I am a narcissist. I have always expected special treatment, and been hurt or offended when I didn’t receive it. When you meet me I will immediately asses every visible quality you have, I will determine your weaknesses, and I will feel superior to you. Because I am better than you; at least in my mind. It’s something I was born with, and I live with it every day.
I am Machiavellian. I have superior intelligence and a highly effective mind for processing and assessing the behavior of others. When you meet me, I will learn what you want, what motivates you, and I will use it to my advantage. I will control and manipulate you, if you let me. I can easily separate myself from any situation and become an objective observer. It’s part of who I am.
I am a psychopath. I have trouble sympathizing with people, even if they are going through a traumatic situation. I care more about myself than I ever will about you. When you meet me, I will seem off. Something will be wrong with me; my facial expressions won’t be quite right and my emotions will only be skin deep. This is how I function.
These three traits are known as the dark triad, a group of emotional disorders that are categorized as harmful to both the host and the surrounding public. I learned that I score extremely high in all three, and my life has been the better for it.
Living with these traits my whole life and not being able to name them was no specific burden to me. I’ve always known that I was different, but I just assumed it was because I was special. (That’s the narcissism.) We learn about these kinds of people, but all we see is the bad. We see the dark triad only. There’s more lurking beneath the surface, and that’s what really makes things hard for people like me.
I am a romantic. I fall in love upon first sight. My thoughts can be consumed by a single person for days, months, years. I love the way they talk, how they think. Every little habit is a tidal wave of significance.
I am a reader. I get lost in fantasy worlds where things that are not possible in the real world can happen. I connect with the characters like I can with only a few people I meet in real life. I long for the hero to win, I crave complex plots, and I will cry every time I read the last Harry Potter book. Always.
If I could live with just the bad, or just the good parts of my personality, I think it would be easier. That’s true for everybody. But would I be happier? Probably not. So instead, I learned to turn my so called flaws into assets. When I’m lacking in motivation, I turn to my narcissistic side which pushes me to prove my superiority. When I feel terrified at the prospect of meeting new people, I remind myself of my psychopathic tendencies which allow me to put on a charming face. When I feel out of control, Machiavelli helps me to ground myself and focus my energies. It lets me know that the world is a dangerous place that is not to be trusted, but I can outsmart it. Yes, I get the occasional bloodlust; I can be harsh and uncaring. I put people off. But that’s ok, I don’t mind. Without by bad qualities, I would be an incomplete person. Emotional disorders are not a curse; they can be gifts. You just need to approach them with an open mind and the ability to learn.