Teenage is a difficult stage to deal with as your kids are growing up and have a high self-opinion. The changing behaviour and perception could lead them to be something different from what they have been all these years.
Do not worry if your teen’s behaviour is bordering on narcissism but take some tips from us and deal with them.
Meaning Of Narcissism:
Narcissism refers to a state of mind where your teen starts thinking great about himself and his physical appearance. Your teen may become self-centered always talking about his talents, looks, and capabilities.
[ Read: Common Teenage Behavioral Problems ]
Experts believe that today’s teens are fonder of nice things than those in the earlier generations used to be. Researchers also found that while the teens nurture a desire to have a luxurious life, they are not willing to work hard to achieve that. In most cases, the feeling is superficial.
Teens long to earn huge money to maintain a luxurious lifestyle, but they do not want to work hard for it. There is a gap between a teen’s dreams and his or her willingness to work towards them.
This tendency is said to be increasing narcissistic trends in adolescents.
Signs That Your Teen Is A Narcissistic:
Here are a few of the most common signs that will tell you whether or not your teen is turning into a narcissist:
1. Feels He Or She Is Better Than Everyone Else:
It is a classic sign that signals towards narcissism. Your teen may genuinely believe that he or she is better than everyone else, but it may not have anything to do with their personal achievements.
In many cases, he gets this feeling due to lifestyle factors, such as the locality you live, the car you or your teen drives, the type of clothes or brands that your teen wears, and the things your teen owns.
2. Exaggerate Their Abilities:
Your teen may start bragging to friends about the many talents or gifts he or she has. For instance, they may tell friends that no one can sing or dance as gracefully as they can do. Your teen may start believing in the exaggerated version of self.
3. Expect Praise From Everyone:
Whether or not your teen truly deserves to be honored, they start expecting it as a natural reaction towards them. Your teen may not have done anything out of the ordinary that deserves appreciation but may still get offended if no one says good things.
[ Read: Influence Of Media On Teenagers ]
4. Not Giving A Thought To Others’ Emotions:
While your teen is constantly looking for praise and laurel, he or she may fail to recognize the emotions that others go through. It can turn into a situation where your teen gets selfish and worries only about self. Anything that is not directly related to him or her becomes unimportant.
5. Look Down Upon ‘Inferior’ People:
Your teen may not be as good as he or she thinks to be, but will have a negative opinion on those whom they perceive to be inferior. Your child may also be outright rude to them.
6. Difficulty In Maintaining Relationships:
If your teen keeps changing his friends or partners frequently, it could be due to his or her narcissistic attitude. When your teen treats others as inferior but expects admiration and praise, it could wreak havoc in any relationship.
7. Think That They Already Know Everything:
Your teen will refuse to learn anything new as he or she feels that there is nothing new to learn. Your teen will have a distorted sense of intelligence and intellect, and do not want to learn anything from anyone.
Dealing With Your Narcissistic Teenager:
If you observe these signs of narcissism in teenagers, here are a few tips to deal with the situation:
1. Pay Attention To Your Teen:
You may think that this is what you should not do when your teen has such high views of self, but often, your child’s attitude could be due to his craving for your attention. Tell your teen how important and valuable he or she is, and why they are special for you. It will be great for your teen to realize that their family always loves and values them.
[ Read: Risky Teen Behaviors ]
2. Keep A Check On Your Teen’s Social Media Interactions:
Monitor your teen’s social media pages and their interactions with friends and contacts. If you feel that your teen is rude or insensitive to others, make sure you talk to them on it and explain why such behavior is uncalled for. Put faith in your teen’s ability to behave and you may be surprised when they take a new direction.
3. Show Them That Appearance Is Not Everything:
Emphasize on the fact that looking good or wearing the best of brands does not reflect his inner self. Tell them that they should let go of materialistic and superficial things at least once a week and see how the world does not notice.
Let your daughter remove makeup and wear simple home clothes. Do the same yourself and take a trip to the local grocery store. Ask her if she feels anyone thought low of her or if someone behaved rudely because of her simple looks. If you have a teen son, let him take a bus once a week instead of a car. Ask him how he felt about it and if someone looked down upon him for not travelling in a car.
4. Ignore His Self Talk:
Start ignoring your teen if he or she constantly talks highly about self. Do not criticize or try to correct them all the time. If you do not pay any attention, they may change their trend for good.
Treat Your Narcissistic Teenagers Behavior:
Being narcissistic is not a health issue and you can surely help your teen get rid of it. Here’s how you can do that:
- Take your teen to a therapist, who will help them deal with various emotions such as anger, depression, shame, guilt, inadequacy, self-consciousness, insecurity or any other such negative emotion.
- The therapist will talk to your teen and understand how he or she behaves while going through these emotions. He will help your child change his outlook their issues.
[ Read: Teen Body Image Issues ]
- The professional will also explain to your teen how bringing a change in behavior will affect their life and build stronger relationship with others.
- While teaching them to behave in a different way, the expert will also instill the values of empathy in your child. As a result, they will realize how their behaviour could hurt someone.
- If your teen suffers from anxiety, stress or depression, the therapist may suggest a course of medication to ease the symptoms. The medications will not help in treating your teen’s narcissistic behavior, but will help in anger, guilt, depression, or shame that trigger narcissism in them.
Guidelines From Experts:
Here are a few guidelines and tips that experts suggest to face your narcissistic teens:
- Regulate the allowance you give your teen to control their spending habits. It will help your teen realize the importance of saving money, and spending it smartly.
- No matter how your teen chooses to behave, avoid the urge to step in and help in a tricky situation. For instance, if your teen was driving the car and bumped it somewhere, make sure that they face the consequences. Also, repair the damages using your kid’s money.
[ Read: To Deal With Teenage Attitude ]
- Make sure that your teen understands the need to apologize when he or she has been rude or insensitive to others. If he does not pro-actively apologize after behaving badly with someone, point it out and make him to do so immediately.
- Whenever you praise your teen or appreciate them for their efforts, limit it to that particular achievement rather than being generic. For instance, if your son made a beautiful painting, say something like: “I think you made a really beautiful picture here,” instead of saying: “I think you are a wonderful painter already.” This careful appreciation will let your teen understand that you are referring to the job done on the painting.
Many teens trend towards narcissism but eventually come out of it. As a parent, you will have to make sure that you provide constant support and the right guidance for your children to avoid any behavioral problems.
Moms, have you ever seen such signs in teens you know? What did you do about it and how did you help them come out of it? Do share your tips and experiences here.
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