Existential Psychology

Narcissism And Projecting The Present Into The Future

By  | 

Part of our human syndrome of narcissism is to project the current set of circumstances into an indefinite future. We fool ourselves into believing that our lives will forever remain the same as they are right now.

This is a real problem for mental health on both sides of the coin actually, for when life’s going really well and when it’s not going so well. When life is going really well we tend to take that set of circumstances for granted since we think we’ll have them around forever. Then when they inevitably change we’re completely blindsided. On top of the grief we also struggle with a sense of indignation, with the injustice of it all.

When life isn’t going so well we’d love nothing more than for our set of circumstances to change but the same narcissism that makes us believe the good will stay around forever makes us believe the bad isn’t going anywhere. So on top of the emotional and psychological pain of the unwanted situation despair and hopelessness creep into the picture.

The solution is simple enough. When things are going really well take some time every day to cultivate gratitude for them, remember they’re not going to stay that way forever which makes them that much more precious, like a flower that only blooms for a short time. And when things aren’t going so well take some time every day to remind yourself that they’re not going to stay that way forever, that change is an inevitable part of life. It’s your narcissism compelling you to believe your bad present is a future set in stone. Your life isn’t going to stay the same forever, life is impermanence, and while this insight may seem grim it actually increases mental health since it lets you fully grab onto the moment when your situation is desirable and it instills you with hope when your situation is undesirable.