These three articles explain a lot about folks who refuse to hear any feedback/advice/criticism given in good will.
It’s true it turns out – they are, most likely, dealing with a self esteem issue. But not the kind you think. In fact, they just may be looking down on you.
ScienceDaily: High Self-esteem Is Not Always What It’s Cracked Up To Be:
…Increasingly, psychologists are looking at such behavior and saying out loud what may go against the grain of how many people act: high self-esteem is not the same thing as healthy self-esteem. And new research by a psychology professor from the University of Georgia is adding another twist: those with “secure” high self-esteem are less likely to be verbally defensive than those who have “fragile” high self-esteem.
“There are many kinds of high self-esteem, and in this study we found that for those in which it is fragile and shallow it’s no better than having low self-esteem,” said Michael Kernis of University of Georgia. “People with fragile high self-esteem compensate for their self-doubts by engaging in exaggerated tendencies to defend, protect and enhance their feelings of self-worth.”
ScienceDaily: Studies Find Narcissists Most Aggressive When Criticized:
…researchers assert that people with high self-esteem are a heterogeneous group that may be more different than alike since high self-esteem can be an accurate appreciation of one’s good traits, or it may be a highly doubtful sense of personal superiority that is not reality-based. While some individuals with high self-esteem are largely unaffected by feedback, others may require frequent confirmation and validation of their favorable self-image by others. Thus the psychologists assert that differences in the validity of individuals’ self-esteem undermines its usefulness as a predictor of aggression.
The authors suggest that aggression by narcissists is an interpersonally meaningful and specific response to an ego threat. “Narcissists mainly want to punish or defeat someone who has threatened their highly favorable views of themselves,” the authors note. “People who are preoccupied with validating a grandiose self-image apparently find criticism highly upsetting and lash out against the source of it.”
New York Magazine: How Not to Talk to Your Kids:
Why does this child, who is measurably at the very top of the charts, lack confidence about his ability to tackle routine school challenges?
…For a few decades, it’s been noted that a large percentage of all gifted students (those who score in the top 10 percent on aptitude tests) severely underestimate their own abilities. Those afflicted with this lack of perceived competence adopt lower standards for success and expect less of themselves. They underrate the importance of effort, and they overrate how much help they need from a parent.