How Childhood Trauma Secretly Creates Narcissists

Childhood Trauma Secretly Creates Narcissists

If we want to understand the psyche of a narcissist, we have to get to the root, which is often a fraught childhood and dysfunctional upbringing. In this article, we attempt to establish the link between narcissism and childhood abuse, and how childhood trauma creates narcissists.

The word narcissist is increasingly becoming a buzzword in our individualistic modern society. But does narcissism merely mean being self-centered or do we need to look deeper into the traits of narcissists to fully grasp the extent of the pain that narcissism inflicts upon others?

Although much work is still needed in this area, it’s a widely accepted fact that genetic factors, home environment, and relationship dynamics within a family heavily influence the overall personality development of a child. Naturally, like any other psychological issue, the formative years of one’s childhood play an important role in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

What Is Narcissism?

childhood trauma creates narcissists

Before continuing to elaborate more on how childhood trauma creates narcissists, let’s get clear on the definition and characteristics of a narcissistic personality.

Mental health professionals define narcissism as a continuous behavioral pattern of grandiosity with a constant demand for admiration, and a shockingly missing sense of empathy or the capability to feel others’ emotions.

Some Other Features Of A Narcissistic Personality:

  • An inflated sense of self-importance
  • Desire to be always treated as someone special
  • Covert narcissists project themselves as someone timid and ineffective but secretly fantasize about their over-hyped sense of self.

Read:  6 Reasons Empaths Freeze Around Inauthentic People

How Childhood Trauma Creates Narcissists?

Now let’s look at some of the ways through which a dysfunctional upbringing and childhood trauma create narcissistic personalities.

1. Absorbing Narcissistic Abuse

In a family where a child faces narcissistic abuse from one or more parents, they develop narcissistic tendencies as a defensive response to excessive criticism, physical or mental abuse, or neglect. Narcissism emerges from the emotional injuries of shame, hurt, deprivation, and loss. The child becomes bitter with all the trauma faced at such a tender age.

2. Pain That Gives Way To Self-Centeredness

A narcissistic parent does not show any empathy towards their child and will not take into account the child’s feelings, fears, or needs. This makes the child responsible for their own happiness and well-being from a very early age. This might lead to self-centeredness and as the child grows they will tend to get more and more focussed on themselves, with little or no regard for others. As adults, they might feel their problems are much bigger and more important than others.

3. External Validation

When someone grows up in a dysfunctional family where the home environment always hinges on the ever-changing mood of the caregiving parents, the need to placate others is internalized by the growing child. The child’s needs, desires, and authentic self are never acknowledged or valued in the family. Instead, the vulnerable kid learns the lesson that if they want to remain safe and unharmed, they need to earn the approval and validation of the adults. In this disturbingly messed-up dynamic, the child becomes responsible for the emotional needs of the parents.

As a consequence, even after the child grows up, they carry with them the baggage of external validation. The entire point of their existence becomes earning praise and adulation of the world.

4. Victim Identity

Being subjected to repetitive abuse and neglect instills a sense of victim identity in the young minds of a suffering child. As a result, they might grow up with a lot of resentment towards others. Although it is true that as a child they were in fact victimized, even as an adult it becomes difficult for them to come out of this victim mentality and own up for their mistakes.

Adult children with narcissistic tendencies therefore always resort to either martyrdom or blame others whenever anything goes wrong in their life, and fail to see their own shortcomings.

5. Sensitivity To Criticism

Classic narcissists have a full-blown ego that prevents them from entertaining any view that disrupts their make-believe self-image of superiority, but those who have suffered childhood trauma exhibit the same sensitivity to criticism, albeit for entirely different reasons. Growing up with a barrage of belittling remarks makes them too fragile to handle even the most constructive criticism or negative feedback.

6. Unequal Relationships

Sometimes in a toxic household, a child witnesses an unequal dynamic between the parents, where one is always subjugated and even abused. In families where this kind of blatant disregard of personal space and safety is normalized, the younger members grow up with a very wrong notion about equality in relationships. As a long-lasting effect, grown-up kids from dysfunctional families seek out partners who always cater to their narcissistic demands.

Sometimes The Apple Does Fall Far From The Tree

Childhood trauma is thus both the cause and effect of a narcissistic personality. Although a child who does not get unconditional love, care, and nurturance while growing up may show traits of a narcissist, it is not always the case. Not every child of narcissistic parents grows up to be one as well. Healthy and positive coping mechanisms, with a good dose of self-awareness, can make all the difference.

Childhood trauma creates narcissists but there are several ways in which an adult child of narcissistic parents can seek help and grow out of their toxic tendencies.

Read: The 15 Strange Behaviors Of An Authentic Empath.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can trauma in childhood affect adulthood?

Yes, childhood trauma can leave long-lasting psychological implications, that can manifest in adulthood, and influence various aspects of our life.

What childhood trauma creates a narcissist?

Childhood trauma such as neglect, witnessing violence, physical, mental, or sexual abuse, etc., can give birth to narcissistic tendencies in a person.

Does childhood trauma cause personality disorders in adults?

Childhood trauma can cause some serious adverse psychological disorders in adults.

How childhood trauma affects adulthood?

If a child is repeatedly subjected to traumatic experiences, their sense of self gets impaired, and they grow trust issues. As they grow up, they might develop a poor self-image and struggle to maintain healthy boundaries.

Does childhood trauma cause narcissism?

In some cases, childhood trauma can be attributed to the development of narcissistic traits in adults.

Childhood Trauma Creates Narcissists
How Childhood Trauma Creates Narcissists
Childhood Trauma Secretly Creates Narcissists pin
Ads

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With Someone Who Thinks They Are Better Than You

What Is A Superiority Complex And How To Deal With It

Have you ever met someone who believes they are inherently better than others? Do they constantly exude an air of superiority, belittle others, or dismiss others’ accomplishments? This is a superiority complex in action. What is a superiority complex?

People who exhibit traits of condescension and arrogance are believed to have a superiority complex, a psychological phenomenon that drives such behavior. Let’s explore the superiority complex in psychology, its signs, causes, and most importantly, how to deal with someone with a superiority complex.

What is a Superiority Complex?

A superiority co



Up Next

What Is A Devouring Mother? Overcoming A Narcissistic Mother’s Toxic Grip

What Is A Devouring Mother? Ways To Overcome Toxicity

Do you feel overwhelmed, smothered, or suffocated by all the love and attention your mother gives you? Perhaps you know people who feel trapped in situations where their mother’s love becomes an all-encompassing affair? This phenomenon is referred to as “The Devouring Mother Archetype.” Let’s explore what is a devouring mother and how to deal with the devouring mother archetype.

What is a Devouring Mother?

The Freudian devouring mother describes a controlling, overbearing motherly figure hampering a child’s development and independence. It is marked by possessiveness and narcissism.

As the term is not a literal description, a devouring Mother does not mean a mother who consumes her children ph



Up Next

Is It Love Or A Trap? 10 Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing

Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing: Love Or Trap?

Have you ever experienced the turbulent side of love, that comes from falling head over heels for someone? The butterflies in your stomach, the passion you feel, and the feeling of being swept off your feet – feels amazing, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that behind this seemingly perfect façade lies something dark and sinister? What if I told you these are warning signs of love bombing?

Welcome to the dark world of love bombing; a psychological tactic used by manipulative people to gain control over your mind and heart. In this article, we will talk about what does love bombing mean, and the signs you are being love bombed.

Let’s get started first with what does love bombing mean, shal



Up Next

The Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: 7 Subtle Signs Of An Altruistic Narcissist

Signs Of An Altruistic Narcissist: Beneath the Kindness

Have you ever met someone who seems super helpful and sweet, but it just doesn’t seem genuine? Well, you might be looking at an altruistic narcissist, and this is one of the many signs of an altruistic narcissist.

You might be confused because when we think of narcissists, we usually think of them as selfish and uncaring. But there is another type of narcissist who does good deeds for a different reason – they want attention and praise and adulation.

So, without any further delay, let’s get down to knowing more about the altruistic narcissist and their signs. Let’s start with understanding what is an alt



Up Next

The Playbook Of Deceit: 11 Narcissistic Games Used To Torment You

Narcissistic Games Used To Torment: Playbook Of Deceit

Have you ever encountered someone that made you question your own sanity? Or found yourself caught in a web of manipulation, unsure of how you got there? If so, then you may have encountered a narcissist and have been a victim of narcissistic games.

Narcissists are masters at psychological games. A charming smile hides their darker agenda as they play several mind games to control and exploit you. These mind games narcissists play can be psychologically damaging, without you even realizing it at times.

In this article, we’ll unravel 11 narcissistic games, exposing all their tactics, so that you don’t fall



Up Next

Under The Narcissistic Veil: The Struggles Of Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers

Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers: Understanding Their Struggles

Having a narcissistic mother is, safe to say, one of the most traumatic things to go through. Sons of narcissistic mothers look at the world and relationships in an entirely skewed way, and this is due to the lessons they have learned growing up with a narcissistic mother.

KEY POINTS

The worldview of a young man whose mother has narcissistic personality disorder becomes skewed.

NPD is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy, among other traits.

Once one have been gaslit, they may always suspect the people they are close with may be ho



Up Next

12 Gripping Movies About Narcissistic Mothers That Depict Moms From Hell

Movies About Narcissistic Mothers That Tell A Toxic Tale

We’ve seen so many movies about narcissistic mothers who are way too obsessed about themselves. And weirdly enough, we can’t get enough of them.

But watching these storylines play out is definitely not easy. Whether you have a great relationship with your mom or not, it’s hard to watch someone deal with a narcissistic parent. Because it just seems like it really takes the life out of them.

And we all know how that feels!

However, as difficult as these films about narcissistic mothers are to watch, they also allow us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes for a little bit and understand what they might be going through when having to deal with this bond.