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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 April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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