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.