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What It’s Like To Be Raised by a Narcissistic Parent

What It’s Like To Be Raised by a Narcissistic Parent

Have you ever felt the irrational anger of someone who felt you came short of their expectations or just misunderstood you? Or someone who just want to take the glory for your successes without considering you at all or just see your achievements as a threat to their value or respect? This is exactly what we will be looking at as we go further.

Anyone can be a narcissist but that could be more tolerable than having a parent who is one, let alone being raised by such parent. This context is not about blaming but simply exposing the hidden things about some parents you may not have known.

Generally, people define a narcissist as someone with a high sense of value for him or herself alone and care less about others or their feelings.

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However, experts define narcissism as a high sense of self-importance, a deep need for self-admiration and complete lack of empathy for others.

Children who are raised by narcissistic parents may not be aware of the fact that their parents are narcissistic.

Every child wants to hear these words;

  • I love you.
  • I’m proud of you.
  • I’m sorry.
  • I forgive you.
  • I’m listening to you,
  • This is your responsibility so, go for what it takes.

But with Narcissistic Parents, this is just a nightmare and the fun of it is, they often appear so loving and concerned about their children and could manipulate them to believe what they are doing is actually a show of love or just a display of parental authority over their children.

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Here’re some ways to tell if a parent is narcissistic.

Well, most NP behaviors may often seem like normal difficult personalities but only a closer look and observation will reveal it’s entirely an abnormal behavior or simply a psychological problem. There are many ways you can tell if someone is a narcissistic parent.

1. They’re always right.

How parent reacts to criticism is simply a trait that they are a narcissist too. Because they possess a delicate self-esteem, a slight criticism gets them off the hook and that could make their children their worst enemy. Whatever they say or do is the best and their children aren’t just thinking right . Their children could become a subject to total domestic violence and abuse. All their children’s life choices are wrong except those they have approved; friends, school, career, finance or anything else.

2. They hardly have time for their children.

My child, it’s late already, can we talk tomorrow? But he just came in late. And by tomorrow, there would be another tomorrow and that tomorrow never came. Most of the time it’s either I’m going out with friends let’s talk when I’m back or I’m just so tired from work and can’t talk now. A narcissistic parent will always have one or more excuses to avoid a conversation because they don’t want to listen to what you have to say.

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3. They may see their children’s achievements as threats.

Because narcissists adore themselves and simply put their self-value ahead of everything else, they either take the glory of your accomplishments or see you as a competitor. If they can’t take the glory of their children’s achievements, they would rather leave them alone.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent affects their children in many ways.

  • The children may lose their self-esteem and have difficulty measuring up with friends. Their friends may not understand their situations and leave them helpless.
  • Narcissistic parents may take away their children’s rights as part of the family and leave them feeling invalidated.
  • The children will be clouded with feelings of vulnerability and worries in their future relationship life.
  • Because narcissistic parents often use emotional blackmail to get what they want, their children may find it very difficult to trust anyone around them even with other people’s sincere intentions.
  • Since they’re always right and ahead of their children, the children will hardly appreciate themselves enough for anything they do. They may become a perfectionist.

Living with a narcissistic parent is not easy, but there’re ways to maintain a better family relationship.

There’s one fact you can’t take away from this and that’s you’ll always remain a family. However, you must deal with this fact. So, a good counseling session is required to handle this situation.

  • Always think about “what you want to happen” instead of being worried about “what will happen”. This helps you make better plans to stand or avoid anything that may come after.
  • Think about the times the narcissist behaviors already happened and how you let them roll by. This will give you a little strength to overcome and move on.
  • If you keep no contact with your narcissistic parent, always try to be in the company of friends who understand your current situation and are ready to help you.

Decide for yourself whether it’s best to remain in contact or stay away from a narcissistic parent.

This is totally your answer depending on the circumstances surrounding you and your parent. For instance, if you see yourself go no contact for a while after a tough argument and not too long you feel like going back again after the rage comes down. Going no contact may be impossible for you.

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But decide for yourself to go no contact if the rage never come down. Don’t forget that narcissistic parents are simply suffering from psychological problems and this could really make the whole situation difficult for you. So, you should know when your options are exhausted and all your efforts fruitless. This is the time to cut ties and move on.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

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Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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