9 Signs of a Narcissistic Father

Hey Optimist Minds!

Our fathers are our first role models. Even though the first relationship is with the mother, a father plays a vital role in shaping the child’s personality. 

Conventionally, it’s the father that helps the child learn to explore and interact with the world. So how your father interacted with you and your mother shaped your worldview today. Sadly, it must have filled you with self-doubt if your father had narcissistic tendencies and caused you to develop dysfunctional behaviours.

Narcissism is a behaviour pattern characterised by arrogance, self-centredness, entitlement, and antagonism. Having a difficult person like a narcissist for a father can be an exhausting and disappointing upbringing.

This video will describe nine signs of a narcissistic father. Use this information to understand your relationship with your father better. However, do not try to diagnose someone with these signs, as only a licensed mental health professional is qualified to do that.

So here are the signs.


He creates a facade of being a good father.

Narcissists generally have very superficial connections with other people, including their children. These bonds are more about social approval and admiration. So, the narcissistic dad will ensure that all special occasions are grandly celebrated to create happy memories.

The rest of the year, when there’s no one to watch, he’ll stay distant or unavailable. So you’ll find yourself holding on to these few good memories to rationalise why you even love this man who’s never there for you.


He controls every aspect of your life.

Parents are meant to be the authority figures in a child’s life, but narcissists take it to the next level. A narcissistic father usually tries to control every thought, action, and emotion you have. 

He will tell you whether you can or can’t talk to someone, what you can wear, where you can go, how you spend your time, what reactions are acceptable, and anything else he has an opinion on. 


He portrays himself as self-sacrificing.

Most narcissists love playing victim whenever they get a chance. If they have spectators, they’ll show off how invested they are in your future. For example, if you’re an athlete, he’ll show up to essential sports meets and brag about how he spends money, time, and energy on your fitness. 

He’s so convincing that people might come up and tell you how lucky you are to have him. This either reinforces your rationalisation for him being a decent dad. Or it pinches because only you know how little he cares about your happiness.


He lives vicariously through you.

Part of the reason why a narcissistic father invests so much into their child’s endeavours is so that they can bring him pride. As a result, he won’t see you as an individual. Instead, he treats you like an extension of himself. Your wins swell his ego, and your failures enrage him.

He wants you always to agree, obey, and make his dreams your own. Maybe you had a hobby, and he turned it into a competition of becoming the best at it. Before you realised it, something you used to love puts so much pressure on you that you hate it now.


He blames your mother for his flaws.

If anyone were to criticise or give feedback to the narcissistic dad regarding his behaviour, he’d always find someone or something else to blame. Typically, these fathers choose their spouses to be the scapegoat. He’ll go on and on about how your mom is to blame for all his shortcomings.


He doesn’t attend to your emotional needs.

A characterising trait of narcissists is a general lack of empathy. They are unable to recognise the needs and feelings of others. Moreover, as fathers, narcissists are emotionally unavailable to their children.

Your dad might invalidate your emotions, make you feel guilty for feeling them and minimise them. Then, if you try to address the issue, he defends himself by saying he does so much for your physical needs and that you’re ungrateful.


He alienates you from your mother.

A narcissistic father will encourage you to disrespect your mother. He may lie to you or say things in an attempt to get you to pick sides. It’s sad because children can adore both their parents. Affection for one does not take it away from the other. But narcissists cannot grasp this concept, so they try to manipulate their kids.


He loves being the centre of attention.

The tricky thing about narcissists is that from a distance, they seem very charming and charismatic. Outsiders will only see the attractive side of a narcissistic father because of his confidence and conversation skills.

As long as he has an audience, he will be on his best behaviour. Narcissists need to feel admired by others. But as soon as the attention is gone, he’ll go back to being disrespectful.


He has frequent anger outbursts.

The most authentic emotion a narcissist can feel is rage. Whenever a father with narcissistic traits feels threatened, he will be livid. It doesn’t take much to make him angry. Sometimes, you’re not even sure what provoked him. More often than not, the cause is some kind of feedback, non-compliance, or other people’s achievements.

Does your father seem to show any of these signs? Did our descriptions remind you of his behaviour? If so, then a narcissist may be raising you. Again, consulting a mental health professional can help you figure out how to handle it better.

Let us know in the comments if you found this a helpful video. 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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