I have to say I don’t have the fondest memories of holidays where I had to give my mother a gift. It seemed that I could never really give her what she wanted, and she had no problem letting me know that I did NOT get it right! If you’re wondering what are the best gifts for a narcissistic mother, well, here are some things to consider.
Narcissists like to be the center of attention, but interestingly, they’re often weird about gifts. It’s not unusual for them to get angry about you even giving them a gift. But, if you give them a gift that makes them feel good about themselves, you can make them happy and make yourself smile too!
There is a way to give a narcissistic mother a gift that will make her beam while at the same time giving you a little secret to smile about too. To truly understand what you can give your narcissistic mother that she’ll like, you have to understand a little better why she’s so weird about it. Read on to learn more about gift-giving and narcissism and discover what are the best gifts to give a narcissistic mother.
What are Good Gifts for a Narcissistic Mother?
The kinds of gifts that are good for a narcissistic mother include those gifts that call attention to how great she is. These are the kinds of gifts she will happily accept. For example, you might give her a mug that says something like, “Mom, you are forever young!”
She will adore this kind of gift and even brag about it. What’s even better is that only you will know there is a hidden message in it. Another way to interpret that message is, “Mom, you are an eternal toddler!”
Another example is a beautiful framed inscription for her that says, “Mom, my wish for you is that you get everything you deserve.” Once again, there’s a passive aggressive message behind this seemingly loving message. You are the only one who knows exactly what you think she deserves.
These kinds of gifts are ones that will make her feel proud, but they are also something you can truly believe when you give them to her. It’s a passive aggressive move, but your only other options are to either give her openly aggressive gifts or give her nothing at all.
If you choose the latter two options, be ready to receive the narcissistic rage that will come your way. Of course, if your plan is to go no contact, you can go out in style with a gift that tells her exactly how you really feel.
These gifts are also truly the only way to give her something she will like and truly be proud to show her friends. But that doesn’t mean you should expect a lot of praise from her for your gift.
How are Narcissists Weird About Gifts?
If you’ve had a relationship with a narcissist, you know they can be weird about giving gifts. There are, however, a few different ways they can be weird about it. Here are several examples:
- They don’t give you anything at all. My mother used to claim that when she was a child, they never exchanged gifts, ever – not for Christmas or birthdays or any other special day. She used this as an excuse to never get me anything.
- They give you something random or cheap. This is a way they can show you that you don’t really mean anything to them. You have no importance. In effect, it’s a way to devalue you.
- They give over-the-top gifts to show how generous or tasteful or wonderful they are so they can ingratiate themselves to you or others. They often do this not for you, but to show everyone around them how generous they are.
- They get one for you and one for themselves. They are always thinking about themselves, and they don’t want you to feel very important in the relationship. Getting a gift for you and themselves is a way to emphasize your unimportance.
- There are always strings attached. No matter what a narcissist gives you, there will always be strings attached to the gift. They fully expect to get something in return whether that something is your undying love or your sense of gratitude, both of which they will manipulate to get what they want.
I remember the times I gave my mother a gift when I thought I had gotten the perfect gift for her. I was expecting her delight, but instead I would receive a heaping helping of narcissistic rage. I just couldn’t understand it, but I later learned something that helped me to understand.
Why are Narcissists Weird About Gifts?
My mother was raised by a narcissist herself, and since gifts from a narcissist always come with strings attached, she came to resent any gifts her own mother would give her. Now, she uses gifts to manipulate the people around her too.
Narcissists are famous for believing that you think just like they do, and so, when I would give my mother a gift, she believed I was trying to manipulate her just like her mother used to do. That triggered a narcissistic injury, and that’s why she would become enraged.
Additionally, narcissists need to constantly be the center of attention to feel good about themselves. They want all eyes to be on them all the time. When you give them a gift that is a really good gift, if they compliment you on it, it takes the attention off of them and puts it on you. That’s something they never want to do.
That’s why they will often let you know what a terrible gift you have given them. They will waste no time in acting as though it is the worst gift they’ve ever received or they will let you know they are going to have to exchange it for any number of reasons. There’s almost no way to win when you need to give a gift to a narcissist. Almost.
What to Expect When You Give Your Narcissistic Mother a Gift
When you give your narcissistic mother a gift, the best you can expect is a stilted expression of thanks which will likely be followed by suspicion that you now expect something from her that she’s not prepared to give to you. There’s almost nothing you can get her that will make her show you the kind of appreciation you might want.
Narcissists are not capable of showing the kind of gratitude that healthy people are capable of expressing. If you give her something like the ‘hidden messages’ above, she might brag about them to her friends because they seem to show your love and admiration for her. This is, after all, exactly what any narcissist wants.
She won’t, however, show profound gratitude or appreciation to you. Doing so would make her feel as though she owes you something, and she will only resent any perceived strings attached. If you choose to go with another strategy, be prepared for her rage.
Getting her something that is openly hostile will only provoke attacks on you as a response. If you try to get her you think she will really want, her response will disappoint you. She may tell you it’s too expensive or she may proceed to point out why it’s all wrong. It could be the wrong size or color or type. She’ll find something.
If you give up and get her nothing, that, too, will provoke a rageful response. She will berate you for being a thankless child who never appreciated all she has done for you. Of course, if you’re planning on going no contact, you can always do as L.W. Hawksby, author of Dangerous Normal People, advises and give her the gift of “you waving goodbye.”
Gift-giving, like everything else with a narcissist, is complicated. You’re traversing a veritable minefield as you try to figure out how to please your narcissistic mother.
The answer may ultimately be as simple as just please yourself, but if you feel you must give her something and don’t want to deal with a rageful response, make it something that shows everyone how much you adore her and how great she is.
Now that you understand your narcissistic mother a little more, you’ll also want to learn about how to deal with her manipulation. You need to read this post about dealing with your narcissistic parent. It has some vital insights that will help you understand her better and respond to her abuse.
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