Performance Identity


I have often referred to how the advances in technology have proven a great boon for my kind. Not only does technology allow us a greater reach, to more people, more often and more easily it provides us with camouflage. The genesis of the “selfie” is testament to that. Once upon a time if you wanted to be in one of your own pictures, you asked somebody else to use your camera to take a picture of you and your friends or perhaps you against some fantastic backdrop of scenery. Now  the advent of the camera phone has allowed everybody to take a picture of themselves with friends, with a famous person, in front of a landmark, pulling a stupid pout, holding up  beer and so on. This need to be “in on the shot” is a nod to the narcissistic traits of entitlement, boundary violation and grandiosity. Of course, not everyone is of our kind and just because you have a tendency to take selfies does not make you one of our kind either. What it does though is increase the backdrop of narcissistic tendencies so that ours fit even more readily into what society is doing. Fifteen years ago if someone kept pestering other people to take a picture of themselves in different poses and places, eyebrows would be raised. Now if you see someone holding their ‘phone up and pouting, you do not bat an eyelid. It is expected. This narcissistic tendency has become mainstream and we welcome this, as it allows ours to be merge with that mainstream to, enabling us to move more easily amongst you all.

When you take that selfie you are engaging in performance identity. You are reinforcing your identity as against the performance of standing and taking a picture of yourself which you then plaster across several social media outlets, text to your friends and quite possibly set as your wall paper. Performance crime is the instance whereby a perpetrator engages in criminal activity which he or she records. How many videos have you seen on Facebook where a fight is in progress and nobody halts it, but instead they stand around cameras held aloft filming the fracas? How often have you seen people posting pictures of themselves committing some criminal act, be it the use of drugs, assaulting somebody, criminal damage or theft?  It also goes to include those acts which may not be criminal but would be regarded as morally reprehensible. Taking photographs of somebody who is drunk asleep in the middle of the road rather than helping them, snapping away at someone who has soiled themselves or vomited. Taking pictures of someone’s mishap or misfortune and adding a supposedly witty insight in white text across the bottom of the picture. These behaviours are all geared towards performance, showing off and putting on a show.

We are masters at performance identity. We are defined by what we do to an admiring and attentive audience. Our every move is choreographed, our entrance carefully planned. We walk the urban landscape with an imaginary soundtrack playing in our heads as we strut along, considering ourselves to be in some kind of film or documentary. A puzzle once went along the lines of,

“It a leaf falls in a forest but there is nobody there to hear it, did it make a sound?”

The modern day equivalent for our kind is,

“If we did something but nobody saw it, did it really take place?”

We are defined by what others see us do and their reaction to it. Whether it is admiration, hatred, anger, upset, terror, grief, hilarity, amusement, praise, love or adoration there must always be an emotion infused reaction. This reaction defines who we are because it provides us with fuel. It tells us that we are brilliant, feared, furious, dominant, entertaining, witty, sensational, beautiful, remarkable and so forth. The reaction is everything for the fuel it provides but also because our performance allows us to define what we believe what we are, the outward appearance the world must see as opposed to the one locked deep away and never permitted to be viewed.

You all engage in performance identify. Often it is of little consequence but it still shapes part of what you are. The growing tendency for people to engage in performance identity means that our need, our absolute need to do this, will not always stand out as much as it might. Yes, it draws a reaction but this need for attention may not always be seen for what it is. People just regard us as outgoing, bombastic, entertaining, the life and soul of the party, at the centre of everything. There are scores of polite ways of saying attention seeker without realising that is what you are doing. We must do it however, we must perform from the moment we rise from our beds until we return to it again in order to draw fuel and to create that which we want the world to see. The world may indeed be a stage, but it is a stage for my kind and me.


11 thoughts on “Performance Identity

  1. ANK says:

    I hate having my photo taken and not really one for selfies either.

    The thing is Narchole use to ask me to send a pic of myself to him pretty much everyday on the way to work, at work. He wanted to see what I was wearing too.

    I could easily have sent him selfies after disengagement in an attempt to try to get him back but that would have been pathetic and anyway I know now it would have been hoover trigger material.

    1. Kimi says:

      My recent Narc also sent me daily photos and insisted I do the same. I was puzzled about his request for my photos after discovering that he is a Narc.

      HG, I realize my responses to his photos were fuel for him. Were my photos also just fuel? Surely he didn’t care to see MY photos? Is it the control dynamic? Attachment dynamic?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        The photos in themselves were not fuel, their provision and the manner of doing so may well have been. The request for photos was about exerting control. It may have been about more, dependent on what the photos were of.

      2. Star says:

        I despise when men ask for photos constantly, and then act insulted and wounded if you fail to comply to their demands😡

      3. ANK says:


        I think again it’s about control, manipulation and getting you ensnared.

        He use to ask for pics and then tell me how pretty I looked, that he loved the dress I was wearing etc. All part of the golden period and love bombing to get you addicted.

        He didn’t very often send me pics of himself
        Also to see how far you will go with the type of pics. I never sent nudes. That is one thing I will never do ever. He did ask during sexting but I refused. He would send pics of his dick – saying he was hard at the thought of me and did I want to see.

        He so wanted to have video sex over facetime but again a no for me.

        I guess some in order to try to get the Narc back after discard might send nude pics. Which is fuel and also useful to the Narc for devaluation, blackmail etc.

        1. Kimi says:

          Hi ANK,

          I realize now that the requested photos during seduction were about domination, control and attaching me to him. It worked! He would send me daily selfies and demanded the same, often specifying what I was to wear and do in each photo. I knew it was unusual, but I complied despite my instinct not to!

          Good for you for maintaining your boundaries!!!

  2. 12345 says:

    I love Woody!!! Hero of the Wild West!!

    Can you tell I’m not working, HG? I’m going through every post since you’ve returned (you were gone too long by the way) to catch up. I bring my personal laptop to work so I can do this very thing.

    I’ve been off Facebook, Twitter, Insta for many months now but I took selfies about once a month to get affirmation from people. Those likes and perfunctory comments about “looking good” and “you’re so beautiful” made me feel okay about myself. I knew most of the comments were just words. It still fed my aching ego for about a whole second.

    I have to say I feel better not doing that anymore. It feels clean.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I applaud your dedication 12345.

    2. narc affair says:

      Hi 12345…my narc and i were discussing selfies and he despises it on facebook. I always make it a point to like or comment something nice bc that person may feel insecure or low and be reaching out for an ego boost. I have no issues with it. I know what youre saying tho after awhile its not effective and gives a hollow validation.

  3. Annabelle says:

    Recently there was an incident in Florida in which some teenaged boys did nothing to help a drowning man ( not even call for help ) They apparently laughed at him, mocked him verbally and took photos and selfies while he called for help. There is so much violation of other peoples boundaries with cell phones, nextels, and smart phones that it’s hard to tell whether it’s narc. behavior or just the run-of-the-mill rudeness of this day and age. But I often see people who are old enough to know better being pains in the butt with their cell phones. I mean do you really have to call somebody at the grocery store to figure out what you need? (and stand right in front of the freezers) But do people want to violate their own boundaries? I hear so much private stuff when people are on their phones that I don’t want to hear! Spies must have it easy now. Also what will these cry – babies do when there’s no power or their GPS isn’t working, because they don’t know how to fend for themselves. If you ask many young people these days they’ll not have a clue! People so busy connecting with other people on phones,texts, FB etc., rarely seem to connect with anybody around them. But sheesh, to connect with a real person you have to put something real into ( unless you’re a narc. or psychopath, I guess)

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Was his name Bob?

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