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Narcissists--a Reprieve from the Doghouse

Updated on October 9, 2013
No Bandwagonning Here
No Bandwagonning Here

A Lighthearted Approach, But You Get the Point!

The Road Less Traveled

It may just be me...

What a novel way to begin an article about narcissists. Let's ponder that for a moment.

Alright, moment's up. Let's continue.

It may just be me, but there seems to be a slew of hubs and blog posts and articles and poems and content mill journalism addressing the subject of narcissists (and feel free to liberally fill in your own close cousins here such as narcissism, narcissistic tendencies, narcissistic traits, narcissistic mixes, narcissistic personality disorder, generation of narcissists, and the list goes on ad nauseam).

Every now and then, I'll watch a YouTube video or read a hub, lens, post, magazine or newspaper article, etc., and come away from the experience with a singular thought: Hmm, so that's what it's like to hop on a bandwagon.

As a writer, I'm not inclined to follow either suit or crowd. Where there' s a crowd, there's greater potential for mob mentality. No, give me a road less traveled, thank you, and I shall be content to make my own observations and draw my own conclusions.

It takes courage, conviction, and a commitment to something loftier than going with the flow for me to truly believe I have the potential to be an effective writer.

In the sentence above, I used self pronouns twice. That should draw the ire of those inclined to find narcisstic traits afoot in the writing of moi. I purposefully use the French pronoun because this phenomenon of bashing narcissists, like the business of hunting down vampires and werewolves, isn't limited to any one culture or ethnic group or nation. Otherwise, the limited scope that kind of research would appear to embrace is in itself, arguably, a mark of narcissism.

So here's the rub. Whether or not I possess the persuasive and rousing elocution of a Patrick Henry, Winston Churchill, or F. Lee Bailey, I at least want to be on record as being a Lone Ranger for the express cause of reprieving narcissists from the proverbial doghouse.

A History Without Narcissists

Narcissists dare to think--and act--beyond the box.

Had it not been for narcissists...

  • The wheel would not have been invented for eons
  • People would still believe that the sun revolves around the earth
  • The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria would have never set sail in a westerly direction from Italy in search of India
  • That green stuff on aged bread would never have been considered effective medicine
  • Spaghetti would not be a staple in the western world
  • The only vehicle in the garage would be a horse and buggy
  • Birds would be the only winged inhabitants in the sky
  • The moon would never be accessible
  • Two geeks in a garage would never have rocked the world with their innovations
  • Spam would just be a canned convenience food
  • Apple would simply be the daily food that keeps the doctor away
  • America would be saluting a Union Jack
  • England would be part of Germany
  • An upstart Catholic would not have been President of the United States
  • Soviets would have successfully transferred nuclear missiles to Cuba
  • Women might still be subservient to men
  • Gays would still be hidden in closets
  • There'd be a thousandfold more homeless people in America
  • Hub Pages would be the term applied to apprentices working for a wagon wheel maker

Arts and Culture Without Narcissists

Narcissists are the most brilliant, innovative, and creative people on the face of the earth.

Had it not been for narcissists...

  • A silent movie tramp would have floundered into obscurity
  • The idea of staging a mock invasion from Mars would have been relegated to the producer's slush pile
  • A certain actor would not have become President of the United States of America
  • Old Man and the Sea might just be the name of a kindergartener's watercolor painting
  • The Call of the Wild might just be someone's hoax 8mm film about a Bigfoot sighting
  • Gone With the Wind might just be the results of someone passing gas at a wild college fraternity party
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest would have been just another forgotten manuscript
  • The Grapes of Wrath might just be a clever Bohemian colloquialism for California raisins
  • Rocky might have just been an apt description for a wannabe writer's life
  • Carrie would have been left in the trash can
  • A shy young mama's boy might never have gyrated his hips on national TV
  • Four lads from Liverpool sporting moptops would never have left their neighborhood dive
  • A skinny kid, also from across the pond, would not have strutted like a rooster and sung silly songs about not getting any satisfaction and living on a cloud
  • A rock group named after a German dirigible would never have climbed a stairway to heaven
  • A group in the USA would never have performed personal essay songs that promoted Americana tales like being a desperado, women with lyin' eyes, and a certain California hotel without any exits
  • A young black man would not have spread sunshine by moonwalking
  • A certain young preacher in Houston would not have the largest church in America
  • The Godfather would just be about some young kid asking if you want mushrooms on your pizza
  • Jaws would simply have been a documentary for dental students
  • The Graduate would not have had every red-blooded adolescent American boy checking out the neighborhood cougars
  • A certain One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest actor would not have had a string of movies in which he excelled at character portrayals by simply playing himself
  • A young man would not have shocked the world with his performance of a sadly shortened lifetime as a sardonically grinning comic book villain
  • An American-born Iranian would never have invented an online auction site that would become the economic mainstay of millions of people from all over the globe
  • The brave people of New York, let alone Americans everywhere, would have lacked the ability to rise from the ashes
  • A high school graduate of Punahou on the island of O'ahu would not have had the vision and the audacity of hope to become the first black President of the United States of America
  • Social activism would not be promoted and harnessed to benefit the world
  • HubPages (and similar literary sites) would not have been invented, funded, and maintained

Compassion Goes a Lot Further Than Hatred
Compassion Goes a Lot Further Than Hatred

A Final Word

Look, I realize the stance I've taken is an unpopular one. And it may very well turn off a lot of you that I wrote about this. If so, I respect your opinions and perspectives.

Personally, I have no regrets about writing this. And, no, I did not carry out this project as a consequence of my brain turning into mush from the current 30 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge. On the contrary, since I am already a contrarian by virtue of this piece, my thoughts could not have appreciated a greater clarity. I have taken my stand on this matter and will firmly stand by it no matter what happens.

In conclusion, I hope we as an embattled remnant of Planet Earth collectively wise up to the fact that compassion goes a lot further than hatred. If you're a believing Christian, you know the last chapter of mankind is a happy one. If you're an atheist, I applaud you your courage and strength in being skeptical. There's still time. If you're a Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Wiccan, or whatever faith or denomination you choose to be, I join you in the celebration of the freedom we have as human beings to have a choice at all.

So instead of bashing narcissists or whomever the target group of the day may be, why not emotionally, if not physically, embrace your global brothers and sisters and get to the point of physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual maturity that enables you to see--

We are more alike than we are different.

Aloha and Mahalo!
Aloha and Mahalo! | Source


Submit a Comment

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Yeah, Brandi, right on! I'd forgotten about that Hitchcock classic, as well as the others. Thanks for the nice compliment. Like you, I enjoy describing "white elephants" from unique angles. Aloha, my friend, and congratulations again on being such a prolific and versatile writer! I love your work!


  • CraftytotheCore profile image


    5 years ago

    ...And the movie Psycho would haven't been played in America theater, changing the way of horror films. Very true Joe! Great perspective!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Jo, you hit on a very good point. My belief is that progress cannot be made if we're all simply clones of each other. Seems to me the movers and shakers of mankind could all be pegged with narcissism to one degree or another. The other and perhaps more significant and bothersome point is that we give social scientists way too much credit. Isn't what they're doing a form of the very things our parents told us not to do? That is, pointing one's finger at others...labeling other human beings as if, in doing so, that somehow empowers the rest of us with a secure smugness that we're "better than..." Nonsense, I say! And back to the old adage, with one finger pointing, there are four others pointing back at us. Point being, I think social scientists are the most troubled narcissists of all. An alternative and simplistic way to say the same thing: "If I can just put enough heat on another person, the spotlight won't be shined on me!"

    What I propose is that we all calm down and simply shrug our shoulders and say, "It is what it is..." I personally am very thankful for narcissists because of the very thing you suggest--the ability to think outside the box and risk a great deal to discover new possibilities...

    In short, I'd risk the slings and arrows if it meant being true to the writer's muse within me. Thankfully, so far, so good...LOL!

    Aloha, dear friend!


  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


    5 years ago

    Hi Joe,

    Okay, so I think I may have some of the traits of this horrible sounding ideology. In my defense however, I believe that sometimes when one is *inside the box* it is hard to expand ones thoughts and dream into the unknown. I guess maybe, it could be something I picked up for the years of having a group of people who I consider friends, colleagues, even some family. They worked hard to look at and approach a problem a different kind of way. Is this something that corrects itself if you concentrate on not to be thinking in these terms? This was interesting, like all your articles are.

    Voted this up +++, shared and tweeted my appreciation. Wishing you all the very best. Aloha! my good friend. 


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so much, ChristinS!

    The story behind this one is that I had seen just one too many articles bashing narcissists. I got to thinking, you know, to one degree or another, just about everyone who writes on HP has characteristics of narcissism. Surely, there has to be aspects to this "disorder" that the scientists have downplayed that might very well be positive-oriented.

    And that's when I went quirky on the writing of this hub. LOL! I'm glad you liked it! Aloha, and have a great weekend!


  • ChristinS profile image

    Christin Sander 

    5 years ago from Midwest

    I really loved your unique perspective in this hub! You have a great way of blending humor and understanding - voted way up and shared. Glad I found this!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Oh, Jim, so you did get the part and actually have already engaged in the movie-making process? Excellent! I missed the update, if there had been one. Wonderful news! I'm so happy and excited for you. What a great experience and accomplishment! Man alive--the people one meets here on HP! LOL!

    Thanks for your great feedback. Yeah, every now and then, I make like a salmon and go upstream when I observe writers jumping on a bandwagon. The irony is that a writer has to have some level of narcissism in order to do what he or she does.

    Anyway, you made my day with your news! PLEASE keep us posted as to when the movie comes out.



  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 

    5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    This is such an original viewpoint, illustrated with such great examples of "narcissists" too. I was thinking of Sir Paul and Jagger as I read the first part of this one and then, of course, you brought them in too. You made your point well, Joe.

    I got behind on reading, working on lines Saturday & filming my part in that "Bad Exorcists" movie on Sunday.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so much, Mary! Mom taught me when I was young that there were always three fingers pointing back at me whenever I pointed at someone. Whether figuratively or literally, those three fingers constantly remind me when I screw up...a mother's voice is never lost on her children, I suppose. In any event, the longer I am graced to live on this planet, and the more walks I take that help me get into contact with the real substance that matters, I think: How wearisome that man continues to classify and judge his own, let alone the animal kingdom and the foliage and the whole rest of the universe, as if in the very act of labeling other things--both animate and inanimate--he might then experience an illusion of control and grandeur. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

    The wiser road, in my opinion, is to acknowledge with the greatest humor that we are all in possession of whatever trait it is we point at.

    My forte is the writing of personal essays. While I try, albeit feebly, to disguise that writing as articles, my way of connecting is to use "I" statements, I do so because that's the direct, straight line form of connecting with another human being. If that puts a target on my back as being narcissistic, then so be it. I still prefer to connect with others using first person pronouns.

    Thank you, Mary, for taking the time to read my work and for your willingness to share yours with me and so many others. Your feedback and support through the months have been a godsend and fountain of youthful encouragement for all. You might be the age you claim to be (LOL!), but you certainly possess the voice of a woman three decades or more know, that age when one begins to depend less on the approval of others and more on the affirmation of self. You're one terrific human being, Mary! Aloha!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Eddy!

    Thank you for your kind words. I grow weary of people slamming other people. Man is the only creature on this planet indulging in the pastime of classifying/categorizing/judging fellow inhabitants, especially his own species. I don't know where that tendency came from. I'm sure it was initially for a good purpose, like when God asked Adam to name the animals...but it got severely distorted along the way. Oh, well, just doing my quirky two cents' worth. Aloha, my friend!


  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    5 years ago from New York

    You know you really are full of surprises. You take a term that most, as you've said, look at as bad and turn it into something wonderful. Every word you've said is thought provoking and true!

    If we don't take the road less traveled we just become one of the crowd! No way, not me. Oops, does that make me a narcissist? Well, then so be it.

    You really are rolling along here my friend. Your observations about life without narcissists were not only interesting but some gave me chills at their accuracy and the thoughts they provoked.

    Obviously your ending is a reminder and your "conclusion" the truth we need to follow!

    Okay, so I voted this everything...that's all buttons (I still do have my buttons though, well most of them anyway) AND I pinned and shared!

  • Eiddwen profile image


    5 years ago from Wales

    I loved this one Joe and thank you so much for sharing . Here's wishing you a wonderful weekend.


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    I know you are, WND, and I appreciate you very much for that. I know the WND's are in my corner, too, and rooting for me...but hopefully not the flower beds. Ha-ha! I have two done today and hope to get at least one more done. Ah, this is such hard work! Thanks for stopping by to share your kind words and encouragement with a fellow Hubber! Aloha!


  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Very good, LIz!

    I must'i hu'i is a new one for me, too! How's that? Learning Hawaiian from the haole girl! Nice! Ha-ha! The dog is called a Sheltie Shetland Sheepdog...looks like Lassie to me. : ) And he's trying to fetch a quarter of a century bill. Your mind explodes like that Katie Perry video. Yeah, I agree with you. Everyone who writes is narcissistic to one degree or another. I truly believe that narcissists are the shakers and movers in our society, and if not for them, we'd still be dragging our knuckles. At some point, the I statement kicked in: I deserve better than this! That said, I wish you a very restful evening...lots of work ahead tomorrow, yeah? (In the islands, a common thing is for the locals to state things by asking questions.) A footnote brought to you by HO, the original poi dog! Aloha, Liz (Diane Lane), mother of the Man of Steel! Hey, just think, Lois Lane, Diane Lane...hmm, there's a plot afoot!

  • wetnosedogs profile image


    5 years ago from Alabama

    You have written a superb hub. Where would we be -----

    I will cut this short since I have had nothing but computer trouble tonight and just when I think I can click a button, I lose stuff.

    But you know I am rooting for you.

  • Radcliff profile image

    Liz Davis 

    5 years ago from Hudson, FL

    Is that a collie bobblehead? How much does she fetch? Ohhhhh . . . bad eBay pun.

    I'm on a post-awesome-haul high. Please forgive me.

    This is an interesting perspective! Perhaps you could say that we all demonstrate some level of narcissism, and should use that tendency to benefit the greater good. What? My mind just exploded.

    Hu'i hu'i hub!

    Did I just say "cool hub"? I hope so--I don't want to say something obscene.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile imageAUTHOR

    Hawaiian Odysseus 

    5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Bill!

    I write in an upstairs bedroom/office, and it's sweltering. Have a fan on just to blow on the laptop because its fan isn't enough to keep it from overheating. I may have to end up going in the carport to catch a "wind tunnel" effect as the breeze blows through the open-ended structure. Thanks so much for the kind words, my friend. I still want to crank out three more tonight, so I have my work cut out for me. Have a good evening, and I'll be by to visit at your hub site later. Talk to you in the morning! Aloha!


  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Hello, Joe!

    I'm winding down for the day, and it's been a busy one. I'm glad you posted this when you did or I might not have seen it or read it.

    Beautiful message....a fine mixture of humor and impeccable logic, and toss in a smattering of common sense. Mix them all together and you have a fine spring salad of literary talent.

    I hope your evening is a fine one. The hot weather is rapidly approaching and soon those of us on the wet side of the mountains will be sweating just like the rest of the nation.




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