10 Signs You Were Raised By Narcissistic Parents

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Childhood isn’t something that everyone looks back and thinks of fondly. It’s different for everyone, so while so many of us remember great childhoods with great parents, so many others remember terrible childhoods with awful parents. Coming to terms with your childhood is hard and emotional, but if we can, we heal and grow in ways that we never have before.

Those who had narcissistic parents during their upbringing can be especially lost or damaged. These parents left you feeling guilty. They left you thinking that you were always at fault and treated you like you were the crazy one. They made you doubt yourself and the world around you.

Does this sound like your parents? There are typically two types of narcissists.
The ‘engulfing’ narcissist is the parent who sees you as just another part of them, so they constantly try to control your life and rarely ever respect that you’re a separate person from them.

The ‘ignoring’ narcissist is the parent that really has no interest in being your parent. They see the division between your wants and needs and their own, and almost always pick themselves over you. They’re not really interested in what’s happening in their children’s lives.

Here are 10 signs that you were raised by some type of narcissistic parent:

They controlled you through codependency
If your mother or father regularly told you that they “needed you” or “couldn’t live with you” then it’s a good sign that you had narcissists for parents. These parents manipulate their children into being at their beck and call, instead of pushing them to start being independent, mature people of their own.

They never hesitated to guilt trip you
Whenever your parent wanted you to do something, but you didn’t really want to do it, so they said things like “you’ll never know how much I’ve done for you.” Narcissistic parents use guilt as leverage to manipulate their children into doing the things they want them to do.

You only received affection when you did what they wanted
Narcissistic parents give love and take away love, as if it were a game to them. Do what they want you to do and voila! You get love! Don’t do what they want you to do and watch them withdraw their love for you.

They competed with you in strange ways
Whenever you got a nice piece of clothing or found a cool new hairstyle, narcissistic parents would try to come up with something better that would place the spotlight on them.

Your accomplishments became your parents’ accomplishments
Narcissistic parents regularly use their children’s successes as opportunities to boost their own image and ego. You could have just won a state championship playing your favorite sport and the narcissistic parent would somehow make it about them. Saying things like “he gets his athleticism from me” or “good thing I woke up so early all those mornings.”

You were always lied to
Narcissistic parents like to keep their children on edge, so they’re never certain about what’s going to happen next. This is how they control and manipulate you. If you were constantly lied to or always being lead into traps, and felt like you could never trust what they had to say, you had narcissists for parents.

They harassed and insulted you routinely
Narcissistic parents tend to use their child’s humiliation or embarrassment as a means of control. This is a nasty type of parent who uses insults, threats and verbal abuse to achieve a manipulative advantage.

They reacted harshly to your criticisms
At some point, children naturally want to fight back against their parents. If you had narcissistic parents, you knew that criticizing them in any way, shape or form was a bad idea. Because they’d blow up on you, often yelling, screaming and trying to physically hurt you in some way.

They rarely ever showed empathy for you and your life
Narcissistic parents aren’t super interested in their child’s damaged feelings. They don’t really care enough to do that. They don’t sympathize, and have too many of their own feelings to become invested in their child’s.

They always made sure the family’s “image” was pristine to outsiders
If your parents turned into completely different people around strangers, choosing to boast about how happy and successful the family is instead of how dysfunctional or problematic you see it to be, you had narcissistic parents. And you weren’t about to reveal to any strangers the truth about your home life, because you knew that was a paddlin’.

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