Caring For A Narcissistic Parent
Dealing with a narcissistic parent can be challenging, but it is possible to provide care while also taking care of yourself. Learn how to communicate effectively, set emotional boundaries, and practice mindful caring in this informative article.
What is narcissism?
Narcissism is a personality disorder that goes unrecognized by the individual and therefore goes untreated. The person with this disorder feels they are superior to others.
They are self center. Self-involved people in a very extreme way. Their problems, their emotions are the center of everything. The emotions or feelings of others do not matter to them. Narcissists have a difficult time in relationships. They feel victimized by everyone. They have a difficult time having compassion or even empathy for another. A narcissist wants to control everyone in their life. You can never make a narcissist happy or even satisfied. They have an over sense of self importance in every aspect of their life, and they respond with extreme anger. If you criticize them.
Now let's discuss children of narcissists.
Narcissists attract other narcissists, so usually both parents have some level of narcissistic characteristics. Children of narcissists grow up never knowing how they feel about anything. This is because their experience has been that the parents' feelings were the most important thing. This causes the child of a narcissist to always feel like an outsider in the family.
The children of narcissists become people pleasers. Children of narcissists are also self-sabotaging or me having a problem meeting their own needs in order to please others because they learned that the needs of the parent were more important than anything. They lose their sense of self as they learn to survive.
They must cater to the needs of the parent in order to get attention. They are often mocked or criticized by the narcissistic parent. Many begin to feel invisible.
So let's talk about the caregiver survival for caring for a narcissistic. It's important that you realize that you are no longer at the mercy of the narcissist.
Many feel guilty for feeling like a reluctant caregiver. Understand you are not alone in those feelings, except that you narcissistic parent is a master manipulator and you're not going to change them. Understand that the narcissistic parent is on a quest for undivided attention, and has a way of getting individuals to continually try to meet their unrealistic standards.
Realize the only thing you can control is your own emotions and your own responses. Consider learning, mindful caring as it teaches you how to respond logically versus emotionally. Realize that when interacting with the narcist. You need to take some deep breaths when you start to feel anxious, and this will help you to remain calm.
Do not allow yourself to take on the role of a victim. You may have to provide care for this individual, but you do not have to tolerate the verbal and emotional abuse tactics used to keep you in their control , the hardest thing that you need to learn, and the biggest thing you need to learn is to not take anything a narcissist says to you personally.
Communicate to the narcissist by asking leading questions to diffuse their perceived power.
An example would be... I know that you like things a certain way. Could you show me what you want or, I'm confused. Could you explain to me that one more time, or could you please clarify what you are saying? Another way to handle it is say, so help me understand you said, and repeat back to them what they just said to you. Never, ever take anything a narcissist says personally.
That's hard thing to learn to do, but you need to do it. Do not allow them the power to hurt you mentally or emotionally. Set emotional boundaries and stick with them. You are in control of your own emotions and how you respond. Try to overcome your approval seeking behaviors as you will only be disappointed and feel reject.
Your gifts, your efforts, your actions will never be good enough to please an individual plagued with narcissism. Understand that a narcissist is incapable of change Only you can change how you respond and react to their behaviors. Practice mindful, caring, and utilize stress management techniques. Caregiving is the most guilt producing role any individual will ever experience.
The narcissist will take advantage of that guilt and use it in their arsenal of skills. If you are an adult child of a narcissist, caring for a parent, it is really better to allow someone else to deal with them. A narcissist does not have a sense of boundary, or caring compassion, or even feelings for another, the whole world revolves around them.
You will never be able to make them happy, meet their standards or expectations. They set the bar so that you will never win. The best approach is just to never try. If you are unable to walk away from the narcissist, keep your distance and allow others, strangers even to deal with the things that you cannot.
One thing about a narcissist is they will always find someone else to use.
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