What happens in our childhood stays with us forever. The first stages of child development will decide what kind of adults we’ll be later. This is why growing up in dysfunctional families leaves a mark on the child. Another crucial element at play is whether our parents’ behavior was narcissistic when we were kids.
Because children are usually extremely vulnerable on an emotional and psychological level, they will rely on their parents to offer them stability, security and of course, love. Kids will always need someone to look up to, to protect them and ensure a proper environment for them to flourish.
Our whole sense of identity and self-worth as adults depends on how we were treated when we were little. If we were constantly put down, insulted and blamed as kids, we can only imagine how much this behavior has harmed us. In fact, most traumatic experiences have their root during these essential years.
Here are 10 signs that you were indeed raised by narcissistic parents:
1. They emotionally manipulated you
This is a form of blackmail and it makes it really hard for you to identify it. But once you become aware of the games they played you will be able to set yourself free. Because the main point here is control. Narcissistic parents care about themselves only and they dread the day when you become independent.
2. They withdrew their love if you didn’t do what they said
Parents are supposed to love you unconditionally, but not all are like that. The narcissistic type is quite dangerous because they show love and support just as long as it’s convenient for them. As soon as you don’t do what they say, they will remove all the support. What they’ll do instead is give you the silent treatment or worse, punish you.
3. They were always in competition with you
Anything you did great as a kid, they could do it better. No doubt about that. They were willing to strip you of any achievement or success and turn it into their own. Because narcissists are all about personal gains, including their own kids’.
4. They made you feel guilty
Guilt-tripping is one of their favorite and probably most powerful tool. One of the ways they do it is to remind you how much they’ve done for you or worse, how much they’ve given up for you.
5. They used lies to manipulate you
Lying is yet another form of emotional manipulation. Growing up, you didn’t really know what was true and what was just another exaggeration of your parents, obviously done to achieve their goal.
6. They feel they own your accomplishments
Whatever you succeeded at, it was never your merit. Narcissistic parents will take away from you any personal or professional achievement, and without any remorse. They will jump at every opportunity to put themselves in the center of attention.
7. They showed no empathy as parents
Narcissists don’t know empathy, that’s why they’re called narcissists. Empathy is probably what kids growing up need the most. They need nurturing, compassion, understanding and kindness. As vulnerable as they are, it is very easy to damage their self-esteem and make them insecure.
8. They gaslighted you
Gaslighting is a manipulation technique whose primary goal is to make you question your own sanity. Whatever you do, remember that mommy and daddy are always right. At least, that’s what they want you to think.
9. They were constantly putting you down
When we are young, parents become our ultimate authority. The sad part is that those who are narcissistic will take advantage of that position and put their kids down in order for them to feel superior. In other words, they abuse their power to mold another human being.
10. They can’t stand to be criticized
Narcissists have a hard time taking criticism. And they will most certainly not take it from you. Because they raised you so you’re not entitled. Right?
But if you feel you’re dealing with an abusive parent, don’t be silent. These problems matter and the sooner you shed a light on them, the sooner you can solve them.
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