How A Child Can Build A Healthy Self-Esteem Without Becoming A Narcissist

How A Child Can Build A Healthy Self-Esteem Without Becoming A Narcissist

Since the 1970s, the term “self-esteem” has really been a buzzword among parents, teachers, and psychologists. Parents feel like they need to instill self-esteem in their child if they want them to grow up as happy, healthy, and productive adults. Educators think that self-esteem is a key to academic success, that's why they twist criticism into praise to offer their students a sense of self-worth. Finally, psychologists advise clients with low self-esteem to simply "fake it till you make it," meaning that a sense of self-worth comes from within rather than from without.

According to researchers, there is a link between self-esteem and subjective well-being, as well as a general sense of happiness in life. Hence we realize the drive to develop self-esteem in the next generation. However, while conceding that the intentions are good, Dutch psychologists Eddie Brummelman, Sander Thomaes, and Constantine Sedikides discuss that the methods we usually use to increase self-esteem might be building a generation of monsters.

Among personality psychologists, there is a longstanding debate concerning whether personality is stable or whether it alters from time to time. Some psychologists say that personality traits are genetic and, so, present at birth. We can say this is the “solid” model—our personality might get nicks and dents as we go through life, but it maintains its overall shape. Other psychologists claim that our experiences shape our personality. This can be called the “fluid” model since our personality molds itself to varying circumstances throughout the lifespan.

Another group of psychologists takes a middle position. They claim that personality is fluid during childhood but sets by adolescence or early adulthood. This is the “Jell-O” model of personality. If you think that the way people behave as adults is depended on how they grew up as children, then you subscribe to the Jell-O model. (Otherwise, you would blame behavior on either genes or the current situation.)

According to Brummelman and his colleagues, there is some evidence for a genetic component to self-esteem and narcissism. Nevertheless, they also claim that the most significant factor lies in childhood interactions with family, teachers, and other important adults. Although self-esteem and narcissism have some similarities, the researchers argue that they are fundamentally different. Still, in trying to instill self-esteem in our kids, we might be encouraging narcissistic tendencies instead.

A simple explanation is that narcissism is just exaggerated self-esteem. However, researchers argue that the difference is bigger than that. Both self-esteem and narcissism depend on our perception of how other people evaluate us. Nevertheless, narcissists view their social world differently than people who just have a high self-esteem. This greatly depicts the way both categories of people think about themselves and others.

Narcissists see their social world as vertical. There is a pecking order, and everybody else is either above or below them. In a narcissist's world, there are no equals. The purpose of the narcissist is to get ahead—by hook or by crook—and they will use relationships to climb to the top.

On the contrary, people with high self-esteem view their social world as horizontal, which means all members are on an equal footing. They want to get along, not get ahead. They develop deep and intimate connections with others. In other words, they see relationships as ends in themselves, and not as a means to achieving supremacy or boosting their fragile sense of self-worth.

To summarize, narcissists view themselves as superiors, while people with high self-esteem see themselves as worthy. Signs of both self-esteem and narcissism start to appear approximately at the age of seven. This is the time when children start developing a global sense of self and the social perception skills to judge how they view others, and vice versa. During adolescence, the Jell-O of personality sets into either a self-esteem or narcissism mold.

Researchers, to test this theory, conducted a long-term study to measure children’s personality and observe how their parents interacted with them. They discovered that children who developed high self-esteem had parents who expressed fondness and affection for them without overly praising them. Nevertheless, kids who developed narcissistic tendencies grew up with parents who showered them with praise while comparing them with other, less 'successful,' children all the time. In other words, parental warmth led to self-esteem, while parental overvaluation inevitably led to narcissism.

Brummelman and his colleagues proposed several interventions to help kids build a high self-esteem without narcissistic tendencies: Firstly, they suggest that parents and teachers praise kids for their accomplishments without ever comparing them to their peers. The difference between “Excellent job!” and “You’re the best!” might be subtle, but the first conveys worthiness—the core of self-esteem—while the second conveys comparison and superiority—the core of narcissism. Secondly, parents should nudge kids away from narcissism by encouraging them to think about ways that they are equal to other peers rather than superior to them.

Another intervention the researchers proposed is aimed at kids who show signs of low self-esteem. These kids need their parents and teachers to help them properly interpret the remarks other people make about them. Those with low self-esteem, whether kids or adults, tend to dismiss praise and stick on criticisms. When still young, they need to be reassured that they are worthy of positive comments and that they should view criticism as constructive feedback.

References

Brummelman, E., Thomaes, S., & Sedikides, C. (2016). Separating narcissism from self-esteem. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 8-13.

David Ludden is the author of The Psychology of Language: An Integrated Approach (SAGE Publications).

How A Child Can Build A Healthy Self-Esteem Without Becoming A Narcissist How A Child Can Build A Healthy Self-Esteem Without Becoming A Narcissist Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπ on 9:55 AM Rating: 5

7 comments

  1. MY HIV HEALING TESTIMONY

    My mouth is short of words, i am so so happy because Dr. UGO Wonders has healed me and my husband from HIV disease which we have been suffering for over 3 years. we have spend alot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep us healthy, we have tried all means in life to ensure we become Hiv negative one day, but there was no answer until we found Dr UGO Wonders the chief priest of GENERAL SPELL TEMPLE on facebook who provided us some healing spell. now i am glad telling everyone that i am now HIV Negative, i am very very happy, thank you Dr. UGO Wonders for helping my family comes back newly without any form of crisis. i am so amazed because its over a year now since i receiver my everlasting healing and cure from HIV. therefor i will announce to the whole world and anyone out there who is HIV positive to please follow my advice and get healed on time, because we all knows that HIV disease is a deadly type,contact Dr. UGO for your HIV healing spell today at: [email protected] He will be always happy to assist you and ensure you get healed on time or you can Whatsapp him on +1 (518)855-8371

    He can also launch other similar spells ,
    Love Spells
    Lottery Spells
    winning court case
    Divorce spells
    Success
    Money rituals
    Low sperm count
    Infertility in women
    Breast enlargement/reduction
    Penis enlargement/reduction
    Health, Well Being
    Protection, Healing
    Curses, Hex, Breakups
    NEW! Combo Spells
    High Priestess Spells
    Vampire Spells
    Authentic Voodoo Spells
    Custom, Other Spells
    Business spells
    Health/Healing spells
    Curse removal
    Job spells

    WhatsApp Number: +1 (518)855-8371
    Contact:> Dr. Ugo Andrew Wonders
    Contact Email: [email protected]

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’m very affectionate of your blogging and redistribution. Good job and bunch of thanks for this valuable post. Showbox App Download

    ReplyDelete
  3. The cancer is very dangerous disease and might to snatch your life. The symptoms of the cancer are lots and people should care about life which comes only one time and you can get australianwritings.com discount code for the best treatment. This is very useful and helpful article for the people and I like to share this article among the people.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My mouth is full of testimonies, my girlfriend left for two years to Canada for a tourist, where she meant one bad ass and she was bewitch by the guy so surprisingly my girlfriend refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called Dr.ojoka and i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 2 days my girlfriend came back to me and started crying that i should for forgive her, I'm so happy for what this spell caster did for me and my girlfriend. Dr.ojoka is a genuine Dr contact him on his Email:[email protected] or whatsapp on his Mobile:+2348144172934
    DOCTOR Ojoka CAN AS WELL CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:-
    *HERPES
    *HSV 1 & HSV 2
    *ASTHMA
    *DIABETES
    *EPILEPSY
    *CANCER
    *INFERTILITY
    *STAPHYLOCOCCUS.
    *ALS
    *HIV /AIDS
    *HEPATITIS B
    *Kidney
    breast disease cure

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello everyone ! I like to share this amazing online card game with you and share this web link free solitaire games without download so that you can play this solitaire times card game for free and online.Follow the given web link and polay the game even without download or register.Many many thanks for the game for those who are looking for this kind of card game very badly.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You will find more cool articles at this site, guys!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would be happy if you could help us. I hope my site will be Google accepted and put it ahead so that I can grow and hope that it will come to me.
    dumb ways to die
    fireboy and watergirl 4

    ReplyDelete

Don't show again. Close

Like us on Facebook?