Alanis Morissette: Narcissus
Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda
Narcissus from Greek mythology
artist: Alanis Morissette
songwriter: Alanis Morissette
date released: 2002 by Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette was love-bombed by a clinical narcissist, and she lived to talk about it! She nails Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) right on the head with her lament on her Narcissus aka Mama's Boy; Me-Show Boy; Egotist Boy; Popular Boy; Self-Centred Boy; Magnetic Boy — Morissette doesn't miss a trick!
Morissette takes aim at self-centred guys who expect her to do all the work in relationships in "Narcissus," named after the Greek god who fell in love with his own reflection (and inspired the term "narcissist").
The singer elaborated in the album's track-by-track commentary: "The verses represent my trying to speak as truthfully as I possibly can about what I see, but there's no such thing as objective truth, so they (men) could probably sing the same kind of song right back at me.
It's the part of me that allows me to feel like a victim and the part of me that allows me to just be angry and not apologize for it. And yet in the choruses, I feel like I do take responsibility, I feel like I'm calling it what it is, but I'm also saying, 'And yet here I am, still wanting to connect with you.' So, it's that dichotomy of loving someone and really wanting it to work and wanting to bridge the gap and bridge the chasm and, yet at the same time, being totally repulsed by the qualities that are being presented and the pain that comes from it."
From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), her Narcissus boy displays the following characteristics:
1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerated achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
"Dear Narcissus Boy......." (AM
"Dear Magnetic Boy........" (AM)
"Dear Popular Boy........." (AM)
"You go back to ignoring all the rest of us. You go back to the centre of your universe." (AM)
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
"Dear Popular Boy........" (AM)
"Dear Me-Show Boy........" (AM)
3. requires excessive admiration
"Dear Me-Show Boy......." (AM)
"Magnetic Boy......" (AM)
4 . has a sense of entitlement---i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
"I know you're not really into conflict resolution." (AM)
"Of seeing both sides of every equation." (AM)
"Or having an interrupted conversation." (AM)
5. is interpersonally exploitative; takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
"You go back to the women who will dance the dance." (AM)
"You go back to your friends who will lick your ***." (AM)
6. lacks empathy
"I know you've never really listened to a woman." (AM)
"[You are] a stranger to the concept of reciprocity" (AM)
7. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
8. shows arrogant, haughty behaviours and attitudes.
"I know you've never really apologized for anything."
"Dear Narcissus Boy; Me-Show Boy; Egotist Boy; Magnetic Boy, Self-centred Boy; Popular Boy"....what more can Alanis say? (AM)
9. Finally, behind every Narcissus Boy or Girl, there is often an unbroken union with a mother [or father]. "Dear Mama's Boy, I know you've had your butt licked by your mother. I know you've enjoyed all the attention from her. And every woman graced with your Presence after." (AM)
A Narcissus Boy learned early in life that his mother required him to be something that he was not; to develop a false self to mask the truth; to idealize and devalue in an instant to protect the true self from exposure.
If you should see Narcissus Boy or Girl coming down the street, run! If you want to explore other songs on pathological narcissism, check out: "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon; "The Great Pretender" by The Platters; "Building a Mystery" by Sarah McLachlan; "Flawed Design" by Stabilo.
Watch Morissette discuss Narcissism.