Red Flag to Narcissistic Injury

A glaring, bright red, waving "flag" that a person has suffered a "Narcissistic Injury" is attacking another person with criticism about what they seem to be interested in or talking about.

"Is that all you ever do?"

"Is that all you ever talk about?"

"Why are you so fixated on that?"

"You seem to know way too much about that."

"Who are you trying to BE, anyway?"

"What are you trying to accomplish, anyway?"

"Don't you think you're a little obsessed?"

"It's all you ever talk about."

"You are obviously trying to work out deep-seated issues of your own or you wouldn't care so much about it."

"Why don't you just let it go?!"

Why is this a flag? 
Because people only react this way to things that make them uncomfortable.

A person who is a physicist is not given much flak about talking about physics often. Either other people like it, admire it, or they find it confusing or boring, but it's rare that they feel much emotional reaction about it.The only people that might actually try to demean or criticize a physicist in this way are the ones who would take the physicist's interest as a "personal affront", and who would that be? Possibly a person who abhors science, or who is envious and resentful of those they see as "smart". Maybe another physicist who envies the first physicist's ability. Maybe a family member who wants to spend more personal time with the physicist, but that's not really about the interest itself, it would be about the time spent in really relating and connecting.

In the same vein, a carpenter is not given much flak about focusing on their work, or talking about their job, or talking about their trade a lot. People will often initiate conversation about carpentry with them, and in fact might do that MORE than the carpenter would like.

A medical physician might spend the better part of every day talking about health and medicine, and no one seems to have any issue at all with it, except for maybe her husband who just wants to spend more time with her away from work.

A musician (a well-liked and socially accepted musician) could practically wear his instruments as clothing, make musical references to practically everything, tell "glory stories" at every opportunity, and people would say things about him in a positive, admiring way like "He's so into music" or "He lives and breathes music" or "He's such a cool guy" or "He sees everything through music".

***Depending on the regional prejudices and cultural illness, in many areas if a musician who happened to be female behaved in exactly the same way, with no variation, no drug use or any other "deviant" behavior, she would not receive admiration or encouragement, but quite the opposite; she might be treated as if she is obsessed and unstable, even mentally ill. 

So when people are COMFORTABLE with another person's focus of interest, even if the person seems obsessive about it, they will allow it, accept it, even encourage and praise them for it.
When they are UNCOMFORTABLE with another person's focus of interest, they will frequently imply that the person is "obsessed", "fixated", "messed up", anything negative they can think of to try to discredit and demean the person, thereby demeaning their focus of interest. If they get lucky, their hostile, childish bullying and dismissiveness might even convince the person to abandon their interest.

People who feel uncomfortable about another person's focus of study, work, and interest will often even initiate a conversation with them, trying to "trap" them into talking about their focus just so they can have an excuse to say something like "That's all you ever talk about!" The term "baiting" applies to this little set-up, and it is a bully tactic designed to humiliate and demean the person.

When a person is uncomfortable with another person's focus of interest, whether it's work, study, or a hobby, it's a direct reflection of their own FEELINGS.

The fact that they feel uncomfortable says ZERO about the reality of the other person or the interest.
Being uncomfortable with the fact that someone collects weapons feels pretty much the same as discomfort that a man is a daycare worker or a woman is an auto mechanic.

Feelings are not a reflection of the outside world, but a reflection of one's own inside world. So if I'm uncomfortable about my neighbor's apparent passion for ficus trees, that reflects ME, not my neighbor; what is my issue with Ficus trees? Do I only like it when certain races of people have Ficus trees, and my neighbor doesn't fit? Do I associate an interest in trees with only one sex, and my neighbor is the other? Do I have a negative association from childhood with Ficus trees? Do I have other control issues and believe that everyone on my street should have only the same plants and trees as I have? Maybe we should call a neighborhood conference and make a committee... I'll oversee it...

So what's the deal with people who try to "call a person out" on the motive and reasons behind their interest and focus? The deal is that it's much, much more about THEM and THEIR ISSUES than about the person they're trying to criticize. They must be feeling that the person's focus is a threat to them in some way, or they wouldn't even notice it, and even if they did, they wouldn't criticize it.

I can already hear the retorts... "But if my neighbor is collecting guns and bombs and weapons of mass destruction, then I have a right to be uncomfortable and upset!"
Well, of course you do! Just as much as I have a right to be upset about my neighbor's Ficus tree fixation (which is not a fixation, I just call it that to demean them, and it gets me a laugh at their expense...)

There is a very big difference between collecting weapons and being psychotic.

There is a very big difference between really liking Ficus trees, and being perversely obsessed with them, or carving them into weapons.

There is a very big difference between being a real teacher, and being a politically affiliated "right fighter" Narcissist who feels a very unhealthy ownership toward children, and a feeling of entitlement to special privilege because of one's job. A teacher without a job is just an out of work regular human being, just like everyone else; a genuine teacher educates from a place of humility and compassion, not from a high and mighty place of supremacy, entitlement, and judgment.

There is a very big difference between a person who is concerned for another's well-being, and a person who is trying to shut another person down because of their own discomfort, fear of change, fear of losing control over others, or fear of being exposed.