the metaperception of yours is still victorious. :P

    I liked this post. Brilliant narration. Specially the interruption part of the list and the endnote.

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    1. A reclaimed narcissist is a deflated ego, friend. Hence the undertones of defeat.

      Victory? Not intended anyway. It's more of a letting-out-the-steam.

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  4. Amazing.... Hat's off to the brilliant writer inside you...I feel so amazed and touched after reading this post... Best out of all till now.....

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    1. Thanks, Anupriya. I'm sure most individuals have much more moving tales to narrate.

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  5. When I read the questions about the narcissism, I answered most of the questions in affirmative, i.e. when I was brutally honest with myself. I was told I am one by some people, today I doubt they might be right. I cannot do anything much about it. Guess it's a way of life :)

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    1. The problem is not so much with narcissism as with how you choose to go about it. Even our PM is a narcissist. Then there are always some unfortunate people who become the target of some missionary affection and that's the end of their life as they are.

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  6. Metaperceptions may be inaccurate. At the same time they give at lest some feedback about us

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    Replies
    1. True. One should learn to make it as objective as possible.

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  7. बहुत अच्छा लेख
    https://merikavitayen4u.blogspot.in/ इधर भी पधारें

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  8. And this 'clown' and 'joker' makes the pack complete.....the much-needed jester who speaks his mind.....Lovely post....! I so wish I gain the wisdom you have and I so wish I can write like you one day.....!

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  9. A philosophical inception! I could relate with this one Sir! Loved the Kafka reference. Kafka fans are rare nowadays. Very rare!

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    Replies
    1. There's something Kafkaesque about my world, the little one in which I have managed to survive.

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