Hi my friends. Welcome back to Monday. Thanks for stopping by for a few minutes to read my thoughts.
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good”…2 Timothy 3:1-3
The verse above is one that runs through my head often as I see and hear what goes on around us as well as what has happened to me personally. The news is full of stories that can only be summed up in this way. Though many of us escape major tragedy, not a one of us will come out of this life unscathed by selfishness around, perhaps even in, us.
But what happens when this selfish nature gets out of hand? There is a name for it…Narcissism. Narcissism is beyond general selfishness. I believe it is pathological selfishness. If you live with someone who has this disorder, you are expected to revolve your life around that person’s life. They ignore your needs and desires while having no sense of community or individuality. A narcissistic person has zero ability to have empathy for another person. He or she never sees the contribution he/she may have to a situation. It is always, always, the fault of someone else. Image is everything to a narcissist, and it is more real than reality…while they lack a solid sense of self. Primary importance is what you can do for them, and eventually, you learn that he/she does not see the real you. You are only a pawn in a manipulative game to meet his/her goals and needs. This type of relationship is very, very lonely. Yet, when you first meet a person such as this, the image they project is completely different than reality.
I am blown away by the nine traits of narcissism I found from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:
1) Grandiose sense of self importance
2) Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
3) Belief that he/she is ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by other high status people
4) Requires excessive admiration
5) Has a sense of entitlement
6) Is interpersonally exploitative, takes advantage of others for self gain
7) Lacks empathy
8) Envious of others or believes others are envious of him
9) Shows arrogance, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Rather sobering, isn’t it? All of us have a tiny bit of narcissism in us. Selfishness is human after all. After living with and divorcing a person with these traits, I know more than I ever wanted to on this topic. The journey of healing has brought me to my knees many, many times and has me examining my own life for “too much self.” Thank God for the grace He offers.”I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
Until next week, be blessed,