Scarlett O’Hara reminds me of childhood.
See, my mother loved Scarlett O’Hara. She would display postcards with Vivienne Leigh dressed in fancy dresses or with Clark Gable holding her in a suffocating embrace all over the living room. I remember how nice it felt to watch ‘Gone with the wind’ with mom one day, while she was baking cakes for us, the kids.
However, after discovering my mother’s narcissism from a therapist of mine, I realized there is only one reason why mom loved Scarlett O’Hara: she saw herself in her selfish and needy personality. She, too was craving for the love and attention of men like Scarlett did. She, too loved once a guy with whom she couldn’t be with. Remember that Scarlet was longing for Ashley even during her marriage with Rhett Butler.
Years after seeing ‘Gone with the wind’ and loving it, I came to the conclusion that, watching a highly self-involved and even narcissistic character trying to get ahead in 1800s Georgia is not my cup of tea. I now don’t like this character and her personality irks me.
If you’re currently dating a woman who might have the traits of Scarlett O’Hara or you made friends with one, watch out. Bellow are few characteristics of a narcissistic woman who thinks she is entitled to everything in life, even to the detriment of other people’s happiness.
1. She craves for attention (both positive and negative)
In the beginning of 1939’s movie we see Scarlett O’Hara bathing in the attention she was receiving from men like you’d bathe under the hot, July sun on the roof top of your building.
Getting attention from men is an important trait in Scarlett O’Hara’s personality. I even go as far as to suggest that, Scarlett could only be herself if she received attention and praise.
Later on, we see her trying to hit on Ashley while her own sister was sick and struggling to maintain her health. That gained her a lot of criticism from her family. However, for a narcissist, it doesn’t matter if the attention she gets is negative.
What is mostly important is to be in someone’s spotlight. At all times.
-Scarlett acknowledging the attention of men-
2. She has one-sided relationships with people
If you’ve watched Scarlett O’Hara on screen you know that the only relationship she ever had was with her beloved Tara. Tara was the land that was inherited by her parents and then passed on to her. She also had her home there and all the memories of her childhood. She did everything in her power not to loose Tara. Including trampling over people, stealing, cheating, hiring slaves and even helping war victims when it was needed.
We don’t see any meaningful growth in her throughout the movie. She is still emotionally unavailable and unwilling to be open to others in a relationship. She doesn’t care about other people’s thoughts, desires and experiences, and, weirdly enough, this is exactly what attracted Rhett Butler to her. At one point he says this to her:
3. She lacks empathy and doesn’t really mind it
Remember when Scarlett O’Hara married Charles Hamilton just to spite Ashley, her crush? She clearly doesn’t think this behavior will hurt the person in question as long as she gets something out of it.
A narcissist doesn’t have empathy because she is stuck in her childhood. A child hasn’t grown enough to distinguish herself from the others around, thus, she can’t understand why others might suffer or have issues about her wrong doings.
However, be careful because, a narcissist can be very charming, and, during the honeymoon phase she will fake empathy and compassion. That’s because a narcissist will do her best to give her partner the feeling that they’re special and can have everything they want, as long as they’re picking her.
4. She has a high level of entitlement
Scarlett hits on Ashley, her sister’s husband while in a relationship with Rhett. She believes she deserves her life-long crush because she invested so much time into these feelings.
She doesn’t even take time to ask herself if this crush has a solid foundation or is it just a temporary thing. It’s clear that she pursues Ashley like a teenager pursues a guy who’s in love with someone else.
5. She is overly dramatic and searches for drama everywhere
The whole movie, ‘Gone with the wind’ wouldn’t be possible without Scarlett’s dramatic appearances.
She would use expressions like ‘Oh, Rhett’, ‘Oh, Melanie’, wringing her hands, pacing, often exaggerating situations just to create drama. For example, at the beginning of the movie when the Templeton brothers are talking about the war she says ‘Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream.’
6. She is childish
Narcissistic women didn’t develop enough, thus, their self is stuck at a child’s level.
7. She’ll do anything to keep up her appearance
Scarlett forced her babysitter, Mammy to sew a dress for her out of the velvet curtains that were covering the windows of her bedroom. She couldn’t go to meet Rhett to ask for a loan without looking stunning. Right?
8. She uses degrading words to address others
Scarlett used the word ‘Varmint’ a lot to degrade someone she didn’t like. From experience, I remember some of the narcissistic women I was in contact with, including my mother used all kinds of degrading words to address others. Words like ‘crazy’, ‘stupid’, ‘irresponsible’ were my mother’s favorites.
9. She is very manipulative and uses others to no end
Normal people can be manipulative too but narcissists manipulate others on a constant basis. Manipulation is a lifestyle for them. I read that, they manipulate their victims because they are afraid to depend on them or be rejected by them if they ask their needs to be met.
For example, your mother might tell you how her friend’s son picks her up from work and takes her to dinner every week. She will tell you this over and over until you’ll get the point.
The point is that you don’t care about your mother’s needs and other adult children are more caring and treat their mothers better. And you should do that, too. Instead of telling you directly that she will want to spend more time with you or even invite you to dinner every week, she will use manipulative phrases to make you feel guilty or bad. The problem is that it works. You WILL feel guilty, so much that you will try to anticipate her needs so she won’t have to imply how terrible of a son/daughter you are.
In the end, you’ll give in to her request and do what she says.
All in all, Scarlett O’Hara is a beloved character of Margaret Mitchel’s novel. However, her strange behavior sometimes can irk the viewer especially if they have dealt with a narcissist in their life.
Narcissistic women can be recognized mostly by a lack of empathy and the inability to sustain a healthy relationship without the drama, manipulation and put downs.
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Gone with the wind