How to Deal With a Narcissistic Mother

Intentionally or unintentionally a narcissistic mother can damage the self-worth and self-esteem of a child. Staying with such a mother can be a challenge for a child. Self-centeredness is a typical trait of a narcissistic mother who is often preoccupied in herself. She doesn’t have the ability to emotionally support and give the needed self-esteem for her growing child. In certain cases, this personality type of a mother can cause child abuse. This can have everlasting impact on the child even in adulthood.

How to Deal With a Narcissistic Mother?

If you have a narcissistic mother, you may get hurt by her behavior, but despite that you can overcome your mother’s self-centered behavior and become a caring and strong individual.

1. Accept the Cruel Truth

A child’s emotional and physical needs are put by a real mother above her own; however, the needs of a narcissistic mother are to be met first.

  • Do not try to find out the reason. It may happen that your mother was herself a victim of a narcissistic mother or some other form of abuse. Or she may never grow up and do not realize that she is not the center of the world. Either way, that’s her problem and not yours.
  • Do not try to answer “what ifs” Perhaps you have such kind of mother for a reason but that is not to punish you; instead, it is to challenge and inspire you to rise in life. Your situation will become more painful if you keep on thinking – what the scenario would be if your mother had been a different person.
  • Accept and grieve naturally. You have now realized that it is difficult for your mother to change. When you give yourself time to grieve, you will naturally move to the healing phase.

2. Get the Needed Support

Get support from people who love and care for you. Getting support can immensely help in finding answers to how to deal with a narcissistic mother.

  • If you still live at your home, you can seek help from your relatives and friends. If finding support is a challenge, consult a trained therapist who can recommend a support group that is actually meant for such children.
  • If you are an adult you can get the support from your spouse or friends. But don’t depend on the love of your children. Directing your emotions to them will not only make them misunderstand you, but also make them concerned about the same thing happening to them.

3. Set Necessary Boundaries

You need to set some boundaries to live a relatively normal life. But your narcissistic mother will quite often overstep those necessary boundaries just to prove her point. She may not regard your wishes related to how she should interact with your children. She may also invite herself to different events or give gifts only to family members of her preference. You will have to bear the consequences of her behavior. In cases where she intrudes the boundaries, you can enforce boundaries again and tell her that her abusive behavior is not acceptable.

4. Keep Proper Distance

How to deal with a narcissistic mother? Keep distance! It may sound difficulty but keeping distance from your narcissistic mother may actually help you in the healing process.

  • Do not get close if you are living at home. Try to keep minimal contact with her and try to amuse yourself with her behavior not taking it seriously.
  • Live in a different place as your mother and keep limited contact with her. If talking to your mother on phone upsets you, you should try to only take calls when you are prepared mentally to deal with her talks. Don't let her take you off guard and upset you.
  • Maintain only that much contact which you find comfortable. If abandoning the relationship completely is the solution, never look back and move on. If you feel guilty about completely letting her go, you can help her financially if that is what you want to do to heal yourself.

5. Play at It

How to deal with a narcissistic mother? Just avoid playing her games and let her finish her dram alone. If you think that her behavior is provoking you, make it a point to just agree with what she says and let everything move over you. Remember, your aim is not to win (as you can’t), not to improve the relationship (as you can’t do that too), but to make you more comfortable during the encounters.

6. Keep Yourself Together

Keep yourself together and try to move on even though you have accepted the upsetting situation. Don’t believe the negative things she says about you. In case what she says is right, it will be brought to your attention in due course by others who care for you and want to help solve the problem, unlike your mother whose aim is not to solve the problem but to beat you with your flaws as a stick.

If your mother is making you the scapegoat, understand what her objective is and try not to let it affect you emotionally. In worst scenarios, you may feel like you are crazy, when actually it’s your mother who is crazy. She will try to convince you that you are crazy and it will be hard for you to not believe her. Hence, you must see through her lies and keep yourself together.

More expert advice on how to deal with a narcissistic mother:

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