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Is Your Mother Narcissistic? Here Are 9 Shocking Signs That Say She Is

Narcissism, narcissistic mother, golden child, daughters, narcissus, NPD, DSM, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, empathy, manipulation, control, gaslighting, mothers & daughters

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to like to reveal the nine signs describe a narcissistic mother.

First a quick update: 

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What Does It Mean To Be A Narcissistic Mother?

The term narcissism comes from Greek mythology, whereby the most beautiful man that had ever lived, Narcissus scorned the love of a Goddess and she cursed him: He could only ever love himself. And so, one day, when he noticed his reflection in a pool of water, he became so overpowered by his own image that he fell into the water and drowned. Other variations of the same myth include that he became so obsessed with himself and his reflection that he died from thirst and starvation. 

Thus, narcissism is identified by the extreme and self-destructive ‘love’ for oneself.  However, a narcissistic mother is also destructive and abusive to her family and children.

Can both a father as well as a mother be a narcissist?

Actually, 75% of narcissists are men. However, from working with clients over many decades, I have found the narcissistic mother to be more destructive to her children than a narcissistic father. I attribute this to the unique bond that exists between a mother and a child whereby a child also expects unconditional love, care, empathy, deep compassion, and protection from a mother.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by 3 key elements:

If you have a narcissistic mother, look for these 3 characteristics:

1 A lack of empathy for others

2 A constant need for praise and admiration

3 A pattern of grandiose behaviors and attitudes

Additionally, narcissistic people will express extreme reactions to criticism, engage in promiscuous behavior (often as a form of validation, conquest or for admiration) and they will display other behaviors stemming from deep insecurities.

There Are Nine Signs/Behaviors That Reveal You Have A Narcissistic Mother

Some of these behaviors below are adapted from the DSM-IV and DSM-V with my own additions and interpretations. Yes, they can apply to men and fathers as well.

1. A narcissistic mother has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements.)

She is motivated by the desire to get the approval and validation of others. She is trying to subconsciously convince herself that she is talented and special.

Paradoxically, she may at times, condemn or deflate herself when her deeper insecurities and self-loathing take over. She vacillates between the extremes, and so, too, do her moods – you are subjected to her extreme ups and downs.

2. A narcissistic mother is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

She is trying to cover over her own self-loathing; she may make up stories or exaggerate experiences or achievements. She sets goals with the intention of getting praise and admiration and trying to fill the inner emptiness.

3. A narcissistic mother believes that she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

She seems elitist, aloof or highly judgmental but yet again, she is masking her deep deficits in self-esteem and self-love.

4. A narcissistic mother has a sense of entitlement (i.e. – unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with her expectations)

She may be condescending towards others (including her children and husband), and she may be extremely harsh and judgmental; no one can meet her standards.

5. A narcissistic mother is interpersonally exploitative.

She takes advantage of others to achieve her own ends – usually to get more praise, attention and admiration or to be seen as better than and superior to others.

She may be controlling, manipulative or she may gaslight you. She may place great pressure on you to reassure and laud her. She might fake caring about other and her treatment of others to achieve her own ends.

6. A narcissistic mother lacks empathy: Is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

She doesn’t connect to or respond to her child’s feelings and behaviors; she fails to protect and care.

If she is highly sensitive to other people’s reactions, it is only because those reactions or opinions are directly about their view of her, her worth, and her identity.

7. A narcissistic mother is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of her.

She may feel threatened by the beauty, success or admiration that her daughter or son achieve. And if others in the family give more attention to the daughter, she may feel threatened and attack/put down the daughter. She may sabotage her daughter’s life and happiness, and she throws lots of guilt at her daughter.

A mother can also be in competition with her son for praise, attention or validation. She may be neurotic or paranoid believing that others are envious of her beauty, talents, intelligence, position, possessions or something else.

8. A narcissistic mother shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

She can be antagonistic, aggressive, and angry. She talks constantly and incessantly about herself and cannot show sincere interest in the wellbeing of others – unless it somehow impacts her.

9.  A narcissistic mother struggles with emotional intimacy.

She cannot be vulnerable and most of her relationships are superficial – even with her children. If she is vulnerable (revealing her pain) it is often in the form of self-loathing and in the hope that others will deny her flaws and reinforce to her how special and loved she is.

If you grew up with a narcissistic mother, you may have experienced control, manipulation, neglect, and abuse. You most likely never had your emotional needs met. Additionally, you might suffer from anxiety and fear, the belief that no one cares, and/or that you are not loved or lovable. You might also have an insecure attachment style (anxious, anxious-avoidant, dismissive, disorganized) or be a people-pleaser, always putting others first, or taking care of other’s needs over your own.

These issues, pain and subconscious beliefs can be resolved. If you need help to heal that pain or if you didn’t’ experience compassion in childhood, resolve it rapidly and easily, and be set free of the pain with my SRTT process. Book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D. Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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