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How to handle a narcissistic mother, what works

How to handle a narcissistic mother, what works

Anju Chandy was 18 when she left her home in Bakersfield, CA, to a remote university. After years of frustration, the more miles she traveled between her and her narcissistic mother, the better.

“I knew I didn’t want to be next to my mother. I had to create my own path away from his influence and control, ”says Chandy, a musician who lives in Indianapolis.

“I spent almost everything in high school fighting with him. He wanted to control me. She wanted to stay home, stay still, look nice and do nothing. He had an irrational fear because I wanted to go out on the streets and be promiscuous all over the town, even if that’s not what I was or what I wanted to do. ”

Living with a narcissistic mother is a challenge. Narcissists are very introverted and often see children as an extension of themselves. “Children are often used by the deaf, the unknown, and narcissistic parents,” says graduate Kimberly Perlin. clinical social worker Towson, MD.

What do narcissistic mothers do

If your mother is a narcissist, she seems to be sacrificing herself, like someone who always does things for her children and never thinks about herself.

The mother can be a narcissistic class parent, PTO president, or football coach. But that involvement is self-evident. He does it because he wants attention and because he has to be involved in every decision.

If you’re an adult, it might get too involved in your life. Perlin says that what you do can do more than you do. Maybe you’re planning a wedding but she refuses if her father invites her. Or when you talk, he always pays attention to himself. If you have children, it will work hard to be yours parents partner, even if it means leaving other parents behind.

If your mother is a narcissist, she can be emotionally manipulative and coercive, says Mark Ettensohn, author of PsyD. Masking Narcissism: A Guide to Understanding Narcissism in Your Life. “Narcissistic parents can give unrealistically positive opinions, which can suddenly turn into very harsh or punitive criticism,” she says.

Your mother may not see you because you are inside, apart from being an extension of her. You may have trouble understanding and accepting your feelings and may feel worried or angry when you feel rejected or criticized.

How to identify a narcissist

“Narcissistic traits go along with a continuum,” Perlin says. Your mother may have some, such as self-absorption and entitlement. Or you may be completely overwhelmed narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Signs of narcissistic personality disorder include:

  • Great feeling of arrogance (level of self-esteem, self-importance, self-confidence and feeling above others)
  • Arrogant attitude or behavior
  • Taking advantage of what others want
  • Believing that they are unique or special
  • Excessive achievements and talents
  • The need for excessive admiration
  • Feeling envious of others or thinking that others are envious
  • Lack of empathy
  • Fantasies of brilliance, power or success
  • Sense of entitlement (they deserve special treatment just for being themselves)

Perlin tells yourself to ask yourself these questions to see if your mother is a narcissist:

  • Can he handle negative feedback?
  • Does he seem concerned about how he looks at others?
  • Does he need you to receive compliments and positive feedback?
  • Does he need others to find out if he has done too much work, underestimated or given up on his mother?
  • Does it make it clear that you owe him?
  • You feel like you have to have a certain way or you have to get something for him love and approval?
  • Does he pay attention in ways that make him feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed?

“Yes if you answer a lot of questions and if his behavior is consistent over time, you can consider narcissism,” Perlin says.

What to do if your mother is a narcissist

If your mother is a narcissist, take the following steps to manage your relationship:

Set boundaries. Create and maintain healthy boundaries. Be clear about what is right and what is wrong.

Stay calm. Try not to react emotionally to what he says, even if it is an insult. “The narcissist wants your reaction because it means they have control and they can change the mood as they wish,” Chandy says. “Your peace of mind is your strength.”

Organize your answers. “Have a respectful exit strategy when conversations get off the rails,” Perlin says. Prepare and practice practicing statements such as “I need to move forward, mom” or “I disagree”.


Let it go. You will feel pressure to be happy with your mother and be the perfect daughter or son. Let go of those thoughts. Remember, your job is not to make your mother feel special, needy, or important.

Get help. Talk to a consultant. They can help you understand how their narcissism affects you and learn how to break the cycle.

Get away. It is best to have a limited relationship or no relationship with your mother, especially if you are being abused or abused. Pay attention to the things you can control. “I don’t have a relationship with my family right now,” Chandy says. She believes that this is the only way to deal with a narcissistic mother and your growth happiness is a priority.

What not to do if your mother is a narcissist

If your mother is a narcissist, avoid the following:

Don’t expect an apology. Narcissists hardly accept critical opinion. They often have excuses and justifications for their behavior. Your mother may not see herself as wrong or her behavior will be bad. He probably thinks he’s a victim, not you.

Do not attempt to repair or heal. You can’t change his personality. Narcissists used to grow up with narcissistic parents and used and hurt them. It is something that is out of control and will probably not heal. It can help to create a compassion for their struggles and not be aware that what they are doing.

Don’t compare yourself to others. “You try to have the best possible relationship with your mother,” Perlin says. “It simply came to our notice then. Do you share talent or interest? Try to connect that “.

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