The Ethics of Credentials : The Emotional Energy Behind Bragging (Credentials)

I was reflecting on a recent exchange I had with a Narcissist who I ended up doing Business with for 6 months prior to my discovering she was a Narcissist.

As we spoke, she, while selling herself to me, gave me her credentials.

“I can do X.”

“I can do Y.”

She painted a picture that made me think and believe that she was a world-renowned Website designer.

I, on the other hand, thought I knew jack-and-shit when it came to technology despite building my own websites since 2015. I started to notice “anomalies” that made me “curious” about what she had boasted when basic, website commands were malfunctioning.

It reminded me of a trivia night I was at last week when one question asked launched us into a debate on the answer. I gave my thoughts (I was wrong), and used my credentials to sell my knowledge on the topic. The man (who was right), submitted to me because of my credentials.

My problem was that I knew too much about linguistics and assumed the Psychology field would have Linguistic knowledge too… In this case, knowing too much caused me to be wrong.

And I wondered, I knew, had I not mentioned my credentials, he would not have backed down. There is a lot of information in the world, and many of us contend to collect as much of it as we can. And still, it barely scratches the surface of what could be known.

But more to the point, had I not given my credentials to validate my knowledge, then he would have been right and not submit to me.

Had the Narcissist not given me her credentials, I would not have submitted to her lack of knowledge and inability to execute the job.

The credentials of others too often intimidates us. We are too quick to doubt our selves and we throw out our own knowledge as if, “What you know invalidates EVERYTHING I know” instead of adds to it.

And that is the difference. INTEGRATE your knowledge. Don’t INVALIDATE it just because someone comes along with more information than you. No one person can know everything about one thing. It isn’t possible.

About the Author: Anna Imagination