ways to deal with a narcissistic selfish parent - Parenting Goal

It can be difficult to deal with narcissists in your life, particularly if they are your parents. They could appear to continuously push your boundaries or deny any wrongdoing on their part, which typically leaves an emotional scar. This makes it essential to comprehend how to treat them.

A narcissistic parent feels threatened if their child shows any sign of independence and is excessively possessive of them. Children with narcissistic parents typically endure humiliation and embarrassment and develop low self-esteem as a result. These kids frequently grow up to be high achievers, self-destructive people, or both. To heal from narcissistic abuse, children harmed by this sort of parent will require expert assistance.

A person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) has an exaggerated feeling of their importance, a strong desire for adulation, and little empathy for other people. However, this extreme confidence veneer conceals weak self-esteem that is easily damaged by the smallest criticism.

Although not all parents suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, it is usual for narcissistic parents to exhibit narcissistic traits, which can be just as harmful when raising a child. Here are some suggestions from professionals for dealing with narcissistic parents.

11+ Ways to Deal With a Narcissistic or Selfish Parent

1.  Be aware of the type of narcissism you are encountering

Narcissism comes in many forms. Malignant narcissism is the one that has received the most discussion in recent years. Because the person who has it only sees the negative aspects of treatment, this type of narcissism is the most challenging to cope with and almost impossible to treat. An evil narcissist sees the world as a complicated collection of zero-sum games. Play with them, and all they care about is winning; even your parent will treat you like a number in a winning equation.

The insecure variety of narcissism is another subtype. This kind of narcissism frequently exhibits borderline traits, or at the very least, is on a continuum with a borderline personality disorder. This suggests that a person with narcissistic or borderline features could swing to the other extreme when under pressure, depending on the stimuli.

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When a person feels abandoned, embarrassed, or separated from a person, thing, or role that offers them comfort and security, borderline characteristics frequently manifest. They’ll desire to assign blame to someone else to defuse their emotions. If a young child is to later build healthy attachments, these deep fault lines in their personality structure will require therapeutic care.

To have the ego power to stand on their own and disagree with their narcissistic parents, adult children must learn how to form healthy bonds with other people. For the majority of adult children, this entails having distinct limits and established procedures for upholding them.

2.  Recognize the fact that you can not influence the actions of other people

Finding the finest ways to accept who they are when dealing with a narcissistic parent is one of the most difficult and fruitful things to do. Accepting a parent’s NPD perspective on the world does not imply that you approve of their actions or the way they treat you. Accepting the situation entails being prepared to acknowledge that other people’s actions and behaviors are beyond your control.

You may take control of your life by taking a step back and realizing that the only person you can manage is yourself. When you accept reality, you also start to see how you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Stop relying on individuals who are unable to show you the kindness and affection you deserve!

3.  Create connections with people other than your parent

If you go to someone with NPD for confidence, comfort, or evidence of acceptance, you’ll probably be let down 99% of the time. Start realizing that building relationships with people other than your parent is your best shot at gaining their love and admiration.

It’s just not going to happen that your NPD parent will meet your emotional demands. Your parents are not treating you fairly because they don’t think you are lovable or deserving of their love.

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It’s because, in terms of being warm and fuzzy, your parent has something like a brain injury. Stop entrusting your happiness to someone who has suffered brain damage. It leads nowhere.

4.  Establishing appropriate limits with your parent

Setting up sound limits with your parent will be difficult, but essential. The importance of having a healthy border for you was probably never taught to you or demonstrated to you. Most of your attempts to establish your limits were likely disregarded and downplayed if you had a narcissistic parent as a child. If you want to be able to repair the scars from your upbringing, you must learn how to establish, build, and enforce boundaries with your parents.

If you want to maintain a relationship with an NPD parent, learning to set boundaries will be crucial. If you don’t, you may anticipate that your connection won’t alter because it’s rare that your parent will suddenly realize something and start acting differently toward you.

5.  Try not to let it affect you personally

Make every effort to not take it personally. You’ll probably have to say it multiple times. Remember that these are your healthy boundaries and assume that your parent will wish to resume your previous modes of communication.

Your sense of perplexity about where your NPD parent ends will probably be developing, and it will need a lot of wisdom and fortitude to get through this process. You probably need to start from scratch while rebuilding your self-esteem.

6.  Be aware that you might need to end the poisonous connection

Be aware that your poisonous relationship with your NPD parent may require a break. Recognize that taking a break is entirely acceptable and likely temporarily necessary to help you reset your previous interactional routines.

7.  Recognize that there is a personality issue here

The parent who has this illness comes out as haughty, frequently heartless, and utterly full of themselves. No matter how beneficial criticism may occasionally be, a narcissistic parent cannot manage it since it destroys their self-image.

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Self-esteem in those with a narcissistic personality disorder is exceedingly weak. While they also have a high sense of self-worth, this self-worth is heavily reliant on outside approval. They are quite defenseless individuals.

8.  When communicating with a narcissistic parent, be consistent about setting time limitations

People must consistently set time boundaries while communicating with a parent that exhibits narcissistic qualities if they must interact with this parent.

Be deliberate about documenting the period you start to feel angry, criticized, judged, or any other uncomfortable emotions around that parent to create self-awareness about the “time limit.” By refusing to endure harsh words, you can defend your serenity by using these time restrictions.

9.  Keep your hopes for this parent at bay

With narcissistic parents, holding onto hope might be dangerous. The hope you have often resulted in disappointment, annoyance, or despair.

Therefore, focus your positive energy on those individuals or circumstances that can live up to your aspirations (including yourself).

10.  Don’t dispute with them; simply depart

Because it makes them feel better to know they are in charge, narcissists seek to set you up for these verbal fights.

Don’t let their propensity for manipulation overcome you. And it all starts with you acting assertively, like “leaving.”

11.  Consult a qualified mental health professional for assistance

The first step to understanding your healthy boundaries and why they are important to add to your relationships is always to get support from a qualified mental health professional.

The child may benefit emotionally from counseling if they want their feelings regarding their parent’s behavior to be acknowledged and recognized.


Every person has a unique experience, and a therapist can support a child going through this based on their unique circumstances and difficulties with the narcissistic parent. To strengthen their bond, parents, and children can benefit from therapy together.