It’s not just about loving yourself anymore. No true narcissist is going to show that in public.
The whole point is to feel a grandiose sense of self-worth, right? Well, there’s no better source of that than to look charitable. There’s no greater feeling in the world than adoration – and it comes easy when you look like an altruist.
You don’t actually have to be an altruist. No “real” altruist exists anyways. Everyone’s in it for themselves – yourself, a little more so – but you can still hide it. You have to hide it. You have to make it subtle, because that’s how you get the most love.
You see those guys filming themselves giving money to the homeless? You remember how well it worked for the first few months? That’s what I’m talking about. Everything was swell for those few months. But then everyone started copying it. Everyone else tried to cash in on it. Then it became too obvious. People started realizing, and soon, it turned into “obvious narcissism.” You can’t have that anymore. We’re in a new age of narcissism, my dear – and “true” altruism is at the center of it.
David Foster Wallace is rolling in his grave, but nobody else is gonna know. Nobody else is gonna know that you’re only acting gracious for the sake of your own self-image – that is, until you make it too obvious. Until you’re suddenly donating millions of dollars to a charity before a scandal comes out. Until you’re filming yourself “doing good deeds.” until you’re preaching about “how good it feels to clean up the environment.”
It’s not good enough anymore. Nobody’s gonna get fooled by that nowadays. Nobody’s gonna believe that you’re truly doing it “out of the kindness of your heart,” because they’ve seen it all – they’ve developed suspicion. The people – they’ve evolved.
What am I saying?
I’m saying: it’s time to do good in secrecy. It’s time to do a Robin Hood, and wait eagerly for the day someone catches you doing good. You always have to act surprised, too. You always have to be self-effacing. Always play down your deeds. Always pretend that it’s “no big deal.” Always. Even when you’ve run out of patience, and you want to publicize it – don’t. You’re waiting for the big payout, remember? You’re waiting for someone to go all Bill Gates on you, and “suddenly find out” that you’ve been donating to charities all your life, and that you’re such a “moral guy.”
You want the wait. You want the anticipation, because that’s actually the best part about all of this. You can come up with all these scenarios, all these situations where you’ll be showered with praise – hailed as a messiah. A messiah of morality. Even if you’re alone, and nobody saw you do it, you can still think about the imaginary situations that you do get seen.
Say you’re the last one out of the classroom. There’s a few chairs not put up. Everyone else is long gone. The only person who sees you do this is yourself. You’re the only guy who knows that you were performing this action. Only you.
But everyone can see the results. Everyone can come back the next morning – maybe they won’t think about it right away. Maybe they’ll chalk it up to “everybody doing their jobs,” and dismiss the notion that you were the only one. Maybe they’ll think that every time.
But don’t give up. Don’t stop cleaning up after them. You don’t want their approval anyways – you want the approval of guys who bother to consider those things. The ones whose thoughts “hold weight.” The guys that can read between the lines and appreciate you for your work. Right?
It’s guys like me. Other narcissists. Other narcissists are thinking about you, and the work that you’ve done in secrecy. The only other guys that bother thinking about this stuff this late at night. The only other guys who do this. We salute you, but you’re kinda taking our place in the limelight, too.