How many times have you heard a man berating a young boy at how he is throwing the ball, and how he has no skill? How many times have you seen a woman insult her children in front of other kids and let her children know they are not and will never be good enough? Have you ever looked at the child in that very moment, or have your eyes always shied away? Have you ever been that child or have you at least wondered what happens when you are raised by narcissists?
Narcissism is a real documented personality disorder; a fact, that is lesser known than what’s trending on TV, or even in fashion. We have such little awareness about mental disorders that narcissism is simply a word thrown around. But not when you’re raised by a parent who suffers from the disorder. Those children know all about it. Why? Because those children have done every bit of research. They have seen how other parents behave with their children; in the movies, in the malls, with their friends, even at school. They know the difference. They have managed to look it up to find out whether they are in fact being raised by narcissists.
Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder
According to Mayo Clinic, Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition where affected people have an inflated ego and importance. They are always looking for admiration and excessive attention and they almost always have a lack of empathy and sensitivity to others’ feelings. The irony is that the inflated sense of self is really just a facade because underneath the exterior, people who suffer from this disorder have really fragile self-esteem and they are overly sensitive and vulnerable to even the slightest of criticisms. The only treatment for this disorder lies in psychotherapy.
How Do You Even Know You’re Being Raised By Narcissists?
There are certain typical signs and symptoms that are often used to find out if someone is suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. If a parent of yours shows three or more symptoms it’s likely that they’re suffering to some extent from the disorder, and depending on the severity of the effect their behavior is having on their relationships, it’s best to find some treatment or therapy.
Signs and Symptoms of a Parent Being a Narcissist
Here is a list of symptoms that are common in people with this personality disorder:
- They have an overly inflated ego which gives them an unrealistic sense of their own importance.
- They have a constant need for affirmation and admiration which stems from a false sense of entitlement.
- They suffer from a superiority complex.
- They want the best of it all, whether it’s a car or the shoes on their feet.
- They tend to exaggerate their talents and achievements.
- They believe that others are always envious of them.
- They feel vulnerable and insecure secretly.
- They tend to manipulate you to get what they want out of you.
- They can often come across as pretentious because of the arrogance they show in their behavior.
- They’re often found fantasizing about their beauty, brilliance, and/or success.
- They tend to degrade you and look down upon you in regular conversations.
- They expect total compliance with whatever they want even if it’s unrealistic.
- They are insensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
- They often get depressed
- They find it difficult to regulate their behavior and emotions.
- They often react violently and try to belittle and berate you.
- They become very impatient when you don’t give them special treatment.
- They are always under the impression that others are jealous of them.
- They don’t actively listen to you when you are talking to them.
- They gaslight you and make you believe that you deserve the way they treat you.
If you really are being raised by narcissists though, you wouldn’t need this list to know. Yes, maybe you need to confirm the suspicion that something is wrong somewhere. Then it may be useful. But you get a feeling. You always get a feeling. Even if the world can’t see it and they appear to be perfect parents to the world. Even if they have never physically hurt you the slightest bit. Even then, this behavior will still be a form of abuse. If one or both of your parents do show signs of narcissism, please talk to someone and please get help as soon as you can. For their sake, and for yourself.
Note for Parents: If you think you, or your partner, show signs of narcissism, please reach out for help. You are affecting the personalities of your children and who they will turn out to be as adults. Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be treated and you can still attempt to have a loving, long-lasting relationship with your children.