19 Signs You Were Raised By a Narcissistic Mother or Father

Signs Raised By Narcissistic

I’ll go into these nineteen signs more in depth below: 

Here are 19 major signs that you were raised by narcissist

1. They tried to control you through codependency.

In other words, you were told by your parent/s, “Don’t leave me. I need you. I can’t live without you.” This made it impossible for you to live an autonomous life or establish independent priorities other than catering to the needs of your parent/s.

2. They laid on the guilt thick.

Another method of controlling you was to constantly guilt trip you into doing what they wanted. They may have told you, “I’ve done so much for you, I’ve sacrificed everything for you.” As a result, you felt indebted to them, and as though you “owed” them complete obedience.

Related: Six Kinds of Emotional Abuse by Narcissistic Parents

Raised By a Narcissist
Raised By a Narcissist

3. They only loved you when you did what THEY wanted.

Your parent/s withdrew love very easily. If you failed to do what they wanted, they would either punish you severely or give you the silent treatment. You had the impression that they only loved you when you PROVED your worth to them.

4. They liked to “get even” with you.

When you did something “wrong” or against their will — even in the smallest way — they made sure they punished you. This petty and childish way of “getting even” may have been subtle or very obvious. For instance, they may have deliberately sabotaged something you cared about, broke something of yours, or hid something to get back at you.

5. They never respected your boundaries.

There wasn’t any “private” space to call your own growing up. Your parent/s would go through your room and private belongings, without a thought, sometimes even using what they found against you.

Related: Boundary-Busting Narcissist? How to Set Boundaries With A Narcissist

6. They competed with you.

If you ever got something nice, they took it from you, or got something nicer to “outdo” you.

7. They “owned” your accomplishments.

Whenever someone complimented your achievements, your parent/s would instantly jump in and shift the attention to themselves. For example, if someone congratulated you for winning a soccer trophy, your parent/s would butt in and say something along the lines of, “Yes, she gets it from me. I was always athletic as a child.” They love the spotlight and frequently stole it from you.

8. They constantly lied to you.

Your parent/s lied to manipulate, control, and take advantage of you in some way, shape, or form. You never knew what you could trust was “real” or truthful around them, or whether they were setting up a hidden trap for you to fall into.

9. They never listened to (or cared) about your feelings.

You felt that you could never share your feelings with your parent/s because they would either make fun of you or talk about themselves instead. Somehow, whatever issue you faced as a child was spun into a pity party for them, not you.

10. They constantly insulted you.

Your parent/s berated, demeaned and harassed you on a constant basis. They may have even latched onto insecurity of yours and used it to humiliate you.

11. They exerted explicit control over you.

In other words, when you didn’t obey them, they would punish you. The message was very clear, “Obey me, or I’ll punish you.” You were punished through emotional or physical abuse including emotional blackmail, hitting, or beating.

12. They gaslighted you.

In order to control you, they used a psychological manipulation tactic known as gaslighting. What this means is that they would deliberately make you feel crazy, or cause you to doubt your sanity, in order to gain the upper hand. This led to the development of constant self-doubt during your childhood, adolescence, and present life. Read more about gaslighting.

13. They “parentified” you.

As a child, you were expected to “parent” your parent, or behave as a surrogate parent to cater for their needs, instead of them catering to yours.

14. They had a “favorite” or “golden” child.

In your family, there was the “golden” child and the “scapegoat” child. In other words, one child was seen as perfect and capable of doing no harm. The other child was seen as the black sheep and the cause of all issues (this is also known as an identified patient). These roles could have also switched frequently.

Related: The Power Of Being The Black Sheep In The Family

Raised By a Narcissist
Signs You Were Raised By a Narcissistic Mother or Father

15. They reacted intensely to any form of criticism.

Did you ever criticize your mother or father? What was their general reaction? If your mother and/or father was a narcissist, they likely reacted in an extreme way. They would scream at you and likely physically hurt you through smacking, or some other method.

24 thoughts on “19 Signs You Were Raised By a Narcissistic Mother or Father”

  1. Wow, finally a post on narcissistic parents I can absolutely relate to. All the ones I’ve read speak of how the parent screams or ridicules or ignores. My mother did the opposite. I was her parent, her spouse, her “best friend”, she was going to kill me first then herself because she believed I could not live without her. She sexually abused me but I thought for years (still sometimes do) that I’m crazy and I was so lucky because she just loved me best. I could have no friends, anytime I tried to grow up or be independant she would pull me back in to the enmeshment. If I am broken and I’ll and childlike then she can own me and keep me hers. Our family was “perfect” though we were a disaster and if I say anything negative she brings up the fact of all the physical things she did (beautiful gifts and clothes, birthdays, homemade baby food, healthy homemade meals), what more could she give me? And I become lost and confused–maybe I AM a monster to my poor mother who has an ungrateful daughter. She has the entire extended family believing I am the problem, my truth just crazy and obviously I am mentally ill. But am I ill or just now becoming crystal clear on how I’ll my mother is? It’s crazy making and I equally hate her and feel terribly sorry for her. How do I step out of the enmeshment without allowing her to completely self-destruct?

  2. I was a child in the 60’s. My father left right after I was born and I was raised by a narcissistic mother. She was already 40 yrs old when she had me. She constantly told me that I was the product of rape. My brother, although not treated much better, was the golden child as the article speaks of. I am healed (after 20 years of Counseling) from my tragic childhood. I understand that it was not my mothers fault that she was the way she was. She was born the last child of 20 children in a strict, male dominated, old school, right off the boat, Italian family. My grandmother was mean and my grandfather was dominating man who ruled with an iron fist. Their main parenting style was hitting, beatings, yelling, and put downs. Almost always at the girls. My mother’s role models were her parents and their horrible parenting styles and her brothers who also ruled the house. So, when she had children, the insanity just continued. I raised 3 children. With my first child I found myself acting like her as she was my only role model, but I was determined to not continue the circle. I took many classes on child rearing, Read every book out there. I am sure I have made mistakes raising my kids, but I know I tried and did my best. My children are grown now, all successful, well adjusted, happy adults. What more could I ask for.

  3. Thanks well written article, with some suggestions for recovery.
    A.C.A deal with sick family systems, insecure attachments and they’re free, look online to find a meeting near you 🙂

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