Can You Prevent Your Child From Becoming a Narcissist?
Narcissism is such a debilitating problem that knowing how to prevent it would be immensely helpful. The best advice is to be emotionally available and offer support to the child. However, the truth is, nobody knows exactly how because each child is different. What works for one child may not work for another. The most effective prevention requires understanding each child individually. In this article, we will examine how narcissism carries over into adulthood and some ways in which this can be prevented.
Understanding How Narcissism Develops
While it's true that abuse creates most pathologically narcissistic people, it's also true that many people can endure abuse and won't become pathologically narcissistic. The difference probably lies in each person's individual makeup. Researchers are studying our genetic structures to hopefully, one day, get a more conclusive answer.
Not All Narcissists Are the Same
Individual makeup is probably a greater influential factor than people may realize. For all their similarities, narcissists are still different people—they are still individual human beings. They are not all the same. People often ask, "What would a narcissist do in this situation?" or "What will the narcissist do if I do this?" No one can know the answer to that question if they don't know that person. Some narcissists cheat. Others do not. Some narcissists become murderers. Others have never physically hurt anyone. Some narcissists are successful at their jobs. Others can't even hold one. Some narcissists brag, boast and bluster. Others whine, cry and cling. They are all different, and when it comes to predicting behavior, it might come down to individuality more than anything.
This might be another important factor: Some children are just born needing more. They need more attention and more support, and they are more sensitive and more fragile. These children may be the ones that are more likely to become narcissistic adults when their core needs are not met. Actions (or inactions) may affect them more. They may internalize hurt more deeply. The things that are sufficient for other children may not be enough for them. The right approach with one child may be the wrong one with another child. There are so many variations of the human creature that it is impossible to guess or address them all.