Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)

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Annegirl

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Narcissistic Mothers' Characteristics


1. Everything she does is deniable.
There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to "help" you.

She rarely says right out that she thinks you’re inadequate. Instead, any time that you tell her you’ve done something good, she counters with something your sibling did that was better or she simply ignores you or she hears you out without saying anything, then in a short time does something cruel to you so you understand not to get above yourself. She will carefully separate cause (your joy in your accomplishment) from effect (refusing to let you borrow the car to go to the awards ceremony) by enough time that someone who didn’t live through her abuse would never believe the connection.

Many of her putdowns are simply by comparison. She’ll talk about how wonderful someone else is or what a wonderful job they did on something you’ve also done or how highly she thinks of them. The contrast is left up to you. She has let you know that you’re no good without saying a word. She’ll spoil your pleasure in something by simply congratulating you for it in an angry, envious voice that conveys how unhappy she is, again, completely deniably. It is impossible to confront someone over their tone of voice, their demeanor or they way they look at you, but once your narcissistic mother has you trained, she can promise terrible punishment without a word. As a result, you’re always afraid, always in the wrong, and can never exactly put your finger on why.

Because her abusiveness is part of a lifelong campaign of control and because she is careful to rationalize her abuse, it is extremely difficult to explain to other people what is so bad about her. She’s also careful about when and how she engages in her abuses. She’s very secretive, a characteristic of almost all abusers (“Don’t wash our dirty laundry in public!”) and will punish you for telling anyone else what she’s done. The times and locations of her worst abuses are carefully chosen so that no one who might intervene will hear or see her bad behavior, and she will seem like a completely different person in public. She’ll slam you to other people, but will always embed her devaluing nuggets of snide gossip in protestations of concern, love and understanding (“I feel so sorry for poor Cynthia. She always seems to have such a hard time, but I just don’t know what I can do for her!”)

As a consequence the children of narcissists universally report that no one believes them (“I have to tell you that she always talks about YOU in the most caring way!"). Unfortunately therapists, given the deniable actions of the narcissist and eager to defend a fellow parent, will often jump to the narcissist’s defense as well, reinforcing your sense of isolation and helplessness (“I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that!”)

2. She violates your boundaries.
You feel like an extension of her. Your property is given away without your consent, sometimes in front of you. Your food is eaten off your plate or given to others off your plate. Your property may be repossessed and no reason given other than that it was never yours. Your time is committed without consulting you, and opinions purported to be yours are expressed for you. (She LOVES going to the fair! He would never want anything like that. She wouldn’t like kumquats.) You are discussed in your presence as though you are not there.

She keeps tabs on your bodily functions and humiliates you by divulging the information she gleans, especially when it can be used to demonstrate her devotion and highlight her martyrdom to your needs (“Mike had that problem with frequent urination too, only his was much worse. I was so worried about him!”) You have never known what it is like to have privacy in the bathroom or in your bedroom, and she goes through your things regularly. She asks nosy questions, snoops into your email/letters/diary/conversations. She will want to dig into your feelings, particularly painful ones and is always looking for negative information on you which can be used against you. She does things against your expressed wishes frequently. All of this is done without seeming embarrassment or thought.

Any attempt at autonomy on your part is strongly resisted. Normal rites of passage (learning to shave, wearing makeup, dating) are grudgingly allowed only if you insist, and you’re punished for your insistence (“Since you’re old enough to date, I think you’re old enough to pay for your own clothes!”) If you demand age-appropriate clothing, grooming, control over your own life, or rights, you are difficult and she ridicules your “independence.”

3. She favoritizes.
Narcissistic mothers commonly choose one (sometimes more) child to be the golden child and one (sometimes more) to be the scapegoat. The narcissist identifies with the golden child and provides privileges to him or her as long as the golden child does just as she wants. The golden child has to be cared for assiduously by everyone in the family. The scapegoat has no needs and instead gets to do the caring. The golden child can do nothing wrong. The scapegoat is always at fault. This creates divisions between the children, one of whom has a large investment in the mother being wise and wonderful, and the other(s) who hate her. That division will be fostered by the narcissist with lies and with blatantly unfair and favoritizing behavior. The golden child will defend the mother and indirectly perpetuate the abuse by finding reasons to blame the scapegoat for the mother’s actions. The golden child may also directly take on the narcissistic mother’s tasks by physically abusing the scapegoat so the narcissistic mother doesn’t have to do that herself.

4. She undermines.
Your accomplishments are acknowledged only to the extent that she can take credit for them. Any success or accomplishment for which she cannot take credit is ignored or diminished. Any time you are to be center stage and there is no opportunity for her to be the center of attention, she will try to prevent the occasion altogether, or she doesn’t come, or she leaves early, or she acts like it’s no big deal, or she steals the spotlight or she slips in little wounding comments about how much better someone else did or how what you did wasn’t as much as you could have done or as you think it is. She undermines you by picking fights with you or being especially unpleasant just before you have to make a major effort. She acts put out if she has to do anything to support your opportunities or will outright refuse to do even small things in support of you. She will be nasty to you about things that are peripherally connected with your successes so that you find your joy in what you’ve done is tarnished, without her ever saying anything directly about it. No matter what your success, she has to take you down a peg about it.

5. She demeans, criticizes and denigrates.
She lets you know in all sorts of little ways that she thinks less of you than she does of your siblings or of other people in general. If you complain about mistreatment by someone else, she will take that person’s side even if she doesn’t know them at all. She doesn’t care about those people or the justice of your complaints. She just wants to let you know that you’re never right.

She will deliver generalized barbs that are almost impossible to rebut (always in a loving, caring tone): “You were always difficult” “You can be very difficult to love” “You never seemed to be able to finish anything” “You were very hard to live with” “You’re always causing trouble” “No one could put up with the things you do.”

She will deliver slams in a sidelong way - for example she’ll complain about how “no one” loves her, does anything f1or her, or cares about her, or she’ll complain that “everyone” is so selfish, when you’re the only person in the room. As always, this combines criticism with deniability.

She will slip little comments into conversation that she really enjoyed something she did with someone else - something she did with you too, but didn’t like as much. She’ll let you know that her relationship with some other person you both know is wonderful in a way your relationship with her isn’t - the carefully unspoken message being that you don’t matter much to her.

She minimizes, discounts or ignores your opinions and experiences. Your insights are met with condescension, denials and accusations (“I think you read too much!”) and she will brush off your information even on subjects on which you are an acknowledged expert. Whatever you say is met with smirks and amused sounding or exaggerated exclamations (“Uh hunh!” “You don’t say!” “Really!”). She’ll then make it clear that she didn’t listen to a word you said.

6. She makes you look crazy.
If you try to confront her about something she’s done, she’ll tell you that you have “a very vivid imagination” or that you "made it all up" (this is a phrase commonly used by abusers of all sorts to invalidate your experience of their abuse) that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or that she has no idea what you’re talking about. She will claim not to remember even very memorable events, flatly denying they ever happened, nor will she ever acknowledge any possibility that she might have forgotten.

This is an extremely aggressive and exceptionally infuriating tactic called “gaslighting,” common to abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your intuition, your memory or your powers of reasoning. This makes you a much better victim for the abuser.

Narcissists gaslight routinely. The narcissist will either insinuate or will tell you and others outright that you’re unstable, otherwise you wouldn’t believe such ridiculous things or be so uncooperative.
You’re oversensitive.
You’re imagining things.
You’re hysterical.
You’re completely unreasonable.
You’re over-reacting, like you always do.
She’ll talk to you when you’ve calmed down and aren’t so irrational.
She may even characterize you as being neurotic or psychotic.

Once she’s constructed these fantasies of your emotional pathologies, she’ll tell others about them, as always, presenting her smears as expressions of concern and declaring her own helpless victimhood.
She didn’t do anything.
She has no idea why you’re so irrationally angry with her.
You’ve hurt her terribly.
She thinks you may need psychotherapy.
She loves you very much and would do anything to make you happy, but she just doesn’t know what to do.
You keep pushing her away when all she wants to do is help you.

She has simultaneously absolved herself of any responsibility for your obvious antipathy towards her, implied that it’s something fundamentally wrong with you that makes you angry with her, and undermined your credibility with her listeners. She plays the role of the doting mother so perfectly that no one will believe you.

7. She’s envious.
Any time you get something nice she’s angry and envious and her envy will be apparent when she admires whatever it is. She’ll try to get it from you, spoil it for you, or get the same or better for herself. She’s always working on ways to get what other people have. The envy of narcissistic mothers often includes competing sexually with their daughters or daughters-in-law. They’ll attempt to forbid their daughters to wear makeup, to groom themselves in an age-appropriate way or to date. They will criticize the appearance of their daughters and daughters-in-law. This envy extends to relationships. Narcissistic mothers infamously attempt to damage their children’s marriages and interfere in the upbringing of their grandchildren.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 12:12:33 PM by Annegirl »

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alovelycreature

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 10:03:32 PM »
Thanks for sharing! Definitely sounds like my uNPDm.

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Annegirl

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 02:41:49 AM »
Yes there are 22 in total but i hada lot of trouble just posting up 7. All 22 of them are exactly mine too.

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Badmemories

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2014, 04:54:34 PM »
Wow! Thank You for posting this Anne girl.  :applause: honestly I don't think My Mother fits in all of these but My Sister sure does. Great Job! Did You write this? I am waiting for the next Seven! LOL. I know it was a lot of work already! I wished I could get My nephew out of the fog to read this! It sure would help HIM. I am going to try and get a printer going so I can copy this!

I am having ALL kinds of problems in the mobile home park me and Hubby have, because of all the trouble the My Sister has caused. The part I like about this all the most is that the N is so subtle about  their abuse that It is not recognized easily. For examples:

anne girl wrote. 

 Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to "help" you.

 Instead, any time that you tell her you’ve done something good, she counters with something your sibling did that was better or she simply ignores you or she hears you out without saying anything, then in a short time does something cruel to you so you understand not to get above yourself.

Many of her put downs are simply by comparison. She’ll talk about how wonderful someone else is or what a wonderful job they did on something you’ve also done or how highly she thinks of them. The contrast is left up to you... but once your narcissistic mother has you trained, she can promise terrible punishment without a word. As a result, you’re always afraid, always in the wrong, and can never exactly put your finger on why.

Because her abusiveness is part of a lifelong campaign of control and because she is careful to rationalize her abuse, it is extremely difficult to explain to other people what is so bad about her. She’s also careful about when and how she engages in her abuses. She’s very secretive, a characteristic of almost all abusers (“Don’t wash our dirty laundry in public!”) and will punish you for telling anyone else what she’s done. The times and locations of her worst abuses are carefully chosen so that no one who might intervene will hear or see her bad behavior, and she will seem like a completely different person in public. She’ll slam you to other people, but will always embed her devaluing nuggets of snide gossip in protestations of concern, love and understanding (“I feel so sorry for poor Cynthia. She always seems to have such a hard time, but I just don’t know what I can do for her!”)

As a consequence the children of narcissists universally report that no one believes them (“I have to tell you that she always talks about YOU in the most caring way!"). Unfortunately therapists, given the deniable actions of the narcissist and eager to defend a fellow parent, will often jump to the narcissist’s defense as well, reinforcing your sense of isolation and helplessness (“I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that!”)

You feel like an extension of her. Your property is given away without your consent, sometimes in front of you. Your food is eaten off your plate or given to others off your plate. Your property may be repossessed and no reason given other than that it was never yours. Your time is committed without consulting you, and opinions purported to be yours are expressed for you. (She LOVES going to the fair! He would never want anything like that. She wouldn’t like kumquats.) You are discussed in your presence as though you are not there.

She keeps tabs on your bodily functions and humiliates you by divulging the information she gleans, especially when it can be used to demonstrate her devotion and highlight her martyrdom to your needs (“Mike had that problem with frequent urination too, only his was much worse. I was so worried about him!”) You have never known what it is like to have privacy in the bathroom or in your bedroom, and she goes through your things regularly. She asks nosy questions, snoops into your email/letters/diary/conversations. She will want to dig into your feelings, particularly painful ones and is always looking for negative information on you which can be used against you. She does things against your expressed wishes frequently. All of this is done without seeming embarrassment or thought.

She undermines.
Your accomplishments are acknowledged only to the extent that she can take credit for them. Any success or accomplishment for which she cannot take credit is ignored or diminished. Any time you are to be center stage and there is no opportunity for her to be the center of attention, she will try to prevent the occasion altogether, or she doesn’t come, or she leaves early, or she acts like it’s no big deal, or she steals the spotlight or she slips in little wounding comments about how much better someone else did
or how what you did wasn’t as much as you could have done or as you think it is. She undermines you by picking fights with you or being especially unpleasant just before you have to make a major effort. She acts put out if she has to do anything to support your opportunities or will outright refuse to do even small things in support of you. She will be nasty to you about things that are peripherally connected with your successes so that you find your joy in what you’ve done is tarnished, without her ever saying anything directly about it. No matter what your success, she has to take you down a peg about it.

She will deliver generalized barbs that are almost impossible to rebut (always in a loving, caring tone): “You were always difficult” “You can be very difficult to love” “You never seemed to be able to finish anything” “You were very hard to live with” “You’re always causing trouble” “No one could put up with the things you do.”

She will deliver slams in a sidelong way - for example she’ll complain about how “no one” loves her, does anything for her, or cares about her, or she’ll complain that “everyone” is so selfish, when you’re the only person in the room. As always, this combines criticism with deniability.

6. She makes you look crazy.
If you try to confront her about something she’s done, she’ll tell you that you have “a very vivid imagination” or that you "made it all up" (this is a phrase commonly used by abusers of all sorts to invalidate your experience of their abuse) that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or that she has no idea what you’re talking about. She will claim not to remember even very memorable events, flatly denying they ever happened, nor will she ever acknowledge any possibility that she might have forgotten.

Once she’s constructed these fantasies of your emotional pathologies, she’ll tell others about them, as always, presenting her smears as expressions of concern and declaring her own helpless victimhood.
She didn’t do anything.
She has no idea why you’re so irrationally angry with her.
You’ve hurt her terribly.
She thinks you may need psychotherapy.
She loves you very much and would do anything to make you happy, but she just doesn’t know what to do.
You keep pushing her away when all she wants to do is help you.


She has simultaneously absolved herself of any responsibility for your obvious antipathy towards her, implied that it’s something fundamentally wrong with you that makes you angry with her, and undermined your credibility with her listeners. She plays the role of the doting mother so perfectly that no one will believe you.

7. She’s envious.
Any time you get something nice she’s angry and envious and her envy will be apparent when she admires whatever it is. She’ll try to get it from you, spoil it for you, or get the same or better for herself. She’s always working on ways to get what other people have.
The envy of narcissistic mothers often includes competing sexually with their daughters or daughters-in-law. They’ll attempt to forbid their daughters to wear makeup, to groom themselves in an age-appropriate way or to date. They will criticize the appearance of their daughters and daughters-in-law. This envy extends to relationships. Narcissistic mothers infamously attempt to damage their children’s marriages and interfere in the upbringing of their grandchildren.

Anne, we have discussed this before... I said that I was trying to have a relationship with MY mother. I can see WHY You might have to go no contact with Yours. My Mother must have a bad case of the fleas because I can only see a few things that My Mother does in this list. My Sister? She does all the things I underlined... Thank You again for posting this. I see HOW people can believe MY Sister...



















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Kizzie

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2014, 06:01:50 PM »
Once she’s constructed these fantasies of your emotional pathologies, she’ll tell others about them, as always, presenting her smears as expressions of concern and declaring her own helpless victimhood.

So you folks all know my M do you?  JK  ;D

Mine is still going strong despite the fact she's in her mid-80's. Over the years and tks to OOTF we've/I've learned to deal with her, but my B who is also an N is still "doing the dance" with her.  I did feel bad for him but honestly I think they are happy in their own way.  They both know the "rules" of the game whereas I read something a while back to the effect "If you don't want to dance, just sit down" so that's what we have done. Nope, that's not a dance we are going to attend anymore :sadno:

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Whobuddy

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2014, 06:53:09 PM »
"If you don't want to dance, just sit down" so that's what we have done. Nope, that's not a dance we are going to attend anymore

That is a powerful strategy to know. Thank you.

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Badmemories

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 08:15:48 PM »
Thank You for the links Rain... I am going to study them at great length. It is so hard to describe what all My Sister has done to me. My mother fits in some of them but not a lot???

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cdnPunkin

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 10:53:17 PM »
Thank you so much for posting this. It's a pretty accurate description of my NPD mother.

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canardnoirish

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2017, 02:34:05 PM »
Mmm! My wife's mother suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which we worked out quite a few years ago, but we have only just worked out that she suffers from Complex PTSD. She is expressing a lot of relief because it fits so well, and I am a bit angry with myself for not having worked this out earlier.
We are now coming through another complex trauma, legal this time, derived from her mother's NPD, and in the process have obtained access to some recordings of my wife's mother exploiting a lot of the abusive strategies, on tape. As part of the legal process we produced some transcripts, and it seems to me that the transcripts could be of great use to people suffering from complex PTSD, especially if annotated to show how they work, or how we think they work.
Maybe I would have to get the legalities checked first, and maybe a little redacting, but maybe it would be good to see some of the strategies of the narcisstic mother, live.
Just thinking

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Candid

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2017, 02:46:41 PM »
So you folks all know my M do you? 

Put me on this list, too. My mother was sweetness itself to everyone but me, although I often heard her make mean jokes/comments about other people when they weren't present. With the SG (me) it was different; she knew how to upset me in front of others and make it look like she cared, saving the outright malice and name-calling for when she and I were alone.

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Babysister

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Hi anniegirl,
My sister did all of these things to me. I posted just now"my sister is a psychopath". I believe my sister is a psychopath because she has all of these traits but is so self-unaware it goes deeper than mere narcissism which my other sister suffers. Please give me encouragement i never shared this before and all the traits and behaviors you posted above i endured at my adult siblings ' hands.

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Blackbird

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This is the perfect characterization of my mother. I thought she was BPD, from all the constant "I'm the victim here" role she plays, but I guess this is more accurate.  :blink:

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Blueberry

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My M actually does not fit the bill. In some cases, yes, but not all. e.g. she's nasty, rude etc to lots of people, not just me, but in my FOO she still gets excused from it because "Look how weird/warped/crazy her parents were!"

I'm thinking more a combination of C-PTSD and BPD, or maybe just BPD with lots of enablers and next to no realisations and no willingness to work on herself, just pass the buck. Find a handy SG in her daughter.

There's a handy breakdown of 4 basic types of BPD mothers over at Out of the Fog and my M is a witch.

My M's M fits the N bill more. But actually she was medically traumatised as a child.

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PaintedCloud

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 02:44:15 PM »
Oh wow, that caused a HUGE trigger response, but its okay, I had no idea it would.  But ALL of #6 just resonanted in me, and made me flash back to what my mother did, and my ex husband.  My whole life I prided myself on my memory, I have always had an excellent memory, but my mother would tell me that i was making it up, or lying, or just using excuses, and my ex husband did exactly the same thing.  Sitting here at work, tears threatening....

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Blueberry

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Re: Narcissistic traits 7 of them (not sure if ive posted in the right place)
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 04:58:17 PM »
 :hug: :hug: PaintedCloud

Now you know they were making it up, not you. But I know for me these realisations really hurt. I hope you can do some self-soothing today, even at work to help you get through.