THE NARCISSISTIC MOTHER.
The definition of a ‘narcissist’ is a person who is totally self-involved. A mother with narcissistic tendencies will be largely unable to show the empathy that is so important to a healthy parent-child relationship, because she sees every request for attention by her child as competition. Tell her you’re tired, for example, and she’ll snap back: ‘Don’t talk to me about feeling tired. I’ve been hard at work all day. You don’t know what being really tired is.’ In her egotistical way, she also sees her offspring as a reflection of her; so her children must be outstanding in every aspect of their being to be ‘worthy’ of her.
It’s a bewildering and volatile situation, as any child of a narcissistic mother will be under constant pressure to be both subservient to his or her mother’s ego, yet expected to shine. A narcissistic mother craves attention and adoration that comes from her own feelings of low self-worth. But no matter how hard you try to please her, you will live under a constant cloud of disdain and nothing will ever please her, regardless of all your efforts to. Narcissists mothers have fragile relationships with others, too — as their overblown ego means they often take offence at the smallest imagined slight and will suddenly cut people out of their lives or punish them in some way for ‘insulting’ them, often even their partners. Children in this situation often live with the fear that their relationship with their mother could break apart at any minute should they inadvertently offend her.