Most people just adore their grandparents and how could they not? They’re better than our actual parents most of the time. But what if you have to deal with a narcissistic grandmother?
As a small kid, you’re never really bothered with these types of questions. A grandmother presents someone fun, loving, and someone who constantly cooks you the good stuff.
Moreover, they’re supposed to be the person who is going to protect you from your mom and dad when you do something wrong. All in all, we can safely say that most people love their grandma.
However, if you have a narcissistic grandmother, it’s another pair of shoes. Especially if your mom wasn’t strong enough to fight off this narcissistic abuse and it’s slowly descended to her as well.
Grandmas are usually sweet, loving, kind, and good-natured. But I believe we’ve all sensed the wrath of an angry grandma as a child.
That’s scary enough, so what would it look like if you had to deal with a narcissistic grandmother? Is this something you would see in a horror movie or even worse?
What do narcissistic grandmothers even do? How do they behave towards their children and grandchildren and how to recognize one?
It sounds funny when you first think about it. How could possibly a grandma be this kind of evil? Those sweet, old people who always give out the best candies at Halloween and knit sweaters for Christmas.
Well, you’d be surprised because these same people have experience and knowledge on their side. Also, let’s not forget to mention the fact of how convincing they can be.
What is a narcissistic grandmother like?
Maybe you’ve never thought of it before, but you’ve recently read a few articles on narcissistic behavior and you find it all too familiar.
You look around, but you can’t quite put your finger on who this person might be. Still, you felt an odd connection to the writer and it’s been on your mind ever since.
Most narcissists who are in our near reveal themselves much later than we’d like to. The same goes for your narcissistic grandmother.
She’s been with you ever since you were little and you don’t know a world without her. Also, she’s always been like this, so you think her behavior is completely normal.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until you got some more knowledge on the topic of narcissists. It’s even harder to notice if she impacted your parents in a way.
You grew up with that kind of grandma and it’s only normal to think that everyone else has as well. However, once you became an adult, you noticed that some things started to bother you.
Once again, growing up with narcissistic parents can be an obstacle in unraveling the truth about your narcissistic grandmother. You may not have their support whilst trying to find out the truth.
You may feel betrayed and believe they’re siding up and favoring each other over you. And there’s a high chance that you’re right to think that.
It’s usually what narcissistic parents and grandparents do. Not just them, but all of the narcissists across the world, too.
They try to manipulate you and turn you against others so you don’t have anyone to confide in except them. It’s all a game they play with the rules they make.
1. She makes you choose sides
If you have to deal with a narcissistic grandmother, it’s a constant effort to win her over. She sets up high expectations and doesn’t take no for an answer. A grandma like this is ready to use all of her tools in order to succeed. When I say tools, I think of manipulation, gaslighting, love-bombing, you name it.
There are different strategies and techniques your narcissistic grandmother is using against you. All of this somehow goes in her favor. You won’t even notice it happening and she’ll have you wrapped around her little finger.
Narcissistic grandmas have to be the best in your eyes. They always have to come first and that’s why they’ll oftentimes make you choose sides, especially when it comes to your parents or her spouse, or even your other parent’s parents.
Sure, it sounds complicated and that’s just the way narcissistic grandmothers are. They like to create unnecessary drama in order for you to prove your love to her, over and over again.
A simple I love you will never cut it. It’s never enough so you don’t really feel as much loved as a grandchild should feel. It’s always up to you to prove yourself to her and make her proud.
As a little kid, this is a heavy burden that you have to carry. But over time, you become numb to all of the insults and lack of encouragement from her.
That’s when the process of accepting your fate starts. You gradually make peace with yourself knowing that you’ll never be enough for your grandma.
Your parent probably went through this when they were a little child and they also learned the hard way. That’s why they never even tried to explain it to you because they know it’s pointless.
2. She doesn’t offer support
You’ve always watched other kids’ grandparents cheer for them on their games, take them out for ice cream after they get a good grade, and all that.
You’ve never shared any of those special moments with your narcissistic grandmother and it slowly dawned upon you. This is where you start to question yourself and think there might be something wrong with you.
However, it’s not your fault. A narcissistic grandmother doesn’t give you enough praise for what you do. She isn’t supportive of you at all and you can’t rely on her as normally as other kids do. She’s ready to leave you hanging whenever she feels she has more important stuff to do. It’s not uncommon for her to break promises or simply forget about them.
You’ve never felt special or loved because of her lack of encouragement and support. She never took you out, said thank you, or wrote down “The best grandkid ever” on one of your photos.
Moreover, a narcissistic grandmother never kept the presents you’ve crafted for her and all those pictures you drew for her hoping she likes them. But they never ended up on a refrigerator.
A narcissistic grandmother doesn’t really offer to pick up kids from school or take them on a field trip. She’s always too busy and has better things to do. You can come over to her house only when she invites you.
But you’re not allowed to talk a lot about yourself. Instead, you should only praise her for being such a good grandma. The best ever.
As an adult, you look back on some events and patterns, and you start to realize something. You view things from a different perspective and they’re not something you like.
3. She’s manipulative
Realizing your grandmother is a narcissist, you feel betrayed. As a little kid, you didn’t have a grandma to rely on. You were only a tool she used to make herself feel better.
She used to manipulate and trick you into doing things for her, even if you didn’t want to. Most of the time, she only talked to you when she needed your help.
In fact, she was never really interested in you or what you have to say. The only person she truly cares about is herself, not even her grandkid.
She used to fill your head up with nonsense and try to turn you against your parents or grandad. She’d do this to make herself feel better and elevate herself above them.
Narcissistic people usually want to feel the power and they need to have control over someone. What’s an easier target than a small, naive child that believes you fully?
You were served to your narcissistic grandmother on a silver platter. You had this instilled trust for her and would never think your own grandma could intentionally hurt you.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the truth. This whole time, she was trying to use you to her advantage. Her goals weren’t always clear, but be sure it always had to do something with her self-esteem.
In fact, narcissists are people who are unhappy with themselves and highly insecure. They lack confidence and self-love, so they choose to inflict pain on someone else.
Unfortunately, you were the most vulnerable person back then. She used you to get back to someone, to feel unstoppable, and she did all of that unbothered.
4. She questions parenting
If you’re constantly hearing your mom and her mom fight about you, it might be some sort of a sign. It’s not uncommon for mom and daughter to fight about something, especially about kids.
On the other hand, if they’re constantly fighting about your mom’s parenting choices, your grandmother is probably a narcissist.
This is because narcissists like to have things their own way. If somebody interferes with their choices or even tries to, it always ends up badly.
They’re also self-entitled people, so your grandmother believes she has the right to get involved in your mom’s parenting choices.
This is another way of your narcissistic grandmother still trying to control her kid and her kid’s kid. It’s something she’s used to, especially if your mom has always obliged to it.
But you shouldn’t blame your mom for everything your narcissistic grandmother does to you. She’s also gone through quite a torture, she’s had it even worse than you.
Her mom directly impacted her choices and crushed her self-esteem from a very young age. That’s what has to be done in order for the narcissistic grandmother to gain all of your mom’s trust.
5. She’s always right
If you’ve ever gotten into a heated argument with your narcissistic grandmother, you know that it’s pointless. She’s always right no matter what.
God forbid if you tell her she’s wrong because all hell breaks loose then. Therefore, you keep your mouth shut most of the time and try to avoid conflicts as much as possible.
Unfortunately, this is almost like a mission impossible. A narcissistic grandmother loves picking fights, especially if she sees you trying to wriggle out of a situation.
She likes seeing you uncomfortable and enjoys ruining your day. You don’t even see the point of arguing with her over something when you know she has to win.
If you try to confront her, she’ll only wreak havoc and the situation only gets worse than it already is. Therefore, you can never win when it comes to your narcissistic grandmother.
If you do still carry out your opinion, she’ll guilt trip you. It’s one of the narcissists’ infamous tactics to inflict emotional pain on their victims. She’ll be a constant pain in the neck until you finally give up and tell her how sorry you are. Up until that moment, she won’t leave you alone and will continuously nag you to admit your fault.
Even though you know that there’s nothing to admit and you don’t have anything to be ashamed of, you know it’s the only way out.
6. She’s always the victim
Maybe you’re really fed up with this narcissistic abuse and your grandma’s behavior. You’ve decided to confront her after mustering up all the courage.
Unfortunately, everything went downhill. This wasn’t something you expected, but we know that narcissistic are usually unpredictable.
However, it shocked you to find out that she thinks of herself as a victim. You came face to face with her about her behavior towards you and she blamed you for all of it. Of course, she started pointing fingers when she was cornered.
Narcissists will always try to avoid telling the truth because it never goes in their favor. They love themselves too much and enjoy watching others suffer too much to just stop it all. Even if they’re uncovered, they still have a backup plan.
Their plan B is usually gaslighting and guilt trips. A narcissistic grandmother will do everything she can to protect herself and keep the truth hidden.
Therefore, don’t be surprised when she starts brainwashing you and explaining to you how she’s never done such things before, you swapped her with someone else, etc.
7. She’s a liar
I think this one might be logical. A person that’s trying to manipulate you is certainly using lies to get to their end goal.
A narcissistic grandmother will do just that. Even though she’s supposed to be her kids’ idol, she chose to lie to their faces and get the most out of it, which is a major red flag.
This way she’s trying to trick her grandchildren to trust her, choose her over someone else, or even something worse than that. She’ll do anything it takes for things to go her way, because it’s her way or the highway. She constantly lies to you about what’s going on and keeps you in the dark.
It’s also not uncommon for a narcissistic grandmother to break promises as well. She doesn’t mind breaking a little child’s heart, so how could breaking a promise hurt her cold-hearted heart?
How to deal with a narcissistic grandmother
If you’ve been through some of the tortures your narcissistic grandmother has presented you, you’re probably thinking about one thing.
Something’s on your mind and you know your grandma wouldn’t love it if she knew about it. Moreover, she’d go crazy just at the thought of it.
If you’re aware of the fact that you’re dealing with a person with a narcissistic personality disorder, you probably want to find a way out. It’s a completely normal thing to do but I understand how you can feel guilty. After all, she’s your grandmother and you can’t abandon her out of the blue.
But on the other hand, she’s also repeatedly using the fact that you’re her grandkid. She has you wrapped around her finger and doesn’t plan on letting go anytime soon.
Her presence is simply inevitable as she doesn’t allow you to distance yourself from her entirely. Therefore, you need to come up with plans and different strategies.
These will help you keep your distance from her while still maintaining a relationship with her. And hopefully, a healthy one.
1. Learn her ways
A narcissistic grandmother has knowledge and experience on her side. She knows how to make the best out of a situation and that’s why she’s always adamant about it.
She never makes mistakes and plays the game by her own rules. A grandma like this is capable of throwing you off for even the slightest mistake you can make.
This type of person wants to tell you that there’s only one winner in this game and that’s the narcissist. But there’s still some hope left and something you can do.
You can always memorize her patterns if you’re patient enough. This will help you recognize what her next step is going to be in the future.
If you follow this pattern, you may forestall some of her old tricks and narcissistic behaviors. This is one way to attempt to fight off the abuse you’re experiencing.
2. Stay strong
The key to surviving narcissistic abuse is staying strong. It’s oftentimes easier said than done, but it’s a must. If you ever show your weaknesses to a narcissistic grandmother, she’ll be sure to use them later on.
They’re like evil machines. She’ll memorize every single little thing that makes you anxious, scared, or angry. This is one of her main weapons – you.
If you let her crawl underneath your skin and in your mind, you’re a dead human. All those negative feelings start from within and it’s one of the fastest ways to destroy you and make you surrender to her power.
By staying strong, you’re not letting her assert dominance over you ever again. Perhaps she had that control over you some time ago, but not anymore.
With this attitude, you show her that you’re not keen on playing any games anymore. If you do it right, she’ll get the right message and slowly back off.
Narcissists are stubborn and adamant, but they can be a bit lazy sometimes. Therefore, she’s likely to go on to find another victim than bother with someone who’s resisting.
3. Set boundaries
Most of the time, grandchildren who suffer from the abuse of their narcissistic grandmothers can feel cramped and unable to breathe. They believe their space was invaded and their whole life was turned upside down. If you’re one of those kids, then it’s time for some change.
Before you fight your battles, you must ensure your safety. Set some boundaries and make yourself clear about them. Be sure your narcissistic grandmother understands them.
If you don’t want to, you shouldn’t let her close to you, even if she insists. Don’t forget that narcissists are really convincing people and love to trick others.
She’ll probably try to manipulate her way into your life once again. When she feels that you’re distancing yourself away from her, she might give her all to get you back.
But you should remember to stay strong and not let her manipulative ways get you back. Once you get out, the freedom tastes so good.
4. Cut off ties with her
If somehow nothing seems to be working, then you should definitely consider excluding your narcissistic grandmother from your life.
It’s never an easy decision and it’s definitely not something that’s going to happen overnight. You need a lot of courage for this big step, as well as a lot of patience.
All you ever asked for was a little understanding and love but you never got anything in return. It might hurt to abandon your grandmother f but some things hurt less when you let go of them.
That’s why you should think about it if nothing else works. The hard effort eventually pays off, you just have to keep up with the good work.