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Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene — Trump’s Ego Causes Stress

Posted Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 6:50 pm

By Dr. Arlene Barro

The fighting fists of Trump, the child, rule the presidency. Is Trump really a toddler with tantrums and a fragile ego? Yes! President Trump, age 72, is still in toddlerhood which causes us significant stress. His words and actions have replaced his childhood fists.

Trump’s Dominant Child Persona

We all have the child within us. As an adult, we should cherish the child’s voice and use it in certain situations. Who keeps the child alive in all of us? Walt Disney, entertainer and educator extraordinaire, who won 32 Oscars extolling the child. The Disney signature brand ignites our imagination and curiosity in the world of fantasy, as we smile, laugh and learn keeping the child within us happy.

Marty Sklar, author of Dream It! Do It!, chronicles his50-year career creating Disney Magic Kingdoms. Sklar rose to the top, while working at Disney and with Walt Disney. Based on what Sklar learned during his tenure at Disney, he developed four sets of Mickey’s Ten Commandments, focusing on Leadership and Followership which is explained on pages 325-327 of his book. If Trump followed these simple commandments, he might reduce his childlike behavior and actively embrace bipartisanship. If Congress followed these commandments, bipartisanship might be possible.

We need to balance three voices: the child, the adult, and the parents. If both of your parents gave you the same advice, then you will hear one voice. If each one gave you significantly different advice, then you will hear two parents’ voices. Whether you recall three or four voices is not the issue. The goal is to make wise decisions, using the advice you learned, which includes the child’s voice.

Why is Trump stuck in childhood? What does the First Lady Melania think? During the election she said, “I have two boys Barron and Donald.” Michael D’Antonio, Pulitzer Prize reporter, wrote Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success. D’Antonio interviewed Trump and concluded that he is the same person as he was as a child. Based on what Trump said. “When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same. The temperament is not that different.”

Here is what Trump’s first wife Ivana said, “He wants to be noticed. He could not take it, that I could do something better than he did,” she recalled. “We were skiing together and I beat him.” When Ivana skied past Trump, “he became enraged.” His second wife, Marla Maples, referred to him as, “the little boy who still wants attention.”

What happened to Trump’s adult voice? Housekeepers raised Trump. His mother Mary spent little time with him and was embarrassed when he divorced Ivana. His father Fred spent a lot of time playing with Donald and mentored him throughout his adulthood. Little Donald was an angry child. He was thrown out of school after bullying and beating up other boys. His father sent him to military school. Perhaps, he was hoping that Donald would grow up. After graduation, he was still the same little first grader. It appears that no one addressed the reason for his anger which still lurks within him. He rarely mentions his mother. Could she be the cause of his anger and childish behavior?

Tweets Are Self-Talk

Trump’s tweets are reactions. They mirror his thoughts at the moment: from mind to mouth. Think it! Say it! Trump’s unfiltered tweets focus on negative self-talk. Frequently, he blames others, never himself. In some tweets, he pats himself on the back. During the government shutdown which he orchestrated, he asks for empathy when he tweets “poor me alone in the White House” referring to December 24, 2018. The Home Alone movies immediately flashed in front of me.

Trump’s tweets reveal his refusal to accept that the President of the United States needs to act presidential to earn respect. At rallies, he mocks acting presidential. The truth of the matter is that he often behaves like a presidential candidate because he focuses primarily on re-election. He has a list of the promises he made which he is determined to keep, which may not always be possible. He views congressional approval as a stumbling block, preferring to make decisions himself. He sees the Democrats as the enemy. What will he accomplish in 2019, if he cannot negotiate with the Democratic House of Representatives, that wants to squash him? Both Trump and the House will be focusing on re-election. The difference is that they will do whatever it takes to block his re-election, which will ignite a Twitter war.

The Trump shutdown, which lasted 35 days, is a snapshot of the future. Trump reopened the federal government even though he did not achieve his goal: the wall. Why is speaker Nancy Pelosi opposed to a wall and a barrier? At her Napa Valley estate in California,  she has a massive wall around the property as well a fence across the driveway. Politics continue to rule, as the tweets accelerate.

If Trump’s tweets upset you, you can either ignore them or laugh, which significantly reduces stress. Read Not Laughing Causes Stress, April 2018. Forgot to mention that a delightful story about Trump is highlighted in this column.

Trump’s Place in History

Presidential historians determine each president’s standing in history. Pulitzer Prize biographer Jon Meacham In How will History Judge the Trump Presidency, September 2017, Vanity Fair, makes an eye-opening comment about Trump. Here’s what he learned about Trump’s literacy when he interviewed him. Meacham said, “Trump’s historical illiteracy may wind up being as costly as JFK’s grasp of the past was beneficial.” He concluded that, “unfortunately just about everything in terms of American and global history seems new to Trump.” As for his personal attributes, Meacham concluded that he lacks humility, is self-absorbed, conceited and displays narcissistic certitude. Note that Meacham wrote the biographies of Andrew Jackson, George H.W. Bush and Thomas Jefferson.

How will Trump’s presidential biographer judge his personality, character and performance? Will his personality and character distract from his accomplishments, of which there are many? As for his fragile ego and dominant child persona, the origins need to be explored and explained. History will tell Trump’s story.

Trump, the adult, emerged in his State of the Union Address. Will he “choose greatness not gridlock” and resist “the politics of revenge”? Stay tuned.

Eager to learn more about Trump? Read Trump Turmoil Causes Stress, December 2018.

Questions about this column? Email

Dr. Arlene Barro, the creator of the Right Fit Method, is a UCLA-trained behavioral educational psychologist and professional speaker. She is the author of “WIN Without Competing!,” a business, career and personal strategist focusing on success and stress. Founder/CEO of barro global search, inc. at 10940 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood. Episodes of her radio show are available at

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