A few days ago my husband and I had a great conversation with my agent and her husband. One of the topics of conversation was narcissists. Hubby said something that stuck with me: “Narcissists want everyone to like them.”
I’ve constantly feared I’d become a narcissist.
I’ve read through narcissistic traits like this and felt better about it, but still I worry.
Being in this particular profession where I’m “out there” in the public eye (sort of, it’s not like I’m famous), I’ve prayed that the Lord would keep me humble, teachable and kindhearted. I have a prayer team of people who I’ve given full permission to confront me if they see me becoming “all that.” So I’ve set safeguards in place.
This morning on my run, I ran by a house that reminds me of one of my relational failures. Not a deep relationship, just an acquaintance, but my overactive (hyperactive) conscience reminds me again and again of my failure. So I ran by the house and schemed ways I could make restitution, amends, anything. Problem was, I really didn’t do anything wrong, and the relationship was very minimal in the first place. And, as I’ve talked to God about it, I haven’t sensed the need to do anything about it. It’s one of those, let-the-past-be-the-past-and-move-on things.
So as I forgot God’s encouragement to let it go and plotted how to reconcile, my husband’s words came back to me. “Narcissists need everyone to like them.”
I needed these people to like me.
I wanted them to like me. I couldn’t live with knowing someone out there in my neighborhood thought ill of me.
I continued running, wrestling with the notion. I gave up my need to be liked in that moment (though I’m sure it will revisit me often).
I don’t want to be a narcissist, needing every. single. person’s. approval. Or admiration. Or toleration.
Sometimes you just gotta let go. Which reminds me of the anti-narcissism song, All for You by Starfield. It reminds me that everything I do on this earth is all for Jesus. If He asks me to let go, I need to. If He tells me to reconcile, I need to. If He dares me to risk, I should. It’s all for Him.
So I’m letting go.
I’m learning to be okay with people not liking me. I’ll rest there. It may be restless for me at first, but I’m trying.