To give you some feedback that I think will be very constructive for you in your lives.
When you approach people by saying “I am a terrible person. You should not like me. I am awful. I am just like the people in my life who hurt me.” All you are actually doing is abdicating responsibility for your actions. It is a defense mechanism; It prevents you from ever having to change who you are or evolve as an individual, because you have established that you are broken. All it does is preserve your ego. It is not helpful to the people around you at all. They will like you for whatever reason they choose to like you, and there is nothing you can do about that. And so you default to the fail-safe of warning them off, excusing everything you do henceforth, and placing the blame upon them for being hurt by your misdeeds.
Having called yourself a terrible person, you then have an incredibly easy way to prove yourself right (giving yourself a feel-good ego boost in a backhanded, counterintuitive fashion)– you simply have to do the bare minimum and you will be a terrible person! But you’ll be a person who is not responsible for their terrible behavior, because after all, you did warn them at the beginning.
When you walk away from someone you have hurt instead of apologizing to them in clean, unqualified words, no matter what the pretense, what you’ve actually done is confirm that you are too lazy to accept that person’s consequences. An apology is not on your terms. It is the wounded party who decides what must be done to earn back their trust and on what timescale those tasks are performed. Apologizing requires you to accept that you have done something wrong, to subjugate your own ego to someone else’s well-being. If you walk away from that, saying “I’m leaving you alone, because I’m such a terrible person”, all you’ve done is embrace that inherent laziness and narcissism that protects your ego.
When you then berate the person whom you’ve hurt by saying things like, “You should never have cared for me in the first place, me being such a terrible person,” all you are doing is transferring the responsibility for the incident onto the person you have harmed. They are the mistaken one. They are the one who chose to love a terrible person. It’s all their fault.
And if you walk away from that apology talking about your self-loathing and your wish to die, all you are doing is putting the responsibility for your continued existence onto the person you have just wronged– the person who cares about you, who has spent hours trying to be your friend. Now they must set aside their pain, repress their damaged feelings, and try to talk you out of it. That must feel wonderful to you, all that attention! But to the person you’ve wronged, it is draining, and harmful, and a further offense against them.
But lo and behold! you can walk away with no change, no damage to your ego, no tasks to perform, no concerns about failure or the need to try harder, no worries about ever hurting anyone who cares about you, because all those people have lost their stamina and are no longer there to force you to be responsible for yourself, or enable you by taking responsibility for you…
Wonder of wonders…no progress of any kind.
If you want to be a terrible person, there is one surefire way to become a terrible person. And that is to simply decide to be one. Being a good person, keeping friends, being of use to others, making a difference in the world, is a very difficult and arduous task. It requires constant work, focus, ambition, care, caution, devotion. It is something you decide to do every day. If you’re too lazy to make that decision every day when you get out of bed, if you’re too in love with yourself to recognize how you have abdicated responsibility for your actions, given up accountability, fulfilled your own prophecy for your own protection, then no, you will never be a good person.
I do not exist for your enjoyment. I am not here to witness your little vignette of substance-creating drama and self-importance. I am not a reflection of your Id, nor any other part of your psyche. If my experiment ended today, my schedule would still be full. I have a life. I have obligations and friends. What time I devote to you, I anticipate will be met with equal labor and investment of focus. If it is not, then I do not need to speak to you. And you can go be a terrible person by yourself.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
If you want to be a good person, I expect you to work at it, just like I do. I have done truly horrible things, and every day I get up and I make a decision to avoid doing those things again. It would be very easy for me to do as I please, to obey my worst self, but I choose not to. If I fail, I submit myself to the consequences. I work hard to regain the place that I have lost. That is the duty of being a good person. That is the price of having honor.. That is what makes me who I am. That is the reason people come to me. At least, I believe it is.
If you understand me, if you can work hard, if you can put in labor equal to that which is put into you, then you may speak to me. Of course you will fail! Failure is the only way to learn anything! But I expect that when I am wronged, those who have wronged me will attempt to make good. That is the etiquette of friendship.
Stop being lazy. Stop being a narcissist. Stop wrapping yourself up in your own delusion that allows you to get away with whatever you feel like doing. Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t walk away like a coward. If your mental illness prevents you from understanding any of these concepts, then you need help, and you need to accept that that help is what must be done in order to put you on the path to being a good person. You must seek that help with absolute fixation until you can make sense of what I have said here. You have to decide this and you have to make it happen one step at a time.
No one simply wakes up good and pure. Goodness is something we do in spite of what is easy. It is difficult, it is tedious, sometimes it is deprives us of other things we thought we needed, but it is the only path of any merit.
That is all I have to say.
I feel like all of my efforts as a person, to do good, to be good, and to be perceived as good, have just been validated. Once again, I feel like I need to sit down and ponder all of this for a moment.
But I have a question: does it make you a narcissist if you feel like general scolding (“no one does anything around here,” “you are all a bunch of slobs,” and many more examples) applies directly to you? Even if you’re the only one who does the menial labor around a place, to the point of it having a negative impact on physical health. If you know you are working hard, and you know you are being the best person you can be in a situation, are you being a narcissist for feeling (more or less) attacked?
Not at all. In that case, the person talking to you is being passive-aggressive. It is narcissistic to protect ones self from all manner of criticism- even that righteously given, by PREFACING all interactions with the failsafe of “I am a terrible person”.
Okay. -nods- I live with the royal family of passive aggression, really, but it’s always nice to know I’m not imagining things. I’m always listening and trying to pay attention to the needs and wants of the people around me, and that’s more or less where it gets me lately. On the receiving end of that kind of yelling and rediculous behavior, because no one else listens anymore, and I am lumped together with those other people.
If someone is being passive-aggressive, call them out on it. That is to say, directly and openly assert yourself and say, “If you’re speaking to me, I wish you’d be direct about it. What is it you want me to do for you? I need it in plain words or I cannot help you, as I am not psychically endowed” or some such.