I love watching The Big Bang Theory. The charming, loveable band of self-professed nerds, geeks and brainiacs on TBBT have become my second family. I “hang out” with them a lot…virtually speaking. As the wife of a geek, I’m fond of saying that TBBT is the only marriage counseling I need to understand the loveable foibles of the geek I married. Hopefully, you’re a TBBT fan too because this article will make a lot more sense if you are.
There’s another dynamic on TBBT, beyond endless re-runs of Star Wars and heated arguments about comic book characters’ super powers.
I hate to say it, but we all know that Dr. Sheldon Cooper, BS, MS, MA, PhD, and ScD is a card-carrying narcissist…or he would be if there was an extra slot in his wallet for that particular card, right next to the “Justice League of America” card.
And that sucks! Because Sheldon has a soft spot in my heart. He may be clueless about sarcasm, but he’s also such a charming, lovable character. That’s what keeps his girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler, PhD, coming back..and back…and back no matter how much he hurts, insults and neglects her. He can be one charming, lovable, crazy bastard.
Oh, that’s right. He’s not crazy. His mother had him tested.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Shelley, I mean Sheldon’s, narcissism is how he diagnosed his codependent, long-suffering roommate, Leonard, with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Wow! You’d be hard-pressed to find a less narcissistic person than the heart of TBBT‘s merry band, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter. But Sheldon’s got him pigeon-holed.
Seeing narcissism in others is typical of narcissists. I’ve watched a narcissist in my own family do it to an acquaintance who refused to obey them. They may have been right, they may have been wrong. But they’re certainly blind and/or in denial about their own narcissism.
Here’s the interesting thing. If you’re afraid that you might be a narc…you probably aren’t! A lot of people email me, fearing they may be narcissists. And that’s what I tell them. If it scares you…you’re probably okay.
Another fascinating symptom or aspect of Sheldon Cooper’s narcissism is his paranoia. How did Leonard put it? “Sheldon, you do this all the time! You fixate on some crazy idea then blow it way out of proportion…How about the time you put GPS trackers in your garbage because you thought North Korean spies were stealing your doodles? The chicken nuggets you thought were human nuggets. The mysterious cloud that was following you around town.”
Typical, absolutely typical as I wrote in my old article, Danger Will Robinson: Paranoiac Parents.
Does Sheldon know that he’s a narcissist? Maybe, somewhere deep in his subconscious. We get a glimpse of that moment when he’s sucking down Long Island Iced Teas. In a nanosecond of candor he says, “I’m a callous egomaniac.”
No shit, Sheldon. Maybe that’s why Penny, your long-suffering neighbor, food freeloader, wifi moocher and server at your favorite restaurant threatened to put up this sign:
No Shoes. No Shirt. No Sheldon.
Yes, Sheldon, that was sarcasm.
Or was it?