Surviving Your Narcissistic Parents as an Adult Child

For anyone out there who grew up with narcissistic parents, this post is for you. It can be tough to deal with narcissistic parents. Whether you are still living with them or you are now an adult who has moved out. Narcissistic parents can be draining, toxic, and harmful to your mental and emotional well-being. They can make you feel like you are never good enough and that nothing you do is ever good enough. If you have narcissistic parents, you might be wondering how to deal with them and how to survive having them in your life. 

The good news is that you’re not alone. In fact, there are many other women out there who have survived narcissistic parents and gone on to lead happy and fulfilling lives. 

lonely girl sitting on a doorway. her parents are very narcissistic
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Signs Your Parents May Be Narcissistic

Feeling like you could never do anything right

Being constantly criticized

Being told you were “stupid” or “worthless”

Never being allowed to express your own opinions

 Being treated like a child even when you were an adult

What is Narcissism

The first step is to understand what narcissism is. Narcissism is a personality disorder that is characterized by a lack of true connection to others, a need for admiration and attention, and a lack of empathy for others. People with this disorder often have difficulty holding down jobs, maintaining healthy relationships, and functioning in society. They might come across as egoistic, self-centered, and arrogant.  In reality, they are profoundly insecure. You can watch this amazing short film about covert narcissism to learn more.

Narcissistic parents might expect you to meet their unrealistic standards. They typically put their needs above your own, dismiss your feelings and experiences, or blame you for their shortcomings. They might also try to control every aspect of your life. Commonly, they belittle your accomplishments. It can be tough to deal with these kinds of behaviors. However, there are ways to cope.

4 Ways To Survive Having Narcissistic Parents

1. Acknowledge that your feelings are valid. 

The first step is to acknowledge that your feelings are valid. It’s not crazy or over-sensitive to feel hurt by the things your parents say or do. In fact, it’s perfectly normal. So give yourself permission to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling. Don’t try to bottle it down or push it away. 

2. Set boundaries. 

It is important to set boundaries with narcissistic parents in order to protect yourself from their harmful behavior. You might need to limit the amount of time you spend with them or the amount of information you share with them about your life. You might also need to establish rules about what topics are off-limits during conversations or set a rule that all conversations must be respectful. Keep in mind that setting boundaries does not mean that you are responsible for changing your parent’s behavior—it simply means that you are taking care of yourself. 

 3. Seek outside support. 

If you have narcissistic parents, it is important to seek outside support from family members, friends, therapist, or a support group for adult children of narcissistic parents. These people can provide you with the emotional support that you need in order to deal with your narcissistic parent’s toxic behavior. It can be helpful to talk about your experiences with people who understand what you are going through and can offer helpful advice on how to cope.

4. Take care of yourself.

It is also important to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally if you have narcissistic parents. This might include focusing on positive self-talk, practicing self-compassion, setting aside time for activities that make you happy, and maintaining healthy relationships with people who make you feel good about yourself. Taking care of yourself will help you build up your own internal strength so that you can deal with whatever comes your way—including having narcissistic parents. 

crop friends stacking hands together supporting each other
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

If you have narcissistic parents, know that you are not alone—there are other people out there who understand what you are going through. And there are things that you can do in order to survive having them in your life. By setting boundaries, seeking outside support, and taking care of yourself emotionally and mentally, you will be better equipped to deal with whatever comes your way—including having narcissistic parents.

We here at Nurtured Well, LLC can help you cope with surviving narcissistic abuse and set boundaries with your parents. Call or email now to get the care you need.

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