Narcissists have an inflated sense of their own importance, as well as a deep need for excessive attention and admiration. Their personality can lead to troubled relationships with family, friends, and coworkers since they often lack empathy for others. They face problems in many areas of life, their relationships, at work, at school, at home, with their adult children or financial affairs. Narcissists find their relationships with other people unfulfilling as they want the focus to be on them, their accomplishments, and their interests.
Do you know a Narcissistic Person?
Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-worth and believe they are better or superior to those around them. They don’t share the limelight well with others. Narcissists have a hard time hearing and listening to other people. Narcissists tend to monopolize conversation and do very little listening. But behind their mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem. They have trouble accepting or hearing anything that sounds like criticism. Narcissists respond to the slightest hint of criticism by becoming defensive and then by being aggressive, cold and detached. If you challenge a narcissist, you may be subject to their rage and threats.
Symptoms of Narcissistic Behaviors
– Believing that he or she is better than other people be it they are smarter, or more attractive than others
– Having a very high sense of self-importance
– Belittling of other people and their opinions
– Not having the ability to listen and care about other peoples’ feelings and needs or points of view
– All discussions or arguments centre around how she or he feels or experiences the world
– They exaggerate their abilities or their accomplishments
If you are dealing with a narcissistic person, be it your boss, parent or partner, it’s important for you to set some healthy boundaries for yourself. It is important you understand you are not at fault for being dismissed or being misunderstood. Ask for help by seeking professional counselling in Ottawa.
Narcissists may not be able to listen or acknowledge your feelings and worries. It is possible the narcissistic person will get angry and defensive, blaming you when you create boundaries to protect yourself and not allow yourself to get caught up in their drama. It is also important for you to realize that the narcissist you interact with is unaware of her or his behaviour and will have a great amount of difficulty in being self-reflective of how his or her behaviour is hurting you. If your spouse displays this type of behaviour, don’t struggle alone. Consult Family-Therapy for relationship counselling in Ottawa.
Being Raised by Narcissistic Parents
Children with narcissist parent(s) are often told “not to tell others about problems within their family” and to keep secrets even to the detriment of the child’s or family’s well-being. Being raised by narcissistic parent(s) leads children to experiencing conditional love and the feeling that they are never good enough, smart enough, or talented enough for their “gifted and talented” parent. Children raised by narcissists need to behave perfectly in order to not upset the parent(s). If the child did not always agree with the parent, then love and affection would be withheld. Other times, each child within the family may be assigned the role of “scapegoat” or “black sheep” or the “golden child” who was cherished as long as they did what he or she was told. Narcissist parent(s) are sometimes only pleased with their children if they are very obedient and their child’s behaviour reflects positively on them as a parent. Narcissist parent(s) have a very difficult time in allowing their child to express who she or he is. Many narcissist parent(s) emotionally manipulated their children into blaming, shaming or guilting them into doing what the parents want and not what the child needed.
Going into adulthood, children raised by narcissistic parent(s) are hypersensitive and overly attuned to the emotions of others. They may be very insecure and fear abandonment by those who truly love them. Since they lived in fear of being unloved or criticized by their parent as a child. They can be unsure of themselves and may spend too much time overthinking and worrying about what other people think of them. They constantly fear they are not good enough and can never be good enough to be loved; not just by their narcissistic parent(s) but by anyone.
If you were raised by narcissists, it’s important for you to realize that they may never change. Holding out for the unconditional love you craved as a child is probably never going to happen. And it is understandable that you may have undying or unwavering hope that your parent may someday finally see you as the wonderful person you are. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen. Unless the Narcissist parent(s) can see how his or her behaviour impacts others they may never develop empathy for others or be responsible for their mistakes.
Staying in contact with a narcissistic parent is a choice that only you can make. It is important that you learn to create healthy boundaries for yourself and for your own children if you are still in contact with your narcissistic parent(s). Learn how to stop being manipulated by your parent. Start listening to your intuition and start saying “NO” to unrealistic parental demands. Another important task for you to explore is learning about, discovering, and acknowledging your emotions. Too often, your emotional needs may have been discounted, ignored, and likely invalidated and denied when you were a child. Take the time to speak with a trained therapist on how to recognize and validate your emotions. Learn how to develop self-compassion for yourself as you were probably exposed to too much criticism as a child. take the time to mourn the loss of your “perfect parent” who was anything but perfect and see him or her as a person with emotional limitations.
If you think you might be in a narcissistic relationship, with a spouse, a friend, a boss or a parent reach out to one of our therapists today to start the conversation. We offer family counselling in Ottawa at a location near you.
We’re here to listen.
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