9 Signs of a Narcissistic Father/Daughter Relationship

Hey Optimist Minds!

In his famous song, ‘Daugthers’, musician John Mayer asks fathers to be good to their daughters as daughters will love like they do. It’s true; fathers, fathers do play a significant role in shaping their daughters’ personalities. 

A 2012 study published by the American Psychological Association found that father-daughter interactions potentially influence social cognition and the body’s reaction to stressors in young women. Therefore, girls need to have a healthy relationship with their dad for the sake of future wellbeing.

Unfortunately, if your father is narcissistic, you miss out on the psychological resources required to develop this healthy bond. Narcissists are incredibly self-centred, manipulative, and entitled individuals. They make terrible fathers and typically end up damaging the mental health of everyone around them. 

This video will outline some of the signs that a narcissistic father is raising a daughter. You can use this information to understand your relationship with your dad better. However, do not use it to diagnose narcissists as only a licensed professional is qualified to do so.

So, here are nine signs of a narcissistic father/daughter relationship.


He either adores you or neglects you.

Does your dad put you on a pedestal when he’s proud of you, only to treat you like dirt if he’s disappointed?

Most narcissists tend to look at the world in black or white. They either think something is ideal and worth admiration, or they believe it is flawed and unworthy. As fathers, they see their children in the same light. 


He wants you to be perfect in everything.

Since a narcissistic father wants others to envy him, he places unrealistic expectations on the people in his life. Perhaps your father always pushed you towards perfection and never took your failures well. But, it didn’t matter what the cost, the pressure to succeed never faded.


He controls your social life.

A narcissistic dad will try to control every move you make and who you interact with. This is an attempt at isolation, a common manipulative tactic in narcissism. By cutting you off or limiting your communication with friends, romantic interests, and outsiders, your dad ensures he’s the only person who can influence you.


He doesn’t seem to care about your happiness.

It’s understandable to be unhappy with the lack of autonomy in your life. You might even express how sad you are to your dad. But a narcissistic father won’t care how his demands are affecting you. Instead, he’ll call you ungrateful and probably punish you for speaking up.


When you don’t obey him, he manipulates you.

If your father was upset with you, did he give you the silent treatment? Does he somehow always manage to trick you into agreement?

Non-compliance doesn’t sit well with the narcissist. Their sense of entitlement lets them think that you must never disagree with them. Maybe your dad lied to others about you to get you to behave the way he wanted you to. He might also weaponise your insecurities and use them against you.


He doesn’t meet your emotional needs.

Parents are supposed to have authority over their children, but that is a byproduct of taking responsibility for their safety and wellbeing. Narcissistic dads do not live up to their duties and expect total control over their daughters. Even if your father takes care of food, shelter, and education, he grossly neglects your emotional needs.

Possibly, he invalidates your feelings, gaslights you, or makes you feel guilty very often. He’s unavailable when you need support, and in contrast, his behaviour chips away at your sense of self-worth.


He pretends to be very caring in front of others.

A narcissistic dad will generally portray himself as a caring and selfless parent who goes out of his way to raise his daughter well. However, whenever there’s an audience available, he might exaggerate the role he plays in your life and make himself appear self-sacrificing. 

This makes it hard for you to speak your truth and people never seem to believe there could be another side to your dad. Even you might start accepting this facade to revive the illusion that your father is a good person.


He alienates you from your mother.

Usually, narcissists are under the impression that there is limited affection and attention in the world, so they must fight to get all of it. They don’t comprehend that their daughter can love both parents equally. As a result, a narcissistic dad will try to pin you against your mom and encourage you to disrespect her. He might even send you far away to break the intimate bond you share with her.


He expects you to prioritise him over everything else.

One of the characteristics of narcissism is extreme attention-seeking behaviour. This is one of the reasons why having a narcissistic dad can be so exhausting. He’ll want everything to be about him, even if it is your birthday, graduation, career, wedding, or pregnancy. He’ll want you to factor him in as the centre of all your life decisions.

Did these nine signs remind you of your dad? Do you think your father could be a narcissist? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments. We, as well as our viewers, could benefit from what 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.


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