Have You Been Hurt By A Narcissistic Parent?

Have You Been Hurt By A Narcissistic Parent?

Having a narcissist parent is one of the most challenging and damaging relationships for a child. It diminishes a child’s self esteem, ability to trust themselves and others, and creates anxiety because they don’t feel safe at their core.

It is a very confusing relationship. Not everyone knows what a narcissistic personality is like, so I thought I’d share the toxic results of this relationship and how to deal with one if you have one in your life.

Narcissist are dangerous because they lack empathy, have limited capacity for unconditional love and are only interested in what is important to them. They have no desire to change and don’t see how they are as a problem.

Is Your Parent a Narcissistic?
  • Does the person act as if the world revolves around him/her?
  • Do you have to complement him/her to get attention or approval?
  • Does she/he constantly stir the conversation back to themselves?
  • Does she/he down play your feelings or interests?
  • If you disagree does she/he become cold or withholding?
If you answer yes to 1-2 of these questions it is most likely you are dealing with a narcissists.  If yes to 3+ you are definitely are involved with a narcissists and need to learn strategies to have as healthy a relationship with them as you can.

As children of Narcissist, we learn to meet our parents expectations in order to make them happy.
We don’t know any other way until we are old enough to rebel or leave.
There is no fighting them.
There is no changing them; as far as they are concerned there is nothing wrong with them and they are always right. Period!


It doesn’t matter whether they abused us verbally, physically, or manipulated us…they control us.
They believe our job is to show up and be there for them or else.
You can’t win an argument with a narcissist.

In an attempt to survive and get our emotional and physical needs meet we might come to these conclusion about ourselves:

“If I am quieter, not needy, smarter, prettier, quicker, take up less space, ate less…they will love and adore me”
“If I do everything perfect I will be safe”
“If I do everyhting perfect they will love me”
“If I solve everyone’s problems I will be safe, liked and loved”

“Me first.” is a narcissist’s motto.  Everything is all about them. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, love attention, and crave admiration. They’re dangerous because they lack empathy and have a limited capacity for unconditional love. If you don’t do things their way, they become punishing, withholding, or cold.”
~Judith Orloff, M.D. 
Narcissists can be egotistical ass-holes or charming intellects and caring individuals until their status is challenged. If admiration stops or disagreements occur they will attack. A narcissist lacks insight to their actions and they don’t regret them. They are often intuitive but use it mainly for their own self-interest and manipulation. They think they know everything and know what is best for everyone else.
Parenting from a narcissist can result in
  • trust issues: with yourself and others
  • unhealthy boundary issues
  • relationship problems: because you can’t trust
  • money problems: particularly with income and savings because there is resistance to receive abundance or success because when things are too good they will be destroyed or taken from us
  • confidence & self-esteem issues: we become perfectionist and fear standing out or speaking up
  • rebellion and identity issues: we vow to not be like them
  • feel unsupported & not safe 
  • feel abandoned & neglected, mentally, physically and spiritually
  • feel victimized
How to take care of yourself
  1. Protect your sensitivity and heart and combat their self-centered destructive behaviors and influences on you
  2. Free yourself from the destructive feelings of shame, guilt, perfectionist thinking, failure, unworthiness, and not being good enough
  3. Lower you expectations of the relationship, you will never get the love or attention you desire or need from them as they are incapable of opening their hearts due to some of their own early psychic trauma, such as being raised by narcissistic parents.
  4. Heal your wounded inner child, understand their actions and reactions had nothing to do with you, it is all about them and their need to feel perfect, worthy and good enough
  5. Keep from attracting more narcissists into your life.
    Once you’ve been close to a narcissist you tend to feel comfortable in their energy even though you suffered. And you know how to make them feel really good from your training with your parent.
How to deal with a narcissist ~ Judith Orloff suggests:
  1. Keep your expectations realistic. These are emotionally limited people. Try not to fall in love with one or expect them to be selfless or love without strings attached.

  2. Never make your self-worth dependent on them or confide your deepest feelings to someone who won’t cherish them.

  3. To successfully communicate, the hard truth is that you must show how something will be to their benefit. Though it’s better not to have to contend with this tedious ego stroking, if the relationship is unavoidable use the above strategies to achieved desired results.

It is not easy knowing that your parent cares more about themselves than you and never will care or love you the way you desire. It’s sad! It’s deeply painful! It messes up your mind, body and spirit!
This is a great loss, but not all is loss! You can heal and thrive!
There is a gift growing up with a narcissist parent and it is our duty to find that gift and share it with the world. You didn’t experience this pain and loss for nothing. It is important for you to remove the armor you’ve placed around yourselves for protection and free the grip of longing for what you can’t have from your parent.  Create your new life and your new truths one step at a time.

One Comment

  1. Hi Marilyn, I love it! I’ve been severing my ties to my own being married to a narcissist experience and I never recognized my father as one until now. My father was just “different” and mean (he could feel so hurt) as did my spouse!!! I used to wonder why they were so… special that nothing in the world seemed to matter except their hurt and pain! No one else was entitled to experinece their own (let alone have any)! It just didn’t jive with their plans for themselves. My ex finally admitted that he doesn’t care one bit about how I feel or what I think. (Which I felt was pretty sad seeing as how we have 6 kids in common) But, remarkably (for me) since having told him all of my pain that I was holding in… I FEEL remarkably FREE!!!

    Know wonder he didn’t give a shit about how I felt. When he had a problem with something he spoke up and took whatever action he felt was necessary. I finally took a cue from his book and spoke up which is what was necessary for me. Yes, even though he didn’t like nor want for me to! (Yay ME!) The old me would have thought I was mean to do so. When all I really did was speak my truth. This time, I did nothing to sugar coat or hide it. I just spoke the words I had been holding back for far too long…

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