7 Signs a Narcissist Raised You

Hey Optimist Minds!

Did you know that your relationship with your parents shapes your personality as an adult? A 2008 paper published by the American Psychological Association wrote that certain psychological resources are important to personality development and that our parents facilitate the growth of such resources.

Unfortunately, not many parents can effectively do that, especially if they have narcissistic tendencies. Narcissists are self-absorbed, conceited, and entitled individuals who lack empathy. None of these characteristics makes them good parents.

If your parents were narcissistic, you’re likely to have many personality traits that reflect that. This video will help you recognise these signs and better understand your relationship with your parents.

A quick disclaimer: viewers are advised to use this video as a self-assessment and not a diagnosis. Only a licensed mental health professional is qualified to make an official evaluation.

Now, here are seven signs a narcissist raised you.


You never feel adequate.

Narcissistic parents constantly criticise their children and point out their faults. But, at the same time, they don’t sufficiently praise good behaviour. As a result, their children never feel like they are good enough. 

To compensate for this feeling, you might become overachievers thinking that if you get everything right, maybe you’ll win your parent over. But, sadly, that never happens, so even as an adult, you keep thinking you’re inadequate.


You’re full of self-doubt.

Do you keep questioning every choice you make? Do you doubt your own values?

Because of the persistent criticising, a narcissist’s child always lacks in self-belief. The idea that they’re good for nothing is so deeply ingrained in them that it holds them back in life.

Perhaps you have grown to become a competent and successful individual. Yet, despite that, you feel like an imposter. You regularly speculate whether you deserve this success, and it takes you a lot of overthinking before you finally make a decision.


Your parent never saw you as an individual.

For narcissists, family members are seen merely as extensions of themselves. They don’t look at their kids as human beings with a unique identity. Instead, they expect their child to dedicate its existence to feeding the narcissist’s ego.

It could be that your parent saw your success as their own and your mistakes as sources of great shame. They might have pushed you towards their own dreams and neglected what makes you happy. Consequently, even today, you struggle to know who you truly are or what you like and dislike.


You’re sensitive to criticism.

Being raised by narcissists prevents the healthy development of self-esteem and self-worth. It makes you very fragile to other people’s feedback. The lack of validation in childhood makes you seek it everywhere as an adult.

Together, these factors make it incredibly hard for you to hear any negative comments. They bring you intense feelings of shame and guilt, so you can’t be receptive.


You expect close relationships to have a power dynamic.

Are you used to the idea that one person in an intimate relationship will have control over the other? For example, do you expect your partner to make you chase them for affection or vice versa?

As parents, narcissists model extremely unhealthy relationships. Since their families are generally isolated or kept at a distance from others, their kids never get to see what healthy relationships look like.

So if your family situation was similar, you probably think it’s okay for one person to have more say in a relationship. Maybe you’ve accepted that this one person gets to decide whether the two of you fight, make up or show affection. But the reality is that true love is centred around equality and mutual respect.


You struggle with boundaries.

Narcissists never respect other people’s boundaries. The more you try to assert your limits, the more viciously they attack. If a narcissist raised you, you might have faced this throughout your life. 

Subsequently, it’s challenging for you to establish healthy boundaries in other relationships too. Either you have them too porous, allowing people to mistreat you. Or, you have them too rigid so that you never let anyone hurt you. However, the latter holds you back in life.


You have anxiety and depression.

The foundation of narcissism is a deep sense of shame that the narcissist doesn’t know how to process. So instead of dealing with it, they pretend it doesn’t exist by projecting it onto others.

As children are easy scapegoats, you must have been made to feel this projected shame for years. Chronic shame manifests as mental health disorders in later life, including anxiety disorders and depression.

Did any of these signs remind you of your own personality? Do you think a narcissist raised you? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Our community will surely benefit if you share.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!