10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Growing up with a narcissistic mother can leave lasting emotional scars that can impact a daughter throughout her life. From difficulty in trusting others to feelings of low self-worth, these 10 long-term symptoms are common among daughters of narcissistic mothers.

How do narcissistic mothers damage their daughters?

Narcissistic mothers use manipulation and other emotionally abusive tactics to exert power over their daughters. This has a profound and long-lasting effect on their daughters’ well-being.

Denial of emotional needs. A narcissistic mother is often unwilling or unable to emotionally invest in her daughter. This can leave the daughter feeling unloved and neglected.

Objectifying. Narcissistic mothers may view their daughters as objects that exist solely for their benefit, rather than treating them with respect and regard as a human being.

Unreasonable expectations. Narcissistic mothers tend to have excessively high expectations of their daughters. However they are unsupportive when it comes to helping them reach these goals.

Unreliable support. These mothers may change their tune on important issues frequently, providing an unreliable support system that leaves the daughter feeling confused and unsupported.

Gaslighting. Narcissistic moms often blame their daughters for issues caused by themselves or try to manipulate the daughter’s perception of reality. This can be extremely damaging and confusing for the daughter.

Conditional love. A narcissistic mother will often only express love if her daughter meets certain expectations or acts a certain way. This puts undue pressure on the daughter while also making her feel unworthy of unconditional love.

Controlling behaviour. Narcissistic mothers may attempt to control every aspect of their daughters’ lives. They will interfere in issues such as who their daughter should date, what clothes they should wear, etc.

Blame game. These mothers often deflect responsibility onto their daughters, blaming them for any bad outcomes or mistakes made instead of taking responsibility themselves.

Manipulation through guilt trips.Guilt trips are often used by narcissistic mothers in order to manipulate their daughters into doing things against their will.

Minimizing accomplishments. Even when the daughter succeeds in something, narcissistic mothers may minimize it or ignore it altogether in order to undermine her success and keep her down.

The Impact of Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother

Daughters of narcissistic mothers often carry the lingering effects of their upbringing into adulthood. These can range from a lack of self-confidence to difficulty forming lasting relationships and beyond.

Below we will explore symptoms that daughters of narcissistic mothers face and how they may manifest themselves.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 1 – Low Self-Esteem

Daughters often develop low self-esteem as they grow up with a mother who is overly critical and judgmental. They struggle with feelings of worthlessness as their mother focuses on her own needs rather than theirs.

This affects their mental health, leading to issues such as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders that can follow them throughout life. These negative feelings of worthlessness can even lead to substance abuse or self harm in some cases.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 2 – Poor Boundaries

Narcissistic mothers often do not allow their daughters to establish any kind of boundaries, be it physical contact, personal space or emotional needs.

This can lead to deep-seated issues in the daughter’s life when they grow up, as they are unprepared to set healthy boundaries for themselves due to their mother’s teaching that boundary setting is selfish and unacceptable. As a result, they may find themselves struggling with new relationships or even feeling suffocated and controlled by those around them.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 3 – Difficulty Trusting Others

It can be incredibly difficult for daughters of narcissistic mothers to learn how to trust other people. This is due to their mother’s inability to provide a sense of consistency and security in their upbringing.

The unpredictable, manipulative behavior that is employed by narcissists causes their daughter to become uncertain about what to expect from the people around them. This creates a deep sense of insecurity that seeps into new situations and relationships, making it even harder for the daughter to build trust with those around her.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 4 – Codependency

Narcissistic mothers often have a controlling influence over their daughters’ lives. They force them to make decisions based on the mother’s wishes rather than giving their daughters autonomy and trust in their own judgement.

This can lead to feelings of powerlessness and an inability to trust themselves in difficult situations. Unfortunately it can also lead to codependency issues that pervade relationships outside the family dynamic. It is essential for those who experienced these difficulties growing up to take time to reflect and break away from searching for love or approval externally.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 5 – Perfectionism

Many daughters of narcissistic mothers feel an intense pressure to live up to impossible expectations of perfection.

This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and become manifest in the form of perfectionism which can be a destructive force in their lives. As a result, daughters of narcissistic mothers often grow up to become workaholics. They will also obsess over any insignificant flaw or shortcoming, resulting in further damage and unhappiness.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 6 – Feeling Invisible and Unimportant

Narcissistic mothers invariably prioritize themselves over their children. Their daughters grow up feeling unimportant or unloved, causing deep emotional pain and insecurity. This lack of self-importance is also linked to difficulties in expressing themselves and making their opinion heard, as they have been conditioned to believe that their voice does not matter.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 7 – Fear Of Rejection

Daughters who experienced emotionally abusive behavior from their narcissistic moms often develop an intense fear of rejection. This fear manifests itself in various ways. Examples include avoiding social situations or refusing help from friends and family because they fear being judged or rejected by those people if they accept their help.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 8 – Negative Self-Image Issues

Many daughters of narcissistic mothers grow up with a poor self-image due to constant criticism from their mother as well as being compared unfavorably with other women/girls (especially if there is another female sibling).

This leads them into an adulthood where they have difficulty accepting compliments or finding pride in themselves because they feel they do not measure up compared with others’ standards or expectations .

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 9 – Anxiety & Depression

The combination of feeling invisible, unimportant and the need for approval from a narcissistic parent can be a heavy burden to bear, causing intense stress and anxiety.

This is especially true in situations which require the daughter to stand up for herself despite someone else’s opinion. The combination of unrealistic expectations, lack of boundaries, controlling behavior, negative self-image issues and difficulty identifing feelings can all result in mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

10 Symptoms of Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: 10 – Difficulty Identifying Feelings

Because a narcissistic mother does not validate her daughter’s feelings (or even acknowledge them), she has difficulty learning how to recognize emotions properly or express them effectively in healthy ways as an adult. This can lead to difficulties in various aspects of life such as relationships, work, self-care, etc.


Being raised by a narcissistic mother can have long-lasting effects on your mental health and wellbeing that are difficult to overcome without guidance and support from professionals or loved ones who understand your struggles first-hand.

However, it is possible for daughters of narcissistic mothers to process their trauma and heal from the 10 symptoms outlined above. It is by no means easy, but with hard work and commitment they can move past them towards healing and personal growth.

Do not let the pain and dysfunction of your past continue to impact your present and your future.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me. At no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free of charge for all my readers.

Leave a comment