Category Archives: Narcissism And Narcissistic Parents
Concise articles about the characteristics of narcissistic parents and the damaging effects they can have upon their children’s psychological development. Also, articles about how certain forms of childhood trauma, including being brought up by narcissistic parents, can increase the probability of the affected individual himself / herself developing narcissistic personality disorder.
Because narcissistic parents are so unpredictable, and their mood changes so mercurial and frightening, the young child quickly learns, largely on an unconscious level, that s/he (i.e. the young child) must be able to ‘read’, with great precision, such a parent’s feelings and emotions lest s/he fails to respond in such a way that meets the parent’s emotional needs and, as a result of such failure, inadvertently upsets him/her (sadly, this
In this article, I wish to distil down into one list the most prominent traits, characteristics, attitudes and behaviors that the narcissistic mother may display ; here is the list (the useful, clickable links are in BLUE – clicking on these will take you directly to the relevant article in this site’s archives) :
To what degree are narcissists created by their genetic inheritance(nature) and to what degree by the environment in which they grow up(nurture)?
The Role Of Nature :
According to a leading expert in the field of the study of narcissism, Dr Craig Malkin (Harvard Medical School), author of the fascinating book The Narcissist Test, some individuals may be born with an innate, or, in other words, genetic, predisposition towards developing narcissism in later life (which is, of course, a very
However, some narcissistic individuals are more easy to identify than others and in this article I will briefly describe three different types ; these are :
THE EXTRAVERTED NARCISSIST :
THE INTROVERTED / COVERT NARCISSIST :
THE COMMUNAL NARCISSIST :
Let’s look at each of these in turn :
The Extraverted Narcissist :
Narcissists who have an extravert type personality are, as one would guess, the easiest to identify ; accordingly,they are also the ones who fit most people’s stereotype of a narcissist : They crave attention, always desiring to be center stage and in the limelight. If wealthy,
Typically, the narcissistic parent views his/her child as a kind of possession whose sole purpose is to continuously fulfill his/her (i.e. the narcissistic parent’s) emotional needs.
In order to keep the child in this role (i.e. the role of existing solely to meet the parent’s emotional needs), the narcissistic parent may exert power over the child in highlymanipulativeand controlling ways.
Because such parents are so possessive of the child, as the child grows older and starts
Parents can hurt their children both by acts of commission (what they do) and by acts of omission (what they don’t do). We have seen already how narcissistic mothers can profoundly damage their children, and, if the father does nothing to intervene to prevent such damage occurring it is an act of omission; fathers who commit such acts of omission are often termed ‘enabling fathers’ or, more simply, enablers as, by failing to intervene or
Because parental manipulation, by the mother, father or both, can take on very subtle guises, when we were young we may not have been aware that we were being manipulated; we may only come to realize it, in retrospect, with the extra knowledge we have gained as adults.
POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF THE MANIPULATIVE PARENT:
If we have been significantly manipulated, it can give rise to various negative feelings such as :
I have written elsewhere on this site articles about how being brought up by a narcissistic parent can be extremely traumatic for a child and can have life-long adverse effects on his/her emotional and behavioral functioning in the absence of effective therapeutic intervention.
I will quickly recap the list of the main symptoms of the disorder below :
THE SYMPTOMS OF NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER :
– expect to be recognized as superior (even without any achievements to warrant this)
– exaggerated sense of own importance
– a tendency to exaggerate their achievements and talents
– belief of only being able to be understood by equally special people
– obsessed by fantasies of power/success/brilliance
I have already published several articles on the effects on us of being brought up by a narcissistic parent. In this article, I intend to focus upon the main characteristics that are frequently found in narcissistic mothers. These characteristics are as follows:
1) Self-absorption : she regards her own needs as absolutely paramount which completely take precedence over the needs of her children. Indeed, she fails to properly recognise her own children as distinct and separate
I have already published several articles about narcissism on this site (see MAIN MENU AT TOP OF PAGE) but, in this post, want to look at some of the characteristics a narcissistic mother is likely to possess:
She only appreciates her children for the benefit she can derive from them. For example, she may push them to succeed in areas of their lives (such as playing a musical instrument to reflect well on her. Or she may discipline them in damaging ways to ensure
I have already posted many articles on this site on the subject of narcissism (see NARCISSISM ARTICLES in the main menu or in CATEGORIES in the right hand sidebar) and in this article I want to look at the many ways that having been brought up by a narcissist may have negatively impacted our childhood experience and adversely affected our psychological development. These possible effects are as follows:
1)SENSE OF BEING INTRINSICALLY BAD: If our narcissistic
I have already written several articles on the possible adverse effects of having been brought up by a narcissistic parent, including the fact that this may lead us ourselves to develop narcissistic tendencies. In this article, I want to look at narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) in rather more detail by examining its subtypes.
1) ACQUIRED SITUATIONAL NARCISSISM – this type of narcissism can develop as a result of an individual acquiring great wealth , celebrity and/or status.
If we frequently felt threatened when we were growing up, it is likely we have developed a dysfunctional response to perceived danger, threat and stress now that we are adults. Many of us may find we react in a more volatile way to such experiences compared to the average person (all else being equal).
This is likely to be because our childhood experiences have caused us to have difficulty regulating (controlling) our emotions ( in some cases this can be because our childhood experiences have