Jay Trachman wrote many wonderful Talent Tips for his "One To One" readers - some of radio's most-famous personalities over more than three decades. My goal continues to be to since his 2009 death to keep his influence and memory alive by occasionally reprinting his classics:
"He'd do okay here, if only his ego didn't keep getting in the way." If you're like me, you've heard that a few times in your life, and once in awhile, about yourself. You're probably aware that people with weak, rather than strong, egos tend to become performers. (The ones with the strong egos become salesmen.)
There was a fascinating article about strong and weak egos in the New York Times which I think is worth Sharing because it offers some insights to the performer's mind...
Here's what Dr. Paul Ornstein of the U. of Cincinnati said at a conference on narcissism: "Self-esteem depends on how well-developed your sense of self is. We're all exceedingly protective to the extent we feel vulnerable."
The great psychiatrist Alfred Adler said: "The deeply narcissistic person feels incomplete, and uses other people to feel whole."
Anyone we know?
The Times said, "Up to a point, narcissism can help a person be more successful and happy, but in more extreme cases it causes serious problems in relationships and careers."
Ever have any of those?
Then they displayed a chart comparing "healthy" versus "unhealthy" narcissism. I'd think of it as "strong ego" versus "weak," but you'll find stuff in here that's familiar...
Healthy: Appreciates praise, but does not live for it. Unhealthy: Has an insatiable craving for adulation. Needs praise to feel momentarily good about self.
Healthy: May be hurt by criticism, but the feeling passes. Unhealthy: Is enraged or crushed by criticism, and then broods for long periods.
Healthy: Feels unhappy but not worthless after a failure. Unhealthy: Failure sets off feelings of shame and worthlessness.
The dumbest thing I could do at this juncture is to point to the "unhealthy" ones and say, "Don't be like that!"
That's about as helpful as saying, "Just be yourself!"
More on this topic tomorrow.
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