This guest post was written by Joe Bunting of The Write Practice.
I came across this interesting quote from psychologist Alexander Lowen:
I would like to experience more joy. Wouldn’t you? Isn’t joy what life is really about?
“To experience joy, one must be free of anxieties about letting go and expressing feeling. Or to put it differently, one has to be carefree and innocent as a child.”—Alexander Lowen
I first got into writing because I felt this explosion of feeling, like I could release everything I was on the page and fill it with beautiful and terrible truths. Sometimes I get so excited about writing, my eyes fill with tears. It’s a great experience.
This is life experienced to its fullest. But then I look at my pageviews and my game face goes on. All I care about is the numbers. Immediately, my joy fizzles out like soda gone flat.
Lowen continues, “Narcissists are neither carefree nor innocent.” Have I become a narcissist? Here are four narcissistic blogger tendencies:
1. You worry about your image
Is my design interesting enough? Will viewers bounce immediately after seeing it? Are my tweets funny enough? Do I post/tweet too much? Do I post/tweet too little?
2. You attempt to get people to respond to you the way you want them to
Why aren’t people commenting? How do I get them to comment more? I need more comments!
3. If you’re not in control, you become panicky
My views were supposed to go up this week! Why are they going down? Why aren’t people sharing my Tweet? It was really funny! Why the heck aren’t people commenting?
4. You look for ways to make people do what you want them to do
Read my blog. Comment on my blog. Share my blog. Like my blog. Tweet my blog. Please retweet. If my views don’t go up, I’ll be an insecure wreck.
Do you have any of these tendencies? I know I do.
True confession: One time I went to a party with some friends just after publishing a really great blog post. When I got there, I didn’t have a deep connection with the divine. Instead, I felt, These people are lucky to have me. I’m a really good writer. What a great resource I am for them.
I cared more about my image than spending quality time with the people I loved.
Not quite five tips to become less narcissistic and experience more joy
The truth is that I’d like to give you five tips on how to be less narcissistic. I’d like to give you seven bullet points on how to be a more loving, less self-conscious, more joyful person.
But I’m not sure it would help.
My all-time favorite TEDtalk is from researcher Brene Brown. She said, “We don’t need more tips. We pretty much know the right way to live. ‘How to’ isn’t working.”
Instead, I’m going to give you just one.
We don’t need more tips on how to live more joyful, less narcissistic life. Instead, we need openness, honesty, and vulnerability. The secret to fighting shame and narcissism is to feel your feelings, to share them without concern of getting hurt (you might get hurt, by the way).
There is no secret. There is no key to effective non-narcissism. There is no tip to experience joy.
There is only yourself. You as you really are. Unhidden and unashamed.
Do you struggle with blogging narcissism? Do you want to be sophisticated? Share your own true confession here. Feel free to comment anonymously if it’s too personal.