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How do you deal with a narcissistic parent

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How to deal with a narcissistic mother


Hello there and thank you for contacting Ask Alex.  

We understand that it can be difficult to open-up about how you are feeling, so thanks for reaching out.  

Dealing with a parent who has narcissistic tendencies can be difficult and emotionally draining, so putting in place some strategies to help you cope with the situation will be helpful.

It’s important to know that you are not responsible for your mother’s behaviour or emotions. It’s common for children of narcissistic parents to feel like they must constantly walk on eggshells or try to please their parent to avoid conflict, but this is not a healthy dynamic. It’s important to recognise that narcissistic behaviour often stems from deep- seated insecurities and emotional wounds. While this doesn’t excuse the behaviour, it can be helpful to try to understand where your mother is coming from and to approach the situation with empathy and compassion, even if you choose to maintain some distance. 

One strategy that can be helpful is to set boundaries with your mother. This means being clear about what behaviours upset you and sticking to those boundaries.  This can be challenging, but it’s important to prioritize your own mental and emotional wellbeing.  

It would also be helpful to seek out support from a therapist or counsellor who can help you work through your feelings and develop your coping strategies. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can also be a source of support.   

Here at Childline, there is a team of people ready to listen to you if you would like to share your thoughts and feelings with us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact us via phone at 1800 66 66 66, or through our webchat at by clicking on the orange Live Chat tab on the right-hand side of the screen. We would love to hear from you and talk through some options that are available to you. Childline is a safe space for you to chat in confidence about understanding narcissism or anything else that may be on your mind.   

Remember, you have the right to set boundaries and prioritize your own well-being, even when it comes to family relationships.  

Take care, we hope to hear from you soon. 


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