Is your father or mother a narcissist? Here are five commonly questions asked by children of narcissistic parents with answers.
How to respond when a narcissistic mother tries to make you jealous?
The response to a narcissistic mother invoking jealousy is to take a step back and try to understand why you would be feeling those emotions. Children and parents are not competitors, so they should not feel jealousy for each other’s accomplishments.
If you are not feeling jealous, you have nothing to worry about despite your mother’s intentions. Let her do what she will do and try to be your best self despite it.
If you feel jealous, then that is the place to start work. We can determine exactly why we might feel competitive with our mother through introspection. Knowing this allows us to surrender this resistance and replace jealousy with love and gratitude for your mother’s success in this area. Being able to truthfully say, “I’m proud of you, mom,” is the ultimate antidote to jealousy.
How long will it take my child to recognize she has a narcissistic parent?
Some children recognize their parent’s narcissism when they are teenagers. Others don’t begin to fully understand the cause of their parent’s strange behavior until they are adults. Some children may never recognize their parent’s narcissism.
How do I confront my narcissistic mom about years of manipulation and brain-washing as an adult?
If you feel the need to “confront” a narcissist parent, I recommend you:
- Do so in a non-threatening place with as few people as possible
- Leave them an out or way to explain themselves
- Don’t expect an apology or admission of guilt
- Be ready for spin and counter-accusations
Generally, I don’t recommend my clients confront narcissistic parents because such a confrontation rarely produces any positive results for anyone.
Feeling the need for confrontation is a form of attack that stems from the hurts we still have from childhood. Addressing these injuries directly through introspection, counseling, and developmental exercises are the only way to remove the harm.
When we talk to narcissistic parents about their past abuse, we must approach them gently, with compassion and love. They are wounded people, and we cannot expect them to heal the divide. All we can do is be honest with them and hope for the best.
How do I describe my anger toward a narcissistic parent?
When working through anger, it can be constructive to write it down and clarify your feelings to yourself. When doing so, I recommend that you —
- Write down hurtful events as objectively as possible — this happened, then this happened, etc
- Describe how you felt while avoiding judgment — e.g., “When you … I felt …” rather than “You made me feel …”
- Take responsibility for as much of what happened as you can
The purpose of the first step is to tease out as much of the truth of what happened. Doing so, we are sure to encounter unresolved negative emotions, which I must cast it as an experience rather than an attack.
We can’t change what our parents do, but we do have the power to change how we feel about them. By first taking ownership of our emotions and taking responsibility for our actions, we transfer our power back to ourselves.
The ultimate goal of writing down our “anger” is to transmute those feelings to “pride,” the next step up the emotional ladder. If we can be proud of the way we acted or the way we are taking charge of our life, we will be undoing years of abuse while setting ourselves up for a happy and fulfilled life.
Do narcissistic mothers treat sons differently than daughters?
Generally, narcissistic mothers treat their sons and daughters differently.
Frequently narcissistic mothers feel more competitive with their female children and may develop a more adversarial or aggressive relationship. Their insecurities may lead to narcissistic mothers having unrealistically high standards for their daughters, putting their daughters down, and even attempts to seduce their daughter’s lovers. Daughters may also be over-sexualized or pushed toward sexual activity at an early age.
Sons of narcissistic mothers are more often manipulated into loving their mothers while being dependent on them. Narcissist mothers often choose one son to be their perfect “golden child” who can do no wrong. In some cases, they will especially emphasize their son’s attractiveness. In extreme cases, narcissistic mothers may attempt to initiate sexual relationships with their sons.