We operate by virtue of our perceived superiority to all around us. We also require the spotlight of attention to be on us at all times. As a consequence of this we have a repeated need to assert that we are better than you, we are elevated above you and we should be afforded such preferential treatment accordingly. As ever we rely on our oral pronouncements to reinforce our status and below are six frequently used statements that we use to achieve this along with what motivates us to us them.
- You’re not ill, I once had a real fever, this is nothing by comparison
We do not like you to be ill. This means you expect us to look after you and we do not do that. We are not equipped with sympathy and empathy and therefore we feel need to help you. Furthermore, if you are ill you are not running around after us and that irritates us. Worst of all however is that you are not giving us fuel and instead you are expecting to be the centre of attention. In order to disrupt this annoying situation we will belittle whatever ailment you are suffering from and remind you of how ill or injured we once were. If you have a broken leg, ours was broken in two places. If you have a cold, we had flu. If you have stomach ache we had gastro-enteritis. Do not expect us to play nursemaid.
- I have one like that but mine is better
It does not matter if we are talking about a music system, mobile telephone, pair of trousers or a house we are irritated by you showing off that you have something new. This means that people are asking you about it and giving you praise and admiration. Even if people are providing jealous looks at your latest car we want those jealous looks coming our way. We need to throw an immediate spanner in the works and cause you some consternation by demeaning whatever it is you are showing off, this will draw fuel from you and gives us a chance to turn the spotlight back onto us as we talk about our brilliant new motorbike.
- Nothing you do is good enough
I am brilliant you are not and you need to reminded of that fact on repeated occasions so I can reinforce my superior status and lord it over you. No matter how hard you try, no matter how successful you may and that you receive plaudits from lots of other people we will tell you that what you do is not good enough. This is because we fear that you might just outshine us and take our supposed right to all the attention away from us and that will weaken us. We always have to prevent this happening and by doing you down in this method we upset you, draw fuel and keep ourselves as top dog.
- You do know people only like me because of you
I am the sun around which everything else revolves. I am magnetic, charming and a joy to be around. With my perfect looks, brilliant humour, massive intellect and plethora of achievements there is no reason why anybody would not want to be with me. You on the other hand are wretched and pathetic but because I am such a decent and kind person I allow you to trail in my wake. This means you can benefit from my radiance and my reflected glory, so people appear to like you. Don’t get carried away and think you can steal their admiration and affection for yourself, that is not allowed, hence I need to remind you who is the real star of the show.
- You Are Nothing Without Me
In a similar vein to the above, you are only allowed to function because of my generosity. Such is my power that I can shunt you to one side and remove friendships, family, money and job from you as I snatch your sanity and tear apart your self-esteem. You should watch out because if you do not do what I want this is what is going to happen to you. You need me because otherwise you are utterly unremarkable and it is through my largesse and grace and favour that I allow you to exist to the extent that you do. Show me now how grateful you are as you blink back the tears caused by this cutting remark.
- I Bet You Wish You Were Me
It does no harm to remind you of the gulf between us and what better way than to engender some jealousy and envy in you. You should want to be like me because I am glorious and brilliant. See how everyone likes me? See how doors always open to me? See how I get my way repeatedly? Look at my success, the friends I have, the invitations I receive and all the fawning, kneeling, hand-kissing worshippers that flock to my court. You would like that too wouldn’t you? Problem is, although you wish you were like me, you aren’t and nor can you ever be, so just be thankful I allow you to grace my presence. Time for you to bow I think.