There can be many consequences of growing up without the necessary love or parenting in a home. One such consequence is development of a narcissistic personality. A person, in response to many years in an environment where no one seems to care, can become “self-centered” as a response to not being anyone else’s center. Narcissism can have negative consequences (though, not always). Negative consequences include inability to share, to show sensitivity, to prioritize the needs of others, to have complete relationships, and even engagement in criminal activities due to a desire to serve one’s own needs- coupled with a lack of sympathy for others.
One way to combat this effect is to teach a youth who has been neglected that a greater purpose than one’s own needs exists. One way to do this is to teach a youth about political causes. A person can be taught that instead of using their pain to become self-serving and self-protective, they can focus on the needs of the larger society. Serving society, rather than begrudging or resenting it, can have a high level of personal gratification- perhaps even affecting the same underlying emotions soothed by narcissistic behaviors. At least the person will be using those same feelings towards a productive result. An example of this is Bill Clinton. Perhaps in response to a difficult childhood with a father who died before he was born and an abusive stepfather, Bill Clinton became politically active, trying to fix himself by fixing the world. That is one hypothesis. Moreover, in the service of many, he became the focus of many- thereby servicing any narcissistic tendencies developed from the lack of a stable, loving childhood.
Another way to combat a neglected youth’s potential towards narcissistic behavior through teaching a greater good, is to expose a youth to charity and philanthropy. The same elements addressed above with the same consequences come into play. Teaching a youth about the fulfillment of others to fulfill his or her own voids can be an effective tool against what may otherwise be a destructive person. An example of this is Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, who, after a challenging childhood, became a great philanthropist for children’s causes. It helped complete an emptiness within him that even financial success could not erase.
Exposure to the wonders of nature and the the world itself can be eye-opening for someone who is muddled in his or her material or emotional needs. Understanding the unlimited facets of the earth and the environment can be a mind-altering and life-changing education for youths who have never been properly exposed to science, wildlife or environmental issues.