Wondering if your mother (or significant other) is a Narcissist?


If you are wondering whether or not your mother (or partner) is a Narcissist, I found this survey to be quite helpful (not to mention bringing peace of mind). It is from the highly recommended book, “Will I Ever be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Dr. Karyl McBride. Atria Books; Reprint edition (September 8, 2009).

It specifically relates to daughters of narcissistic mothers, but can be applied generally to other relationships, most often partnerships.

All of the following questions relate to Narcissistic traits. The more questions you answer “yes” to, the more likely your mother (or other potential Narcissist in your life) has narcissistic traits, or even Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and this has caused difficulty for you as a growing daughter and adult:

1.When you discuss your life issues with your mother, does she divert the discussion to talk about herself?
2. When you discuss your feelings with your mother, does she she try to top the feeling with her own?
3. Does your mother act jealous of you?
4. Does your mother lack empathy for your feelings?
5. Does your mother only support those things you do that reflect on her as a “good mother?”
6. Have you consistently felt a lack of emotional closeness with your mother?
7. Have you consistently questioned whether or not your mother likes you or loves you?
8. Does your mother only do things for you when others can see?
9. When something happens in your life (accident, illness, divorce), does your mother react with how it will affect her rather than how you feel?
10. Is or was your mother overly conscious of what others think (neighbours, friends, family, co-workers)?
11. Does your mother deny her own feelings?
12. Does your mother blame things on you or others rather than own responsibility for her feelings or actions?
13. Is or was your mother hurt easily and then carried a grudge for a long time without resolving the problem?
14. Do you feel you were a slave to your mother?
15. Do you feel you were responsible for your mother’s ailments or sickness (headaches, stress, illness)?
16. Did you have to take care of your mother’s physical needs as a child?
17. Do you feel unaccepted by your mother?
18. Do you feel your mother was critical of you?
19. Do you feel helpless in the presence of your mother?
20. Are you shamed often by your mother?
21. Do you feel your mother knows the real you?
22. Does your mother act like the world should revolve around her?
23. Do you find it difficult to be a separate person from your mother?
24. Does your mother appear phoney to you?
25. Does your mother want to control your choices?
26. Does your mother swing from egotistical to a depressed mood?
27. Did you feel you had to take care of your mother’s emotional needs as a child?
28. Do you feel manipulated in the presence of your mother?
29. Do you feel valued by mother for what you do rather than who you are?
30. Is your mother controlling, acting like a victim or martyr?
31. Does your mother make you act different from how you really feel?
32. Does your mother compete with you?
33. Does your mother always have to have things her way?

It was a big eye-opener to say the least when I realised that my mother was a narcissist, but it also gave me the opportunity to start healing from all the toxic crap that had been projected on to me for about 43 years. It was freeing and empowering, and life made a lot more sense. The penny had dropped. I went ‘No Contact’ shortly thereafter and have no regrets 8 years later. To have peace in life is priceless to me. Despite the ‘flying monkeys’ ‘hoovering’ and ‘triangulating’ I am not suckered back into the lair, and never will be.

If your own mother has narcissistic traits or NPD, then this falls into the ‘Cluster B’ of personality disorders.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) categorises personality disorders in ‘Clusters’ of A, B and C:

Cluster A are people who have odd, eccentric behaviours. Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal Personalities fall into this cluster.

Cluster B are people who are highly dramatic and erratic, both emotionally and behaviourally. Narcissistic, Histrionic, Borderline, and Antisocial Personality are in this cluster.

Cluster C are personalities who are anxious and fearful. Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality fall into this cluster.

As previously discussed in an earlier post (see https://astrologyworks.com.au/traits-of-narcissism-in-the-birth-chart-some-red-flags/), your mother or person in your life with NPD thinks they are special, acts with an inflated sense of self-importance, seeks attention and admiration, and wants others to look up to them.

Other behaviours include:

  • exaggerating their achievements and abilities
  • a sense of entitlement to be treated better than others
  • exploiting others for personal gain
  • lacking empathy, and
  • looking down at people they feel are “beneath” their status, while being envious of people they consider being “above” them.

The best part for me is knowing it’s not my fault, I know I’m not perfect, but at least I now know that I’m not a totally defective human being. If this is the case for you, practice self-love, learn about co-dependency and denial, challenge your false beliefs and examine early childhood attachment theories (narcissists fall into the insecure attachment styles that are either avoidant or anxious, or some combination of these). Healing from narcissistic abuse will put a halt to repeating the pattern of the Narcissist and Enabler dynamic from our childhoods in our adult relationships, and hoping for the fairytale ending.

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