Fix parenting!

Psychopaths, narcissists, echoists, … are some of the new words I learnt as I read “Rethinking Narcissism” by Craig Malkin. Not a read I couldn’t take my eyes off or I found absolutely enlightening, but I managed to realize and reconfirm some perspectives around working and dealing with people.

Narcissists can be assholes at work – the type that disrupts peace of other people and draws out misery, tensions and conflicts. Psychopaths, the most extreme form of narcissists, can even be dangerous. Echoists, the opposite of narcissists, can be a danger to themselves. A perfect world would be filled with those that falls in between an echoist and a narcissist, but if you have at all lived and interacted with other people, that world is far far far from reality. Some time I doubt if there’s anyone at all being in the middle.

The book gives endless examples and scenarios of someone being a narcissist, an echoist and someone that fall between the two. A portion of the book is also dedicated to parenting and what it has to do with nurturing an echoist, a narcissist or someone inbetween.


Being moderately narcissist is good (i.e. having just a healthy amount of self-esteem, with the willingness and tendency to listen and remain consciously empathetic), but I regard tbeing a far left echoist or far right narcissist as a fault in a human, and parenting was the root cause of that fault. After all, there is only so much a few years at university and some other years of good education do, when the majority and the most critical phase (early childhood) of our growth period was most the direct production of our family and its parenting. That production was not, unfortunately, reversible; whatever comes with it will stay with us for the rest of our lives, whether or not we like it.

To fix a country like Cambodia, where a research say about 1 in 4 person has some sort of mental disorder, parenting, I believe, is one of the culprits. And if we look beyond Cambodia, amidst all the craziness, either at the scale of office politics and common asshole behaviours or at the scale of racism, religious clashes, and  terrorism, parenting is still one of the key perpetrators.

Humans are powerful. We are inventors, we are creators, we are the miracles, but we are also destructors. We are not just one of those unconscious animals; we are uniquely different. And that unique difference, that power comes with responsibility. The responsibility to not just mate and reproduce, but also to properly raise our offsprings.

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