Monday, August 21, 2017

1076. Self-Esteem vs Narcissism....

Sva-Manyate (Self-Esteem) and Sva-Anuragha (Narcissism) has a very thin line between them. It is very difficult to differentiate them in general and while parenting in particular. 

Parenting is a skill and it has to take the middle path. We know in the late 70’s and early 80’s the kids were not given much of attention. It was the reason for the kids to remain aloof. Now in this period of time it is just the other extreme of it, the over indulgence of parents which is of more concern.
Parents overvalue their children and tend to raise them with an overblown sense of their own superiority. When children are given special care they develop narcissistic behaviour and come to believe they deserve more as they are superior to others. Simple parental warmth provided to a child with an appropriate level of self-esteem is more than sufficient. There is no need to imagine they are the best and they need the best.
In fact every child is the best for the parent and is better than the other at something or the other. The fact is that we are all humans making us equally valuable.

Children who are made to think they are special are likely to develop a sense of self-absorption because it was their parents who had put them on a pedestal and showered them that unearned praise. It is observed that when anyone who thinks he is superior to others, he behaves very badly. It is always better to treat everybody like we are all part of the human family, and are all worthy of respect.

Parents have to give warmth alone there is no need to instigate fire. Warmth provides the child the required self-esteem which is an important ingredient for self-confidence. Fire feeds narcissism which is self-esteem stained with ego. Even worst in some cases parents have this habit of “Blanket Praise.” Praise works in short run for those approval hungry young children. Sometimes parents tend to use this praise to compensate for a lack of something. The fallout of such kind of blanket praise is that the child can see though it and become either an introvert or a praise junkie.

Recognizing their hard work, appreciating them for persisting and encouraging them not give up in the face of failure is the role a parent has to don. This will be the real praise for the success obtained by the child. 

If the parents explain the purpose of life as the child grows then it will know it's Sva-Mulya (Self-Worth) which will never let the Sva-Manyate to become Sva-Anuragha.

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