Friday, May 10, 2013

How narcissistic should one be?

The story behind a narcissist is that according Greek Mythology there was a guy named Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his relationship, he just waited by the pool of water forever and finally converted into a flower. 

It is a well known fact that everyone (excluding the very few exceptions) is trying to promote themselves on the internet, social networking sites and also when they meet people/friends/potential business opportunities. My understanding is that everyone can talk big about themselves only when they have an extremely high opinion of themselves / their work. Otherwise it would be very difficult to just blabber about their work or themselves without genuinely feeling good about themselves. And also that they should get into acting if they can really do that.

This then makes me wonder as to how much narcissism is actually good for your work/career. 

Say there are two people, one of them is an extremely talented piano player, but is extremely humble and never blows his own trumpet (no pun intended) but the other one is not as talented, but definitely not a bad piano player, but who keeps talking about himself and announcing his achievements all the time. 
From my experience, it looks like the person who talked about himself for a greater amount of time gets more music concerts than the one who is extremely talented but humble.

I wonder then, if that is actually true, as to why we stress so much on teaching kids about being humble and vanity is profanity. Is it actually profanity? Or is that narcissism that gets you forward in your career?

On the other hand, I have noticed that the people who are nice and down to earth are known to be better at working in a collaboration and get more work from the same client. That seems to me like the humble person might have more work from the same client (which may not be such a bad thing).

I have two simple questions in mind:

1)Does being humble mean you have an inferiority complex?Or does that mean you'll be able to grow as a more talented person given that you are open to criticism and self improvement?

2)Does being vain and narcissistic mean you'll go more forward in your career? Or will that hamper you as a frog living in a well?

I honestly used to be quite a vain person as a teenager. I used to think I am the smartest person on Earth. All that narcissism was brought down when I started meeting so many people and reading about so many people. Now I am on the side where I will promote my dance company, but not promote myself as much. Maybe that is a bad thing,I don't know?

What do you think? What gets you going in your career? Be it a corporate office, where you'll find many talkers who seem to know all ? Or are you into arts, and you are wondering whether you be like the guy who brags about himself all the time, or be the good guy who everyone likes?

Please share your thoughts. 

Your thoughts might be a life saver for a lot of people and their jobs, and also, to me.