Word-Of-the-Week #638: Narcissism

October 27, 2016 by  

Narcissism excessive love or admiration of oneself.

Have you ever been around someone who is narcissistic? Do you work or live with someone who has an inflated sense of self-worth? Do you think that the young workforce today is spoiled and self-centered?

While I am traveling I am re-running my favorite WOW’s from 2009 that are just as relevant today. Jean Twenge Ph.D, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, is the co-author of “Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement.”

In a San Diego Union article Jennifer Davies writes, “Twenge has spent years a-narcissism_researching the increase in narcissistic behavior, such as seeking special treatment because of an inflated sense of self-worth. She is convinced there is an epidemic gripping the nation – a rise in narcissism among your people, especially among girls. She attributes prevalence of narcissism to such societal forces as the Internet, celebrity culture, easy credit and parenting.”

“She readily acknowledges it’s nearly impossible to shield children from many of the outside influences. But she says there is still plenty modern parents can and should do to word against raising self-centered and self-important children.” Today I share two of the four key points.

  • Praise only when true.

 Don’t say your kid is a fantastic artist, dancer, sprinter and so on, if he’s not. Those types of compliments are hollow and give a child an inflated sense of self and ill-paced confidence. Parents think this kind of praise helps build self-esteem. But the reality is most kids already have goodly amounts of self-esteem, so there’s no need to bolster it with unwarranted praise. Remember, praising your child as special is different from telling your kid you love him. “Telling you love them creates a bond,” says Twenge.

  • Kiss the princess stuff goodbye.

Even though little girls are seemingly hard-wired to fall in love with all things princess, Twenge advises caution. Don’t buy rhinestone-embellished shirts that say “Little Princess” or “Diva.” If your daughter is the princess, you are not the queen. You become her subject, obeying her every wish. She said princess dress-up is fine because it encourages imagination, but try to avoid treating your daughter, or your son for that matter, as royalty.”

This week focus on your how you’re parenting your children, grand-children and employees (they are your kids too.)  Are they self-centered? Do they have over inflated egos? Do you give realistic praise? Do you tell them you love them? Are you setting a good example?

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