This piece originally appeared in the Memphis, TN Commercial Appeal here: Don’t Fret Holiday Chit-Chat; Just Find a Narcissist
Now that we are in the middle of the holiday season, you are no doubt going to be around a lot of family. Inevitably, you will encounter at least one narcissist.
There have been countless advice columns by psychologists, therapists, counselors, people with eyes and brains, about the negative/poisonous affects of having a narcissist in your life.
I invite you to think of all the benefits that come from having narcissistic personalities around you during the holidays.
You never have to decide what to talk about
Keeping a conversation going can be exhausting. Eventually, you are going to run out of topics. (Let’s face it, you can only talk about weather, sports, kids, and work for so long. Humans have their limits.)
With a narcissist, the conversation will never lag because there is always a new accomplishment or new reason someone is jealous, or not as smart, or a new idea that is not as good as your narcissist’s.
Developing your own opinions and making good decisions can be a hassle
There are so many external forces vying for your thoughts, so many sides trying to persuade you to jump on board in politics, entertainment, religion, fashion, education. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one source for correct opinions and decision-making without even having to think any of them through?
Well, that is exactly what you have in your narcissist. You don’t even have to ask to get your answers. A simple, “Well, the Grammys are coming up,” or “Man, I just can’t decide where my kids need to go to school,” and you will get every ounce of information you will ever need to draw your own conclusions without any of the trouble of reasoning. Just take it in and accept it. Doesn’t that sound easy?
Placing blame has never been easier
When something negative happens, we all look for someone to blame. The problem is, most of us were taught that problems are complicated and nuanced. Having a narcissist puts you two steps ahead. First, it is a lot easier to assign blame when you know whose fault it isn’t, and it will never, ever be your narcissist’s fault. Second, your narcissist — if worth his or her salt — should tell you exactly who to blame in every circumstance.
You always have something to do
Narcissists are needy creatures. They need affirmation and someone to boss around. This means you will never be bored. The bigger the narcissist, the busier you will be, and that is less time you have to occupy with your own things. It is also less time to think about how sad your narcissist is making you. You will be way too busy for any of that.
Hopefully this helps you to realize how blessed you are to have such a self-centered, egocentric, self-absorbed person in your life. If you are lucky enough to have more than one, even better. You can just put them in a room together and watch what happens. That should keep you entertained for quite a while.