narc

In ALL, INTROSPECTION by Stephanie Klein8 Comments

I’m narcissistic.  I spoon into it from time to time along with the banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery.  When I hear a story, I think of how it applies to me.  Me. Me. Me.  I certainly don’t wallop myself over it because it rarely becomes exclusionary of others.  Egoistic behavior comes with the territory, really, of being such a neurotic woman hot-dogging for attention.  It comes with being introspective, which means, narcissism comes with my writing too.  It’s a combo meal.

Bananapudding_1

Freud would argue introversion is a requisite to narcissism.  But when you’re dining with a little too much introversion on your plate, the meal quickly becomes a bountiful feast of narcissism.  It’s like ordering commitment but asking for the monogamy on the side.  It just doesn’t work that way.

What the hell is she talking about now? 

Recently, I was told I’m too social.  “Too social, too sceney” was said in reference to me in a voice reserved for nefarious things, like canned chicken (who in God’s name eats canned chicken?).  I’m an introvert!  I habitually concentrate on myself rather than outside objects.  Extroverts have the converse preference. I have a blog all about me with a category dedicated to introspection for chrissake. 

People see what they want to see.  Oftentimes people confuse hermitic behavior with introversion and believe because I explore Manhattan behind a lens at lovely locales, I’m extroverted.  Well you’re wrong, so blow me.  Few things are more appealing to me than a night inside wearing socks and you.

Dani Shapiro told me people saw what they wanted to see in her writing.  At one of her readings, a fan approached, lightly touching her on the arm to say, “Thank You.”  Dani smiled when she recounted the story, the way I imagined she had to the reader, revealing a perfectly aligned white stack of teeth.  “Thank you for writing the lamb scene; it changed my life.”  I imagined the reader to be a phlegmatic woman who on occasion got roused into a breathy exaggerated frenzy.  “It changed my life,” she’d say as if she’d just climbed Olympus.

“Stephanie, for the life of me, I had no idea what the woman was talking about.  The lamb scene?  So I thanked her for saying so, and she thanked me, and I thanked her, and then I got dizzy, went home, and opened my book scouring the pages for a lamb scene.  I finally found it.  I didn’t remember it because the point of the scene wasn’t what we were eating, but of course the reader believed I was communicating ideas about sacrifice.”

“Gotta love how readers make us smarter than we ever imagined.”

“Yeah.”

It happens to me all the time.  I’m constantly amazed, for example, the perceived reasons of my naming this blog Greek Tragedy.  Insert some line about Narcissus and a pool of water *here.* People see what they want to see… especially introverts who’ve got medals on mantles for suspecting everything is about them.  Get over yourself! Or, pull up a chair next to me; I have the best view.

Comments

  1. Considering all the comments that are posted here, maybe Greek Chorus would have been a better title…

  2. This subject – being eternally misunderstood – as a flirt, or an extrovert – seems to be coming up a lot lately.

    "But enough about me. What do YOU think of me?" Is that kind of what it's all about? Some may see your blog as an "Aren't I fabulous?" kind of endeavour. You respond to "Stop putting it all out there" with "What do you mean? I'm an introvert!" If you're "hot dogging" for attention, it's because you're painfully conscious of what others think. Introverts couldn't care less, and continue to pick the lint.

    For what it's worth (Chorus: NOTHING!) I think that private thoughts about oneself or a handwritten private journal is introspective and/or introverted behaviour. A blog with prominent headings like "stories of my life" "more photos of me" "my must reads" "about me" "the real me" and "bloggers I know" is decidedly not.

    No apologies or explanations or excuses are necessary, really, because it's wonderful writing and hilarious and heart-breaking and all the rest – but public self-contemplation is not *exactly* introverted.

    If I'm totally missing the mark, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    And what the hell is canned chicken?

  3. That's my point. I am narcissistic… and I'm introverted. I do put it all out there, and I think I get as much out of *that* as those who read it. Being a blog nerd, though, shouldn't be confused with being "too social or sceney." There aren't any velvet ropes on my site, and it's one of my favorite haunts.

  4. Stephanie –

    Do you know your Meyers-Briggs type? Just curious.

    I attached a self-test to the "URL" field in these comments, if you're curious.

    You don't sound like an introvert, but I don't know you as well as you do, obviously.

  5. You usually serve your Narc w/ a garnish of self-effacement and humility, hense cleansing the narcissitic pallet. It's like the parsely in the diner of introspection, it comes with every meal, but not every one that eats at the diner knows what it's for.

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