Thursday, August 30, 2007

Attention: I Gotta Have It All

Almost everything narcissists do centers upon their all consuming need for all available attention. Just as you can't get a heroin addict in withdrawal to know the difference between mine and thine with respect to any heroin in the house, you can't get a narcissist to let anyone else have any attention. He or she has gotta have all.

Nature has genetically programmed the offspring of all higher animals to clamor for attention at birth. This is how Nature pressures the parents to forget their own needs and run themselves ragged caring for their offspring. It's amazing how much noise a nest full a baby birdies can make. And it's amazing how much noise a human baby can make. No parent can stand it! The lungs and vocal chords are magnificent already at this stage!

Why do offspring clamor so for attention? Why do babies sometimes cry for no discernible reason? Because Nature has programmed into them a desperate need for attention. In fact, even if their physical needs are taken care of, human babies can die from never being otherwise held and coddled and played with.

This great need for attention that results in clamoring for it improves offspring's chances of survival, but it also creates a problem that later development must resolve. For, it's a good life — being the center of the universe and having others anticipate and cater to your every need, there to make you happy.

The decision whether to grow up and strike out on your own or not can be a close call. Hence, some of those baby birdies need to get unceremoniously shoved out of the nest. When human babies hit their "terrible twos," they too can be a pain. They must be gently weaned from "king" status, or they will start using temper tantrums to control you and become a spoiled brat.

Like a narcissist.

She is like a three-year-old who stamps her foot and yells, "I want Mamma's attention, and I want it NOW!"

"It's all mine. Because I am the one who matters."

Kathleen Krajco