This is a severely excerpted selection from an open letter by Craig Malkin, a psychologist who studies narcissism. The original letter was posted online in Psychology Today.
... As an expert on narcissism, I'm not especially worried that narcissists might make it to the White House. According to research, they've always been there. And that shouldn't scare us anyway, because, just to be clear: Being a narcissist is not a diagnosis. It never has been. Narcissists are people higher in narcissistic traits than the average person, and while they may or may not be disordered, they all share one thing in common: They feel special. Some feel special enough to lead a nation, in fact. What we should be far more concerned about is not whether politicians are narcissists -- most are -- but how healthy they are.Learn more at Dr. Malkin's FB page.
... Politicians are groomed by us -- by our applause, by our polls, by our votes. Whatever you seem to love or hate, they'll embrace or reject. So be careful what you applaud or attack. It matters what they-- and all the little future leaders watching them -- think you want in a leader.
- Do applaud careful reflection.
- Don't applaud insults.
- Do applaud feelings.
- Don't applaud manipulation.
- Do applaud collaborative behavior.
- Don't applaud black-and-white thinking.
- Do applaud apologies.
- Don't applaud evasiveness.
- Do applaud curiosity.