From a teen in the Philippines: The narcissistic personality runs through the blood in my father’;s side family and it disgusts me, but now I’m not sure of myself anymore. As I finished fabricating my future argument, all this realization popped into my head and this is the only time I’m being honest about myself so here I go.

I think I am a narcissist on the inside; as I am just a quiet person most of the time and would just talk whenever it’s needed- sounds like a compete contrary to the extrovert narcissist as we all know. But I wouldn’t pass as a covert one either, as I am not shy rather an overly confident one.

I am an individualist, a non-conformist, argumentative, fearless, and I think so highly of myself. I am quick to see what’s wrong with other people and would argue with them about it, then feel satisfaction cause I feel like I just corrected a mistake, that it’s a commendable thing, and it feeds my ego. On the other hand, I can’t see the wrong in me or no- it’s either I see the wrong in me but just hate to admit my mistakes or can’t see the wrong in me because I think so highly of myself.

Whenever I am being confronted with my bad attitude, I’d argue with them. I feel as though I am not yet wrong as long as I can defend myself with reasons. I win them and winning arguments is my ultimate ego-booster, most especially when against adults or teachers. Sorry is my very last option.

I think everybody around me is intellectually inferior and being a consistent top student in every class just made it worse. As a non-conformist, going against the current also further elevates my ego. I isolate myself as well bc I don’t think anybody in the room can understand my deep thoughts and out of this world ideas.

The thing is, everybody around me, except of course my mother and those of whom I’ve had trouble to, thinks I’m humble, down-to-earth and a gentle person. Maybe I hid it so well. As I’ve said, I’m silent but when it comes out, it’s just disastrous enough to cut relationships with people but I couldn’t care less because I feel that I can do anything all by myself and I proved that a lot of times before. I’m not also afraid to lose friends bc I feel like I never had any. I don’t feel empathy, sometimes I do good things to feed my ego, nothing more nothing less.

So what’s with me? Am I truly a narcissist of sort? I’ve been like this since then and I just came upon this realization today.

I don’t know if you have inherited narcissistic qualities. But I have to ask “So what if you did?” I’m not particularly interested in labels. I’m interested in what people do with what genetics, environment, and experience has given them. You have many gifts: You are passionate about things. You are not afraid to see things that need improvement and you have many ideas about what to do about them. You have the intelligence to be a top student. You are able to be convincing with other people.

It’s not what traits you inherit that matters, it’s what you decide to do with them. There are politicians who use such traits to enrich themselves and manipulate other people to help them do so. There are people with the same skills who serve those who elected them and who facilitate groups of people to right wrongs and to make the world a better place. It’s up to each of us to decide how we will best use our talents and traits. No one else can decide that for us.

You can decide to feed your ego by ignoring your own faults. You can deal with your insecurities (and, yes, you do have them) by telling yourself that you are superior. But ultimately, you will find that posturing to yourself and others like that won’t work. You will always question whether you are in fact worthy of others’ high regard or if it’s all a sham.

Genuine self-esteem comes from making a genuine contribution. Feeling good comes from doing good, nothing else. Take a long hard look at yourself and decide how you want to live your life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie