Narcissists have a tendency to exploit and manipulate those around them, including their own family members. While many people’s interactions with their family can be a source of love and support, for narcissists, it’s often just another opportunity to feed their own ego. This is particularly true when it comes to their relationship with their mothers. Narcissists often treat their mom with the same manipulative and self-centered behavior they exhibit towards others.
In this article, we’ll explore as to how narcissists treat their mom and the harmful impact it can have on those involved.
Narcissists and Their Mothers
It’s important to note that not all narcissists act the same way, and their treatment of their mothers can vary widely. However, there are a few common themes that may emerge in these relationships.
How Narcissists Treat their Mom – Unrealistic Expectations and Constant Criticism
The relationship between narcissists and their mothers can be complex and fraught with tension.
Narcissists, due to their self-centered nature, often place unrealistic expectations on their mothers.
They assume that their mothers should be available to them around the clock, providing a constant stream of narcissistic supply in the form of attention and admiration.
However, no one can live up to such high standards all the time.
So what happens when a narcissist’s expectations aren’t met?
They get angry, really angry. This isn’t just your everyday annoyance or frustration. This is what experts call “narcissistic rage“.
Narcissistic rage is intense and frightening.
It’s like a hurricane of anger, criticism, and blame, all directed at the person who didn’t meet the narcissist’s unrealistic expectations.
The fury is a way for the narcissist to protect their fragile ego and maintain control over their mother.
By making her feel guilty and responsible for their anger, they manipulate her into trying even harder to meet their unreasonable demands.
How Narcissists Treat their Mom – Blaming and Gaslighting
Narcissists invariably refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Instead, they resort to shifting the blame onto others when things go wrong.
The narcissist will not hesitate to point the finger of blame at their mother, even when the poor woman had nothing to do with the situation.
Additionally, narcissists are likely to engage in gaslighting, a manipulation technique where they plant seeds of doubt in their mother’s mind, causing her to question her perception of the world around her.
Gradually a narcissist’s mother starts to believe that she is going insane, making them feel powerless and vulnerable.
How Narcissists Treat their Mom – Emotional Blackmail
Narcissists can be quite persuasive when it comes to getting their way.
They often use subtle forms of emotional blackmail or guilt-tripping to manipulate their mothers into fulfilling their needs and wants, regardless of how unreasonable they may be.
In extreme cases they will also resort to bullying and coercion to get what they want.
For instance, they may threaten to cut off contact with their mother if she does not comply with their demands, or use their children as leverage, threatening to limit or deny access to the grandchildren if their mother doesn’t behave as they want her to.
How Narcissists Treat their Mom – Controlling Behavior
Narcissists have a strong desire for control and dominance, often seeking to exert power and leverage over those around them.
Unfortunately, this includes their own mothers, whom they may seek to control in various ways.
The narcissist may try to take over their mother’s finances, making decisions about her investments or how she spends her money.
They could also try to control how she spends her time, dictating what activities she can and cannot engage in or who she can spend time with.
How Narcissists Treat their Mom – Lack of Empathy
The hallmark of narcissistic personality disorder is the person’s inability to empathize with others.
Narcissists do not understand, or do not care, about the feelings or experiences of those around them.
This lack of empathy can be particularly harmful to their relationship with their mother, leaving her feeling unheard and invalidated, as if her experiences and feelings never matter.
The lack of empathy displayed by a narcissist can have a profoundly distressing effect on their mother.
Feeling emotionally disconnected and unsupported by one’s child can be extremely painful.
As a result these mother experience feelings of abandonment and isolation, further exacerbating any other mental health issues they may be dealing with.
How Narcissists Treat their Mom – Withholding Affection
Narcissists are often cold or distant, failing to demonstrate warmth or love towards their mother in a way that feels authentic.
Rather than expressing love and affection towards their mother on a consistent basis, narcissists may only show love when it serves their own needs.
They may use expressions of affection as a means of manipulation, for instance, to gain access to their mother’s resources, to extract her emotional support, or to curry favor when they need something from her.
How Narcissists Treat their Mom – Physical abuse
It is unfortunately not uncommon for narcissists to use physical violence against their own mother.
Narcissists are prone to explosive outbursts of anger and aggression, especially when their sense of control or superiority is challenged.
In the case of maternal relationships, narcissists may feel threatened if their mother shows love or attention towards others, resulting in violent or abusive behavior.
The Impact of Narcissistic Abuse on Mothers
Narcissistic abuse can have a profound and lasting impact on mothers, leading to a range of negative emotional and psychological effects.
Emotional Trauma and Its Effects
When mothers are subjected to narcissistic abuse, they endure a considerable amount of emotional trauma.
The continuous abusive behavior from the narcissistic child create a toxic environment that destroys their mother’s self-image.
Impact on Self-Esteem
This emotional degradation can be so severe that it instills deep-seated anxiety and triggers episodes of depression. The constant barrage of negativity can erode the mother’s self-esteem, leaving her feeling unvalued and unloved.
Impact on Mental Health
Moreover, the intensity of this emotional abuse inevitably has serious implications on the mother’s mental health.
She lives constantly on edge, anticipating the next cruel remark or unreasonable demand from her child.
In extreme cases, the mother may even develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition usually associated with severe traumatic events.
Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Impact on Physical Health
This constant state of high alert leads to chronic stress, which can manifest in physical symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, and digestive issues.
The emotional trauma can also impact the mother’s overall well-being. It impacts her ability to form and maintain other relationships, her job performance, and her enjoyment of life.
The prolonged stress can even lead to more severe health problems, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Cycle of Guilt and Self-Blame
A narcissist will never taking responsibility for any mistakes or setbacks in their life, so they deflect the blame onto someone else. Unfortunately, in many cases this will be their mother.
The constant exposure to blame makes mothers internalize it, leading to deep-seated feelings of guilt. They start believing that they are indeed at fault and have failed as parents.
Manipulation and Gaslighting
This self-perception is further exacerbated by the narcissistic child’s manipulation, which tends to distort reality, making the mother believe that she is the problem.
The guilt is often so profound that it triggers a relentless questioning of their own parenting skills and decisions.
These mothers find themselves constantly analyzing their actions, wondering if they could have done things differently or better.
They might question every choice they make, worrying about the potential consequences on their narcissistic child.
This constant self-doubt only fuels the cycle of guilt and self-blame, creating a psychological trap that can be challenging to escape from.
Loss of Confidence
Moreover, this persistent feeling of guilt and self-blame can lead to a severe loss of confidence, not just in their role as a parent, but also in other aspects of life.
It can affect their relationships with other people, their performance at work, and even their ability to take care of themselves.
Additionally, the cycle of guilt and self-blame can hinder mothers from seeking the help they need.
They become so entangled in feelings of guilt that they believe they deserve the harsh treatment, or they may fear that reaching out for help would validate the narcissistic child’s accusations of their supposed failures.
Cognitive Impairment and Decision Making Under Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic abuse can leave profound and lasting effects on a mother’s mental faculties.
The relentless emotional and verbal mistreatment common in these situations can significantly impede cognitive abilities, including learning, memory, decision-making, and impulse control.
Disrupting the Brain’s Functioning
The incessant stress and emotional turmoil induced by narcissistic children can disrupt the brain’s normal functioning.
Learning new things, which relies heavily on focus and concentration, can become increasingly challenging.
These mothers may find it difficult to retain new information or struggle to understand complex concepts, which they could previously grasp with ease.
Impact on Memory
Memory can also be significantly affected.
Mothers of narcissists might find themselves unable to remember specific events accurately, causing a sense of disorientation and further fueling their self-doubt.
This memory impairment is often a direct result of the high-stress environment and the brain’s natural response to protect itself from traumatic experiences.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that narcissistic abuse often involves manipulation tactics like gaslighting, where the abuser deliberately attempts to distort the victim’s perception of reality.
This can leave the mothers of narcissists questioning their own memories and judgement, adding to their confusion and exacerbating feelings of self-doubt.
Impact on Decision-Making and Impulse Control
Decision-making capacity, a critical cognitive function, can also take a hit.
The constant second-guessing and self-doubt can make even the simplest decisions seem daunting, leading to indecisiveness or poor decision-making.
This can manifest in various aspects of life, from parenting decisions to choices related to work or personal relationships.
Impulse control, another crucial aspect of cognitive function, can also be compromised.
The heightened emotional state often leads mothers who are victims of narcissistic abuse to react impulsively rather than taking the time to think through their responses.
This lack of control can lead to regrettable actions and further aggravate feelings of guilt and self-blame.
In extreme cases, prolonged exposure to such abuse can lead to more severe mental health issues like anxiety and depression, further impairing cognitive function.
Insecurity and Emotional Fragility
Mothers subjected to narcissistic abuse often experience a profound shift in their emotional state, leading to heightened insecurity and emotional fragility.
The continuous onslaught of criticism, rejection, and manipulation from the narcissistic child gradually erodes her self-esteem, leaving her feeling emotionally vulnerable and intensely insecure.
The narcissist’s relentless belittling and devaluing tactics can make their mother question her worth and abilities.
These self-doubts can seep into every aspect of her life, making her feel perpetually on edge, leading to increased emotional fragility.
Moreover, the mother’s diminished self-esteem and increased insecurity can make it difficult for her to assert herself or confront the abusive behavior.
She starts to feel powerless against the narcissist’s manipulations and may struggle to set boundaries or protect her own interests.
How to Protect Yourself from Your Narcissist Child
Dealing with a narcissistic child can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience for any mother.
Whether they are exhibiting manipulative behavior or verbal or physical aggression, it is important to remember that you have the right to protect yourself and establish healthy boundaries.
The following are some practical tips on how you can safeguard yourself and maintain your peace of mind.
Setting healthy boundaries is an essential strategy for managing relationships with narcissistic children.
These boundaries serve as protective barriers, safeguarding your emotional well-being and preventing the child from exerting undue influence or control over you.
Narcissists feel entitled to make demands and expect others, especially their mothers, to cater to their needs without question.
This unchecked entitlement inevitably leads to exploitative behavior, making it vital for mothers to establish clear and firm boundaries.
Creating these boundaries involves defining what behavior you will tolerate and what you won’t.
It’s about deciding how much time, energy, and resources you’re willing to invest in your relationship with the narcissist, and where you draw the line.
It’s important to communicate these boundaries explicitly, ensuring the narcissist understands your expectations and the consequences of violating these boundaries.
Maintaining Your Boundaries
Standing your ground is equally critical in this process.
Narcissists are skilled manipulators, adept at twisting situations to their advantage or playing on their mother’s emotions to get what they want.
It is important to note that setting boundaries is not about punishing the narcissistic child or seeking revenge.
It’s about asserting your right to be treated with respect and dignity. It’s about creating space for your own needs and feelings in the relationship, rather than being entirely consumed by the child’s demands.
Moreover, establishing boundaries can also serve as a form of role modeling, demonstrating to the narcissistic child that everyone has a right to their personal boundaries, and these should be respected.
Avoid Enabling: A Key Strategy in Managing Narcissistic Behavior
Enabling is often an unintentional byproduct of the way parents interact with their narcissistic children.
It occurs when a parent indirectly supports or tolerates negative actions, such as unreasonable demands, tantrums, or abusive behavior, thereby reinforcing this destructive pattern.
To break this cycle, it’s crucial to avoid enabling and instead promote healthier modes of interaction.
Narcissists often resort to manipulative tactics to gain attention, control, or validation. They may throw tantrums, make excessive demands, or engage in emotionally abusive behavior to assert their dominance.
When parents give in to these behaviors, they inadvertently enable the narcissism, perpetuating a cycle of manipulation and control.
Taking a Stand
To avoid enabling, parents must take a firm stand against these negative actions.
This involves refusing to provide unconditional support or reinforcement for harmful behaviors.
For instance, if the narcissists flies into a rage to get their way, the mother should not yield to their demands simply to placate them.
Instead, they should calmly but firmly communicate that such behavior is unacceptable.
Avoiding enabling can be a challenging task, especially as it may initially lead to escalation in the narcissist’s negative behaviors.
Seeking guidance from a mental health professional can be beneficial to navigate this complex process effectively.
They can provide strategies and techniques to effectively avoid enabling while maintaining a loving and supportive relationship with your child
The Importance of Professional Help in Navigating Narcissistic Behavior
Managing a relationship with a narcissistic child can be an overwhelming and emotionally taxing experience.
It’s not uncommon for parents to feel isolated, confused, or drained by the constant cycle of manipulation, demand, and conflict.
In such situations, seeking professional help, such as counseling or therapy, can be a lifeline.
Professional therapists and counselors are trained to understand complex psychological dynamics, like those involved in narcissism.
They can provide invaluable support to parents struggling to cope with their narcissist’s narcissistic behavior.
By offering a safe, non-judgmental space, professionals can help parents voice their concerns, fears, and frustrations without fear of retribution or misunderstanding.
A key benefit of professional help is learning effective coping strategies.
Therapists can teach techniques to manage stress, maintain emotional balance, and assert boundaries.
They can help parents understand the roots of narcissistic behavior and develop strategies to respond effectively, rather than reactively.
This knowledge can empower parents to navigate their relationship with their narcissistic child more effectively, reducing feelings of helplessness and despair.
Group therapy or support groups can also be beneficial.
Interacting with others who are experiencing similar challenges can provide a sense of community and shared understanding. Hearing others’ experiences and strategies can provide new perspectives and practical tips for managing narcissistic behavior.
In some cases, family therapy may be recommended. In this setting, the entire family engages in therapy sessions together. This approach allows the therapist to observe the family dynamics firsthand and facilitate communication and understanding among all family members
The Power of a Supportive Network When Dealing with Narcissistic Behavior
Navigating the challenges of dealing with a narcissistic child can be an emotionally taxing journey.
Amidst this turmoil, it becomes crucial to surround yourself with a network of supportive and understanding individuals.
This support system can serve as a much-needed emotional buoy, helping you feel less isolated and more grounded.
Supportive people can provide a safe space for you to express your feelings and concerns without judgment or criticism.
They offer empathy and understanding, acknowledging your struggles rather than dismissing or minimizing them.
This validation can be incredibly soothing, helping to alleviate feelings of guilt, confusion, or self-doubt that you may be grappling with.
Moreover, supportive individuals can offer different perspectives and practical advice based on their experiences or observations.
They can help you strategize ways to manage your relationship with your narcissistic child, providing tips and suggestions that you might not have considered.
Their input can be invaluable in helping you navigate the complexities of narcissism.
Being surrounded by supportive people also boosts your confidence and empowerment.
Knowing that others believe in your strength and resilience can bolster your own belief in your ability to cope.
It can inspire you to stand your ground, assert your boundaries, and take care of your own needs.
Furthermore, having a strong support network can provide moments of respite from the stress and tension associated with dealing with narcissistic behavior.
Engaging in social activities, laughter, and shared interests can help lighten your emotional load, providing necessary breaks from your struggles.
Keep a record of any dramatic incidents
It is best to document any incidents in which your narcissistic child displays violence, aggression, or abuse.
This can serve as important evidence in any kind of legal proceedings or emergency situations and can help you in confronting them about their behavior.
Consider legal action
In extreme cases, you may need to consider legal action to protect yourself from your narcissistic child.
This can include filing a restraining order, getting a lawyer to help establish healthy communication, or even pressing charges for abusive behavior.
Focus on your own self-care
Last but not least, remember to take good care of yourself. Do things that make you happy, relieve stress, and bring joy into your life.
Final Thoughts on How Narcissists Treat Their Mom
Mothers are meant to provide their children with unconditional love and support.
However, it is important to remember that this does not mean that they should have to endure the psychological and physical abuse that narcissistic children may inflict upon them.
By setting healthy boundaries, seeking professional help, and prioritizing self-care, you can regain your sense of agency and find peace of mind while navigating a complex and challenging relationship with a narcissistic child.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Narcissists Treat Their Moms
How do narcissists typically treat their mom?
Narcissists are known for their lack of empathy, which impacts all their relationships, including those with their mothers.
They are often dismissive, neglectful, or manipulative, using their mother to fulfill their own needs without considering her feelings.
Do narcissists blame their mothers for their behavior?
Narcissists tend to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and blame their mothers or other people for their behavior.
This allows them to deflect blame and maintain their inflated self-image.
How does the mother of a narcissist often feel?
Mothers of narcissists may feel used, emotionally drained, and unappreciated.
They are likely to struggle with feelings of guilt and inadequacy due to the narcissist’s manipulation and blame-shifting.
What should a mother do if her child is a narcissist?
If a mother believes her child may be a narcissist, it’s important to seek professional help.
Therapists or psychologists can provide strategies for dealing with narcissistic behavior and help navigate the complex emotions involved.
Is narcissism inherited from parents?
Narcissism is not directly inherited but is thought to be influenced by a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences.
A parent’s behavior can impact a child’s development, but it’s not the sole determinant of whether a child will develop narcissistic traits.