Once upon a time…in a land far, far away…there lived a narcissist. Let’s call him Speedy, shall we?
Well, one day Speedy got a speeding ticket.
I’ll pause here for the horror of this situation to sink in.
Twenty percent of all licensed drivers in the United States received speeding tickets in 2016. Y’know how many that is? Forty-one million drivers put the proverbial pedal to the proverbial metal. So I’d say Speedy was in very good company. Wouldn’t you?
But Speedy was a narcissist. Y’know…perfect.
There was no way he was gonna just pay up and shut up. Heck no! He girded his loins. It was time to do battle with the DMV. Or as Speedy liked to say, “I’m gonna beat the rap.”
I’ll pause here for you to roll your eyes. I know. Ridiculous.
So Speedy prepared his “case.” Oh how he prepared his case! He thought of little else. He talked of nothing else. To say he was a little wrapped up with “beating the rap” would be an understatement. He was obsessed with it. His stress levels were way-up-there.
He bent the full force of his not inconsiderable intellect to the task. And along the way, he became an absolute expert on the radar guns police use to measure the speed of a vehicle. He believed he had an airtight case based on the limitations of radar guns over certain topography.
Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. We’ll never know.
When his day came, Speedy was ready…and how!
But unfortunately, Speedy had been misinformed. It wasn’t time to argue his case. It was pay-up-and-shut-up time. So he did. He paid up. He had the money, after all. Plenty of it. It was never about the money.
So all that study had been for naught. Hours and hours of it.
Obsessing had been futile.
He didn’t beat the rap. He put up and he shut up.
Does our story end there? Not by a long chalk!
You see, Speedy looked strong and healthy, but he wasn’t. He was quite a sick man. For years, he’d been obsessing about his illness as intensely as he obsessed about his speeding ticket. His health was his hobby, his passion. So intense and all-encompassing was his focus on himself and his health, that when his kid went from single to engaged to married within the space of just two weeks, Speedy said it was “very distracting” and he was looking forward to getting back to focusing on his illness.
All of Speedy’s anger and self-imposed stress over one dumb speeding ticket exacerbated his ailment. It flared up…surprise, surprise.
Didn’t Speedy know this might happen, you ask? Of course, he knew! He often cited stress as the cause of his health problems. So he clenched his already-clenched fists, ground down teeth even harder, and tried to control his stress.
Ah, did you catch the keyword?
The by-word of narcissism.
Instead of realizing that his narcissistic need to control everyone was the reason he was always so stressed, Speedy just tried to control his stress. He layered control over control over control, never realizing that his narcissism was causing his stress and exacerbating his ill-health. When other people dared to tell him the truth about himself in the hopes that he would become healthier psychologically and physically, Speedy went to great lengths to try to shut them up.
So you see, children, the lessons of this story are…uh, how long have you got?
Okay, okay. I’ll make this snappy.
Don’t give narcissists speeding tickets. No! That’s not it.
Okay, okay. Here they are.
- Narcissists get really pissed if they’re caught in the wrong.
- Narcissists never admit wrongdoing (even if the other 40,999,999 Americans do happily admit to speeding!)
- Narcissists will go to ridiculous lengths to prove their innocence.
- Narcissism is an incredibly stressful way to live.
- Narcissists repulse any attempts to help them.
I wish I could say that all ended well, but alas….
Speedy lived unhappily ever after. (Because, y’know, he’s a narcissist and narcissists are never really happy.)
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