When you think of narcissism, you might think of the exaggerated yet typical version of a narcissist — a person who openly focuses on themselves, downplays other people, and shows little or no signs of empathy towards others. Sometimes narcissism is more subtle: On the surface, the person may appear to be a caring person, but underneath is a whole different story. But what do you do if you suspect your child’s parent is a narcissist?
Narcissism is a mental health disorder in which a person has a heightened sense of self-importance with a deep need for attention while also lacking empathy or consideration toward others.
Parental narcissism occurs when, as you might guess, a narcissist becomes a parent. While becoming a parent often makes a person more compassionate and caring, sometimes that doesn’t happen. Narcissism is, after all, a mental health condition that doesn’t just go away.
Think of famous narcissistic parents from movies and TV, like Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development, or Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest.
(It’s important to understand that, more often than not, it’s not the narcissist’s choice to think the way they do. But, with that said, it is possible for a narcissist to overcome their own shortcomings, although it requires a lot of internal work.)
If you suspect your child’s parent is a narcissist, then there are many ways that this could affect them as they grow up. But first, you need to be able to recognize the signs. Here are the tell-tale signs of a narcissistic parent (NP), according to clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula:
While narcissism is not an uncommon personality disorder, knowing how it affects your children is not enough to protect them.
Hickey & Hull Law Partners is experienced in family law and can mediate, create a parenting plan, or even help fight for custody if you suspect instability or abuse.
Contact us today by filling out our online form or calling us anytime. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.