This is such a good article I had to share. Dr. Craig Malkin posted to Psychology Today’s blog an article he wrote titled, A Psychologist’s Open Letter to U.S. Voters – A research-backed guide to picking the next president.
To summarize, Malkin notes
What we should be far more concerned about is not whether politicians are narcissists-most are—but how healthy they are. And that’s where you come in.
You have the power to shape the future of this country.
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.
Instead, I offer a guide, based on research, for what keeps leaders healthy, so you can applaud the right behaviors, and, I hope, punish the dangerous ones.
People high in healthy narcissism inspire without undermining. They lead with conviction not cruelty. They bring out the best, not the worst, in the people around them. That’s who we need leading the nation.
Malkin then lists 9 ways voters can “train” politicians to not behave in unhealthy narcissistic ways….
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.
And then he sums it up…
It’s up to you, America. Narcissists will always be drawn to politics. But you have the power to make sure the narcissist in the Oval Office, or in any other elected office, isn’t so addicted to feeling special that they forget the needs of the people who put them there in the first place.