20 Clear Signs of A Narcissistic Mother
15 mins read

20 Clear Signs of A Narcissistic Mother

Spread the love

Encountering a narcissistic mother can be a bewildering and emotionally draining experience. Individuals who grow up under the shadow of such maternal figures often find themselves grappling with a complex web of feelings, ranging from love and dependency to fear and resentment. A narcissistic mother possesses traits that go beyond the conventional understanding of a parent’s love and concern, often crossing into the territory of self-absorption and manipulation. Here are the signs of a Narcissistic mother.

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder

According to mental health professionals, NPD is a mental condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. It is a complex disorder that manifests in various facets of an individual’s behavior and affects those around them, especially their immediate family.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which sets the criteria for diagnosing mental conditions. Individuals with NPD often display grandiosity, are preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success and power, and believe they are unique or special. They require constant admiration, have a sense of entitlement, and are willing to exploit others to achieve their ends. They also typically lack empathy and are often envious of others or believe others are envious of them.

Save the pin for later

Signs of a Narcissistic mother

Signs of a Narcissistic Mother

1. Constant Need for Attention:

A narcissistic mother thrives on being the center of attention. She may demand constant acknowledgment and validation from her children and others around her. This can manifest in various ways, such as an insistence on being the focal point at social gatherings or a requirement that her children prioritize her needs and desires above their own.

This need for attention often stems from a deep-seated insecurity. A narcissistic mother might fish for compliments or create situations that force others to notice her. Children of such mothers often feel pressured to perform or behave in certain ways to keep their mother satisfied and to avoid her disapproval or anger.

Related: How to deal with a Narcissist

2. Lack of Empathy:

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. A narcissistic mother often displays a startling lack of empathy towards her children. She may ignore their emotional needs or be insensitive to their feelings. When a child is going through a difficult time, instead of offering comfort, a narcissistic mother might dismiss their concerns or, worse, criticize them for being weak.

This lack of empathy is not just towards emotional distress but extends to all areas of the child’s life. A narcissistic mother may be indifferent to her child’s successes or interests if they do not align with her own. This creates a one-sided relationship where the child’s role is to serve the mother’s emotional state, not the other way around.

Related: How to make a Narcissist look stupid

3. Manipulative Behavior:

Manipulation is a common tool in the narcissistic mother’s arsenal. She may use guilt, fear, or obligation to influence her children’s actions and decisions. This manipulation is often subtle and may be disguised as concern or advice, making it challenging for the child to recognize and resist.

A narcissistic mother might manipulate her children into complying with her wishes by threatening to withdraw love or resources. She may also use more overt methods, such as lying or exaggerating to sway her child’s opinion or behavior. As a result, children learn to second-guess their own experiences and may become overly reliant on their mother’s approval to make decisions.

Related: How Narcissists manipulate other people 

4. Gaslighting:

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where the manipulator seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a person or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or sanity. A narcissistic mother may use gaslighting to maintain control and keep her children dependent on her.

This behavior can take many forms. A narcissistic mother might deny saying something hurtful, claim that her child is too sensitive, or suggest that they are misremembering events. She may also dismiss her child’s feelings and experiences, making them feel as though they are overreacting or imagining things.

Related: How Narcissists react when you leave them

5. Sense of Entitlement:

A sense of entitlement is another hallmark of narcissistic behavior. A narcissistic mother believes that she deserves special treatment and that her needs and wants should take precedence over others. She may expect her children to cater to her whims without question and become angry or upset if they do not comply.

This sense of entitlement often extends beyond the family. A narcissistic mother may expect others to admire her or give her special privileges simply because of who she is. She may become resentful if she feels she is not receiving the recognition or respect she believes she deserves.

Related: How to make a Narcissist love you again

Narcissistic mother

6. Control Freak:

A narcissistic mother often has an overwhelming need to control every aspect of her children’s lives. From what they wear to who they befriend, she may impose strict rules and guidelines, insisting that her way is the only right way. This control is not about guiding her children but about maintaining power and dominance.

This controlling behavior can stifle a child’s development of autonomy and self-reliance. Children may become dependent on their mother’s approval and direction, unable to make choices without fear of repercussion. They may also feel suffocated by the lack of freedom to express themselves or explore their interests.

Related: Signs of a controlling boyfriend

7. Invalidation:

Invalidation is the process of denying, rejecting, or dismissing someone’s feelings or experiences. A narcissistic mother might invalidate her children by belittling their achievements, mocking their emotions, or questioning their judgment. This behavior sends the message that the child’s feelings and perceptions are not only unimportant but also incorrect.

Invalidation can be particularly damaging because it undermines a child’s sense of self. Children may grow up feeling that they cannot trust their feelings or that their accomplishments are never good enough. This can lead to a lack of confidence and self-worth that persists into adulthood.

A narcissistic mother may use invalidation as a means to keep her children under her control. By making them doubt themselves, she ensures that they remain dependent on her for validation and support.

Related: How to make a Narcissist leave a relationship

8. Lack of Boundaries:

Healthy boundaries are essential in all relationships, but a narcissistic mother often fails to recognize or respect them. She may see her children as extensions of herself rather than as individuals with their own rights and needs. This can lead to intrusive behaviors such as reading her child’s private correspondence, intruding on personal space, or making decisions without considering her child’s wishes.

The lack of boundaries can also manifest in emotional ways. A narcissistic mother might expect her children to cater to her emotional needs or involve them inappropriately in her personal affairs.

Related: How to set boundaries with a Narcissist

9. Projection:

Projection is a defense mechanism where a person attributes their own unwanted thoughts, feelings, or traits to another person. A narcissistic mother may project her insecurities, faults, or shortcomings onto her children, blaming them for her own failings or negative emotions.

For example, a mother who is insecure about her appearance may criticize her child’s looks. Or, if she is feeling inadequate, she might accuse her child of not achieving enough. This projection serves to deflect attention from her own flaws and maintain her sense of superiority.

Related: How to make a Narcissist miss you

10. Conditional Love:

Unconditional love is the bedrock of a healthy parent-child relationship. However, a narcissistic mother’s love is often conditional, based on how well her child conforms to her expectations. If a child behaves in a way that pleases her, they are showered with affection and praise. If they do not, they may be met with coldness or even hostility.

This conditional love can create an unstable emotional environment for a child. They may feel that they must constantly earn their mother’s love and approval, leading to a cycle of people-pleasing and perfectionism. It can also cause children to suppress their own needs and desires in favor of what they believe will keep their mother happy.

Related; How to make a Narcissist want you back

11. Jealousy:

Jealousy is not an emotion typically associated with a mother’s love, but in the case of a narcissistic mother, it can be a prevalent issue. She may be jealous of her children’s accomplishments, relationships, or even their youth. This jealousy is rooted in the mother’s own insecurities and the need to be the best or the most important person in her children’s lives.

A narcissistic mother might downplay her child’s successes or become competitive, trying to outdo them or take credit for their achievements. She may also sabotage her child’s relationships out of jealousy, fearing that they will replace her or garner more attention.

Related: Things Narcissists hate most

12. Emotional Blackmail:

Emotional blackmail is a manipulative tactic where a person uses threats, fear, or guilt to control another person’s actions. A narcissistic mother may use emotional blackmail to keep her children close and obedient. She might threaten to withdraw love, support, or even contact if her children do not comply with her wishes.


13. Exploitation:

Exploitation involves using someone for one’s Narcissistic motherbenefit, often without regard for their well-being. A narcissistic mother may exploit her children for personal gain, whether that’s to bask in their achievements, to garner sympathy or attention from others, or to fulfill her own emotional needs.

14. Triangulation:

Triangulation is a manipulation tactic where one person does not communicate directly with another person, instead using a third person to relay communication to the second, thus forming a triangle. A narcissistic mother may use triangulation to maintain control and keep her children in competition with one another.

For instance, a mother might tell one child something about another in a way that fosters jealousy or resentment. She may also compare her children, using one child’s successes or failures as a benchmark for the other. This creates tension and rivalry among siblings and can prevent them from forming close bonds.

The effects of triangulation can be damaging, as it can sow discord and mistrust among family members. It can also lead to a lack of open and honest communication, as children learn that information is a commodity to be used for manipulation rather than shared freely.

15. Narcissistic Rage:

Narcissistic rage is an intense and often disproportionate anger directed at a person who has thwarted or contradicted the narcissist. A narcissistic mother may exhibit this rage when her sense of entitlement, need for control, or self-image is challenged.

This rage can be frightening and unpredictable, leaving children walking on eggshells to avoid setting off their mother’s temper. It may also be used to punish or control, as the mother knows that her children fear her anger and will do what they can to prevent it.

Living with a mother capable of narcissistic rage can be traumatic. Children may develop anxiety or stress-related disorders and might have trouble managing their anger as adults. They may also become overly compliant or passive as a means of self-protection.

16. Superficial Charm:

While it may seem counterintuitive, many narcissistic mothers can be incredibly charming and engaging to those outside the immediate family. This superficial charm is a way to garner admiration and attention. A narcissistic mother may be the life of the party or the community volunteer, all the while being a very different person at home.

This charm can be confusing for children, who see the disparity between the public persona and the private reality. They may wonder why their mother treats others better than her own family or may feel that they are the problem since others seem to think highly of their mother.

Narcissistic mother

17. Neglect:

Neglect is the failure to provide for a child’s basic needs, whether those are physical, emotional, or psychological. A narcissistic mother may be neglectful because she is too focused on her own needs to attend to her children’s. This neglect can range from not providing sufficient food or clothing to ignoring a child’s need for affection and support.

18. Difficulty Accepting Criticism:

A narcissistic mother often has a hard time accepting criticism, constructive or otherwise. She may react with defensiveness, anger, or even retaliation when her actions or behavior are called into question. This inability to accept feedback can create a hostile environment where children feel unable to express their thoughts or concerns.

How to cope with a Narcissistic mother

The first thing to do to help you cope with a narcissistic mother is to set boundaries. This means learning to say no and standing firm in the face of manipulation or guilt-tripping. It’s also important to seek support, whether from friends, a therapist, or support groups. Talking about the experience can help to validate feelings and provide perspective.

Self-care is another essential aspect of coping. This includes taking time for oneself, engaging in activities that bring joy and comfort, and prioritizing one’s own mental and emotional well-being. It’s also vital to develop a strong sense of self, independent of the mother’s influence or expectations.


Dealing with a narcissistic mother can be a challenging and often heart-wrenching experience. Recognizing the signs of a narcissistic mother is the first step in understanding the dynamics at play and finding ways to cope. Share your experience with us in the comment below.

Save the pin for later

Signs of a Narcissistic mother

Follow me

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.