What are the issues that adult children of narcissists face?

This article focused on showing you what are the issues that adult children of narcissists need to face throughout their life. It also explained what is the best way for them to deal with this situation.

What are the issues that adult children of narcissists face?  

If you are the child of a narcissist, you certainly have been dealing with one or more of these issues.

You tend to try to please people too much 

Children that were raised by narcissistic parents know all too well the consequence of not obeying their parent’s requests. They know all about the rage that comes with it, and the very palpable chance of abuse, be it physical, or emotional.

This may have led the child of the narcissist parent to behave as if they were escaping land mines, and to deal with that, they may have learned to develop the useful skill of pleasing people. They may have been led to believe that the only way they can be well treated is if they do everything the person desires.

As a consequence, the adult children of narcissistic people have a lot of difficulties setting boundaries. So if at any moment they are requested to do something that goes against their ideas of right and wrong, they will waste no time in running over their boundaries, and show how they are always happy to do whatever others request of them as a way to avoid conflict.

Another matter in this context is that narcissistic parents will often tell their children, or show it through their actions, that they are feeling, and needs are not important. This leads them to believe that what they need can be ignored, and at the time they ignore their desires, making them even more open to accepting and taking care of the needs of others.

You are constantly doubting yourself 

If you were raised by a narcissistic parent chances are you are always doubting yourself. That can happen as a consequence of years and years of gaslighting brought on by your parents. This manipulation technique that is often used by narcissists focuses on causing the person to question their sanity.

As they use this technique, you may have not developed the proper tools to listen to yourself and validate that your perception is right. They are taught that they should silence their inner voice and only trust whatever the narcissist is telling them.

And this makes for perfect prey for the narcissist. Someone that doesn’t question what is being done and if their intuition ever tells them something is wrong, they will simply shut it down. This made you extremely vulnerable to the abuses of the narcissist.

You always feel guilty or ashamed when you are in the spotlight 

Being raised by a narcissist can often impact how you see yourself. It can lead you to one of two paths: you can either become the person that will constantly self-sabotage, or it will cause you to work towards being perfect.

That is because the adult child of the narcissistic parent will often try, in whatever way they can, to avoid being criticized. You may have this constant feeling inside you that you are not good enough, so you are always trying to prove yourself, and that you are worth it.

This can lead you to feel guilty, or even ashamed whenever you do something good. You may feel like you need to hide your accomplishments, and you have been taught your whole life that the bad times are just around the corner, someone their narcissistic parents may have mistreated them because they were envious of your achievements.

All of this led you to need to prepare yourself for the worst outcome possible, rather than valuing what is going great at the moment.

You usually see yourself in abusive relationships, and you swing between anxious and avoidant styles of attachment 

Because of how you were raised, you have likely developed a pattern of getting yourself in relationships that are similar to the one you had with your narcissistic pattern. It is also during your forming years that you develop your attachment style which will determine how you will connect to other people. 

There are four types of attachment styles, and a person that has been raised by a narcissist will most likely have an avoidant, or an anxious attachment style. Both of them are insecure ways to connect to people, when a person has a secure attachment style they can value intimacy, and contact with others, but are also able to explore the world on their own.

As a child of a narcissist, you may have an anxious preoccupied attachment, which makes you constantly worry if the person in your life will leave you, and you try in any way you can to keep them close. You look for a savior in a relationship and often become dependent on your partner.

The dismissive-avoidant is the person that is often distant in relationships. They often focus on their independence and feel like having someone in their life will make them lose themselves. Finally, the fearful-avoidant wants intimacy, but when people get close, they get so scared that they push the person away.

If that is what happens to you and your relationships, you may need to work on yourself to change the way you connect to people.

You feel worthless

When you were raised by a narcissistic parent you likely have the notion that you are different from the people around you. And that is not perceived positively. You feel constantly ashamed, and fearful, and are constantly thinking negative things about yourself.

All of this can lead you to the pervasive idea that you are worthless. You feel like everything that comes from you has no value at all, and that your desires and needs are not important.

You may have endured so much abuse and so much negative talk about you that it may be difficult to not believe what has been said for all those years. This violence makes it extremely difficult for you to set apart what is right and what isn’t in this behavior, making you believe that you deserved what was done to you.

How can I cope with being the adult child of a narcissist?

If you have been raised by a narcissistic parent, and wish to move past what was done to you, you should know that it is possible. It is not a simple process, but it is possible to heal from these wounds.

For that, in most cases, it is recommended that the person takes part in a therapy process. Through that, you will be able to learn more about yourself without the influence of the years of abuse, learn how to validate your thoughts and feelings, and that they are important.

It may also be a way to deal with your patterns of relationship so hopefully, you will be able to connect to people in a more secure, and positive way than the relationship with your narcissistic parent.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are the issues that adult children of narcissists face? 

Is there a cure for narcissism?

No, there is no cure for being a narcissist. What can happen is that, at some point, when facing some problems their narcissistic traits are causing them, they can often look for treatment. In that case, it will be therapy.

With their therapist, they will learn how to adjust the expectations they have of others, and on themselves. Aside from that, they can also learn how to trace more appropriate goals for themselves to avoid getting constantly frustrated.

In some cases, it may be necessary for the narcissist to follow through with a psychiatrist and even take medication sometimes. Those may not be because they will help with the narcissistic traits, but rather with other conditions that narcissists may struggle with, like depression, or the abuse of alcohol, or substance.

What is an echoist?

An echoist is a person that is more susceptible to developing a relationship with a narcissist. That can often happen because of their personality traits. They can often be people that have trouble living life, and existing on their own, so they will often be more than glad to give all their time and attention to the narcissistic person.

What are altruistic narcissists?

Altruistic narcissist sees themselves as great caregiver and always has it on their mind that they are doing all they can to help others. It is this notion that will inflate their ego, and lead them to feel important.

As they care for people, they often expect to be praised, and recognized for how generous, and giving they are.

Will a narcissist get worse with age?

Yes, the personality traits of a narcissist will likely just get worse with old age. As they get older, it is common for their narcissistic personality traits to become more and more intense, so they will likely crave to have more control over others, they will be bossy, and if anyone tries to stand up against them, they can become defensive.

What will a narcissist do when they can’t control you anymore?

If at any moment a narcissist realizes that they don’t have any control over you anymore, you should know that it will have a deep impact on how they feel. But their reaction will likely depend on how they saw the relationship with you at the moment.

If the narcissist was already considering discarding you because they realized you are no longer fulfilling what they expected of you, they can do just that, and easily let you go. Or they will sometimes just work on getting you back so they can leave you, and not the other way around.

But if a narcissist realizes they have lost control over you, and that is something they still desire, they will use as many manipulation techniques as they can. 

They can try to gaslight you to make you question your senses. They can even go as far as bad-mouthing you to other people. In this case, they will spare no energy to try to get you back to their control,


This article showed what are the biggest issues that adult children of narcissists have to deal with. It also explained what is the best way to handle these situations.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.



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