Friday, October 22, 2010

Fictionless Friday: Narcissism Reality Check

According to this Gawker article about Facebook profile pictures, the fact that I utilize one of my headshots means that I’m a narcissistic careerist. It’s an amusing article – snarky and cringingly accurate at times.

I mentioned it to a close friend, relaying the conclusion that I’m a narcissistic careerist, and he laughed heartily. “That’s hilarious, because you are!”

“What?” I said, somewhat startled.

“You’re totally a narcissistic careerist! That’s what you are!”

Just typing his words makes my emotions swirl into a troubled froth. Now before you start composing your blog comment calling him mean-spirited or rude and telling me not to listen to any of it, let me be clear. This person loves me very much and loves himself too, so there’s no belittling or demeaning going on here. That’s not what he does. He just calls it like it is. I appreciate having his level-headed perspective in my life. And he’s never wrong. He’s just accurate.

Believe me, I’d love to tell myself that he’s wrong. That I’m the pinnacle of modesty. That I never boast about my accomplishments or hold myself above others. Because I’m a frickin’ angel, don’t cha know?

But I know that he’s at least a little right. I enjoy having credits from television shows that people have heard of. I smile inwardly when I have to turn down a lunch invitation because, “I’ll be on set.” I write a blog all about myself, for goodness sake.

I’ve always said that all actors need to be a little bit of a diva in order to break through the waves of self-doubt washing over Hollywood. Perhaps I’ve taken my own advice too far.

So my emotions are swirly this morning because I’ve just been called on my own stuff. And I know he wouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t true. I’m not the best at self-awareness. Who is, really? Who is capable of being fully aware of how their words and actions are perceived and understood by others? Who is completely accurate in this world?

My friend is.

So I’ll say it - I am a narcissistic careerist. But now that I know that, hopefully I can turn things around for myself.

1 comment:

  1. I think you can shake off being a narcissistic careerist. You're not that. We are all careerists. Actors get accused the most of being narcissists like it's a bad thing. We all have some of this thing, and we're healthy for it. In the case of actors, it is the person we hire to be the person we need, So actors must promote themselves and their images as a part of what they are doing for a living. I am a teacher, and we must be good actors, but we don't need to be selling ourselves the way a real actor must. It's not about being so self-centred that you're seen as someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. It's about the facts. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.... Paul