Writers, artists, actors (or anyone in the creative field) are often portrayed as narcissistic. I saw a post on Twitter recently about a TV show that talks about why writers are narcissistic. Now, being a graduate of a counseling psychology program, I had to debate this concept. In order to have the official Narcissistic Personality Disorder, one has to have at least *5* of the personality traits listed for the diagnosis.
I thought it would be fun and interesting to take this quiz, given my educational background in psychology and being a creative writer who promotes herself. Is there something to this stereotype of creative writers being narcissists?
Let’s get down to it in this psychologist-approved screening tool. In order to speak to a psychologist about any mood or mental disorder, you first need to feel emotionally distressed by this perceived disorder and you would need to have a high score on a screening test. I’m about to get real and vulnerable here – I’m putting myself on the line for you guys!
For this test, I am going to base my responses on the last 3 years of my life. Without further adieu, I am going to take this quiz from https://www.psycom.net/narcissistic-personality-disorder-test
Do you ever experience an exaggerated sense of self-importance?
Sometimes (On a daily basis, I do not. I go about my day with the mindset of keeping peace and enjoying the aspects that I can. I realize that I have importance, as do my stories, so I had to be honest and give myself a “sometimes”.)
Do you expect to be seen as superior to other people?
Rarely (I don’t compare myself to other people in general. In a relationship, I want my partner to see me as the best option at the time (because that’s how I see them. Fair’s fair). Sometimes. someone will say something so incredibly ignorant that I can’t help but feel intellectually superior. This happens a few times per year, so this is why I put rarely.)
Do you ever exaggerate your talents or accomplishments?
Rarely (I’m not vocal enough about my talents or accomplishments, in the real world. I’m not one to toot my own horn. I promote my books and share nice moments from my day on social media, but bragging about my talents & accomplishments? That’s not me. Rarely it is.)
Do you require constant admiration from others?
Sometimes (Words of affirmation is my love language. I don’t like attention from random people, or the wrong people, but for those I value, I do like to be appreciated. I also live to inspire and I hope that others admire my creativity and stories. I would say it’s fair that I sometimes want admiration.)
Do you engage in fantasies about being successful, beautiful, or powerful?
Sometimes. (I’m already beautiful, though I certainly fantasize about living the life I always wanted from time to time. Power isn’t something I care about or want, so this is why I put sometimes.)
Do you expect total compliance from others?
Rarely (I’m someone who compromises on a lot of things and I believe in the phrase “Live and let live”. I have no desire to control or be controlled. If someone violates my values, though, it’s unlikely they’ll remain in my life. This one gets a rarely, because the situation isn’t that applicable.)
Do you struggle to recognize the emotions and needs of other people?
Rarely (I’m pretty good at recognizing emotions in other people and if I hurt someone, I will do my best to apologize or make it right. I’m not perfect and I’m sure I’ve hurt someone before.)
Do others perceive you as arrogant or haughty?
Sometimes (This has happened before, though it doesn’t happen often enough for it to be a problem. I’m generally well-liked, but in certain situations, I have been labelled as “stuck up”. It happens. I have some standards.)
How likely are you to expect special treatment or favours from others?
Rarely (The only time I’d expect special treatment is from a significant other. At work or anywhere else, I don’t think I deserve better treatment than others. I have been given special treatment in the past, but it wasn’t because I asked for it.)
How likely are you to perceive heightened jealousy about the success or accomplishments of others?
Never – (I can honestly say I never get jealous of others’ successes. I get really inspired by other people’s accomplishments and it encourages me to keep working for the life I want. I love Instagram and find it really motivating, so clearly, I’m not a very jealous person lol!)
How likely are you to expect the best of everything (office, car, home, etc.?)
Never – (Hahahaha this one is funny. I’d say I haven’t ever expected the best of any of these things. However, one day I hope to work myself to a place where I could have a really nice home and a car I really like.)
How likely are you expect others to be jealous of your talents and success?
Sometimes – (I’m being honest here. I have had people jealous of me in the past, so I’ve learned to expect for it to happen sometimes. I’ve had people balk at me for doing well in a sales-driven work environment; some people get tired of me promoting my books. I workout and some people have shaken their heads at me asking how I can stay so slim. It happens. I’ll go with an honest sometimes.)
That’s the end of the quiz! Now for the results!!
To be honest, I expected my results to be a little higher. When I took the quiz about 5 years ago, I scored just below the spectrum on the same quiz. Apparently it was a score common for celebrities, which makes sense with me being an author and modeling on the side. It looks like I’ve been given a humbling down in recent years. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. 🙂 I could also probably afford to refresh my confidence and be more assertive without being in danger of becoming a narcissist.
So, there we have it! I admit this was pretty fun and there was an element of danger to it on the chance that I scored high.
I hope you enjoyed this little self assessment! As it turns out, not all writers are narcissistic. I think it’s safe to say that most of us aren’t.