Saturday, July 23, 2022

Post-Covid Narcissism: The Unnecessary Extra Effort of Custom-Tailoring

I amuse myself by trying to observe post-Covid psychological skews. Most existed pre-Covid, as well, but have mushroomed into far greater prevalence (Here is a previous such observation).
I urged a friend to check out a TV series called "Patriot" (here’s why).

This friend has known me for 30 years. She has a rich sense of who I am and what I enjoy, and of my reliability when it comes to recommending specific things for specific people. A lot of my tips have become her most-cherished things.

"I'm not really into high-testosterone entertainment."

"Why would you think it's that?"

"The title."

"So your gut reaction to the show title supersedes all your experience with me and my recommendations?"

Short answer: yup, she absolutely prioritizes her gut reaction above the massive evidence of a 30 year personal relationship.
My family has been way ahead of this curve. Quick story! It's like 2000 and we're all in Memphis for a wedding. Having finished a rehearsal thing, we're standing around a parking lot discussing dinner options. I pipe up: "I know a place, not too far!" A cousin replies, haughty and dubious, "Is it good?"
This happens a lot. It's a "new normal". We must earn everything anew every time. There is no credit, no slack, no benefit of doubt or money in the bank. It's all "What have you done for me lately?" Our roiling belchy stomachs are the source of all truth, so we mostly just announce at people, rather than interact in a truly personalized way.

Narcissists don't customize. They don't/can't take into account who you are and what you know and what you're like. They don’t temper their thoughts, statements, or actions in consideration of your particulars. For that, a cognitive sub-routine would have to be cranked up, requiring much greater effort than simply saying/doing whatever reflexively pops up. And that effort is scarcely worth it, because, you know, people, am-I-right? People aren't worth it. Effort with people is strictly for plebes, and we’re a society of coddled aristocrats.

Most of us, most of the time, are blankly uttering the canned lines we customarily say; dreamily expelling pronouncements from the gastric flares within our seat of truth.

Why don't we notice how bad the narcissism’s gotten? As I've previously noted, it's because we're too narcissistic to notice how narcissistic everyone's become.


This may seem like a bitterly dark observation, but, no, it's actually liberating. It means you're off the hook! Congratulations! To survive this (believe me, I’m your guy for the low-down on surviving narcissists), you must remember that it's always "about them" with narcissists. And narcissism in America has become pretty much universal.

So if you make an effort to be helpful and useful and generally sum-positive for people you encounter, you can blithely let the chips fall, because you’ll seldom register as a full-fledged presence existing outside their own headspace. Their action and reaction, in other words, have nothing to do with your reality.

I don’t normally traffic in New Age treacle, but consider agreement #2.


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