I never understood the term “millennial,” so I decided to look it up. There are different opinions on when the generation started and when it ended, but they all seem to include people born roughly between the early 80’s and the 2000’s. No matter which one people accept, 1990 always falls in the generation, so I’m considered a millennial. But there are many stereotypes associated with this generation, stereotypes that I’ve only recently started hearing. Apparently we’re liberal and narcissistic. I cannot call myself a liberal, for I have my share of conservative views, and I tend to think hardcore liberals are pretentious, acting like they’re fighting for a cause when all they’re doing is complaining and not doing shit about the problem. Yeah, I complain, but at least I don’t pretend I’m making a difference, though the small hope is there, the hope that maybe the right people will hear my complaints, people who have the power to change things, because I have no power.
However, the narcissistic stereotype worried me. For those of you who know me well, you know that I tend to punish myself for feeling normal pride because people have accused me of being self centered. My rational mind tells me that the only people who have ever accused me of being vain were people who knew nothing about me, but made assumptions based on word of mouth, misunderstandings, and little to no concrete evidence of me behaving in that way. Still, my paranoid mind tends to not want to listen to my rational one, which is one of my many flaws I sincerely dislike… uh… actually, hate. If I could think rationally when I most need to, I wouldn’t have to sabotage myself.
I don’t know how many times I’ve complained about people not being treated equally, or that good people need to be successful, not the bad people. Sure, as a child, I thought I was special, but don’t all children? Thankfully, even though I was as stupid of a teenager as all teenagers are, I at least had enough common sense to learn for myself that I’m no different from anybody else… well, I do know I’m better than people who make stupid decisions, but so is everyone else who is intelligent, so that still doesn’t make me better than everyone.
Even though I was pretty sure I wasn’t narcissistic, my paranoia said, “well, what if you’re a narcissist for thinking you’re not one?!” So, out of curiosity, I decided to take a few narcissist tests on different medical sites, not just any ol’ site like Quotev or something. With things like these, you need to take multiple tests to gather the most accurate information, not just take one and accept the result as proof. When a test is accurate, the multiple results will always be similar, so you can find the medium that determines where you lie on the scale.
PHEW. I’m not a narcissist. So here’s what you must do on personality tests: BE HONEST. Well, honesty is my code of honor, so naturally, I had to answer honestly, even if I wanted to check the boxes that describe the quality I’d like to have. A number of times, I checked a box, then reread the question, and said, “ah, that’s not entirely true,” and checked the one that was. It’s hard to be honest with yourself sometimes. If you’re insecure like me, lying to yourself on a test can make you feel like you’re fooling others into thinking you’re better than you really are, even though no one will ever see these answers or results. To overcome this, you must recognize and accept your flaws, and for many people, discrediting oneself is a huge fear. It makes people think that they’re bad because society wants us all to be perfect. One must accept their imperfections.
One quiz asked me a lot about how I treat other people, including associates and my love partner, who is currently Michael, and hopefully will be forever. I assumed “associates” meant friends, but it was hard to tell. I do my best not to purposefully hurt my loved ones, which are my friends and boyfriend. I could give less than a shit about people I’ve never even met; They’re not my problem. However, it seems I treat my love partner a lot better than whoever my associates are, and that’s because I’ve always valued love as sacred. Unfortunately, when off my medication, I do tend to blame things on other people that are my fault, including Michael, but that part of myself is not who I am, so I had to check “sometimes” on a few questions regarding hurting your love partner. I’m great when I’m medicated, so I haven’t done that for a long time, and even after I do those kinds of things, I can later own my mistakes when in my right mind.
So, what I learned was basically everything I already guessed about myself; I generally admit my faults and mistakes, I know when I’m wrong and don’t try to convince myself or anyone else that I’m right (except for when I am right, which in that case, no convincing of myself is needed), I’m unhealthily insecure (duh), I don’t take negative feedback well (double duh), I have overwhelming compassion toward people I care about, I actually am an introvert, and not a narcissist pretending to be one, I’m overly cautious about other people to the point where it’s not rational (DUUUH), I’m quick to come to conclusions that people are trying to hurt me when they’re not, I’m DEFINITELY not vain (yay!), I DEFINITELY don’t feel superior (DOUBLE YAY!!!), I don’t need, or want, to be the center of attention (i.e., exhibitionism), I often feel ashamed of myself, I do envy people who have something I don’t, and…. I feel EXTREMELY entitled. When I saw that one, I was like, “well shit.”
That last one I was not aware of, or had not accepted. It’s something I have tried to deny, so much so, I convinced myself that I did not feel that way. The thing is, the feeling is autonomous, I can’t turn it off, nor do I even actively think about it. It’s like walking or blinking. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, because it’s not. But after analyzing past behavior, I’ve come to realize that, not only do I unconsciously feel entitled, but I also unconsciously admit that it’s wrong, and I am ashamed of it. I often tell Michael, “you do so much for me, more than I deserve. I shouldn’t have to be a burden on you, I shouldn’t have to be constantly taken care of like a child. I do nothing for you that even compares to what you do for me, I don’t even know what I could do, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t be able to do it because… I don’t even know why!” I always tell him that, if I ask him to do something for me that I am perfectly capable of doing myself, he can refuse and tell me to do it myself. It does not make me angry or frustrated because I am capable of doing it. I also told him to let me know what I can do for him, but he rarely does… hell, he gets me awesome Pizza and Presents Day gifts, but he never even tells me what he wants me to give him! I went crazy on the italics there.
Last night, we were at Walmart, and he said he’d pay for the bread if I bought the pancakes (because they’re chocolate chip, and my sweet tooth goes CRAZY over them), but he forgot to pay for the bread, so I had to buy it anyway. He said, “I think you can spare the ninety-eight cents,” and I repeated, “I think I can spare the ninety-eight cents” in a sort of sarcastic, self-deprecating way. Then I said, “I mean, it’s not like you’ve done anything for me, right?” And he said, “no, not at all, I’ve never bought anything for you.” We are both very sarcastic people, so we are able to understand sarcasm well and laugh at the joke even though, technically, it’s insulting toward me. Well, if you can’t make fun of your faults, it’s harder to accept them, isn’t it? Acting this way is actually healthy, and when both you and your partner share the same opinions about said faults, it’s even easier to make fun of them. Truth be told, I really didn’t mind buying the bread. In fact, I buy his groceries when he asks me to because I am aware I never do anything for him. Well, I do, but only when he tells me to. I’m not sure why I do this, but I think it has something to do with another traumatizing factor of my childhood.
Welp, I ain’t perfect. I’ve always known this, I’ve always admitted this, and it’s not so hard for me to accept my bad qualities even though I resent them and would give anything to make them disappear. Sometimes you can’t fix things about yourself, especially when it’s too late, you’re an adult, and your brain does what it knows. So, if I feel entitled, I feel entitled. I don’t like it, it doesn’t make me happy, but that’s how it is. I feel ashamed of it, and that’s good, I should feel ashamed. I am also willing to help someone or do something for someone who has done everything for me, as long as it doesn’t stress me to the point of a panic attack. That’s… good and bad. It’s not great. It’s… acceptable in my book, and for the people who love me, it’s also acceptable in theirs. It shouldn’t be. That makes me both love them even more and hate myself even more. But still, I can admit it, and that alone is a quality that should be respected.
So, I may not be a great person, I have my definitive faults, I have poor qualities that are highly shameful and looked down upon….
BUT AT LEAST I’M NOT A NARCISSIST.