Count yourself lucky if you did not have a narcissistic parent. Growing up under the care of one could make a life of abuse the only life you know.
As With Any Other Narcissist Out There, A Narcissistic Parent Will Show No Empathy
Before the child gets to adulthood, they often suffer severe psychological mistreatment because of bullying, coercion, manipulation, insults, and even threats from the parent.
The effects, as you might guess, are anything but good. Such children are more likely to commit suicide, suffer from low self-esteem, experience depression, harm themselves, and suffer from attachment disorders.
Studies have even shown that these children exhibit the same symptoms witnessed in children who have undergone physical and sexual abuse.
These kids can never let go of their parents. At least not easily. Thanks to the strong, unhealthy attachment they have to them, and so, the manipulation, control, and abuse continue well into adulthood.
Some manipulation techniques these parents use include:
1. Guilt-Tripping Through Fear, Obligation, And Guilt (FOG)
Narcissistic parents know how to use fear, obligation, and guilt to bend their children to their will, even when it is against the child's best interest.
For instance, your dad might have a problem with the fact that you are yet to start a family (although you are happily single), and then make you feel guilty that the time is running out and you are yet to give him any grandkids.
In these circumstances, know that you have nothing to be guilty about. Your life is your own.
2. Triangulation and Comparison
A narcissistic parent can compare you to a more successful peer to make you feel small.
For instance, news that a friend got a plush job might make them force you to question your purpose in life.
You should see these schemes for what they are and live your life. Don't be tempted to defend yourself, as that will only prolong the abuse. Instead, change the subject and if that fails, you can just walk away.
3. Emotional Blackmail
In this case, the parent makes a request that is, in reality, a demand. If you don't seem keen to do what they want, they will turn up the heat and issue threats or withhold something important from you.
For instance, your inability to visit over the weekend over an urgent family matter might be met with accusations of being ungrateful and disrespectful.
Word of advice: don't fall for the request to meet and talk it over. Learn to let your no be understood without further explanation.
A narcissistic parent will sometimes demean and belittle to make you feel inadequate.
This could be anything from your career choices to your personality. The idea is to make you feel powerless and clueless, so you can do what they want.
Your options here include retreating to avoid dealing with all that negativity.
Gaslighting is one of a narcissist's favorite tools. By gaslighting, the parent can distort the truth to hide the ills committed against you, such as abuse and insults.
For instance, when you turn down a request they have made, they can do whatever it takes to drive you up the wall and make you feel you did the biggest crime ever. This can make you doubt yourself if you entertain it.
You can see a therapist about it instead of letting it affect your life and ruin it.
Narcissists come in all shapes and sizes. Your own parents could be narcissists, which can be tough. Above are some ways a narcissistic parent might manipulate you and some tips to get away and keep your sanity.