Sometimes people confuse narcissism with what it really is: a deep insecurity manifesting as bombast. Often we see insecurity as the person who won’t take off their shirt at the pool or the introvert who won’t ask a person out on a date. While that internalized insecurity exists, so does externalized insecurity.
Insecurity is a powerful drug. It’s what compels bald men to grow the last five strands on the top of their head to absurd lengths to wrap around their head or women to get comical breast implants. It’s why people over 70 dye their hair that very specific old person orange color.
Sometimes that insecurity drives people to make great art, like personal musings posted on the internet desperately hoping someone, anyone would validate those thoughts in the form of encouraging comments or the simple act of clicking “like.” Yep, GREAT art…See? That insecurity seeps out of every pore like I’m trying to secrete an ego-exoskeleton to hide my diffidence. Eventually, that exoskeleton calcifies into a shell people mistakenly believe to be inflated self-admiration.
Insecurity is not a problem in and of itself, but becomes an issue when those afflicted have enough money to indulge impulses driven by precarious uncertainty of one’s self. When those with means are also afflicted by a lack of self-confidence, that means money is being diverted pseudo-validation endeavors rather than going toward things that would those of lesser means. These are people who buy big sport cars or raised trucks (aka tiny penis cars) or jeans with elaborate bedazzling on the butt (aka it’s your butt not a Vegas slot machine).
Even more destructive are those who go one step further than object procurement for their ego assuagement. These are the people who run for political office (aka The Schwarzenegger) or start a cult (aka The L. Ron or The Maharishi Yogi–shots fired, Transcendental Meditation cult members). They don’t want to actually lead in the best interests of the people but to validate themselves by tricking people into voting for them as though they were actually worthy of directing society.
Sometimes insecurity can be a good thing. It can cause people to second guess destructive behavior, but it can also encourage such such behavior. It takes a healthy level of self-recognition to prevent anxiety about personal image from becoming destructive either personally or to other people. So, please, if you find yourself wanting to run for political office or correct people online in a comment thread or make a new Entourage movie, ask yourself, “is this because I really want to do good or am I just trying to get someone to feed-and-burp my inner-baby?”