Parents Can Help Build Healthy Egos Early In Life
People who chronically experience emotional lows frequently suffer from low self-esteem. They are insecure, hypersensitive to criticism, have very little tolerance for imperfection, with an insatiable need for approval.
Those with a healthy self-concept acknowledge and accept the fact that there are times when even their best efforts will not produce perfection because of circumstances beyond their control.
In contrast, individuals with a poor self-concept chronically feel that they are inadequate and believe that less than perfect results are totally their fault.
These people often have two dysfunctional patterns of need, which determine the guidelines by which they choose to do certain things and not others.
The basic need for recognition and approval, when always perceived as being unmet, dictates the motivational systems upon which many individuals base their lives. It is true that everyone wants and needs some recognition and approval in life.
But if this need becomes the dominant force, then a person may become unbalanced.
Search for limelight
Examples of this are some entertainers, politicians and professionals who consciously or unconsciously choose careers that draw attention from broad groups of people. Those who suffer from ego deficiencies may be searching for the limelight and they hope that others will place them on a pedestal.
Another behavior motivated by a need is when individuals strive for material wealth as a means of attempting to show their success through the display of their material possessions. This is different from people who strive for wealth for themselves and their families to make their lives safer, more efficient or simply more pleasant.
Looking back on the childhood and adolescence of these individuals, one often finds a very unhealthy pattern of communication and relationships during these formative years. To elicit loving responses from their caregivers, they knew their behavior had to meet with often unattainable approval.
Parents should keep these factors in mind when rearing their children. Unfortunately, the negative cycle often repeats itself and the problems are passed from one generation to the next.
Altering this pattern of obsessional need for recognition and approval is possible in adulthood, but it often requires professional help. The best plan is to meet these needs during the formative years. Healthy relationship and sound psychological patterns of communication in childhood and adolescence can provide the basis for healthier egos later in life.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright ©2012