Are You a Self-Serving Narcissist? Read This to Find Out

You should trust no one or help no one because everyone is just looking out for themselves!

You know this because you might have been working hard and haven’t received a raise or promotion. Nobody notices the effort you are putting in!

Maybe you are about to graduate and you still haven’t received a job offer. You did excellent as a student, followed all the advice you received, and still no job offer...

Or it might be that you just started a business and not even your closest friends are supporting you. They might say they will but their actions are not matching their words.

Everyone tells you they want to help and when you actually need it… everyone disappears.

Then frustration starts to kick in... which makes you think the effort of trying to help others is not worth it.

Why help others if nobody is helping you?

Why help others if everyone else is out there trying to help themselves?

We have not been made, as humans, to deal with this type of stress!

In the past, our stresses were short and intense. A mountain lion is chasing you or the warrior of another tribe is coming at you.

You fight, run, or die. But that’s it.

After that intense moment, you go back to not worrying about those threats.

Nowadays, as Dr. John Media points out in his book Brain Rules, our stresses are measured not in moments but in hours, days, and sometimes months because of all the career, family, and financial challenges that we face.

One study showed that stressed individuals were three times more likely to suffer from the common cold, especially if the stress was social in nature and lasted more than a month.
— John Medina

We are not built for these long-term stressors.

The more stressed we are, the more negative we get. The more negative we get, the harder it is to stop the negative effects of stress.

We get bitter and fall into a state of what Martin Seligman calls “Learned Helplessness”. This happens the moment you feel there is no way out.

This was proven with research conducted on animals. In the study, they had a dog receiving painful shocks of electricity day and night. At first, the dog would try to do something about it. He howled, urinated, and tried to get rid of the harness he had to eliminate the pain.

Eventually, the dog understood that the pain was not going away. The dog was then released and placed into a metal box, with a clear escape route, but he remained in the box. The box was giving him the same electric shocks.

This time he could easily get out of the box… but he had already given up. He understood that the pain he was feeling was just a part of life.

How many of you have accepted the pain of not receiving help as a part of life?

Chronic stress can turn the most helpful and empathetic person into someone that doesn’t care about anything else but himself.

Learned helplessness can turn givers into takers (Adam Grant, Give and Take).  

Our enemies are not the takers out there. We shouldn’t worry about all those who are only taking and not giving. We shouldn’t think about all those that are not helping us.

The enemy is the vicious cycle of constant stress, and negativity, that leads to thinking there is no way out.

Let’s explore how we can create and execute a strategy that will allow us to feel great about giving because we identify the opportunities when we should also take.

As with anything in life, the hard part is to find the balance between giving and taking and it is my goal to share with you a formula that will allow you to:

  • Get the job you deserve

  • Receive a raise or promotion

  • Grow the revenue of your business

  • Create a following of more than 30,000 people

Yet, the most important thing that you will achieve is to maintain a positive attitude towards any of these challenges so that you can avoid falling into the trap of feeling there is no way out.

Give What Others Want

 

How can you expect to take money out of your bank account if you never put money in it?

It just doesn’t make sense.

This is exactly why the process starts with giving and there are many ways in which you can give.

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking ‘What’s in it for me?’
— Brian Tracy

The first step is easy and simple. Because everyone is looking for help!

Companies, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and everyone else is looking for help.

So this is really simple. Be sure that you are helping and giving something that is valuable for other people.

You should be helping with what they need… not with what you can give. For example, some people appreciate words of affirmation while others value time more than anything else. Let’s explore this situation between John and Clara.

This means that John might think that just canceling an appointment to go share time with Clara is the most valuable thing he can give Clara (given that John values times more than anything else). John and Clara decide to meet for coffee. Yet, in that time John doesn’t say anything nice about Clara or what he appreciates about her.

Can you see where this is going?

Clara will not feel appreciated and will in turn not show gratefulness about John giving him some of his time. John, when seeing that Clara is not showing gratefulness will think that she is an ungrateful person because John was giving him his most valuable thing… his time!

This is exactly why, before giving, you have to take the time to understand others and learn about the things they value. This can be a classmate, a teacher, a boss, a partner, a client, or any other human being.

ACTIONABLE KNOWLEDGE:

One thing I did with my close family was to have them all do this quiz. It will help you discover their 5 love languages (you should do the quiz too obviously).

Yes, some of this quizzes are like other personality quizzes that might not be perfect. You might feel sometimes like an introvert but other times an extrovert, etc. I get it, as human being we are constantly flowing and don’t like to have labels.

Yet, the 5 love languages quiz will give you a good idea of what other people value so that you can be efficient and effective when giving.

Now that I know what they value I am in a better position to give them what they need and also they can give me what I want.

In fact, it can help you achieve more with less.

For example, one of the things I value the most is time. That is why I am always on time for any appointment and why I rarely (almost never) miss deadlines because I give what I value. On the other hand, one of my closest family members values words of affirmation.

This situation makes it very efficient and effective for me to show my appreciation now that I am aware of it. I don’t even have to give time (my most valuable asset) and can still create value for that person. I just need to put some effort on sharing words of affirmation (which is what I value the least).

Here is a perfect example of why sometimes things don’t work between humans.

Given that I give such a low value to words of affirmation (because I am a stubborn doer that doesn’t care much about what others think about me or what I do) I would’ve never thought about giving these to others. Because of this, I was missing an opportunity of making others feel appreciated.

I am sure that you can think of situations where others haven’t valued what you gave. It might just be that you had different love languages.

Take the time to do the quiz and to ask those that you care about to take it and share the results with you. You can thank me later.

Give what others want and appreciate!
 

The Balance Between Giving & Taking

 

Few people can go all their lives just giving.

We have to ask for help because we all need it.

I am not a self-made man.
— Arnold Schwarzenegger

Gary Vaynerchuk, in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, shares a formula that we can all use.

The way in which we can remain positive and thinking about others, while also achieving our goals, is to Give, Give, Give, and then Take.

Yes, we have to take. We have to ask for what we deserve.

Most companies won’t give you a raise because they might think that you are happy with your current compensation. If you give more effort for the same amount of pay they will be happy.

Let’s say that they are not just trying to squeeze as much value out of you for the least amount of money they can pay you. Let’s be positive and say that what they are thinking is that you get a sense of value by working and achieving more and that is why they don’t think about giving you a raise.

Yet, you might actually want that raise or promotion. But how will they know if you don’t ask? Nobody can read minds, and as we proved by doing the 5 love languages quiz, we all have different perspectives of the world.

What might be common sense to you might actually be something ridiculous to someone else (especially in a city like Houston where we have so many different cultural backgrounds). So be sure to open up those communication channels and engage in those uncomfortable conversations about asking what you want and deserve.

Just don’t forget about the formula: Give, Give, Give, and then Take.

Show up to work on time every day. Over deliver on your promises. Stay late that time that your boss and the team needs it the most… and then ask for that raise of promotion.

Do the research about the companies where you would like to work. Show up to any informational event or panel that the company is sponsoring. Take the time to get to know some people that work there and learn about what they want… and then send a personalized email asking for more information about their job opening that you want help them fill.

See how it should be framed as “a job opening that they have that you want to help them fill” instead of “you wanting a job and them giving it to you”.

Framing matters.

I could write another whole blog about the psychology of framing but it is not the priority today.

ACTIONABLE KNOWLEDGE:

Even when you take, frame it as a give.

Every message, email, communication that you send should always answer the question “What’s in it for them?” even if it the purpose of it is to take.

Here is a script you can use:

Hello [name],

[Insert something about them]

It could be an article they recently published, a recent career move they made, a news that featured something about their company, etc.

[connect that to you]

It could be what you found valuable about the article, that you want to follow the same career path, what you appreciate about what their company is doing. Whatever you put here should be the truth. People can read between the lines and they will know when you are faking it.

[insert your ask]

It could be advice, a meeting, information about a job opening, etc. The ask always goes last.

It’s as simple as that: [Something about them] + [connect that to you] + [insert your ask]

In this formula, the order matters. Always ask after making it about them and connecting that to you.

We share more scripts, and ways in which you can create an online presence to make it easier for people to find you and help you, in this e-guide.

It shares simple step-by-step advice that will allow you to not only get your LinkedIn profile to All-Star level but also start building your LinkedIn network in a meaningful way.  
 

Go Take What You Deserve

 

Now it’s the time to put this knowledge into action:

  • Don’t fall into the trap of feeling there is no way out

  • Always think about what’s in it for them

  • Frame your asks into a way to help others

  • Give, Give, Give, and then Take

Too much giving without taking might make you bitter, stressed, and will lead you to the learned helplessness trap.

Too much taking without giving and you will be seen as an egotistic narcissistic person (which is probably true if the only thing you do is take).

The key is to find a balance. Following the Give, Give, Give and then Take formula will help you find that balance.

This formula can help you:

  • Ask for that raise or promotion that you deserve

  • Turn prospects into happy clients

  • Grow your influence by giving value to others

If you would like to receive more information that will help you tackle the challenges you face when advancing your career then be sure to join our monthly conversation.

Our emails are short and provide actionable information. We read and answer all of our emails, which is why it is a conversation more than anything else.

Also, our preferred love language includes likes and we would be grateful if you help us reach more people that might need help with the challenges they are facing. We make it easy for you, just click the button below.