Is your mother a narcissist? It is estimated that up to 1% of the population suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This means that one in every hundred mothers is a narcissist, with all the horror that that entails, especially for her children.
The term “narcissist” gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean?
In short, a narcissist is someone who has an inflated sense of self and an insatiable need for attention and validation. They are also egotistical, self-absorbed, and manipulative.
How to tell if your mother is a narcissist
Recognizing when someone is a narcissist can be difficult, especially when it is a member of your family. It’s even harder when that person is someone you love, like your mother.
The following are some signs that might help you identify a narcissistic mother.
The narcissist mother always wants to be the centre of attention
Narcissists hate feeling invisible or unimportant, and will go to extreme lengths to get the attention they crave.
They will try to dominate conversations, always trying to one-up everyone else and hog the spotlight.
They may even engage in embarrassing behaviour just to keep all eyes on them.
The narcissist mother has trouble empathizing with others
One of the most striking features of narcissists is their inability—or unwillingness—to empathize with others.
If your mother regularly dismisses your feelings or hurts your feelings without even realizing it, this could be a sign that she’s a narcissist.
Narcissists simply aren’t capable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes and understanding how their actions might impact those around them.
The narcissist mother is ALWAYS right
Narcissists are notoriously stubborn and condescending because they truly believe that they’re always right—no matter what.
In her mind, she knows better than anyone else.
She will steamroll over your opinion and make decisions without considering your feelings or what’s best for you.
The narcissist mother doesn’t care about anyone but herself.
If you find yourself constantly arguing with your mother or feeling like you can never win, this could definitely be a sign that she’s a narcissist.
Narcissists hate being challenged or contradicted, so they will do everything they can to shut down any dissenting opinions.
The narcissist mother is never happy
No matter what you do, she will find something to complain about.
If you get straight A’s in school, she’ll find fault with your attitude.
If you get a job, she’ll say you’re not working hard enough.
Nothing you do is ever good enough for the narcissist mother.
The narcissist mother is manipulative
She will use guilt trips, manipulation, and emotional blackmail to get her way.
For example, she might threaten to withhold love or approval if you don’t do what she wants.
Or she might use reverse psychology by telling you that you’re too weak or stupid to make your own decisions.
The narcissist mother is controlling
She will try to control every aspect of your life. She might tell you what to wear, who to hang out with, and what activities to do.
The narcissist mother wants to control you so that she can feel powerful and in control herself.
The narcissist mother is jealous and envious
She is jealous of your accomplishments and envious of your relationships with others.
The narcissist mother can’t stand it when you are happy and successful without her help. She will do everything she can to put you down and take away your happiness.
The impact of having a narcissistic mother
If you were raised by a narcissistic mother, you are likely to have experienced emotional abuse, manipulation, or sabotage.
The impact of this type of ongoing abuse can be devastating.
You may also have trouble maintaining healthy relationships due to your upbringing.
Here are some tips on how to deal with your narcissistic mother:
Understand that you did nothing wrong
A lot of people who were raised by narcissistic parents blame themselves for the way they were treated.
It’s important to understand that it was not your fault and that you did nothing wrong.
Narcissists often target people who are kind, compassionate, and empathetic because they know that these people will put up with their bad behaviour.
It’s important to set boundaries with your narcissist mother in order to protect yourself from further hurt and pain.
You don’t have to tolerate her bad behaviour or put up with her manipulations. It’s okay to say “no” or “I don’t want to talk about that.”
By setting boundaries, you are taking control of the situation and telling her that her behaviour is not acceptable.
Don’t engage in arguments or power struggles
Narcissists love to argue and engage in power struggles because it gives them a sense of control and superiority.
When you engage in these arguments, you are only giving her what she wants and feeding into her need for attention.
It’s best to avoid arguing with her altogether or walk away from the situation if things start to get heated.
Remember that narcissists try to goad people into losing their temper so that they can then devalue them or dismiss them as being irrational, so do not give her the satisfaction.
Seek professional help if necessary
If you find yourself struggling to cope with your narcissist mother, or with the aftermath of the abuse you suffered as a child, it may be helpful to seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor who can provide support and guidance.
Talking about your experiences with someone who is objective and unbiased can be very cathartic and helpful in dealing with your narcissistic mother.
Build a Support Network
Build a support network of close friends or family members who you can rely on when dealing with your narcissistic mother.
These people can provide an emotional outlet for you and can offer objective advice when needed.
It can be helpful to talk about your experiences with them so that you don’t feel like you’re carrying the burden alone.
Dealing with a narcissistic mother can be difficult, but there are some strategies that can help make the situation more manageable.
Remember to set boundaries, avoid taking things personally, build a support network, and take some time for yourself every day.
These tips can help you navigate your relationship with your narcissistic mother and protect your emotional wellbeing.