The “this you?” phrase is a popular Twitter slang that is used to humiliate a tweep into accountability. It is evidence used to call out tweeps who have made controversial tweets that contrasts with their past views/opinions – no matter how far back they held that opinion. Then they are “dragged” – publicly humiliated – and “ratioed”
This practice has become common place on social media platforms where people are quick to dredge up a person’s past shortcomings as a yardstick for who they are in the present.
On social media, it is unshakably believed that opinions are fixed and unchanging, for to do that, it meant being a hypocrite; there was nary a place for growth. It is invariably expected that people must hold to whatever views they have held in the past and deviating meant they were two-timing flip-floppers who spoke from two sides of their lips and were highly undependable.
I believe it is time to challenge this mentality. Short of being a criminally offensive opinion that is damaging or hurtful to a person, – and even subliminally, this can be reappraised, because humans are in in all ramification imperfect beings – people should be given the opportunity to change their stances. Changing their stance on a subject matter or their past behaviors doesn’t mean they are condemnable and have committed the ultimate sin.
There is a mountainous pressure people put on others expecting them to be as perfect as a picture and have everything about life & themselves figured out – something we also fall short of.
Before you point your finger, make sure your hands are clean –Bob Marley
When we judge others and condemn them to damnation, we forget to judge ourselves first; to look within us to our own shortcomings. Rather we make excuses for our own actions and behaviors. It is indeed hard for humans to put themselves under the same microscope as they do others; often quick to justify our means by our ends.
You’re allowed to change your views. You’re allowed to grow. You don’t have to prove your growth to anyone but yourself. One thing that is constant is change.
I’m definitely not the same I was yesterday. I’ve unlearned and still unlearning some of the things I held as gospel.
Just recently I had to learn that feeling guilty about getting gifts without reciprocating was an unhealthy way to live. I had in fact being forgetting to appreciate gifts for I get stuck in my head trying to get a gift for them of the same or approximately same value, to show I wasn’t indebted to them, when it was simply a kind gesture I had to appreciate – I still struggle with this a bit.
That said, changing your opinion is not a sin nor does it mean you are a bad person. On the contrary, this is a sign of intellectual strength; being able to introspect, reassess, compare and contrast with the advent of new information; your position, shows you are in fact high in cognition.
If for instance, you have listened to someone else’s point of view and then recognized the value that lies in their own opinion, reevaluating your stance on whatever the subject matter may be doesn’t make one a hypocrite.
When we as a society reject change, or place an embargo against modification, unlearning and relearning of the self, we inhibit growth, and stop progress. The inability to change, progress, or grow simply results in stasis and torpidity.
Although that isn’t to say that one mustn’t watch the words one throws at others. If your opinion, view or action is one that can damage a person or their identity, and then later you hide under the guise of growth/change to cover up your mess, take heed to refrain from doing so. Use your words wisely, think before you act. You the speaker may forget but the recipient would always remember how your opinion/action made them feel.
I bet when you saw the title, you vehemently said “Yes! it is” and that’s ok, you aren’t wrong or maybe just a little? Let’s find out, shall we? Can you recall how many times you have posted something about yourself on social media and you have people comment and gas you up and then you feel this sense of fulfillment & motivation to do more of that thing? Or that time you over-committed to a thing just because you didn’t want to say no for fear of being disapproved? Or how it felt to be praised and acknowledged for that job you did at the office. That feeling you got from those individuals affirming you, is what we call “validation”
As humans we have this desire to be validated, to be liked and be accepted by others – don’t shake your head, it is not necessarily a bad thing – we are social beings so we need that assertion, by those we hold in esteem that helps us feel good about ourselves. The lack of this can venture a person into thrones of depression and a feeling of unworthiness.
We may choose to lie to ourselves and say this is not so; but the truth still remains that we all need to be validated sometimes. When we do not feel good about ourselves, when our confidence in ourselves wanes and self-doubt sets in, we need people around us to remind us of who we are, who validate us, make us feel valued, supported and believe in our decisions, strengths and capabilities. People that share ideologies and values likened to ours; those with skin to our game.
It is very easy to say “don’t seek validation from others” forgetting that humans thrive on communal living and we need that sense of belonging to feel good ourselves. Our most common giving is to cloak our emotions and act like we do not care when in fact we care oh so too deeply.
Although we fail to realize that in an all too encompassing way, when we do this our need of validation blazes deep within us but we prefer to hide and evade and even go as far as manipulating our way just to prove that we didn’t need a thing that we indeed want – it is like a reserve psychology of seeking a thing but pretending not to so that we can actually get it.
You can argue that “oh but a person can be self-validating and not need anyone else” but this in itself is not also healthy and can be inhibiting, for you would become closed off to the opinion, perspectives and insights of others. We were never created to exist in isolation, for as I said; we are social creatures and only the strong can admit that they feel weakness.
So, maybe it is ok in fact to sometimes seek to be validated by those we care about as they do us. For it is indeed a beautiful thing to be validated and wanting it doesn’t mean you are of a low esteem. It is a natural thing that helps build back confidence when you doubt yourself and think you are undeserving. They remind you that you are. In relationships your partner validating their love for you and communicating their acceptance of you shows how they care and accept you for who you are, thereby, strengthening your bond for each other.
Of course, that is not to say there aren’t negatives to seeking validation. I think the key thing just like every other thing in the world is to strike a balance between being self-validating and also being open enough to let others validate you. Know yourself and have your own identity and focus on the approval of your own persons. One key reason people have thrown validation into the trenches as abhorrent is the fact that people put too much time and energy into impressing people – especially on social media – that they’ll probably never meet and who can do nothing for them or have any visible impact in their lives.
Seeking shouldn’t constantly be done for when we do so, it becomes a need and we lose ourselves trying to please others; depleting the level of our self-esteem. So rather than seek to be validated by anyone and everyone, have instead your own people; a selected few who are true to you, it sets you up for a feedback loop that in turn spurs you into growth.
But when you seek it, seek from the right persons that give back a reflection of just how amazing you can be especially when you cannot see it. But let it not define you, do not let it be your sole identity.
“We sabotage the great things in our lives because deep down we don’t feel worthy of having the great things.” – Taressa Riazzi
Have you ever met someone new and everything is just going so great and easy; then suddenly, you start to pull away or push them away and try to ruin it with a bad attitude and it just seems like you cannot help yourself? This may not even be done consciously because it has become an ingrained modus operandi for you and anything that remotely brings you happiness – in this case, in form of another human. Not because you stopped liking them, but rather because you are happy and that scares the bejesus out of you.
This behavior is called ‘self-sabotaging’. This is when you consciously or unconsciously do things or create stumbling blocks that prevent you from achieving your wants. This can apply not just to your relationships but even in everyday life, like your career, weight loss journeys, personal milestones et al. You become unable to establish any form of stability and can’t seem to stay on one job, one relationship or weight for long by making excuses as to why it didn’t work out; invariably lowering your self confidence and worth in the process.
As human beings, when we sense ourselves being enveloped into a vulnerable situation, we back out because the mind analyses that vulnerability translates into a danger to itself and tries to protect itself from the potential pain by closing up. The fear of being vulnerable makes us isolate ourselves, stay away from intimacy, while struggling to embrace our authentic self.
This behavior can stem from unsolved traumas from childhood or previous relationships that have developed into:
In terms of previous relationships, a lot of people have never experienced what it is like to be absolutely loved for who they are; to meet genuinely good lovers with true intentions, and are used to questioning themselves and self-worth. Hence, the sabotage.
If you tend to always do things to your partner or potential partner in a bid to provoke a reaction from them or argue just for the sake of arguing. This is because negative outcome of relationships is what you truly understand and your mind is familiar with.
Slowly but surely, this becomes a cycle. You connect with a person, become interested in them, get flashback form a previous trauma from the past or based on a loathing of the self; become overwhelmed by the unfamiliar feeling of happiness; panic and begin self-sabotaging by communicating poorly, lying, cheating, talking down on yourself and your partner, nit-picking on every flaw; until they are forced to leave or you kick them out of your life; and then rinse and repeat.
HOW CAN THIS CYCLE BE BROKEN TO STOP YOURSELF FROM SELF-SABOTAGING?
Accept: Accept that vulnerability is a part of being human and for you make any progress in life, you must go through the process of letting down your fences and stepping out of your comfort zone. It is ok to be afraid. It is as much an emotion as happiness or love or sadness. Accept that insecurity is present in every one of us. Recognize them and work with them instead of trying to shut them out.
Be Introspective: Open yourself to what you feel by being aware of these feelings and when you feel them. These include your thoughts too and what easily triggers you to want to disengage when you feel the fear that makes you panic. Instead of trying to be perfect, try to be you and live life as it comes. Focus on creating memories and recognizing the value they bring into your life.
Talk to your partner: Talking to your partner about what you feel and how you feel can go a long way towards helping you become more secure and affirmed about their position in your life. Communicating how you feel helps reduce the tension and leads to seeking better ways and on the long run, a positive resulting outlook towards your relationship.
In the end, our attachment style is often how we tend to handle our relationships; understanding this, can better help you understand how you relate to others.
One thing we must understand is that, when we protect ourselves from pain or being hurt, we also simultaneously prevent ourselves from accessing good things and good people in life. And as much this is true, we must also know when it is time to walk away. In the process of not trying to sabotaging, do not hold onto toxic or irredeemable relationships. Life they say, is all about balance.
The advent of the sexual liberation revolution and the resulting invention of contraceptives and Sex protection gears has promoted the prerogative of women and men to sleep with whomever they please without the “risk” of an unwanted pregnancy while also juggling careers. And has freed men from having to get into committed relationships before engaging in sexual intercourse; devoid of any responsibility, emotional or otherwise.
Over the course of years since the 1960s revolution movement, the stigma against pre-marital sex had significantly reduced and both men and women have become more careless in their sexual explorations. But does this freedom come at a price? and What does it mean to be sexually free?
Let us start by defining what liberation truly means.
WHAT IS LIBERATION?
Liberation according to Oxford Languages simply means “freedom from limits on thought or behavior” it means the act or process of freeing someone or something from another’s control.
Going by that definition, Sexual liberation can then be defined as the state of being free from sexual mores or inhibitions that are considered restrictive to our thoughts and behaviors on our sexuality. That is to correctly say then that; Sexual liberation is much more a psychological and behavioral objective than it is physical.
That would also mean that being promiscuous doesn’t automatically mean you are sexually liberated. You can very well have the freedom to sleep with whomever you and still be mentally enslaved to sexuality.
And in the same vein, Sexual liberation can very well be keeping yourself away from sex until you are ready –given that it is based on determining your thoughts and behaviorism towards the act on your own terms. Correct?
People say now, that true happiness is in having multiple partners, while people who chose to stay away from sexual engagements – virgins, celibates-– are looked at as weird and spoilsports. Which in my opinion is an infringement on their choice as being called a tramp for being more expressive in your sexuality, is an infringement on your choice.
Being sexually liberated shouldn’t just be about spreading your sexual tentacles and sowing your oats wherever and whenever you please.
Being sexually liberated is understanding that sex should not have a hold on you. It shouldn’t shackle you. You can choose to not do it regardless of what the public thinks, it doesn’t make you less liberated than them.
And as “promiscuous” individuals want to be accepted as sexually explorative they should also be willing to accept those who chose to abstain. They shouldn’t look down on them as “missing out” or “un-woke” or “killing the mood” or “less fun at parties”.
As you made the choice to coitally engage with whomever you please, they also made the choice to abstain and that choice should also be respected.
A good number of people—both men and women, although leaning more toward women, have let the societal idea of sexual liberation influence them in such a way that it only serves to tighten their bondages further
Sexual liberation is being able to say no when you do not want it and being able to say yes when you do.
THE PRICE OF SEXUAL LIBERATION
Sex is a lot more complicated than we think. It brings with it a high level of responsibility. You cannot divorce sex from its psychological, emotional, socio-economic outcomes. There is no such thing as casual sex because it always has its implication. Modern sex is dangerous emotionally, psychologically, with its endless possibility of unwanted pregnancies and transmittable diseases –with more consequences for women than for men.
According to a Reproductive Health survey Published: 29 November 2018, almost one-fifth (18.8%) of adolescents get pregnant in Africa. Likewise, the World Health Organization has estimated that every year in Africa there are 3.5 million cases of syphilis, 15 million cases of the chlamydial disease, 16 million cases of gonorrhea, and 30 million cases of trichomoniasis.
In a survey by the Washington Post, 45 percent of the 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended. Every year, millions of women, married and unmarried, young and not so young, are getting an outcome — pregnancy — that they didn’t plan on or desire from exploring their sexuality. Thereby bringing children they are unable to cater properly for into the world, resulting in more and more dysfunctional humans.
Despite the availability of the pill and protective gears, the rate of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases; rather than reduce, has inevitably increased and still is on the rise. This has made many a woman become ‘baby mamas’, committing abortions –with some dying from the procedure and some destroying their wombs– and men becoming unwanted fathers.
In a 2020 survey by the Guttmacher Institute, the annual number of abortions in Sub-Saharan Africa almost doubled between 1995–1999 and 2015–2019, from 4.3 million to 8.0 million, bagging the highest rate of abortion-related deaths in the world, at 185 maternal deaths per 100,000 abortions.
How is this then a liberation?
The expectation of the sexual revolution was that perhaps the more sex people had, the happier they’d become but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It has only served to increase the rate of social, mental, and health problems. Increase in addiction, isolation, depression, increased aggression, distorted beliefs,and perceptions about relationships and sexuality.
Another adverse effect of the propagated form of sexual liberation is the deterioration of marriages; as partners are more disinclined to fidelity and less disinclined to infidelity –terming it freedom of sexuality– but people are lonely. Fundamentally, people want their own special persons.
Sexual liberation has drastically increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships (primarily marriage), thereby increasing the rate of infidelity and consequentially; divorce rate. The psychological and emotional traumas resulting from uncommitted sexual relationships have steadily increased the levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, divorce, and family breakdown in society.
The message of the 1960s sexual revolution was, “If something excites you then that’s just who you are. That’s your ‘normal.’ And this has increased the rate of pedophilia as they believe “that is just who they are”. If you say “everyone should be able to express their sexuality in whichever form and with whomever”, that also gives leave to those who desire children to explore their sexuality. If we try to say that is wrong, doesn’t that mean we are shackling them and withholding their “sexual freedom”?
Sexual Freedom is knowing the responsibility that coming with engaging and also not engaging in sexual activity and choosing to stay the same and take on that responsibility—-not try to shelve it on others when you cannot take it. People want to be able to have sexual dalliances without taking up the consequences alongside –the height of illusion.
Sexual Freedom is making a choice regardless of what society thinks and taking on the consequences that come with the choice.
The reason for the 1960 movement against inhibiting the sexuality of women was to allow women to make their own chooses without being termed derogatory names. but it would seem the result of these choices are starting to backfire more on the women
The results of the sexual revolution should be more than enough to arouse a counter-revolution. In today’s world, the media would rather promote a sexual freedom agenda than promote the traditional family, traditional marriage, and sex reserved for marriage making it seem impossible and unrealistic to abstain until it is done under the confines of a union.
So, I ask, is this true freedom? Where we see being sexually conservative as being un-woke and
Our values are individually defined and subjective as opposed to being defined based on universal, transcendent principles and the consequential impact on society at large. Is this true freedom?
“No man who is a slave to his flesh is truly free”
When my alarm beeped at 4:30 am, I groaned, immediately snoozed for an extra 30 mins of shut-eye. Going to work on Saturdays has always been such a thorn in my hide because I would much rather prefer to be at the beach or at home curled up with a new book. But alas, I am all lucked out.
When it was 5:20 and I couldn’t snooze again or as a Lagos commuter, I was bound to get stuck in Lagos traffic and thereby, get to the office late. I groggily stood up performed my morning rituals. I had come all to way to the island to spend some time with my best friend since we hardly had time to see each other often anymore –that is what life and responsibilities would do to any friendship. In the process of getting ready, I had gotten upset over a little altercation that would become infinitesimal and inconsequential in the coming minutes.
I got to the bus stop waiting for a bus going my route; the sky was still quite dark out with only a light shade of bluish hue overcast, chasing the nightcrawlers back into their corners like bats shying away from the approach of daylight.
As I stood waiting, my eye caught on a movement of people across the road. They seemed to be in a dispute but I couldn’t see them clearly in the dim lights of passing cars, they were but dark moving shapes. All of a sudden, a figure stepped forward away from them and edged sluggishly towards the main road, like a deer towards a headlight. The on-coming car swerved and missed him as did other cars coming behind it. I stared perplexed at what was happening, then from my peripheral vision, I saw the other figures gesturing and saying something to him but I couldn’t pick up on the words from across the road – later when I could think it through, I was inclined to believe they were urging him on into something sinister–
The young man; I could see him a little better as the day had begun brightening, shuffled forward once more, and began walking forward despite the coming cars. I could see his chest heaving as he was unclad to the waist, I wondered what could be wrong because it was evident, he was sobbing. The people who had been communicating with him suddenly withdrew into the shadows. He managed to safely cross to the middle of the road and my heart calmed a bit that he was ok, he only had to cross one more lane, so I looked away to see if a bus was coming that I could board –unbeknown to me, my heart calmed too soon.
The scene that ensued was something I never want to experience ever again. As my head swiveled back to check if he had crossed, I watched paralyzed in horror as he stepped dejectedly onto the road and a small compact bus; popularly called “korope” in Lagos, slammed hard into him, throwing him up a little and smacking him hard against the tarred road. I screamed in fear and clutched myself in trepidation. The “korope” seeing what he had done, immediately fled the scene. I watched his legs spasm as I forgot back tears from my eyes and tried to stop the shakes going through my body.
I began to clamor to the people around to help him that he was still breathing but before anyone could move forward to help him, a huge truck charging at high speed, climbed right on him, crushing him and extinguishing the last breath in him, and instantly zoomed off. I could have sworn I heard the crunch of his brain and bones as the fore and hind tires crushed them.
I expelled strings of profanities while also calling unto God in the same sentence which I am sure would have made Him wince, as I wrapped my arms tighter around myself watching his head bashed in, blood seeping out into the stones on the road and his body unmoving less than 20 feet from me. Before long people began gathering and some tried dragging the battered body off the road to avoid other cars crushing it further. I immediately found a bus and hurriedly got in with my heart thumping rapidly, as the scene kept playing in my head and I was reliving it mentally like a disc on repeat. All thoughts of me being upset with my best friend gone from my head.
I thought about the thoughts that could have been running through his mind in those final moments. I thought about the sobs that shook his body as he hunched forward. I thought about the reluctance in his body language; did it signify that he was forced to do it by the people on the other side –who suddenly disappeared into thin air immediately he was hit. I thought about his family; if he had any. I thought about life after death; was that the end of him? Or would his soul be in limbo? Would he cease to exist in the universe or become one with it? Was he going into the place of fire and brimstone? Or the place with pearly white gates?
Despite all these thoughts, there was one lingering thought; this was going to haunt me for weeks to come.
Have you ever sat down to ask yourself, what qualities do I possess that make me an invaluable partner? The famous question: “What do you bring to the table?”
Yes, it is true that everyone is deserving of love just for being human but in truth, the level & quality of love you get is often determined by what qualities you possess that adds value to the relationship & makes you indispensable to your partner
Let’s liken this to the corporate sector. In an organization, for you to be indispensable, you cannot just be like every other person. Every other person is probably just there to get paid to sort their bills. but there are some individuals who distinguish themselves, who do not coast, who strive to grow, to provide value. They are adaptable, innovative and build lasting relationships with potential “plugs”
Now, these set of individuals are often the ones who get up the rung, the ones who never have to worry about job security because they know the worth they provide.
Now apply this logic to your relationship, are you this sort of individual? Or are you just a ground floor member? Only there to occupy space until the day they get dispensed? If so, how then can you be a man or woman of value? –this doesn’t have to only apply in your romantic relationships, value must be created in every sphere of life
“All space must be attached to a value, to a public dimension. There is no private space. The only private space that you can imagine is the human mind.”
Build Yourself: Push yourself, keep advancing as an individual, never stop learning. Be a problem solver, know something about everything. By doing this, you become an asset to your partner and your opinions are held in high esteem. In same vein, people are more likely to gravitate towards individuals who are innovative and can make life easier for them by providing solutions. For single individuals, this opens you up to meeting potential partners who are also of esteemable standards.
Support: Every relationship requires support from both ends to build a healthy environment – every human actually needs supports– As a man, support your woman, as a woman, support your man. Relationship isn’t a battle field with both of you at opposing ends –I think this something that needs to be understood– the essence of relationship is to have someone who always has your back. It isn’t to manipulate or to control but to support in every way; emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, et al. Be financially adept, do not be a liability or parasitic.
Yes, your partner may love you but if they always have to keep fending for you, you lose your respect, and your value in their eyes diminishes.
Sacrifices: Part of falling in love with people, means that sometimes, you have to give some things up. The main idea of love is sacrificing selflessly for someone else. Being in love changes characters from being independently selfish to wanting to give the ones they love the world.
Take a moment and think about your significant other and what level of sacrifices you are willing to make on their behalf; whatever reasoning comes out from that, tell you the level to which you love them. The vitality of love is in sacrifice. God made this evident when he gave us his only son to die for us, if that isn’t the ultimate show of Love, then I don’t know what is.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.– John 3:16 King James Version
The truth is for you to be indispensable; you have to be deliberate; you have to be an intentional woman or an intentional man. Some believe that offering just money or their bodies is valuable enough. Everyone with a sexual organ can offer sex and a good number of them are very good at it. But beyond sex, what else can you provide? What makes you different and uncommon? What makes you an asset to your partner?
As a woman, I need you to ask yourself these questions; Can I give my Man Business advice when he needs them? Can I randomly support him financially or buy him a gift (a nice thing he needs)? Can I plan a trip for us with my own money? Can I pray fervently for him when he is storming through harsh weather?
As a man, I need you to ask yourself these questions; Can I provide support to my woman –in her career, business, or whatever endeavor– when she needs it? Can I be a companion who listens when she needs my undivided attention? Can I summon emotions and be kind? Can I go out of my way to do some random things that other men do not deem fit to do? Can I cook, clean the dishes, do the laundry, without thinking it is a woman’s duty?
Your answers to these questions tell you all you need to know. Remember, for you to be valued, you must indeed provide value.
Perfection An optical illusion It’s all a facade We only show the world What they wanna see A shiny exterior Head held high Self-righteousness at the fore
We are perfect Others aren’t So we bully them For the understanding they lack An understanding we yet seek ourselves Everything must be black or white Gray areas are not permitted Unless we revere the one at the gallows
We say “be good to others” Because we want to be perceived as good While our dark perversions Take bite after bite of our souls
We are all different yet the same Burying what we really feel Trying to show others we are free While being shackled in our minds
Then comes our kryptonite “The Reality of who we are” Behind the glamour Is a disease that eats us up From the inside out The imperfections of our perfection.
“The self-preservation or desire and energy that drives one’s instinct to survive is a healthy trait termed primary narcissism”-Sigmund Freud
Can narcissism be healthy?
There is this saying that; “too much of everything is not good” does that suffice to say that if a thing is done in moderate amounts – in a sort of balanced level – then it is ok and acceptable? That would also potentially mean a “bad” trait can possibly be good if it is characterized in moderation?
When we hear of people who are labeled “narcissists” we automatically think of the bad there is to it – as is peculiar to humans, we are more likely to focus on the bad of a thing than we are of its positives – We think of an egotistic individual so self-absorbed and unfit to be associated with. We see it as a plague to be kept at arm’s length.
What if I told you that narcissism can be healthy?
Healthy narcissism was first introduced by Paul Federn, a psychologist known for his theoretical studies of the therapeutic treatment of psychosis and ego psychology. According to this theory, healthy narcissism is posited to be thought of “as a continuum of narcissism, from normal narcissism, healthy narcissism or having a modicum of narcissistic characteristics, to a full-blown Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) – which is a paradox by the way – on the other end.
There are multiple variations of narcissism, and according to Sigmund Freud, narcissism is natural to every human which helps us but can also serve as hubris. He described narcissism as “the libidinal complement to the egoism of the instinct of self-preservation“. This means it is a powerful tool that propels humans to assert themselves in the face of competition for survival and success.
Freud believed that narcissism is a natural component of human nature that can actually be instrumental in the psychological development of infants and only causes dysfunctional relationships and behavior when taken to an extreme.
When a child has imbibed the traits of self-confidence and self-love he becomes an individual who has realistic self-esteem and if balanced, does not lead to them becoming emotionally isolated from others, as is evident in unhealthy narcissism. As opposed to one who was never given the opportunity to develop his love/appreciation/assurance for self
People who are termed narcissistic are often alluring to others because of how charming they can be, making you feel special and letting down your guard around them. They are always highly motivated with the level of confidence they have in their abilities.
But then again, a person can hardly attain success without a level of narcissism in his character design to propel him forward and shield him from the man-eat-man world we live in. Their heightened self-worth can serve as a propellant; making them seek out challenges that thrust them into the limelight as successful individuals in the eye of society. They are more likely to aim high and in turn; cut off things that are substandard.
Now how do we distinguish the differences between healthy narcissism and an unhealthy one which borders on a Narcissistic personality disorder?
American psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut listed the features of healthy narcissism as:
Empathy for others and recognition of their needs.
Self-respect and self-love.
Courage to abide criticism from others while maintaining positive self-regard.
Confidence to set and pursue goals and realize one’s hopes and dreams.
Healthy pride in self and one’s accomplishments.
The ability to admire and be admired.
And on the other hand, an unhealthy narcissist can be easily spotted from these features:
A grandiose sense of self-importance.
Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
A belief that they are ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
An intense need for excessive admiration.
A sense of entitlement – that they should get and have whatever they want.
A tendency to be interpersonally exploitative – in that they use others to achieve their own ends.
A lack of empathy, demonstrated through an unwillingness to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
Envy of others, or the belief that others are envious of them.
Arrogant, haughty or supercilious behavior and attitudes.
Unhealthy narcissists may act superior and confident, but more often than not, they are actually fragile and struggle with self-esteem issues. This is why they try to cover up with arrogance and superciliousness. They possess intense cravings for attention and praise yet are unable to form close relationships. NPD (Narcissistic personality disorder) causes great distress to both the person with the character trait and those around them. They create and project a false sense of self to others around them when in the true sense, they are critically insecure and constantly battle the loathing of self. It is one of the “dark traits” that have been identified and labeled by psychologists, along with psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and sadism.
So perhaps we should be less hasty when we tag people narcissists with disdain, and first, identify if they exhibit a healthy or unhealthy level of this character trait. Because the truth is; we all at some point need a modicum of self-aggrandization and there is nothing wrong with that so long we understand the extremes and the balance of the continuum.
With healthy narcissism, we are more likely to have lower levels of stress when we have confidence in ourselves and are less likely to see life as stressful. It is safe then to say; potentially, narcissism can be good if it is characterized in moderation?
Should relationships be built on the foundation of monetary values?
Why is money important?
I am going to work my way from one question to the other, starting at the bottom.
Why is money important?
Now there are two conflicting ways humans view money; one, that it is everything in the world and the most important thing, thereby placing utmost value in it and envying those who have it in abundance. Two, that it is evil, corrupt, dirty and value shouldn’t be placed on it but rather on frugality and simplicity.
These are big misconceptions – to say money is not important or that it is sole purpose of being alive. It may not be the most important but it is very important. There is no denying the fact that it is needed to stay alive. Almost everything we do is a bid to make money and to live the kind of lives we have envisioned for ourselves. It is a symbol of value acquired, a value that is realized when the tender is exchanged for a want or need.
Money gives a sense of power because it takes you where you want to go by opening doors in your path. Although it may not be able to buy happiness or other abstracts like air but It can temporarily accord some modicum of purchasing power for said abstracts to the holder. Even a thing you get for “free” is directly or indirectly being paid for by someone. That is why it is important.
Should relationships be built on the foundation of monetary values?
A relationship built on money is more likely to crash faster than one built on true feelings. Because the moment the money ceases, the relationship is headed for doom. I wouldn’t say it is right or wrong to get into a relationship for the monetary advantage but it should be plainly stated from the onset, so both parties know what they are going into and they agree on the kind of union it would be.
Yes, money is very important, and building a relationship based on love may sound corny to most, but the truth is; it is the realest and purest thing ever when it is also supported with trust, sacrifice, commitment, and share values/goals.
Men, do not entice a woman you genuinely like into a relationship with money or things of monetary values, except you are ready for a transactional relationship with little or no emotions (there is no guarantee they will come to love you) and your value in that relationship will be solely based on what you can give. If unluckily she finds someone with more money, she is likely to drop you over for him. There are instances where relationships like this work -few and far between- but there will always be an imbalance.
Women, do not select based on money or what a man can give you. In such a relationship, you are more likely to be undervalued and seen as just an object. You might be fine with being undervalued, but remember; “he who pays the piper, dictates the tune”
Love, trust, sacrifices, shared values etc. may be the bedrock of relationships/marriages but we mustn’t also forget the place of money. A couple can love each other very much but their relationship can be ruined over money disagreements.
We live in material world and for you to stay alive, you require some essentials like food, education, clothes etc. all these require a legal tender to acquire. So, its importance in relationships cannot be ruled out.
If you study most relationships and marriages, often times, their arguments are about money. When you can barely afford your daily bread, love and every other thing takes a back seat. It becomes tougher to live in harmony and peace.
Your partner starts to irritate you and you begin to lash out at them, either for not providing or as a man; for not being able to provide for the family. The tiniest issues will become full blown arguments and at some point, one or both partners will choose to walk away. Only in rare cases do we see partners stick it out and this takes lots of commitment and dedication from both ends to hold down the forte. So yes, it can indeed make or mar a relationship.
What is the role of money in relationships?
The same way money plays a crucial role in our individual lives, is the same it does to a couples’.
In some way, we all have relationships with money -what factors is if it is a healthy of unhealthy one- just the same way we have with our partners. There are several roles it therefore plays i.e.
Sustaining livelihood; Relationships/Marriage involves paying a lot of bills; living expenses, health insurances, raising kids (if any), investments, and handling random financial emergencies. All these require money.
It makes dating more luxurious and comfortable; When there is money in your relationship, it is easier to buy them the luxuries of life to show how much they mean to you. It’s easier to arrange surprises for their birthdays, order/ cook their favorite meals or fly extra miles to surprise them when they are out of town and so many other romantic gestures. They may seem frivolous, but sometimes, there is happiness in frivolities.
Arguments would revolve less around money; Financial arguments are one of the biggest issues why relationships and marriages break up. “A hungry human is an angry human”, when there is little or no funds, partners are more likely to get easily triggered and fight over little things because of the underlying money factor.
Independence; There is a confidence, freedom and peace that having money and being able to afford what a person needs without checking your pockets several times while doing permutations. It also makes it easier to leave a bad relationship. If you are financially dependent on your partner, without having your own source of income, it becomes extremely difficult to leave a bad relationship.
It is easier to build your relationship based on other tenets; Your focus is more centered on other aspects of your lives and setting future goals become easier. Having money helps the atmosphere of love, by reducing pressure from both parties and increasing the quality of live
The role money plays in relationships therefore, cannot be over-emphasized. A lack or short supply of it can jeopardize relationships.
Before you get into any relationship, always make sure you are financially compatible with your partner. Consider their spending and saving habits. A compatible partner would multiply your success, the opposite would diminish it.
That been said, Financial security is of utmost importance in a relationship. And it should be a joint effort from both parties. Don’t watch him/her try to make it alone. Make money together!!!