Your mother may be different than others and exhibit toxic traits. You have a narcissistic mother, there are ways to deal with her and set healthy boundaries in your relationship.
From a personal standpoint, I didn’t have a narcissistic mother. Those traits came from my father. However, I do know many women who did have narcissistic mothers. So, with my knowledge of how my father treated us and how my friends endured their mother’s treatment, I think I got it covered.
But, maybe some of you never experienced a narcissistic person, or maybe you just didn’t know what it meant. I am about to open your mind.
What is a narcissist?
Okay, first of all, as I have always said, a bit of narcissism resides in all of us, some of it good and some bad. Narcissism actually lies along a spectrum between worshipping yourself and hating yourself. As a normal human being, we’re supposed to strive towards the middle or as close as we can get.
However, there is something called narcissistic disorder which puts us quite close to the self-worship end of the spectrum. This is what most people simply call a “narcissist”.
Narcissistic personality disorder – A state of being where a person has an inflated idea of themselves, little to no empathy, a record of troubled relationships, and a constant need for attention.
That’s the definition, but for finding the ways to deal with your narcissistic mother, that’s just scraping the bottom of the barrel. As most children of narcissistic mothers know, there are a few other toxic traits which vary.
How to deal with a narcissistic mother?
Yes, you can deal with your narcissistic mother, and you can limit her influence in your life. Learning how to do this may not be easy at first, but it does work.
The only way I could deal with my father, unfortunately, was to eventually leave home. It was just the last resort, and of course, I graduated and went to college which made it easier. But back to the topic at hand…let’s learn a few ways to deal with toxic mothers.
Ways to limit the damage of a narcissistic mother:
1. Learn about narcissistic personality disorder
Before you can deal with a narcissistic mother, you have to educate yourself on all there is to know about the problem. You must understand all the facets of this personality disorder before you can tackle the symptoms. And there are many symptoms of this too.
So, before rushing in with an uneducated strategy, learn all you need to know first.
2. Accept the non-approval of your mother
Narcissistic mothers never seem to approve of anything their children do. They rarely even notice achievements or appreciate their child’s budding beauty as they grow. This will leave a child feeling horribly rejected. During adulthood, the child’s craving for approval will continue. This is one of the things we, as children of the narcissist, must stop.
The fastest way to accept that our parents may never approve of us is to realize that they cannot give us what they don’t have…which is empathy or warmth. So, it’s best to understand that the problem is the mother’s lack of ability rather than the lack of the child. You have to learn that you are worthy and good enough.
3. Go ahead and set boundaries too
To deal with your narcissistic mother, you must set firm boundaries. These boundaries must be firm because if they’re not, your mother will pull them down and draw you back into her web.
Yes, it sounds like she’s a black widow spider, doesn’t it? Well, you’ve probably seen her that way before, I bet. Anyway, you must set limits on how long you’re around her and how many days a week you make contact.
When she starts to act in a narcissistic manner, you must leave her presence. This lets her know that you understand her motives and you’re not going to give in. This setting of boundaries will take time, but it can work in many cases.
4. Fear has to go
When you are ready to confront your mother about her actions, you cannot be afraid. If you let fear take hold, she will flip the situation around and make you apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.
Narcissists sense fear and they play on that fear to get exactly what they want. If you conquer your fears, you can state your case and stand firm. This will also take some practice, and sometimes professional counseling.
5. Learn about your mother’s past
I used to meet mean or manipulative people and get mad at them and hate them. I didn’t think about the factors that caused them to become this way. While there are some truly “evil” people out there, most people who are mean or manipulative have been damaged in the past or during childhood.
If you have a narcissistic mother, you can possibly help her by learning about her past. Learn about her parents, her friends, and even about any traumatic events that have shaped her into who she is. When you understand these things, you can actually remind her of why she acts the way she does.
Forewarning: If you choose to connect your mother’s past to her behavior, beware, she could angry and defensive. I have seen people rage, throw tantrums and run from the room. You have to be careful when you’re helping someone remove the skeletons from their own closet.
6. If all else fails, end the relationship
Now, ending the relationship with a parent is the last resort. After all, they brought you into this world and they raised and cared for you, at least to some extent. Unfortunately, in the worst cases of narcissistic abuse, ending the relationship may be the only way to save your own life or sanity.
And sometimes, you may only have to do this temporarily until they get the message. You may have to leave and come back a few times. What’s important is that you protect yourself against the abuse.
Don’t let the toxins get on you either
One more thing…as you deal with your mother, don’t let those narcissistic toxins get on you. Sometimes behaviors are passed down from one generation to the next. In fact, it happens quite often.
I sincerely hope you find a way to deal with these issues and mend the relationship with your narcissistic mother. I left home without full closure, but before my father died, I forgave him. Not just for him but for me as well. Even though dealing with a narcissistic parent can be difficult, it can be healed.
I hope this is the case for any of you as well.
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