Signs of a narcissistic mother: Therapist explains
From self-criticism to a codependent relationship, here's how a narcissistic mother can impact our lives.
Our mothers and their behaviour patterns have a deep impact on our upbringing. The love, affection, care and the way of expression finds a way of being imbibed in our behavior, often unconsciously. We try to look like them, behave like them and think like them as we grow up. We tend to idolise our mothers in childhood – this has a significant impact on the way we behave in our adult relationships as well. However, when we grow up with a narcissistic mother, we tend to face certain difficulties. "Do you suspect your mother is a narcissist? Do you have a difficult relationship with your maternal impactor or your mother," wrote Psychotherapist Terri Cole as she explained the experiences people go through when they grow up around a narcissistic mother.
Codependent relationship: When we grow up with a narcissistic mother, we tend to develop a codependent relationship. This happens because narcissists try to wire the needs, wants and expectations of another person with that of their own – these further fuels their narcissistic supply.
Fear of abandonment and rejection: Narcissists are capable of having a conditioned pattern of love. They can completely abandon or reject us if they feel that they need to provide unconditional love for us. In case we are brought up around a narcissistic mother, we may feel abandoned – this can further create fear of abandonment and rejection in us.
Difficulty trusting: We face difficulty in trusting narcissistic caregivers because they tend to manipulate and gaslight us. Hence, we develop the fear of trust and refrain from trusting anyone at all.
Poor self-esteem: Narcissistic mothers have the tendency to view their children as an extension of themselves. This makes them want to model their children to be like them. This can develop poor self-esteem in children for not feeling seen for their uniqueness and originality.
Self-criticism: We try to internalise the critical voice of our narcissistic mothers – this makes us very harsh self-critics, even if the mothers are not around us.