Quora Blog Responses

Is there anything that narcissistic parents excel at?

In a healthy family system the children's needs are central. In a narcissistic family system the parent's needs are the priority.

The narcissistic parents excel at making themselves the centre of everything regardless of the consequences I.e. covering up abuse. They hide this and all emotional abuse from the world. Generally they expect the children to keep secrets.

They also collude with each other by gaslighting (telling their child that the reality they are or (were experiencing was not true) causing great destabilisation and confusion for the child or adult child.

They lie easily to protect one or the other. If confronted as they age many play the victim to manipulate or control.

They can tend to cause relationship divisions in the family and some can get a psychological feed from this.

They can tend to get particularly angry with the child or adult child who calls them out on their behaviour and tend to slowly exclude this child. They also can be harsh on the children of this child.

This is because at their very core they are controlling and do not like the fact that they can't control an offspring who expresses their feelings openly.

Often their codependent or narcissistic adult children remain in denial and continue to be their flying monkeys to stay in favour with their parents. The siblings too also engage in isolating the honest and well sibling.

Do not expect narcissistic parents to change because they do not. Do not waste your time or energy. Just get yourself therapeutic support to work through the CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress) with a therapist who understands coercive control and narcissism.

Therapy can help you learn to become very boundaried or you may decide to have no contact at all due to the level of toxicity. In turn you will be protecting your own children from their toxic behaviour.


I found your insight helpful. It brought new awareness to me as a therapist. It helped in identifying that my client had ADHD which allowed me to alter how I worked with him. To slow the work down, to not get frustrated and to help him understand himself. I am more aware of the signs and inde...

Carol , Supervisee Re: her client
Oct 15, 2018

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