It was once widely believed that children naturally move toward positive growth unless they experience trauma of some type. But we now know that what doesn’t happen in the way of learning certain crucial life lessons is just as important to good character development as the tragic events that might beset a person and arrest or impede their character formation. And that’s what prompted me to catalog what my experience has taught me are the 10 essential “commandments” of good character development.
If you want to help make a person more narcissistic, give them lots of recognition, praise, and reinforcement for their natural “gifts.” But if you want them to have more healthy self-regard, be sure to recognize them for what they do with what they’ve been given.
Properly balanced self-esteem and reinforcement for the conscientious exercise of one’s will are of paramount importance to the process of healthy character development.
If you really want to help bend someone’s ego pathologically out of shape, send them the constant message that it’s what they bring to the table that really counts, not how they conduct themselves when they’re at the table.