Narcissus the NPD and Art
Narcissism is a term that has been a prevalent in the news and in self help literature as well as a descriptive term for our current leadership in America. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a hot topic in Psychology publications. I have spent my life wanting to have a voice and being silenced and I realized that this need was not narcissism, but the natural need to be relevant. What I want to do with this article is to examine the artistic source of Narcissism, the myth and legend and explain that what happened to me and the destruction of my artistic voice was the result of being the victim of this disorder.
The myth of Narcissus is the basis of the term Narcissistic. Art in effect created the term to describe this psychological condition. There are actually multiple versions of the tale. In all Narcissus falls in love with himself after rejecting someone else. This article “The Place of Myths for the Understanding of Narcissistic Personality Disorder” does a good job of going over the various versions and explaining how the narcissistic person is not aware of their own identity to the extent they have no empathy for anyone else and can overtly or covertly manipulate and feed off of others. The narcissist is empty inside and because they are they need to take from others and debase others, and in effect try to make those they want intimate relationships with to be a reflection of themselves. The victim of narcissism is left without any ability to be anything but a reflection of the Narcissist, an echo.
We live in a culture now that seems to create Narcissistic personalities. Narcissistic personalities use sex as a weapon. Narcissistic women dress provocatively. Yet both man and women with NPD typically do not keep long term relationships and have multiple short term hook ups. As a poet I thought I should add at this point that the use of the pronoun “I” as an indication one has a narcissitic personality disorder has been studied. In an article published in 2015, “Narcissism and the Use of Personal Pronouns Revisited,” it was concluded that overuse of personal pronouns was no indication of NPD, and future linguistic study is necessary. However guess what, actors are not necessarily keyed to be NPDs. According to one article written in a Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, actors do score high on craving admiration, but they actually typically score low in the area of rivalry. Basically an actor loves to be lauded as good at acting and loves the attention, but hates to hurt others feelings. Most actors tested appeared to love self promotion, but hated to achieve notoriety at the cost of others. A true person with the NPD disorder apparently wants to get all the attention and make sure to degrade and hurt those they seek to love them in the process. So for the non actors out there, sorry, but we artists just because we want to shout, hey world check me out, are not necessarily doing it because we want to hurt you in the process.
Now I come to the important reason why I decided to write this article on ARTISTIC HOPE. My objective is to inform people of how art heals. Doing art is not an indication one suffers from NPD. In fact, I would argue that people who try to knock down artistic creative people and make gifted people disappear are the abusers. I hope by writing this it will help artists out there being victimized and perhaps also help abusers wake up to their own issues. Please check out the article “11 Signs You’re the Victim of Narcissistic Abuse” and be honest. Who are you? The abuser or the abused? I found a list of characteristics in an article in Psychology Today, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” along with some possible treatments if someone has NPD.
The NPD persona:
- Exaggerates own importance
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence or ideal romance
- Believes he or she is special and can only be understood by other special people or institutions
- Requires constant attention and admiration from others
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
- Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
- Is often envious of others or believes other people are envious of him or her
- Shows arrogant behaviors and attitudes
PERSONAL NOTE: I hate to inform my twitter troll of these facts, but my only fantasies are the scripts and poetry I want to create. I do believe I am different but that no one understands me really, not even other actors or artists. We can not read minds and I have a tendency to prefer pretending to be other people and not being myself as I am boring. I am only interesting when I get to use my imagination. I do not expect favorable treatment, but I do not expect a denial of my rights I earned and I am SAG AFTRA. I think people who have attacked me on line are insane to be envious of me or think I am a threat to them and their relationship with Blake Shields as I told Blake I wanted to be on my own two feet and acting on sets again in 2013. I do not like to be arrogant but as an educated woman I am tired of being held back from achieving my potential due to others sense of entitlement.
by Laura Ann Tull (Business names Artistic Hope & Women Love Peace)
SAG AFTRA Film/TV Actress, film maker, digital media editor, digital artist, Poet, first amendment arts advocate and resigned Lawyer #metoo SU2C Vegan Buddhist and for sustainability and the planet