Numbers Narcissist (a short rant from a week of unbelievable statistics)

FatMan

See the bottom of my blog page? I have over 3,420 followers now! I could say 3,425, but then I couldn’t use the word ‘over’, and a numbers narcissist can’t say a number without prefixing it with ‘over’.

Regardless, that number is nothing but social media trickery. Never mind how it works, there are a handful of people who actually read my blog. The point is that narcissists will sell their soul for the praise of others and media entrepreneurs know how to close that deal – sell systems that help people bloat the numbers.

Angus Buchan, the South African farmer of “Faith Like Potatoes” told me (did I say “he told me”? actually I heard him say it in a sermon) that he refuses to count the number of men who attend the meetings on his farm. There are around 400,000, but he refuses to count them. David got into trouble for counting his men. Soldiers and salvations can be counted, but not for the purpose of glorifying the leader. Exaggerate the numbers and Jesus will respond with something like, “You have your reward.”

But here’s the other side of numbers narcissism; if I catch you exaggerating your numbers, will I trust you in other matters? I won’t, because I can’t.

In the market of new relationships, honesty is the currency that buys into a potential future together. It’s the first thing I listen for, and I often hear, “Our program airs to over ten million viewers each week,” or, “We are in over 40 nations,” or, “Thousands of people read my blog!” Now I have some numbers that reveal your integrity.

In mature relationships, we all know that none of us got where we are by ourselves and bragging up the numbers to make the applause louder is a fool’s talent – it drives a wedge into the trust that took years to build, no exaggeration.

Number narcissism might give a momentary high, but it actually diminishes the real numbers.

Until next week, may you have over a million followers.

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