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Are You A Narcissist?

Do you want to get to the top? Get outside yourself. True leadership and happiness comes from making life less about you, and more about serving others.

Recently a study was released reporting too much praise of a child will make them narcissistic. The media ran rampant with it at face value without articulating what the study actually found.

Let me ask you this… Are you sick and tired of receiving too many compliments at home and at work? Do you receive too many “atta-boy” and “atta-girl” comments that you can hardly contain yourself? Of the hundreds of thousands of people I’ve been fortunate to share my message of “greatness within” with – when I ask that question, I always get a laugh. Lack of praise is often a cause of ailing organizations. The reality is that people don’t get enough praise. The right kind of praise does not create a monster - as some have implied. We all need praise. Praise is central to high performance. Great leaders use praise to build and empower people. Besides, it feels good to give your best effort and be recognized for it.

The distinction in the study that wasn’t mentioned was that, “Narcissism was predicted by parental “overvaluation,” not by lack of parental warmth. Thus, children seem to acquire narcissism, in part, by internalizing parents’ “inflated” views of them (e.g., “I am superior to others” and “I am entitled to privileges”).” [Link] In other words, the study was referring to false praise and entitlements. However, the study also reported that self-esteem is improved when parents give love and warmth to their children.

When you don’t do a good job – great parents, leaders, and coaches encourage the person to go back and try again, while giving them love and respect. They “reward the effort.” They do not give false praise, but genuine praise based on effort and perseverance relative to the achievement.

The challenge I see in our society is that we are increasingly “self-praising”. We are turned inward. We are more focused on ourselves than ever before. It’s an “all about me,” mentality. Am I suggesting that we should not congratulate ourselves when we achieve a goal? Of course not. That’s important. Just don’t be consumed by it. Self-gratification is at an all-time high. Work hard and achieve abundantly, but to live happy you must go the extra step and realize it’s not all about you. Aligning yourself with the “true” principle of serving others will lead to more achievement and happiness.

In this video, I first talk about narcissism by referring to a Time Magazine edition called the “Me Me Me Generation.” The second part of this video I share with you a story I first heard the legendary Og Mandino share some 20 years ago. It’s a story of two brothers serving each other in a selfless way. The story is about Albrecht Dürer, the famous painter, his brother Albert, and the “Praying Hands".


About TJ Hoisington:

TJ Hoisington is the bestselling author of “If You Think You Can!” and “The Secret of the Slight Edge.” He has authored other books and training programs on peak performance, personal development, and leadership. As a motivation speaker and organizational performance expert, TJ Hoisington has been invited speak to audiences of 10 executives or 15,000 people. TJ's mission is to provide inspiration and tools that empower people and organizations achieve their goals by unleashing the greatness within. TJ Hoisington is the co-founder of Dunn Hoisington Leadership International.


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