How to deal with a narcissistic mother? Is this a question that’s been bothering you these days? It’s not easy to live with someone who’s never there for you when you need them the most. Someone who needs to be at the center of attention, instead of simply being there for you.
You’ve spent your childhood in a completely toxic environment, and your feelings and needs were neglected to a great extent. It’s no surprise that you don’t understand your emotions completely and that you struggle to express them.
She’ll always speak the best of you to someone else, and present herself as a great mum, but you’re the only one who knows what’s happening between your four walls. You never felt important in your mum’s life, she never validated you personally, and you constantly feel like you owe her a lot.
How to deal with a narcissistic mother?
Life with a narcissist can be extremely difficult, and at times it feels like going through hell and back. Unfortunately, you already know it first-hand. I’m proud of you for googling this and trying to find a solution to the problems you’re facing.
Here are some tips that may be helpful in your situation. Every narcissist is different, but they do have some things in common. They all want to get an emotional reaction from you, they cross your boundaries, and they use different techniques for manipulation.
In those situations, you have to learn to take care of yourself, so keep reading to understand it all in theory. Best of luck in your battles!
1. Reinforce boundaries
When you have a narcissistic mother, it’s not enough to set some boundaries, you have to reinforce them. Because of her personality disorder, she’ll often disrespect everything that you’ve told her, so you have to make sure that your mother knows when she crossed the line.
It’s not going to be easy, but you can’t let her show up at your door as she wishes. Sure as hell, you can’t let her hold you accountable for things that are happening in her life, because you’re not responsible for that at all.
Therefore, you have to set those boundaries all over again and reinforce them with enough steel, so they can withstand all the pressure she’ll keep putting you through.
2. Don’t react emotionally
Whatever you do, don’t react emotionally. I know it’s pretty hard not to burst into tears when she’s belittling you, but stay strong. Keep in mind that she only wants you to react in some way, and she won’t stop until you give her what she came for.
If you stay calm and talk with her without showing your emotions, it will confuse her greatly. She’s going to be thrown off the tracks, and she’ll leave you alone. Your mum will probably try to trigger you one more time before she gives up.
However, keep in mind that narcissists don’t give up completely on their victim, because they need you. Also, when she realizes that she can’t control you anymore, she may get angry and try to provoke you. Don’t let her win!
3. Stay respectful
During any arguments with her, you have to remind yourself that she’s your mother, no matter what. Stay respectful and plan in advance what you can say. Narcissists are pretty predictable, so you can always have a couple of comebacks ready.
In case you feel like she’s not going to let go of the argument, use a previously planned exit strategy. Sentences like “Let’s agree to disagree.” or “I really have to go now mum, I’m late.” may save you lots of trouble. It doesn’t mean that these will work for your mum too, but it’s worth a shot.
Also, don’t expect that she’ll apologize for the things she did to you. She probably isn’t even aware that she’s hurting you, and may even develop a victim complex. There’s no easy way out, you’ll have to learn how to deal with a narcissistic mother and show her respect at the same time.
4. You don’t owe her anything
Yes, you don’t owe her anything. She’s the one who decided to give birth, and you’re her child. You never asked for anything, so don’t let her convince you that you’re obligated to repay her in some way. The only thing you can give her credit for is the trauma you’re facing now, and you didn’t ask for that either.
Don’t let her guilt-trip you into believing that you’re responsible for her narcissistic behavior and the way she treated you. Let go of those thoughts. She’s suffering from a personality disorder that was present long before you came into the picture.
Try to stay away from her, at least emotionally, if you can’t afford physical distance as well. Don’t let her words get to you, because none of those sentences that she keeps repeating are true.
5. Find your support system
This is going to be a tough job for one person, so please, find a strong support system. Usually, other family members can help you, unless they are her evil accomplice, a.k.a. flying monkey. In that case, you have to find people you can confide in and keep those friends close.
Also, your teachers and co-workers may help you when you need support. Try talking to them about what you’re going through because maybe some of them are going through the same, or they’ve already been in your place.
When you have strong system support, they’ll keep you sane. I’m not saying this lightly. One of the favorite narcissistic methods for controlling their victim is gaslighting. They slowly make you lose your mind and question your reality, so it’s really helpful to have someone by your side who’ll tell you that you’re not crazy.
6. Seek professional help
If you’re too worried that your friends or family members won’t understand or support you, you can always seek professional help. Don’t think of this as something negative, rather picture this as a tool that will help you break the toxic circle.
Your mum is behaving this way because she probably grew up with a narcissistic parent as well, so her childhood wasn’t good either. When you decide to ask for help, you’re helping your future generations not to go through the same thing all over again.
Sometimes it’s a bit easier to talk with a stranger, partially because they don’t know you. They don’t have this image of you in their heads, and you can be completely vulnerable. You don’t have to live up to their expectations and keep the image of a strong person when you’re, in fact, fragile.
7. Practice self-care
The most important thing is that you practice self-care. When you have to learn how to deal with a narcissistic mother, you lose track of who you actually are. Therefore, it’s really important that you keep your little rituals or stick to your favorite hobbies.
It’s not going to be an easy task, but you have to do it for yourself. You have to be aware of your self-worth even though she never praised you, or pointed out your true value. Acknowledge all your feelings and accept that your mum won’t change; then, work from there.
Let all those emotions come afloat and embrace them. Also, learn to pamper yourself. Make yourself a bubble bath, go out on a date with yourself, or meditate. Do whatever helps you feel calm and relaxed.
How can you be sure you’re dealing with a narcissistic mother?
This is for those of you who are not sure but suspect that they have a narcissistic mother at home. It’s not easy to spot the signs, mostly because we don’t want to accept the fact that something’s wrong with our caregivers.
I guess you’re one of those since you want to know how to deal with a narcissistic mother, right? So, if you need to decipher her behavior, there are some specific things that a narcissistic mother does.
For example, your mum will always put herself at the center of attention, and she’ll never congratulate you on your success. However, she’ll brag about you to other people, creating the image of a perfect mother.
She has low empathy levels, or she doesn’t even know what empathy is. Her specialty is to create a toxic environment for you to live in, and she’s going to invade your personal space and cross all your boundaries.
Don’t be surprised if she constantly compares you to others and tries to influence your relationships with other family members or your friends. She’ll often guilt-trip you and emphasize how much she does for you but gets nothing in return.
Your narcissistic mother will be arrogant and biased at home, but she’ll completely change her behavior in front of other people. She’s going to neglect your feelings and emotions, to the point where she starts gaslighting you.
If you kept nodding while reading this part, unfortunately, you have to learn how to deal with a narcissistic mother, because you’re clearly living with one.
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