Many people have had a narcissistic father. Narcissism is everywhere, unfortunately. It has been present in the past, and it will be present in the future. It can ruin people’s lives, not least because it can be difficult to see. Narcissistic parents can ruin the entire course of their children’s lives. This article provides some ways in which you can see if your father is a narcissist.

9 signs of a narcissistic father: do any of the below things sound like your father?

1.  He Uses/Lives Through His Child

Parents want their children to succeed, so the saying goes. A father with narcissistic traits will likely want his children to succeed, but not for themselves. No, he will want them to succeed because it will reflect well on himself.

Parents are supposed to raise children so that their thoughts and hopes are protected. Parents are supposed to ensure that their children can live for themselves. A narcissistic father will merely ensure that children live and grow to fulfil his wishes, rather than the child’s own.

2. Marginalization

Narcissism is a trait which invalidates individuality. People are individuals, but narcissists don’t see that. What they see is an extension of themselves, to do with as they please.

As children grow older, they begin to show their own personalities, likes, and dislikes. This can challenge a narcissistic father, who is used to seeing his children as little miniatures. If this happens, many fathers turn to marginalization of their children in order to tear down their success.

These put-downs come in many forms, but they have one purpose. The purpose is to lower or destroy confidence and self-esteem so that the narcissist never needs to feel threatened by their children.

3. Grandiosity and Superiority

Most, if not all, narcissistic fathers have a greatly inflated sense of themselves. No matter what they do, they feel as if they are the best, and should be at the top of the pile. People around a narcissist are therefore not their own people, but merely another way to assert superiority.

When it comes to a narcissistic father, this can manifest in two ways: either the child is used as a prop, or the child is taught to act in the same way. Thus the parent can use their child to assert their own viewpoint in the matter.

4. Superficial Image

Being superficial is not entirely the same as being superior. Many narcissists have used those around them, including children, to show how special they are. Being superficial means showing off what is ultimately entirely inconsequential.

This can be a good memory (which occurs entirely by chance), or material possessions (which are ultimately meaningless). Many parents might use their child’s social life as a personal booster. It opens up whole new avenues for a narcissistic father to show off what they have, and what they think they are.

5. Manipulation

Manipulation can take many forms. When a narcissistic father uses it, the most commons forms are:

  • Emotional coercion
  • Unreasonable pressure
  • Reward and punishment – i.e. do what I want or be punished
  • Negative comparisons
  • Shaming
  • Blaming
  • Guilt trips

A particularly common theme for family narcissism is when love becomes conditional. Instead of being something children receive as a matter of course, love is given in return for children acting in a certain way.

Another way to see this is that a father with a narcissistic personality will look at love as something to be used as a tool. If his children do what he wants, he will reward them with love. If they don’t do what he wants, he will punish them by withholding his love.

6. Inflexible and Touchy

Many narcissistic fathers are inflexible when it comes to how they want their children to act and behave. Every parent has to parent their child is they are to grow up properly, of course. But a father with narcissistic traits will go far further than that: they will correct anything which they perceive as wrong.

What is particularly unfortunate is that this inflexibility can manifest in many different ways, making it difficult to combat. One reason for people being inflexible is that it is a way to control children. This tends to work more as the child gets older, and begins to spread their wings.

7. Lack of Empathy

Because narcissistic fathers don’t see their children as separate from themselves, lack of empathy is a problem. Children have their own thoughts and feelings, and it is important to validate them. When narcissism is involved, however, only the narcissist matters. Nobody else.

Many children, when faced with a lack of empathy, will begin to fight back. They will do this in three distinct ways:

  • Fight back and stand up for themselves and their right to respect for thoughts, feelings, wishes, etc.
  • Distance themselves from the parent in question to get some emotional distance.
  • Creating a new personality which takes on the desired personality traits; these children show narcissistic tendencies themselves.

8. Dependency/Co-dependency

A narcissistic father may expect that their offspring will be there to take care of them in their old age. This is what is called dependency, and can take a variety of forms. The most common forms are financial, physical, or emotional, with physical often being the most common.

Taking care of aging parents is admirable, but it can be twisted into something unhealthy. Many narcissists can manipulate their children into making unreasonable sacrifices for them, whether personally or financially.

Co-dependency works in something of the same way. The definition of co-dependency is where two people enable each other in bad or actively hurtful actions, such as drug-taking, drinking, or anything else of that nature.

9. Jealousy & Possessiveness

A key part of narcissism is always having control over your target. A narcissistic father will show jealousy of anything and anyone which shows that their child or children are moving on with their lives.

Romantic partners, in particular, will come in for a lot of trouble. Romantic partners are the people who will have the most influence over a person – this will rival the control of a narcissistic parent.



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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. john shores

    one thing you are forgetting, or and mother…………………………….

    1. Star KiD

      Its Ok Bro…You are not alone…

  2. Star KiD

    I have a Narcissistic Father and this Fits so Perfectly🤔…I wish we can Cure them because Honestly, these Narcissistic Human Beings are Burdensome but still they are Our Father…Sad, very Sad…

    Very Annoying…

    1. Micheal

      I agree completely. My bastard father is an egotistical, self centered little baby. He only cares about being right all the time, and I despise him. I don’t know what to do though. I have no better choice but to put up with him until I get out of the house.

  3. Fren to lean on

    Micheal, Star Kid, and John Shores, u r not alone you are here today for the reason you will be here tommorroe , because u r amazing and humans are resilient and I promise u ur loved and cherished by someone and you three will always be amazing at pushing through this life and running through your tormentors because u will fight through to the next day. The sun will rise and we will try again to push on.

  4. jakrin

    I live a life with a narcissist my dad got me a ps5 for Christmas and he is expecting me to return the game console even though i wanted one for years sad verry sad indeed you should go confront your dad that he is somewhat as one I thought he was a changed man since he was getting along so well with my moms side and some of her friends but now I know he is not changed since he keeps yelling and not wanting to support me but to use me for the future of my success in programing 🙁

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