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7 Signs Your Parent has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder

If you feel like one or both of your parents aren’t supportive—or worse, abusive—you might be wondering if they have a narcissistic personality disorder and need mental health treatment.

Someone with narcissistic personality disorder generally has to seek help before they can get diagnosed. But sometimes, someone with narcissistic tendencies won’t think there’s anything wrong and rarely seek a diagnosis.

Here are seven signs your parent has a narcissistic personality disorder.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder Tells Them You Exist Only to Fulfill Their Wants and Needs

Growing up, someone with narcissistic tendencies likely did not have secure attachment methods modeled for them. This lack of secure attachment contributes to a dismissive style in all other relationships throughout life. Often, they lack the desire or capability to form close bonds. 

Since they have a hard time understanding bonds or what it means to support a child, they look to you to fulfill their wants and needs instead of the opposite.


Your Boundaries are Constantly Disregarded

Any kind of boundary is an obstacle in the eyes of someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. It prevents them from getting what they want, and therefore they won’t make any attempt at respecting that boundary. If you feel like your mom or dad has constantly ignored any limits you’ve set, then it might be a sign. 

Lack of boundaries can also be a problem in codependent relationships, among other shared qualities that often coincide with narcissistic personality disorder. 


Your Parent Uses Threats and Abuse To Control

When parents with narcissistic tendencies see that they aren’t getting their way, they may resort to threats and abuse to maintain power over their children. They typically take a punishing approach over a rewarding one. 


They Attempt to Control How Others View Them

Surprisingly, some individuals that display high levels of narcissism can actually have low self-esteem. Because of that, they do everything possible to control how others view them. This preoccupation with their image can take the form of pushing their children to be overachievers, so they can show off how talented their kids are.  


They Show a Lack of Empathy for Others

Because those with narcissistic personality disorder are often so preoccupied with themselves, they genuinely lack feelings of empathy for other people. Others argue that they don’t wholly lack empathy but rather use it for manipulation instead of compassion. Either way, those with NPD rarely act in others’ interests because they remain focused on themselves. 

Empathy is the capacity to relate to and understand other people’s feelings.

Your Parent Believes They Need to be the Center of Attention 

In making sense of a narcissistic-seeming parent’s self-preoccupation, it’s essential to understand that, from their experience, they are the center of the world. In their eyes, the world revolves around them, and they act accordingly. If others don’t follow suit, they can become confused and lash out to change this challenge to their worldview. 


They Use Manipulation and Guilt to Get Their Way

Since narcissists lack empathy, they often only understand manipulation and guilt as ways of getting what they want. They may not have even thought of interpersonal communication tactics as ways of expressing their needs. Instead, they manipulate and guilt their children to control and get what they want from life. 

Having a parent that has a narcissistic personality disorder can feel alienating. However, mental health treatment options right here in Tennessee can help both you and your mom or dad get the support you need. Reach out to The Ranch Tennessee today and ask about our personality disorder treatment options.

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