“Nice people don’t necessarily fall in love with nice people.”
― Jonathan Franzen
WE’RE ALL BORN TO ADORE OURSELVES, BUT NOT ALL OF US USUALLY GROW UP..
I THINK WHEN I WAS WAY YOUNGER, I WAS ONCE A SOCIOPATH, THE TRUTH IS I NEVER NOTICED WHO I REALLY WAS AND wouldn’t have cared much if I knew what and who I really was. It’s hard to point out that exact time of my life when I crossed the line from incivility into social savagery, but I could ‘try’ saying it was probably the day I tried to clobber an older classroom mate with a baseball bat.
In all fairness the baseball bat wasn’t a real one (though it was a really strong one, made of heavy plastic). And in all fairness too, I was only 10 years old, but I had the clear idea of the crime I was about to commit, and I set about carrying it out with a sincere and quite deliberateness. This dude I wanted to hit really hard was one I tagged a “stranger”, though we had stayed in the same classroom for over 3 years. He had come to join me and my “real friends” on the playground, but I had other ideas because I was really conscious about my “little circle”, and I would do anything to protect my friends from this approaching “intruder”. I swear it never occurred to me that the intention of the dude “encroaching our territory” was a pretty fair one. (He just wanted to play with us). But I had a mind made up and there was no way I was going to let him “disturb” us. As he got really close, what I immediately recognize was that he was bald and 3 times my size. Lets forget about his size for now.
I have never seen a bald head up close before, and I stared at his mesmerizing shiny scalp, which made him pretty uncomfortable. I found myself speculating that if having hair protects the top of your head from cuts or bumps, not having hair must make you extra susceptible to pain and injury.
The idea intrigued me, and the only way to test it was to run an experiment. I had an approaching subject and, looking around, I also realized I also had an available equipment to run my test: the toy baseball bat lying on the ground. I picked it up, raised it above my head and advanced to the unsuspecting “stranger”. He had being looking away but finally turned his attention towards me and realize what I was about to do. “Uh uh uh,” the “stranger” shouted. it was clear he was in complete shock; with a facial expression that should have made me feel stupid and shameless …but wait!! this dude looks way bigger than me. What on earth gave me such kind of confidence. I hesitated, he held out his hand, and I gave him the bat, then walked off to busy myself with other things, without even taking a glance at the dude’s face a second time. I felt absolutely no remorse over what I’d nearly do. After 3 days I still felt real bad I hadn’t struck the stranger on the center of his bald head.
There was not a single thing about my behavior that day that ought to be acceptable in a civil society. But there was not a single thing wrong with it either. I just wanted to express a feeling I felt inside of me as a child. What the hell is wrong with that?
Small children, by their nature, are moral monsters. They are greedy, violent, demanding …with no inept remorse in them and utterly impulsive. I am not saying they would be like that forever; also not saying they don’t have the ability to learn the “good” things really quick. But don’t you see them fight constantly with playmates and siblings at any given opportunity but scream in pain and indignation if they are attacked in return. Just like me back then; children expect to be adored at every point in time but never disciplined, rewarded but never penalized. Even older children in their late youth age still expects to be cared and served by parent and family without caring or serving reciprocally …and a few also go ahead to feel there is no single problem with feeling that way even at 30+.
Calling a little childs’ survival-based behaviour true narcissism is, of course, complete bullshit. Those very little individuals are moved not by greed and guile but by the primal need to live to the next day;a good reason to behave selfishly. You don’t speak their language and they know that, so they go get what they want without your direct permission. It’s not being spoilt, its survival instinct. I think every child should have that to survive.
But that doesn’t mean the seeds of the behaviors that turn into genuine narcissism aren’t scattered throughout a little child’s temperament, just like the seeds of other personality disorders; ones with “basic” tantrums, if not dealt with properly, becomes a histrionic personality disorder later in life; the deep need for love and attention at every level, and the rage exhumed from the inside could be very crazy and deadly– that in an adult is called borderline personality disorder.
…to be continued!!
WRITTEN AND EDITED BY CHARLES OKPERE