How to Deal with a Narcissistic Parent

Home » Mental Health Blog » How to Deal with a Narcissistic Parent

January 8, 2021

As long as there have been people, there have been narcissists. But psychologists have noticed a significant increase in narcissistic personalities in recent years.

Narcissism won’t just negatively affect the individual exhibiting those traits. It will also affect their friends, partners, and children.

If you had a mother or father who was a narcissist, then you likely grew up feeling as if you were never good enough. A narcissistic parent isn’t able to give their children the love and emotional support that they need to become well-adjusted people. 

By knowing how to deal with a narcissistic parent, you’ll be able to mend the relationship with your mother and/or father and be able to overcome your own issues. So keep on reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know. 

What Is Narcissism?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder in which a person has an inflated opinion of themselves. They also have intense cravings for the attention and admiration of others. 

The term narcissism is based on the Greek myth about Narcissus. According to the myth, Narcissus caught his reflection in a pool of water and fell in love with it. He stared at his own reflection for so long that he eventually turned into a flower. 

People who have narcissistic personality disorder are generally unhappy and they become disappointed when they aren’t given special favors or praise that they feel they deserve. 

When other people are around narcissists, they usually feel that the individuals are conceited and snobbish. Because people generally don’t enjoy being around narcissists, the narcissist is left craving even more attention. 

Do You Have a Narcissistic Parent?

A narcissistic parent might feel self-important or entitled. They will believe that they are more important than other people and will lack empathy. A parent who is a narcissist will put their own needs before their children and will usually exploit their children in order to receive the attention that they so desperately need. 

This can lead to the parent ignoring the needs of their children. It can leave the child feeling insecure and establish a sense of low self-esteem within them.

A child who grows up with a narcissist may end up turning into a narcissist themselves. They can also end up with a low sense of sense and can become depressed, anxious, and neurotic. 

When you have a narcissistic parent, there are some hard truths that you’ll need to recognize. This will help give you the healthiest possible relationship with your parent and also help to ensure that you grow up with a more accurate sense of self. 

Characteristics of a narcissistic parent include:

  • Always needs the conversation to be about them
  • They make you feel bad when you don’t do what they want
  • They make you feel guilty by talking about how much they do for you
  • They blame others for their own problems 

A narcissistic parent will have harsh opinions of people when they’re in private but act extremely nice and pleasant when they are in front of the people they dislike. 

1. Accept That Your Narcissist Parent Isn’t Going to Change

One of the most difficult challenges of being the child of a narcissist is accepting the fact they will likely never change. The longer someone is a narcissist, the harder it will be for them to break out of that mental state. 

You should certainly applaud a narcissist whenever they progress toward a healthier state of being. However, you should also recognize that narcissists tend to act in certain ways in order to manipulate the situation to their benefit. 

If you keep trying to change your parent to no avail, then it’s best to accept that they won’t change. You need to see that you need to live your own life, and you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment if you dedicate all of your resources and energy to changing your parent.  

2. Assert Boundaries

Narcissists tend to not respect boundaries. They tend to see their children as people whom they have a right to manipulate and control.

The “golden child” in the family is usually the child who the narcissist wishes to see in herself. They will push the child into interests that they would want to excel in, ignoring what the child actually wants.

As a “scapegoat,” you’re expected to shoulder the blame for any of the problems in your family. You’ll be asked to take on unreasonable responsibilities and will endure your parent’s worst abuse.

Either way, you’ll be seen as an object to be exploited for the benefit of your parent. It’s important that you set boundaries and take time to identify what it is that you want to do with your time.

3. Seek Professional Help

Children rely on their parents to learn more about themselves and the world around them. If a parent can’t provide the emotional support that a child needs, then the child may grow up with a stunted personality and with a variety of social and emotional problems. 

A therapist who is experienced in dealing with narcissistic parents will be able to help you recognize your pain and the effects of the trauma that you underwent. They can help you heal and replace that lingering negative parental voice in your head with a healthier one. 

They can also help your parent better identify their own narcissistic issues. 

The Importance of Knowing How to Deal with a Narcissistic Parent

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better understanding of how to deal with a narcissistic parent. As we can see, growing up with a narcissistic parent can have a lasting and damaging impact.

If you’d like to learn more about how to overcome these harmful effects, then contact us today and see what we can do for you!

You May Also Like…