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.
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.
16. They projected their bad behavior onto you.
For example, if you were in an argument, they would hysterically scream at you, “ How dare you talk to your mother that way. Go to your room. We’ll talk after you stop screaming at me.”
17. They never displayed any empathy.
They never asked about your feelings, sympathised with you, or cared. They seemed to be solely interested in their own feelings.
18. They were infallibly correct and never wrong.
Even when they made a mistake or treated you in an unfair, or unjust way, they never apologised for their mistake. When you confronted them about it, they denied all accusations and tried to spin the blame onto you.
19. They liked to present a perfect family image to outsiders.
Your parent/s went to great lengths to ensure that others perceived you as a loving/successful/enviable family. Likely, you were very aware of this ploy, but kept silent for fear of wrath from your parent/s.
How to Confirm That You’re the Child of a Narcissist
After reading through this list of symptoms you might still be unsure of how to define your parent/s. That’s normal. Your narcissistic mother and/or father wouldn’t have exhibited all of the signs above (but if they did, pay attention).
If you’re the child of a narcissist, you will likely struggle with these problems:
- Codependency in other relationships
- Weak sense of self
- Poor interpersonal boundaries and inability to say “no”
- Chronic guilt or shame
- Trust issues
- Inability to express or handle emotions
- Anxiety or depression
- Being a people-pleaser
If you’re quite sure that one, or both, of your parents was a narcissist, it’s likely that they still have some kind of involvement in your life. Many narcissist support groups recommend cutting off contact from such parents, or interacting them in small, measured ways (such as through a phone call, or text message).
To begin your process of soul healing, you might like to do the following:
- Stop hoping that your narcissistic parent will change — you can never change them.
- Allow yourself to grieve the parent you never had.
- Understand that you have been raised to suppress and deny your feelings. Now is a good opportunity to slowly open up to those years of repressed feelings. You can do this through seeking traditional psychotherapy, or alternative methods such as shamanic healing, hypnotherapy, holistic remedies, etc.
- Learn to take care of your own needs through the practice of self-love.
- Reconnect with your inner child and learn how to care for it in a way your parents never could. This is called inner child work.
- Keep an active daily journal in which you self-reflect. This will help you become more self-aware.
- Explore soul retrieval, which is a vital part of soulwork.
- Express your emotions in a healthy way, particularly any anger you have inside.
- Join a support group and connect with others who have experienced similar childhood experiences. You can find many on Facebook, or you could search the internet for local groups.
While you may feel broken, it’s important to remember that you are not broken. Your soul can never be broken. It is still there, waiting for you to access. This experience only serves to show you that everything you need is within you. No matter what your childhood was like, it’s still possible to heal and reunite with that source of unconditional joy, wonder and love inside.