15 Unexpected Signs You Were Raised By A Narcissistic Parent

15 Unexpected Signs You Were Raised By A Narcissistic Parent

Not everyone is raised by picture-perfect parents. Narcissistic parents are more common than people realize. Narcissistic parents can be self-absorbed, toxic, and abusive towards their kids. Some children think that this behavior is “normal” because they are used to it, but in reality, it can leave lasting impacts. As adults, there are a lot of signs that point to narcissistic parental abuse, like these 15.

1. You have a hard time asking for help.

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Children of narcissists have a hard time asking for help because when they did ask as a child, it was met with a ton of problems. As an adult, you then find it hard to ask people for anything. This can include favors or even asking for your needs to be met in friendships and relationships.

2. You are filled with self-doubt.

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Narcissists tend to constantly judge and tear down those who are close to them. They do this by name-calling, gaslighting, and criticizing their victims. As a result, children grow up in households without a parent saying how “proud they are” of them, or even having warmth and love from said parent. This can lead to an adulthood filled with chronic self-doubt and negative self-worth.

3. You feel an extreme amount of pressure to be “perfect.”

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Along with self-doubt, children of narcissists tend to push themselves to achieve “perfection.” However, this perfection is never met, because you were never “enough” for your parents growing up. You push yourself incredibly hard to meet a goalpost that is constantly moving further and further away.

4. You are sensitive to rejection.

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Rejection happens to people in many different forms. You can be rejected from a job, a friend, or even a romantic partner. Children of narcissists are triggered by this and can shut down or even exhibit unhealthy behaviors surrounded by rejection. This is because your parents never fully accepted you or showed you unconditional love and affection as a child.

5. You can’t identify your needs.

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Children of narcissists grow up in households where their parent’s needs come first. As an adult, it creates a complicated dynamic for you in all of your relationships—both friendships and romantic ones. When adults can’t identify their own needs, it can lead to a lot of resentment towards their friends and partners. However, they can’t pinpoint why.

6. You get stressed when you have to deal with confrontation.

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Confrontation is at the forefront with narcissists. When they feel as though they are not the main focus, or they feel as though they are not being considered, they will confront their victims head-on in very unhealthy ways. This can be through rage episodes or even through silent treatments. For a child, this manifests as trauma. Therefore, when they get older, that trauma is triggered through any type of confrontation with others.

7. You have a huge need for validation.

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Adults who grew up in these dynamics need validation because they never received any as a child. These people often find their love language to be “words of affirmation.” And in relationships, they always need to hear that they are loved and appreciated both verbally and through texting and cards.

8. You think no one really likes you.

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Even though you may have a ton of friends or even a significant other who loves you—children of narcissists don’t ever truly believe that those feelings are real. This is because their narcissistic parents may have “said” they loved them, but their actions were abusive and unkind. It can be hard to truly believe someone’s words when their actions don’t match.

9. You struggle with depression and anxiety.

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Children of narcissists usually develop some mental health issues as a result of their unhealthy childhoods. Having parents who are unsupportive and emotionally abusive can take a toll on you. As an adult, you may develop anxiety in social situations because you are unsure if you can be yourself around others. You may also exhibit depression due to unhealthy and unstable family dynamics.

10. You are a huge people pleaser.

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Putting everyone else before yourself is just what you are wired to do because narcissists want you to put them first. If you grow up in a household where your parents insist that they come first, you are taught that you don’t really matter as much as others. As you grow up, you consistently put everyone else before yourself, and end up trying to please everyone else before considering what works for you.

11. You over-apologize.

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Narcissistic parents always find a way to blame their children when their emotional needs are not met. As a result, you grow up apologizing for things you didn’t even do wrong. As an adult, this manifests in your personal relationships, making you a huge people-pleaser who is scared to do the wrong thing. You end up walking on eggshells in all of your relationships.

12. You are very competitive.

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Many narcissistic parents put a great deal of expectations on their children. These children grow up competing for their parent’s love and attention, especially if they’re raised with siblings. Narcissistic parents will pin children up against each other, which teaches you that you have to compete in order to be seen and loved.

13. You are easily intimidated.

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Narcissists get enraged easily. As a child, this can cause trauma surrounding any form of confrontation. As you get older, you may make yourself “smaller” so that you don’t have to have any confrontation at all in life. You fear how other people will react to your success, your opinions, or your presence overall. So, instead of being yourself, you stay quiet, like a wallflower, to avoid any form of negative reaction.

14. You have severe trust issues.

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Growing up being unable to trust your own parents can cause adults to question all of their relationships—friends and romantic. When someone says they love and care about you, you may find yourself questioning whether or not they are being honest about it. You look at people’s actions sideways, unsure if they are pure and genuine, or if they are manipulating and gaslighting you—like your parents did.

15. You have an unhealthy relationship style.

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When our parents are narcissists, they don’t set a great example of unconditional love. Therefore, children feel the need to earn their parent’s love and affection. They then go through life thinking they need to “win” love from everyone, including their own significant other. You end up with an insecure attachment style, always overcompensating and giving to others, trying to make them love you.

16. Looking for love? Think it into existence.

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Try our sister site, Sweetn, a new startup that uses science and research to help you transform your love life. Their cool quiz and tools teach you to use your mind to find love. Better yet, it starts to work in just a few weeks. Check it out here.

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