Ever since I started using the “drop cap” feature on my blog posts, which makes the first letter of the first word of the first paragraph extremely large, I’ve noticed that I start a lot of my posts with “I”. Does this mean that I’m narcissistic? Egotistical? Or at the very least, self-absorbed?
I touched upon this in a blog post I wrote long ago, when I was kicked out of a storytelling group and the moderator decided to send me on my way with a heaping helping of harsh criticism. I now realize that the guy was an a$$, but I still struggle with the egotism label he decided to place upon me. That kind of self-doubt is a bit of a slippery slope.
Would an egotistical person recognize egotism in her, him, or themselves? I’m thinking probably not. Who would want to knowingly take on that bad look? So, if I’m egotistical, I’d struggle to know it, and… I am struggling.
So I started Googling, as one does, and I found several articles, but this one seemed to resonate the most with me. 15 Signs You Might Be Egotistical felt kind of like a test. I read through it and gave myself points. I figured that the higher my score, the more egotistical I must be. Check out the article for the specific signs, but what follows is my reaction thereto.
- Well, I’m not a big shopper, and I don’t have any desire to have the latest version of anything. I definitely don’t try to keep up with the Kardashians.
- But I have to admit that I’m a gossip.
- I don’t expect lots of praise. In fact, it usually shocks me.
- I do tend to interrupt a lot, but I also try to check myself when I do, so I’ll give myself a half point for that one.
- I definitely do not hold a position of power. (Unless you’re a sailboat wanting to get from one side of my bridge to the other.)
- I don’t think I’m overwhelming. Actually, most of the time I’m overlooked, and I kind of like it that way.
- I don’t think I hate losing but I do want to understand why I’m being asked to do things a certain way, and tend to chew on the subject until it makes sense to me, which seems to drive those around me nuts.
- I absolutely adore learning new things from others.
- I’m always sending out kudos emails when my coworkers do something great, and I genuinely believe that if you allow others to shine, you, too, will look good.
- I have to admit that I don’t like admitting when I’m wrong.
- I am definitely opinionated, but I’m always surprised when I find out that people think that means I expect them to agree with me. So another half point there.
- I’ve never felt entitled to anything in my life, and I’m grateful when good things come my way.
- I am drawn to unique characters. I don’t pick my friends strategically.
- I do have a hard time playing on a team, but that’s not because I think I’m better than anyone else, but rather because I’m an introvert. (We introverts are often mislabeled as “stuck up”.)
- I definitely do have low self-esteem, but the concept of being able to act cool and confident to hide this from others kind of makes me laugh. I have never managed to pull that off.
So, based on my self-assessment, I score a 4.5 out of 15 on my impromptu ego scale. I’m definitely no saint, but I think I can mingle amongst civilized people.
But does that mean I’m in denial? Why does this matter so much to me? Why am I so obsessed with how I am perceived, especially when the person who started me down this twisted path is himself an a$$? And look how many times I’ve used the word I in this post. Am I self-absorbed? Can anyone see themselves clearly? And why do I think you’d care enough to read up to this point?
Well, I can answer that last one, at least. A lot of times I write without considering that there might be an audience. It’s like therapy, and if someone does read it and relates, there’s the bonus that they might feel less alone. That would be wonderful.
At the risk of sounding like I protest too much, I have to say that I spend the bulk of my time alone, so it’s natural that I use myself as my main frame of reference. I imagine myself standing within my body but getting my greatest thrills from looking outward. I am a born observer. I enjoy learning new things, and I am always amazed at how much more there is to know. I love to travel and learn about other cultures, because it reminds me that “our” way isn’t the “only” way, and quite often it isn’t even close to the “best” way. I like gardening without chemicals, for the benefit of the creatures who visit our yard. I like keeping my little free library stocked and I love seeing the delight on the faces of the people who use it. I try to help others as much as I can, because heaven knows I’ve been helped quite a bit along the way.
Is any of that egotstical? If so, I think I can live with it. But then again, I did just write all about me… so maybe I’m a narcissist. Hmmmm…
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