Narcissists care about how you look

The narcissistic father

“Half the damage that is done in this world can be traced back to people who want to feel important. They don't want to cause harm, but they don't care about the damage (that they cause). Or they don't see it or justify it because they are lost in the endless struggle to think well of themselves. "-T.S. Eliot

You used to think that if you were in your twenties and definitely in your thirties, you would act together: you would establish a successful career, have your own space, be in a committed and stable relationship, visit the gym to have enough body, that you always wanted and you would be alive.

But you're nowhere near as far off as you imagined, and the little boxes next to the list of achievements you were hoping for aren't checked yet.

When your confidence drops, look back on your own upbringing and think about your father - Mr. Self-Assured. He seemed to have it all - charm, success, popularity. Unlike you, he never seemed to be plagued by self-doubt. He was the life of the party, knew everyone and made things possible. You couldn't get enough of him.

How children experience narcissistic traits:

Come to think about it, did his trust verge on arrogance? Is it possible that you were raised by someone with narcissistic traits? And if so, why is it important?

We take our families for granted - of course that is the case. Every family is a miniature sociological experiment with its own unwritten rules, secrets and nuanced behavioral patterns. We take our mom and of course we give; It has to be like that for everyone. Your dad may have been narcissistic, but you just assumed that all fathers were like him.

Here are some signs that your father had narcissistic tendencies, or was outright narcissistic.

  • Papa was selfish and quite vain. He had a bloated sense of self-importance that made him believe he was superior and entitled to only the best.
  • Papa used people for his own good. He would take advantage of others to take advantage of them when it suited him. Everyone seemed to care, or at least expected to care.
  • Papa was charismatic. Everyone wanted to be around him and he enjoyed the admiration of others. He loved being in the spotlight and the positive reinforcement that came from being the center of attention.
  • Nobody had an idea like Dad. Grandiosity is alluring, and so are fantasies of success, prestige, and brilliance. He often exaggerates his achievements and his ambitions and goals bordered on unrealistic.
  • Papa didn't take criticism well. Nothing struck him as critical; He often cut these people out of his life or tried to hurt them.
  • Papa's anger was really scary. Some people get angry and scream a lot. Papa could hurt you with his anger. It cut to the bone.
  • Dad could be aloof and unappealing. Narcissists often find it difficult to experience empathy; They often ignore and invalidate how others feel. Of course, he was extremely sensitive to what he was feeling.
  • Papa wasn't there much. He got a lot of satisfaction outside of the family. Other fathers were much more attached to their families. He also craved excitement and seemed to care more about what others were doing, thinking of him, rather than how his own children felt about him.
  • Dad did what he wanted when he dealt with you. Narcissists don't slip into someone else's shoes very often. He did things to you that he enjoyed;; Maybe you did too.
  • Dad wanted you to look great on his friends and co-workers. You were most important to him when he could brag about you; sad but true.
  • You couldn't really get what you needed from him. Even though dad provided on a material level, you felt deprived on a more subtle level. For example, you wanted his attention and affection, but only got it sporadically and only if it worked for him.

When you go through these traits some can hit you home; while others may not be relevant. Some may sound very true; while others less. Therefore, narcissistic traits are not synonymous with a narcissistic personality disorder.

The heuristic problem of personality grading:

Narcissism is not a dirty word; in fact, narcissistic traits are common to most of us. There is nothing wrong with that. At the other extreme is Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a controversial but often helpful label. For the record, our diagnostic categories are somewhat arbitrary and lack the veracity of tougher medical diagnostic labels like a broken femur or glaucoma. These faults are easier to document and investigate. Personality Disorder Help us organize our thinking about an individual, but it can fall far short of a truthful representation of an entire complex person.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if a person is narcissistic or just has a healthy self-esteem. Narcissism is not about being high in confidence; It's a love for yourself that has turned into a preoccupation. The term is based on Narcissus, the Greek mythological character who was so in love with himself that he ultimately proved fatal.

While not really fatal, narcissism can become pathological enough that it even meets the criteria of a personality disorder, even when they are flawed. The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as:

“An omnipresent pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration and lack of empathy, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts… as stated…. by the following ”:

  • have a sense of legitimacy

Another characteristic common to narcissists is disregard for personal boundaries. Narcissists do not always recognize the need for boundaries, which is linked to their failure to recognize that others do not exist only to meet their needs. A narcissist often treats others, especially those close to them, as if they were there to meet their needs and expectations.

Now that you understand exactly what a narcissistic father might look like, let's see how he might affect his children. (We'll get to narcissistic mothers another time.)

How a Narcissistic Dad Can Hurt His Son or Daughter:

Narcissistic parents often harm their children. For example, they can ignore boundaries, manipulate their children by withholding affection (until it occurs), and failing to meet their children's needs because their needs come first. Because image is so important to narcissists, they can demand perfection from their children. In turn, the child of a narcissistic father may feel pressure to increase their talents, looks, intelligence, or charisma. It can cost them to grant Papa's wishes - and it can cost them to fail. No profit here.

In general, this is how a narcissistic father can influence a daughter or son.

Daughters of narcissistic fathers often describe the feeling of being “unsaturated” when it comes to getting what they need from their fathers. They never got enough and would have to compete with siblings for time with dad. As a little kid, dad commented on how beautiful you were. But as you got older, he rarely missed commenting on weight and posture. You likely carry these concerns into adulthood, even if you succeeded. It is never enough with a father like that. With men (or women), you often feel vulnerable and fearful of being dumped for someone else. Fearfully avoiding engagement or assuming the narcissistic role are both natural ways to keep relationships safe. it's understandable and self-protecting. (But you lose.)

A daughter needs her father's adoration. it confirms her and helps her internalize what is special. Healthy fathers give this gift to their girls. You are special and you deserve love to be you.

As the son of a narcissistic father You never feel like you can keep up. Papa was so competitive that he even competed with you. (Or, in one way or another, you didn't pay attention to yourself.) You may have accepted defeat - you would never surpass your father. Or you've worked hard to beat Dad at his own game just to get his attention and a semblance of paternal pride. You somehow never feel good enough, and even when you succeed, you still feel empty and second-rate.

Just as girls need their fathers to be worshiped in order to feel validated, boys need their father to believe in them too.

How do you survive a narcissistic father?

  • Advised in good therapy. You want to come to terms with Dad for who he is and how he hurt you. He's your father, after all, and you need to differentiate yourself from him to enjoy his presence without being undermined. It's not a small task.
  • Accept dad for who he is.His arrogance and constant need for ego-stroking can be annoying. If you keep him pinned in your head, he may just become an adorable but annoying dad. Take the best as long as he doesn't have the strength to hurt you.
  • Don't let papa hurt you. If he has a tantrum, you can choose to get in the car and leave. Boundaries are often a good thing. "Dad, that's not constructive."
  • Cut ties if it's too toxic or dangerous. Some narcissistic parents have violent or abusive tendencies. It goes with their self-righteousness. You are an adult now. Be careful and be careful.
  • Keep your expectations realistic and low. Don't expect a relationship with a narcissistic person to be mutual or mutual. Narcissists are selfish and cannot equate your needs with their own. As an adult, you can keep these conflicts with your father at a distance. But if you date or marry a narcissist, he is likely to wear you down.
  • If you want something from a narcissist, convince them that it will be for their benefit. I'm not a big fan of dishonesty, but some people with narcissistic traits can be manipulated. If you want such a person to do something for you, you need to twist it so that your request seems to be to their benefit. This can work for your father as well as others.
  • Never let a narcissist determine your self-worth. Narcissists lack empathy and the ability to validate others. So be careful if you entrust them with confidential information or share important achievements as they will not treat them with the respect they deserve. I've seen this setback many times.
  • Sometimes compliance is the easiest way to deal with a narcissistic parent. It may sound cheap, but if your dad is narcissistic you may not care about cutting him out of your life. After all, he's your father. Sometimes it is easier and requires less effort to get most of his desires. It can't be worth the fight. You are now an adult and no longer under his roof.
  • Alternatively, you can use your own authority and challenge his. Narcissists get away with their behavior because others (passively) allow them to. Sometimes you may need to take authoritative stance and firmly convince him that his demeaning demeanor is unacceptable. You are no longer a child and you are not as prone to his rejection or anger. Be prepared for pushback. Narcissistic people hate Criticism.
  • Too bad about the narcissist. Arrogance doesn't really inspire sympathy or compassion. But at the end of the day, when you think about it, you can feel sorry for someone who needs compliments, attention, and validation all the time. It liberates.

Appreciate the healthy adults out there:

While it is difficult to grow up untouched by a narcissistic father, there may have been others who helped you with this. As you look back on your life, you can identify a grandfather, grandmother, coach, teacher, therapist, or religious figure who you really valued. Maybe your mother saved the day.

Take in the good:

I hope you can find the good Maybe your narcissistic father had something good. Embrace that as you distance yourself from the rest. Also, there may have been special men and women in your upbringing - internalize their wellbeing. And there are good people to be looked after today - bring in these good people too.

Finally, realize the value in you. You don't have to be great to be good enough.