2. “You’re not supposed to feel what you feel”
Power and feeling powerful are two themes constantly running in a narcissist’s life.
So, even as a parent, such a person focuses on voicing their needs and and valuing their own opinions. Even if they come at the cost of the individuality that should ideally develop in their child.
Narcissists have a way of quietening down feelings that are not their own and making their children feel guilty of any emotion or feeling that they don’t approve of.
This voicelessness spreads in time and as the child grows, they might believe increasingly that what they feel is not valid.
3. “You must win at all cost”
Continuing with the power theme, narcissism also has roots in competition.
Or shall we say, unhealthy competition?
For we all know that competition by itself isn’t a terrible thing. If one has to be in the game (equate that with life, education, work, sport etc.), one has to be able to compete. But what makes competition an almost destructive word when viewed as narcissism, is its power to put the focus on the competition rather than the game.
This means that a narcissistic parent will pit one sibling against another, trigger their child to compete against friends (even if that means underhanded means).
These parents end up sending the message that manipulation is “cool” and must be resorted to if all other means to winning fail.
4. “You must never feel good about successes”
Why? Because there’s always more to be done.
That’s one of the classic messages a narcissist delivers, either through covert or overt means.
Be it a narcissist lover or a narcissist parent, maintaining the illusion that the victim is always beneath their achievements, is of paramount importance. When you think about it, you’ll know that’s the one surefire way for them to maintain control.
For a narcissist parent, it’s essential that the child achieves success on the terms they define.
When that does not happen, the child can be insulted, exposed to violent behaviour or even be subjected to cold neglect. In a narcissist parent’s universe, the grandiosity of plans and achievements has more priority than their child’s well-being.
5. “Your worthiness is outside of you, so find it”
Success, power, money, fame and the list goes, when one translates the expectations that a narcissist parent has from their child. (yes, even if they are not that small anymore).
A sense of worth is associated to being the best in class, best at work, best in the eyes of society. The grandiosity mentioned in the previous point translates into this messaging, often subtle and insidious. A compulsive need to prove themselves, is what the offspring of a narcissist is left with.
To feel just an iota of worth, they may chase a career they have no interest in, form alliances with people they don’t gel with and pursue a life that’s far from what they really want.