Show Off

Image by Monika from Pixabay

I said it; I agreed to it; I thought I could do it. However it turned out that I couldn’t really do it due to the fact that one of the crucial person involved didn’t agree to this change of plan and it ends up that I can’t really do what I thought I could do.

I am not at liberty to reveal all the details since it involves a team of people and the project is still ongoing. However I can definitely relate my own thoughts and my own failings. I should have thought, guessed, deduced, and reasoned that this would happen or at least this would be one of the possible outcomes, but I didn’t. My eagerness to be useful, to be nice, to be a problem solver really clouded my judgement and hindered my brain’s normal process. I was so eager and so optimistic. Now looking back, I feel that I am such a showoff and a fraud. I think if other people dislike me, they are perfectly justified. And now I feel lucky that my friends (or at this case my teammates and colleages) have tolerated me for so long.

Growing up under two narcissistic parents, I was desperate to get attention. Often I thought if I tried harder, my arrogant and self-centered parents would start to love me–and I continued to try to gain their attention despite being proved wrong repeatedly. Talking about stubbornness and stupidity. And in my own adult life, this terrible inner child of mine has often come back to plague me.

Again and again, I tried to take on events, projects, people to prove myself a worthy person, only to find myself exhausted, my intention questioned by others, my project unfinished and derailed. When I realized that I was repeating my childhood mistake again, it was often too late.

I have many examples and this is one of them. In a college campus in Pennsylvania, I was very eager to practice English and I met L. It was soon very obvious that we should not be friends since she is from a much better economic background (in comparison to mine at least). However you know me–I am a person who’s always ready to take on challenges to prove myself to the world that I can do it and I am worthy. So the friendship continued and the end was disastrous. I should have stopped it when I could but I didn’t.

And then I undertook a serious sales job, selling something I didn’t understand at all in the Asian immigrant community. I knew I was no good for such a job since being an introvert, I was not able to establish rapport with people, and even if I did, I hardly enjoyed making friends with many strangers every day. However you know me–I wanted the challenge and I was always desperate to prove myself. And of course it eventually came to an end. The problem was that it’s something that should not have started in the first place.

I won’t mention those courses I took, or books I bought to torture myself. They were too numerous to enumerate. Well, I will mention them, just briefly. Remember those terribly thick and famous books like “Being and Nothingness”, “Infinite Jest”, “Ulysses”, “Remembrance of Things Past”… I bought all of them. Of course I didn’t know what I was reading and understood nothing I read.

I feel so unauthentic. I guess by trying to prove myself, I only succeed in proving that I don’t even know myself, don’t even like myself. And worse, I sometimes even shame my real self, just like what my narcissistic parents often did when they ridiculed my endless imperfections.

Now I feel so much better after venting it online.

16 thoughts on “Show Off

  1. When people apply for jobs, material they present about themselves is one version of them but not a true and complete version. It is the flattering view. Likewise, people can make critical self examinations of themselves and only expose the most unflattering view. But the true portrait is a combination of all the views. All are valuable to examine but do not get stuck just looking at the worst angle. You are a wonderful sum of all the parts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. Your comment is a wonderful summary of all. When normal people do this, they have a clear purpose and they understand their exaggeration and the risk involved. When a damaged person (suffering from narcissistic upbringing for example) do this, he or she is having a pathological insecurity to do this, to show off, to prove him or herself. It doesn’t matter if there’s a need or not, if they can really do it or not, or if they might be soon discovered to be a fraud. Whenever their evil inner child kicks in, they lost control. Their life ends up being miserable due to their endless antics like this.

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  2. I think when you grow up around narcissist you are always going to be a people pleaser and always someone who goes the extra mile even if it ruins your life. Because nothing is good enough for narcissists you learn to keep trying to please them and later in life others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seriously witnessed at least three or four people around me who grew up under narcissistic parents. Although they are all mid-aged, I don’t think they will ever step out of narcissists’ shadow and some even refuse to acknowledge that they are damaged. However they are permanently damaged. And without acknowledging the damage first, they would never get healed. It is so important to increase the mental health awareness. A lot of people just don’t know…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Sometimes I almost feel that they are afraid of seeing the reality and afraid of getting better, which will disrupt their precious daily habits and damage the life they have built up.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet words. Your encouragement starts my day with happiness. I try to force myself to learn, but I know often I just naturally revert back to my insecure self and do something silly.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet encouragement. And you’ve made my day just by several words. With your encouragement, I am going to write more about all the silly things I’ve done. You are such an inspiration…

      Liked by 1 person

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