Narcissism and Echoism: HELLO Hello hello


I’ve been studying narcissism for years now.

Every time I think I have a grasp on the subject, I learn new things.

Echoism, for one.

Sort of a good news/bad news situation with narcissism and echoism.

I certainly identified with being an echoist, but after reading all the criteria, I think I’m better than I thought. Or at least better than I used to be.

Which reminds me of my old mantra that I used to use to talk myself up. “I don’t suck as much as I used to.” I’ve come a long way. Also, I don’t suck as much as I used to. 

Anyway, the concept of echoism isn’t new to me, but the term is.

Sort of like when I learned the phrase “collapsed narcissist“.  I already knew what a collapsed narcissist was, I just didn’t know the term.

Echoism is a trait and if you have suffered from any type of narcissistic abuse, then you probably know what it means even if you haven’t heard of echoism.

Children of narcissists learn at an early age that their needs are not only unimportant, but unnecessary and selfish.

My job, was to be a loyal mirror that my father could look into and see himself reflected. I failed miserably at being a mirror because I’m an actual human. Even though I could never give my father enough narcissist supply, I did learn the lesson that other people’s needs are more important than mine.

The narcissist needs to be the center of attention and needs to be special. An echoist fears being the center of attention. A narcissist thrives on adulation and an echoist finds compliments unbearable.

I read all the articles I could find on echoism.

I recalled writing an article about the time Mountain girl paid me a lovely compliment and I told her to shut up and stop talking. I actually hid my face behind my hands. She was sort of dumbfounded by my reaction.

Honestly, I didn’t really understand it either at the time.

When I read about echoism, I understood exactly what it meant. It means that you hide behind your hands and perhaps become sort of a dick when someone compliments you.

I am grateful when I find new perspective or insight or education regarding the affects of narcissistic abuse. I really am. It’s not always easy, though.

I appreciate it, but I also have to spend a few days with antacids close at hand.

These revelations make my stomach hurt for a bit.

One of the articles had a quiz that sort of ranked your level of echoism and I scored very much in the middle. So, of course I freaked out.

Fraud! You are a fraud. You’ve been writing about being the child of a narcissist for years now and according to this quiz that had 5 questions on it, you are really just sort of a normal person with no real problems stemming from a super shitty childhood. Or was it? Maybe you’re just a big cry baby who needs to whine. How sad. 

I consoled myself with the fact that even though I might not be a professional level echoist, I have plenty of other injuries that make me not a fraud. I think. Probably.

Anyway, echoists get angry if they are the center of attention, but that’s about it.

Not me, man. I get pissed off all the time, sometimes on my own behalf. So, that’s good. I mean, too much anger is not healthy, but having a desire to defend myself or feel angry when I’m hurt is a good thing.

An echoist reads other people’s faces and listen for changes in tone because they have to make sure other people are happy.

Well, I still do that. I probably always will.

The first thing I do, in nearly all human interactions, is gauge the weather. I’m good at it. But I feel less and less inclined to actually do anything about it.

I don’t like it when other people are sad or angry or frustrated because I know that I am going to feel a little sad or angry or frustrated. I can’t help it. However, I don’t want to fix it anymore. I’m taking that as a win.

Okay, that is only mostly true. I sometimes still want to fix it. But not every time. Not even close to every time and it used to be every time. 

Also, and I’m not entirely sure because I am not a mental health professional, but I don’t think a true echoist would enjoy being on a stage as much as I do.

One of the articles I read said that working on being able to say no can be huge for an echoist.

I don’t always say no when I want to, but mostly I do.

That is also something I couldn’t do when I was younger. Say no.

But I could never keep up and thus began my life as a flake.

I could definitely improve in the whole saying no thing, but I don’t suck at it, either.  The article also said that finding a healthy dose of self-entitlement is a good thing. I’m not even sure what that would look like to me, but I do like the sound of it.

So, I thought some of you might like to learn something new. I actually learned the term from a recent comment I had on an older narcissism post. I do so much love learning new things from you guys.

Even when they hurt a little.


Here are a couple of the articles I read.

9 Things Everyone Should Know About Echoists

Echoism Is the Little-Known Condition that Affects Victims of Narcissistic Abuse







About the author


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Yup! The term was new to me, too. But – wow – did I relate to so much of it.

    But since we are humans and NOT mirrors… we get to grow and change. I figure just the fact that I’m AWARE of the the crap I’m doing (like freaking out if someone gives me a compliment) means that I’m healing from my A$$hat father. And maybe, just maybe, by the time I’m 104 I’ll be able to accept a compliment?!

  • As far as I know, there was no narcissism in my family (a little bi-polar though), so I don’t know why I’m finding bits and pieces of my self in Echoism. When I decided to start saying NO to things I never questioned, suddenly I was a bitch. And no, I still can’t accept a compliment without trying to explain it away. A friend recently complemented me on an earring and necklace set I was wearing and I immediately explained how it wasn’t real, just costume, and thought “just shut the hell up and say thank you! Why is that so hard”. I mean really – it was such a nothing thing!

  • Oh if I were near I would make a full batch of those tasty peanut chocolate delights for you. You and Randy would end up throwing them at each other !
    Happy Christmas treats to you!

  • I love learning new things from you too. Reading about your experiences may not be fun in the traditional sense, and I wish things had gone better for you, but at the same time what you share is so valuable and so important. It’s one thing to understand something like echoism academically, but you’re speaking from real experience. You’re showing how the academic definition doesn’t fit everyone, that there’s a wide range, and that no individual can be squeezed into a category.
    Also I never really made the connection before but now I’m going back to the myth of Narcissus and Echo and really thinking about how fucked up that story is, especially for Echo.

  • I guess he has a point, I took mythology in school and I had completely forgotten Echo.
    I was thinking echo in the sense that Suzette Haden Elgin wrote about in her Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense books, wherein you can deliberately get people you’re talking with to favor what you’re saying by matching their speech patterns with your own.
    For instance, you may think “the way I hear it” but if the person you’re talking to says “the way I see it” and you use that phrase instead, they will unconsciously feel familiar with your speech and be more prone to actually listening to the point you’re trying to make.
    They are fascinating books and she was a very smart person, good author and linguist, and wrote some excellent poetry.
    Anyway, I’m sorry you had to go through all of that BS, but I’m glad you’re getting more comfortable with who you are, because I think you’re pretty damn cool. And I can’t see you so if you hid your face a little, I didn’t know about it.

  • I feel as though I’ve been missing a lot of your posts. It looks like they’re coming up on my feed, but I haven’t seen them.

    The good part of this is that I’m going to be able to go back and binge on the ones I haven’t read lately.

    And it looks like you’ve been posting a lot!

  • I didn’t grow up with naraccism but I can certainly identify with the echoism. I was at lunch the other day with a girl friend and she paid me a compliment – up until then we had been chatting and looking at each other and immediately I put my head down and looked at my food – it made me uncomfortable to hear her say those things. I have asked my mom to stop giving me compliments on my crocheting – it’s embarrassing. I don’t know how to deal with compliments – a few times I’ve tried to say thank you and it just comes out all wrong. I really would prefer if people didn’t talk to me at all but seeing as that isn’t going to happen, I’ll probably keep putting my head down and wishing the ground would swallow me up !!
    Wishing you a wonderful festive season and everything you wish for yourself in 2019. We leave for Chicago in 2 sleeps time – I am so fucking excited – I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. It’s going to be amazing spending the first Christmas in 5 yrs with our daughter and I’m hoping it’s going to be a white one too – something so foreign to us. We will be leaving here from temps around 104 and arriving there to temps about -10 or something equally as chilly. I wonder how long it will take for my body to acclimatise – or maybe it won’t ? LOL

  • All the shit you have been put thru and you are still awesome my friend. I know so little except what I see in Trump, the narcissistic ass.
    Thank God you didn’t become a Don, Jr.
    Instead you read, you try to heal, you have a good hubs and kids and cats. You write.
    In my book you are alright!
    Cathy B

By Michelle


RSIH in your inbox