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Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

18 August 2011

Life with Narcissism

One day last semester, I was sitting in the back room at the University Writing Center, doing some homework while half listening to my coworkers' conversations. At one point, one of the girls announced, "Sorry if any of you have relatives who are cops, but..." and then launched into a tirade about how she doesn't like people who are allowed to do things that she can't, so she has a problem with the police anyway, and one pulled her over for speeding, and blah blah blah.

Yeah, it's one of these kind of
moments.
I'm still wondering now, as I did at the time, what exactly brought her to this point. It's possible that her parents did not encourage this attitude and she's gone her own way, of course. However, had I ever made such an observation as a teen (and I did, more than once), my parents' reaction would have been "Too bad, so sad" if they were in a good mood. If I caught them in a bad mood, it would have been more like a long lecture about how the world was not going to conform itself around my specifications (insert swear word here, depending on which parent I was talking to), the sooner that I resigned myself to that fact the better it would be for all concerned, and in the meantime I should probably go outdoors and make my complaints directly to the universe, because no one in my immediate vicinity wanted to hear them. 

So you might say that "why can't I do what ______ is doing?" is a question that is not generally in my repertoire, especially where law enforcement is concerned. At the time, I thought about saying, "Hey, don't break the law and you won't have that problem," but I'm pretty sure it would have been pearls before swine. Instead, I ignored it for as long as I could, but when someone else joined in and they got to the point of declaring all police everywhere to be arrogant fatherless men who fornicate with alarming frequency, I finally said, "All of my cousins are cops," which, if not exactly a rebuttal, did at least serve to stop the conversation before it went any further. And then they all found something else to complain about instead.

It's at moments like this that I tend to mutter, "And to think I worry about being a narcissist," to myself. Why, when there are examples of self-centredness all around me, should I bother to worry about myself? But I do, of course, in my keeping-my-side-of-the-street-clean kind of way. I just hope the next time I start to say something that dumb, someone interrupts me before I make a complete idiot of myself.

Writers all have personality disorders, right? It's not just me who thinks she might be on the border of requiring medication? Or, what do you do when you encounter obnoxious people?

18 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I try not to come into contact with people at all...

Su said...

LOL! Maybe I should try that next.

Karen Peterson said...

Unfortunately, I tend to engage these people. It's my pitiful hope of enlightening them, but all it does is make me more angry.

Marian Allen said...

I take medication. Just sayin'.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Carole Anne Carr said...

Try to reason out the problem, and then if I feel I can't do anything to help, retreat!

GigglesandGuns said...

Yes quite a few of us have personality disorders (witness my comment yesterday).
I think you handled that situation beautifully.

Su said...

@Karen: That would probably have been a better idea, instead of writing off the members of the conversation as hopeless cases!

@Marian: Good idea. :)

@Carole: Perhaps I should just invest in a good set of headphones now?

@Giggles: Yay! Personality disorders unite! And there was nothing wrong with your comment yesterday!

JEFritz said...

Wait...she was speeding and she complains that she got caught? Yeah, everybody does it. Everybody also gets caught (although not all the time). She definitely needs a reality check.

Su said...

Yep. And the other guy who chimed in was complaining about getting caught underaged drinking. I probably wouldn't have cared and certainly wouldn't have remembered except they were being really loud and really jerky. So-- reality check it is! ;)

Donna said...

Great job on the way you handled it. These type of people along with the hypocrites drive me insane. Guess I need some meds soon too.

Liz said...

Obnoxious people: fodder for the blog.

I'm not an engager in such things, either, but I love your comeback. That was brilliant!

Su said...

@Donna: Take one and pass them on! ;)

@Liz: I do warn some people that they're headed for a blog post, but usually it's only the ones I like & that I say nice things about that get a warning. The rest of them just get roasted. ;) And thanks!

Amish Stories said...

Id like to invite you folks to come to Amish Stories for a recipe for "Famous Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Cinnamon Buns" along with a book signing schedule for Amish fiction writer Wanda Brunstetter for Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as a contest to meet her. I hope everyone so far is having a great weekend. Thanks everyone. Richard from Amish Stories.

Su said...

Cool. My gran is more into the Amish stories than I am, although I do enjoy them.

....Petty Witter said...

Ooh don't people like this annoy you. Well done you on handling it so well.

I always find it funny when someone begins a sentence with "I don't mean to be rude/racist" as you know they are about to say something many will find rude/racist.

Su said...

As Terry Pratchett says, some people find it easier to say "No offence" than to actually refrain from giving offence.

Manda said...

I am not a cop.

;)

Su said...

Heh. Other side of the family. I suppose, to be fair, they aren't *all* cops. Just (counts quickly) four of them? Plus two more by marriage? I think? Anyway, enough for me to exaggerate. ;)