Everything must come with a price
Is there anything more narcissistic than the Law of Attraction?
And is there anything more perfectly suited for narcissists?
In this post I’m pointing out the childish, materialistic, narcissistic philosophies inherent in using the Law of Attraction to manifest a dream life filled with anything we desire.
What’s the Law of Attraction?
I’ll abbreviate it as LOA. It’s not easy to summarize LOA, there’s a lot to it.
To put it as simply as I can, LOA is the idea that we can create (‘manifest’) whatever we desire in your life by thinking about it and imagining we have it. More or less. It also involves verbal statements we make to ourselves called affirmations. I’m leaving things out, but this is the basic idea.
LOA purports to work by us sending our thoughts and affirmations out into the vaguely-defined ‘universe,’ and ‘the universe’ rearranges to come in line with our desires and give us what we want.
The idea is that we can create our own reality by the power of our mind. LOA doesn’t rely on God, it relies on us since we are manipulating reality ourselves. That’s about as quick as I can describe it.
So LOA tells us that we can make anything we desire appear in our life, with no costs to us. Want a new car? Keep thinking about it and doing LOA, the universe will make an opportunity to get one. Want a beautiful girlfriend? Keep thinking about her. The universe will put her in our path somehow. And you get the idea.
If you look this up on YouTube, you’ll find hundreds of videos by dozens of content creators with titles like “Manifest Anything!” “Manifest Your Dream Life!” And the worst title of all: “Make Someone Fall in Love with You!” That is witchcraft and the very idea of it is wrong; what if the other party doesn’t consent?
The point is, LOA is now popular once again (it is not new).
But it sounds great right? Who wouldn’t want to be able to think anything they wanted into existence, skipping over the hard work it takes to get it?
I can tell you who wouldn’t care too much: People who aren’t materialistic. People who understand that having ‘stuff’ doesn’t create happiness in your life. People who are emotionally healthy and their happiness and self-worth don’t hinge on having a romantic relationship. People who understand that no matter what they have in material wealth, they have all they need to be happy right now, and they’re grateful in general.
But I can tell you who would want that: Children.
Childish narcissists and their endless, hopeless quest
Narcissists are children in adult bodies. Physically and mentally they’re grown, but their emotional maturity is that of a child. This condition results from emotional abuse and neglect in childhood. (Explaining narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is beyond the scope of this post. You’d do better to research it further on your own.)
Unhappy, they search externally for people and things to use to make themselves happy. To numb their pain and complete themselves. If only they would search internally, but never mind that.
They mainly search for people to manipulate in relationships, but that’s not all. They can also pursue material wealth, power and status, drugs and alcohol, reckless sex … all kinds of things to numb their emotional pain.
Who or what they find will let them down in the end when it doesn’t create the lasting happiness they were searching for (or when a person can’t live up to their impossible narcissistic standards). That’s when they discard what they found and search for someone or something new to fulfill them. Often they’ll search for someone new before they even got bored of the first person!
See how this is childlike? Give a child a toy, and they’ll be happy and play with it for awhile. But when they see an ad for another toy they like on TV, most children will want that too. They get distracted by what’s shiny and new. They fall for the glamor and say it’s all they’ve ever wanted. They use the childish tactic of manipulation to get it from their parents or guardians. The toy they already have is forgotten, no matter how much it once amused them.
This shows the futility of chasing what you want … and always getting it. Someone who’s only driven by what they want will always be a slave to their wants. Think about it. One can want something and get it, but there’s always something else, something new, that soon enough they will want next. It never ends, and until a person learns that, it will continue their whole life.
Why does this happen? When an unhappy person (like a narc) is driven by their wants (which are influenced by their insecurities), they place all their hopes for happiness on getting that one person or thing they want. But a mature person understands that no partner can provide true happiness if one wasn’t happy to begin with — much less any material item! It’s nice when we get what we want, but that only provides short-term happiness. True happiness can only be found internally, never externally.
After getting what they wanted, a narcissist feels the disappointment of not finding happiness once again, but in their case they don’t realize that critical last part above. This is when the narcissist gets tired of their toy and looks for a new one to make them happy, not understanding the cycle they’re trapped in.
Connecting the two: LOA is perfect for narcissists
As for how this connects with LOA, well, isn’t LOA perfect for narcissists? It offers them a way to manifest an infinite number of toys in their life, so they can keep moving from one person or thing to another as they always do.
And remember, LOA asserts that we are the ultimate master of our reality able to bend the universe to our will. A narcissist’s whole reality already revolves around themselves, so anything catering to that kind of self-obsession was made for them! And they’re already skilled at bending wills because of how manipulative they are.
But this very concept of being able to manifest anything we like through thinking and affirmations is harmful, and could lead us to develop narcissistic tendencies ourselves.
For one thing, constantly thinking about what we want but don’t have stops us from thinking of what we do have right now. It takes our focus off things we could be grateful for, and instead points our mind toward what we lack. This is turning our thoughts in the wrong direction.
Engaging in LOA could suck us into the futile, narcissistic search for happiness like I described above. We could keep manifesting from one thing to the next, hoping that the next person or prize will make our lives complete. But LOA can’t help us complete ourselves.
We can only have the peace of ‘being complete’ when we stop and find happiness inside ourselves. When we learn to be happy right now with who we are and what we’ve got. As a Christian I also insist we can’t achieve this inner peace until we have Jesus too. But I’m trying very hard to keep my faith separate for this one post.
Finally, LOA could turn us materialistic if we keep trying to manifest material items. This shifts our desires from what’s actually important and valuable to temporary, perishable earthly goods.
Tell me, what good is any material thing we can have in this world? Can we take it with us when we die? Will it help us then? Our lives in this world are so short. Whatever that thing is, we won’t have it for long. Everything and everyone in this world fade away.
If we are blessed with some nice material things in life, that’s great! Having some nice things isn’t the problem, but a strong desire for them is. That desire skews our priorities towards what’s less important. And LOA can do this to us without us realizing it.
I see a lot wrong with LOA. But there’s one thing above all else that makes it childish and narcissistic in my eyes.
The hard work can’t be skipped
We don’t get anything good without working hard for it. Yes, it’s true. We can’t skip the hard work when we’re after something. Though consistent work may be more accurate.
If it’s a relationship we’re after, the hard work could be improving ourselves in various ways (like getting in shape, etc.). If we want something material, the work could be cultivating a disciplined habit of saving as we set aside funds for it. Whatever we’re after, we do have to consistently work toward it.
Now, who doesn’t want to work to get something they want? Children. Children want what they want and they want it now, they don’t want to hear about working for it or earning it. If only children could imagine what they wanted into existence — wouldn’t they love that? Once again we see how they would love LOA. (*I’m not anti-children by the way, and I don’t judge them by adult standards. I’m only using them for examples.)
Besides being children in adult bodies, narcissists are masters of manipulating and using others to get what they want. To get others to work for them. With LOA, they can manipulate and use ‘the universe’ instead. LOA still enables them to skip hard work like they prefer to.
Imagining our dreams won’t get them accomplished. We have to take steps toward them. Rest assured, taking baby steps toward a goal will get us to our goal eventually. We do this hard work whenever and wherever we can. We will reach our success if we don’t give up and don’t stop trying. It’s an inevitability.
The dream itself can change somewhat as we proceed through the hard work. New opportunities or a different, better goal may become clear along the way (for example, realizing all we need is a car rather than a fancy luxury car). The gradual progress of our consistent work helps us make these realizations. But if LOA has us mentally fixated on one thing, we’re less likely to figure this out.
LOA purports to grant one’s dreams through consistent manifestation. But the mental energy one uses for manifesting dreams with LOA is much better used to plan, organize, and execute the work needed to achieve those dreams. We can’t skip the consistent hard work. Efficiency is a good thing, but skipping and shortcuts are not (they usually backfire). LOA is a shortcut.
We don’t need LOA to achieve our dreams … or to be happy!
It’s not wrong by any means to have dreams. To desire a more comfortable life is not a sin. Taking steps toward those goals is not bad. And buying some material thing we wanted will not turn us materialistic overnight.
But the pursuit of these things can become unhealthy, even obsessive.
It’s important to remember what we have, and to be grateful for it. There’s always something else we could go after even when we get what we want, so there’s the danger of falling into the same endless cycle as the narcissist. We have the power to avoid that by being grateful and content with what we have right now. The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible repeatedly drives at this point and states it very clearly in Ecclesiastes 6:3.
Some people may have one hundred children and live a long life. But no matter how long they live, if they aren’t content with life’s good things, I say that even a stillborn child with no grave is better off than they are. (Ecclesiastes 6:3, CEB)
If we aren’t happy right now with the good things life has to offer, with the blessings we’ve already received (think about it, we all have things to be grateful for), then we’re better off dead. Because there is nothing external in this world that can fill that hole within us. And even if we achieve many successes in life it doesn’t guarantee our happiness, as this passage points out.
So don’t fall for the idea that LOA can make us happy or give us the life we want, because that’s not true.
LOA takes us farther from the idea that we can be happy here and now, and closer to the endless, futile quest for the next person, thing, or experience that will complete our lives and give us true happiness. LOA shifts our focus from gratitude and contentment to what we don’t have in our lives. LOA can make us materialistic and focused on what’s not important. It can make us more narcissistic and entitled.
And finally, LOA can ironically prevent us from achieving our dreams … because we spend our time and mental energy trying to ‘manifest’ them instead of working on them!
What I’m leaving out
There’s more I want to say, more I have against LOA. I want to talk about how LOA is satanic witchcraft, for example, or the occult history of the idea (LOA is not new). I want to write about how people who’ve used LOA have later been beset by demons and their influence.
I want to go into detail about how and why seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus is the true, lasting answer to whatever it is we feel the need to use LOA to solve. As a Christian writer, this post feels incomplete without moving into these topics.
But I guess those topics are for another day. Sadly, some people aren’t receptive to arguments made from a Christian perspective at all. They tune it out by default. So I tried to keep this post as ‘secular’ as I could.
It was difficult to keep my faith out of this post, because that isn’t how I write! So I hope I’ve sufficiently articulated my secular, non-spiritual arguments against LOA. I hope you can follow my logic.
Most of all, if you currently practice the Law of Attraction, I hope you will think through all the implications of what you’re engaging in. Some things are too good to be true, and the good things we can gain in life must come with a price … but what will that price be? And who will pay it?