I am LOVING the conversations I get to have with my eldest son lately!!! He’s 9, and very responsive to learning from me…and I feel so blessed to have done sooooo much work on myself these last few years to be able to help him grow into adulthood.
So apparently, his dad shared with him that I am being selfish about my business. And you know what – he is right!
This has led into a discussion with my son about the difference between selfish and narcissism. As I drilled this difference down so a kid could understand, here is what I came up with:
Selfish – Having a “self” identity. Being Self dedicated. Putting your soul first. Being able to fill up your “well” of needs and wants yourself, and pour forth the abundance of your “Self” onto all those around you. An emotionally mature adult soul, taking the responsibility of nurturing the physical body yourself. Being your best matriarch/patriarch, boundary setter, child, partner, lover, etc. Being a healthy Self (i.e. Ego).
Narcissist: Having no “Self” identity…being “self*less”. Taking from others to survive. Having a dry well and using others in an attempt to fill you up/get your needs met. Never ending thirst for more. Expecting – even if unaware – others are the source of filling your well/needs. A baby/child (by default – they HAVE to be narcissists in order to survive) and an emotionally stunted adult that has not grown into adulthood.
That last part was a HUGE aha for me.
“we are ALL born as narcissists in order to survive. The process of growing into adulthood is learning the process of learning how to grow out of narcissism and into self*ishness. Of learning how to stop relying on others to keep us alive and how to do this for ourselves!”
I mean I know all about how we can physically grow into adult bodies, but be emotionally stunted as children due to trauma, neglect, abuse, abandonment – all of which teach us to reject our “self”.
Yet, when I looked at the simple transition from dependent babies to intra-dependent adults (meaning being self*ish enough to know our needs and either fill them ourselves or ASK others to help) – and how SIMPLE this could be explained to a child so that he could get it….woa!!!!
So I was able to share with my son this golden nugget: Your friend is doing you a GREAT favor in reflecting her narcissism to you. You are both narcissists learning how to outgrow this and need people like her to show you where to grow. The question is not whether or not she is a narcissist…but is what is her bossing you around showing you you need? And how can you fill those needs yourself?
He very simply said, “to no sit by her in class.” Bravo my child bravo. You are on your way to growing into your self*ish self….along with your mommy (although he calls me mom now :-0).