11 Ways To Deal With Narcissistic Parents
Here are some effective and besuited ways to deal with narcissistic parents, when you are stuck. These tips may serve you right as you may be stuck between not leaving them but also cannot deal with them any longer phase.
If you think you always had a tough and traumatic childhood when you look back to those days, then there is a possibility that you may have narcissistic parents. They have had a great impact on your life.
Your search for such an article might have led you here, as with age and maturity you might have realized that you did not have the same childhood as other kids. Thus out of curiosity and an urge to attain an authentication about your parents’ true personalities, you might be here reading about this article. Here are a few signs of Narcissistic parents.
To have a deeper knowledge about the subject, let us know what narcissistic parents are and how you can know if you have narcissistic parents.
What is a Narcissistic Parent?
A narcissist is someone who suffers from a mental health disorder that affects their life so much that it may hinder them and the people around them too. Narcissism is a mental health disorder in which people have an inflated sense of self, a lack of empathy, a constant need for admiration, adoration, and validation, have deep-rooted insecurities and project them onto others to feel fulfilled, resist negatively to criticism and are emotionally dependent on others.
Not all parents who display similar traits are narcissistic, as it is a natural human tendency to display some of these traits. However a narcissistic mother or father may display these below-mentioned typical traits that include,
- Narcissistic parents are manipulative
- They are selfish and always think for themselves first
- They may abuse their children emotionally
- They are constantly running in the race for success and wish to be more successful than others
- They would compare their kids with others and force them to be the best among all
- They would exploit others for personal gains
- They lack empathy
- They have a desire to associate with people who have a higher status and are well off financially
- They have a boosted sense of self-importance
- They have a sense of entitlement
- Are arrogant
11 Ways To Deal With Narcissistic Parents
Dealing with a narcissistic parent can never be an easy matter, especially if you have to confront or do something that might affect their perfectly crafted image of being the best parent. So when you confront them, it may bring them feelings of shame and vulnerability, resulting in an undesired behavior from them that is negative and challenging for you.
So here are some tips that may ease the process of dealing with narcissistic parents or some ways to deal with narcissistic parents,
Accepting and Letting Go
Acceptance of having narcissistic parents may be difficult at first, but it would be the best way to deal with them. When you know someone’s true nature, it may never bring you disappointment and you may never have expectations from them.
Also changing a narcissist is nearly impossible unless the narcissist also desires for change. Once you accept them as they are, you might not be affected by the anxiety, toxicity, and negativity they bring into your life.
Also after acceptance, comes let go. It is too mature and too many expectations to let go of your parents’s abuse as a child, but if you do so, it will turn out to be a great deal for you. You may be much happier, satisfied, and fulfilled with your behavior and be the bigger and better person here.
Their behavior is just a projection of their insecurities as they are wounded emotionally, thus you shall just accept and let go of their abusive behavior and try to be their support if possible.
All parents are supportive, understanding, and caring for their children, but the case with narcissistic parents is a little different. They may never show their care and affection towards you as a child, but deep down they do care and love you.
Narcissistic parents are like coconuts, hard on the outside, but mushy and soft on the inside. They may not want to let their guard down and thus would appear uncaring and rigid on the exterior, but behind that hard exterior lies an individual who needs love, compassion, and support to unlock that softer side for you.
To be with narcissistic parents is difficult, but if you try to understand them and be compassionate and patient with them, it can help you view them from a different light and also make it easy for you to deal with them.
Lean on other support systems
Narcissistic parents never validate their children that they have difficulty in establishing self-confidence and self-worth. Children of narcissistic parents may feel neglected and unsupported.
Seeking support may help in recovering from the negative impacts that narcissistic parenting might have left on the kids. The support system includes creating a network of family, friends, co-workers, social clubs, or anyone you can rely on for emotional and other support.
Joining social clubs that may help in healing from emotional damage or groups that support children who have narcissistic parents.
Asserting your Boundaries
As a child establishing boundaries may come with its own set of challenges, as it is difficult to deny a narcissist from doing something that may be affecting you mentally and emotionally. Narcissistic parents would continuously try to break your boundaries just to prove their authority.
It is crucial to develop and maintain clear boundaries with narcissistic parents. This ensures your well-being as a child. Establishing boundaries includes limiting your communication, not getting trapped in their manipulative actions, limiting your emotional responses, and re-establishing boundaries when required.
Also, enforce consequences so that the boundaries are not broken often.
Try to predict their next moves
Narcissists often have complicated thought processes, yet their toxic actions bloom from the same stem each time or have similarities. Though your narcissistic parents might have complex personalities, they may be predictable at some point.
So when you can expect or predict what is coming you can be mentally and emotionally prepared for their next move. You can help yourself handle narcissistic parents by recognizing or identifying their next move and being mentally and emotionally prepared by preparing your responses.
This may take time to get familiar with, also you may not master the art of prediction, but being prepared enough can also help you. Their behavior is not going to change, thus being prepared in advance can help you a lot as a child of narcissistic parents.
Though walking away is quite a difficult move as society pressurizes us to maintain familial bonds even if it comes at the price of mental and emotional wellness. But remember one thing, narcissistic bonds can do more harm than good, and thus it is better to stay away from such bonds if possible.
However, you cannot just run away as the narcissists are your parents but you can always take some time apart or take a break from them. This option can be invalid for some children, but you can practically make it work by working in another city or probably settling down at some other place.
The practicality of this option depends on how strong you are and how possible it is for you.
Being Transparent with what you want
You may be willing to do everything silently or maybe walk on eggshells around your narcissistic parents as they are too much interfering and may also be spoiling your plans.
But if you state what you wish and want with your life clearly around your narcissistic parents, it will eliminate their interference or at least lower it down. Also, let them know that you recognize their toxic and abusive behavior and thus you wish to keep your distance from them so that they are unable to ruin your plans.
By telling them your plans, you will eliminate the feeling of guilt that may come when they gaslight you into doing what they want you to do and also paint a clear picture for them so that they are not able to impose their ideas on you.
Develop your self-worth and self-confidence
As their worth is never given enough credit, children of Narcissistic parents have very low self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence. They are always insecure about what others would think of them.
As they are never given enough credit or praise for expressing themselves openly while growing up, they are unsure about their self-worth. Narcissistic parents always fear that their children might bring them shame, so they never allow them to do anything freely without their consent.
But it is crucial to recognize your self-worth to boost your self-confidence despite the insulting and criticizing nature of your parents. They may never support you or praise you but you need to make sure that you are confident with what you do and how you do it.
Find activities that interest you and enhance your personality. Always make sure to seek things that bring you joy and happiness even if your parents disapprove of them.
Do not be harsh on yourself
Narcissistic parents can be brutal and emotionally damaging to you especially when you try to do things that may oppose them or their ideas. But it is high time you start prioritizing your well-being and start being compassionate with yourself first.
Pat yourself on the back when your parents do not, praise yourself when you do not get praised by them, calm yourself after getting hurt, and try to love yourself the way you are because narcissistic parents may always be degrading your worth.
You may have an abusive parent-child bond, but being compassionate to yourself would also help you to be compassionate toward them. It is not easy to recover from the damage and trauma that they put you in through your childhood, but with time everything heals. Start saying no and save yourself from traumatic situations.
The best to not be harsh on yourself is by following your intuition and mind sometimes, as your heart may stop you from asserting boundaries due to guilt.
Hate is a strong word, and it is not appropriate to describe a narcissist’s feelings for their children. A narcissist usually would love their kids except for the matters where the narcissist’s grandiose image is put on-line or in shame. Narcissists do not hate their kids, but they are biased toward them.
Do not fall into their gaslighting
Narcissistic parents gaslight their kids to make their children feel delusional and lost so that they can make them do what they wish. They may confuse you so that you do not figure out their real toxic personality so that you do not cause damage.
Realize what is happening
Winning against a narcissistic parent is nearly impossible. Narcissists thrive on controlling their children by playing mind games that if the child does not bend to their will, he/she may have to pay or face some serious consequences.
Narcissistic parents may prefer dysfunctional family dynamics if their needs are met over a fully functional and emotionally bonded family. So as and when you try to compromise with their needs or question their behavior you may be manipulated unless you start favoring them.
You need to realize what is happening around you, and also recognize what is wrong and what is not so that you realize how unfair and emotionally damaging your parent may be. Also, try to figure out more regarding narcissism and ways to cope with narcissists.
You may know your parents in and out, so it is only you who can figure out how to deal smartly and develop coping mechanisms to ensure your well-being and save yourself from more emotional damage.
You cannot choose your parents or the way they treat you, but you can always find ways to defend yourself and create healthy boundaries. Healing requires self-care, self-compassion, and a lot of patience. Being patient with yourself can accelerate the healing process.
It is important to note that every traumatic experience can be healed and you have the strength to overcome them. “Every cloud has a silver lining”, in the same way, you can overcome and heal from all bad experiences so never give up on yourself, and do not lose hope.