Narcissism can seem like something small and uncommon. But if a mother is narcissistic, it can affect her daughter. Whether you’re the mother or daughter in this situation, you should know how narcissism can affect your relationship.
The effects of a narcissistic mother on her daughter include poor self-esteem, perfectionism, and other forms of trauma. Daughters of narcissistic mothers may feel shame and may either self-sabotage or be a high achiever. These women often need therapy or to re-parent themselves.
Whether you have or are a narcissistic mother, you should consider how that behavior can affect your family. Having a narcissistic mother isn’t something to be ashamed of, but you may need to work through things to be the best woman you can be. Read on to learn more.
Things Narcissistic Mothers Say
Before you can consider the effects of a narcissistic mother, consider what these mothers say. Like all narcissists, mothers with the condition is a personality disorder that can be hard for people to understand.
Some people equate it with people who are obsessed with themselves. However, the condition can go much deeper, and it’s even worse when a parent has it.
Here are a few phrases and types of things to look for to determine if you have a narcissistic mother.
Don’t Do Too Well
A narcissistic mother will want her daughter to do well. However, she won’t want her daughter to do too well to the point where the daughter outshines her mother. The mother wants to be thought of as great and having great kids can be a part of that.
But if your mother thinks you’re too good, she may make other statements. She may say things like “you think you’re so good,” or “well, wasn’t that just perfect,” perhaps in a sarcastic tone.
Forms of I’m Jealous
If you do outshine your narcissistic mother, she may say things that are similar to saying she’s jealous, though she may not admit that specifically. Some phrases include: “people used to say I was pretty,” or “you’re just trying to get attention.”
It can be hard not to believe these things when your mother says them. However, they can be very harmful and can affect you later on.
It’s Your Fault
A narcissistic mother may also try to blame things on you, even if they aren’t your fault. Your mother may say that you’re the reason she and your father got a divorce. Or you’re the reason why she didn’t reach some goal.
She may even go as far as to say having you was a mistake. In some cases, your mother may try to make something upsetting feel like nothing, even though it’s probably important.
Get Over It
Other times when something upsets you, you might hear your mom tell you to get over it. She may say things like “stop being so dramatic” or “I told you.” Your mother may even threaten you by saying she’ll give you something to cry about.
Having emotions is a normal part of growing up and being a person. It can be hard to ignore when your mom negates emotions, and that can leave a lasting effect on you.
Narcissistic mothers may also try to guilt-trip their daughters to get something. Your mother may say something like how you’re ungrateful or how she’ll die without you. She might say that no one else will love you besides her.
Some narcissistic mothers may say you owe them something because of giving birth to you. But remember that you don’t owe your mother or father anything just for bringing you into this world.
The Effects of a Narcissistic Mother
Once you know what narcissistic mothers say, you can probably tell if your mother is a narcissist. And if that’s the case, you should consider how that can affect you as her daughter. In most cases, your mother doesn’t want to be a narcissist; it’s just a disorder.
However, that doesn’t mean the effects aren’t real and valid. If your mother is narcissistic, you may need to work through your trauma with a therapist. Then, you can address some common effects.
If your narcissistic mother is constantly telling you that you’re a problem or that you’re too good, that can lower your self-esteem. You’re supposed to rely on your parents to make you feel good, so it’s hard to handle the opposite.
You may also find yourself relying on external validation more than internal. But being able to give yourself validation is essential for feeling good. That way, you don’t have to seek approval from others in your life.
If your narcissistic mother is the type to tell you to be as good as possible, that can make you become a perfectionist. You need to prove that you’re worthy of her love or of some honor or award, and that can tell your brain that you need to be perfect.
So you may do whatever you can to put out perfect assignments in school. At work, you may strive to create perfect client projects. But perfection is hard to attain, and it can be hard to break that cycle.
On the other hand, you may end up sabotaging things for yourself. That way, you don’t come off to others as better than your mother. This can happen if your mother constantly talks about how good she is and how she’s better than everyone.
If you’re naturally smart, she may see that and tell you to stop being that way. So you may feel the need to hold yourself back and not do the best you can.
When you have a narcissistic mother, you can’t rely on her for love or attention. She may care for you on a basic level, such as with housing and food. But she may not be able to provide the same love and care as a mother without narcissism.
That can affect you by making you feel ashamed of yourself. And if you enter a relationship, it can be hard for you to love the other person because you’ve never felt love yourself.
If you have a narcissistic parent, it can affect your parenting style. You don’t know what a normal mother-daughter relationship looks like, so you may take on some narcissistic traits. Then, you may affect your children as you raise them.
If you want to have kids of your own one day, consider talking with a therapist beforehand. That way, you can address any issues so that you can be the best mother you can be.
Lack of Empathy
Not only can your narcissistic mother affect your relationship with your children, but it can affect how you interact with other people. You won’t have the chance to learn empathy as you grow up, so you may not be able to sympathize with others.
While you can learn empathy with a narcissistic mother, it can be harder. You may need to work on your empathy as an adult so that you don’t pass that narcissism to others.
Having a narcissistic mother can also affect your trust in others. You may grow not to trust your mother if she is always talking about herself. Your parents are the first people you should learn to trust, and if that doesn’t happen, it may be hard for you to trust others.
If you find you don’t trust people easily, you may block yourself off from friends and potential romantic partners. That can make it harder to live the life you want to live.
A narcissistic mother can have many effects on her daughter, from self-esteem to trust issues. If you find your mother is narcissistic, you may need to work through those issues with a therapist. Then, you can live without worrying about your mother or how she may have affected your life.
● QueenBeeing: 63 Things Narcissistic Mothers Say
● Psychology Today: The Real Effects of Narcissistic Parenting on Children
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