Like every part of the narcissist’s relationship with life, their relationship with money is complicated. Money is a way they can manipulate and control how other people perceive them. They want to be seen as successful in every way, including financially. That’s why your narcissistic mother wants money, but why she keeps asking you for money is another complicated issue.
Your narcissistic mother wants to live vicariously through you. The money helps with that, and getting it from you lets her keep manipulating you. Narcissistic parents are always overly connected to their children, and since they don’t see you as separate from them, taking your money is no problem.
If you have a narcissistic mother, you already know how complicated the relationship is, but when it comes to money matters, she can easily make matters worse. She will keep taking everything she can from you, and it’s vital you understand the reasons for her behavior so you can make the best decision on how to respond.
Why Does My Narcissistic Mother Want Money from Me?
Money is a tool that narcissists use to boost their image. They want to seem successful and it takes money to do that. But more than that, the narcissistic parent uses money to control and manipulate their children.
I remember my narcissistic mother always made me painfully aware of how much she sacrificed for me. While she had no problem buying the most extravagant items for herself, even the most inexpensive and necessary school supplies that I needed were always a burden.
She took great pains to make me aware that she was spending money for my sake, and she let me know I should be eternally grateful. In your narcissistic mother’s eyes, when she asks you for money, it’s your duty to give it to her because it pays her back for all she spent on you in your childhood.
Narcissists also see the people in their lives as mere extensions of themselves, and so, if your narcissistic mother is asking for money, well it’s just as if she’s taking it from her own pocket. She uses asking you for money as a way to stay bonded to you and continue to manipulate and control you.
If you refuse her request, she is likely to make your life miserable. You’ll end up telling yourself that it’s easier to just give her the money than to fight with her about it. That’s exactly what she wants you to think.
Whether she needs the money or not, it’s a way to stay connected and to get you to continuously feed her narcissistic needs. She can continue to spend extravagantly on herself at your expense. She can also brag about turning you into a successful adult with her exceptional mothering. It serves several purposes that suit her personality disorder just fine.
Why Does My Narcissistic Mother Like Money?
To a narcissist of any kind, money is something they can use to show the world how superior they are by showcasing their success. Of course, some narcissists are objectively wealthy and some are struggling, but to the narcissist money represents something more than simply a way to pay for things.
For the narcissist, money is something that can give them security, power, freedom, admiration, and all of that can boost their self-esteem. There is much more connected to money for the narcissist than simply meeting their needs for survival and having the things they love.
In fact, your narcissistic mother likely views money as a way to buy love, happiness, and friendship, and to manipulate the people around them. They can use money to show everyone they know how special and superior they are.
They can also use your success and the money you make for the same purpose. If you have enough money to loan some to your mother, that just shows what a great mother she is, and it shows everyone how much you love her. It’s much more than a way for her to get her material and financial needs met.
Why are Narcissists So Greedy?
Narcissists are generally very greedy. They are reluctant to spend any money on anyone, even their closest loved ones. Their greed is not just about self-preservation; it’s also indicative of their lack of empathy.
Narcissists don’t see any benefits in sharing or giving away resources even if it is to their children. Remember, you’re nothing more than an extension of your narcissistic mother, and so, in her eyes, you should be able to enjoy the fact that she is able to buy what she wants and needs.
She doesn’t see it as her responsibility to take care of you, she sees it as your responsibility to cater to her needs. She expects that you will do what she wants, and she will try to manipulate you into doing just that.
What’s more, narcissists are very competitive. They are the ultimate example of people who are driven to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ If she gives something to you, your narcissistic mother believes that she will be ‘less than’ other people around her.
Additionally, in her mind, if she gives you something, you’re likely to try to take advantage of her generosity going forward. I can remember my mother telling me on many occasions not to let a gift she had given me ‘go to my head.’
In her mind, I was already taking advantage of her kindness. While she hardly gave me a penny to spend on things I needed to have, she had no problem buying something extravagant that she had absolutely no need for.
In fact, her choices for what she would buy were often confusing to me and seemed erratic at times. This is a common way for children of narcissistic parents to feel about their mother’s financial choices.
Are Narcissists Bad with Money?
Narcissists are often very bad with money, but sometimes, it’s by design. One of the hallmarks of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a sense of entitlement. They believe they deserve all of the good things in life without having to work for them.
That’s why they can make capricious financial decisions, and they will often do unethical things to ensure they can keep spending as they please. Many a narcissist has been accused of lying, stealing, embezzlement, and other financial crimes.
They frequently justify their financial decisions by exclaiming that they deserved what they were buying with that money. Additionally, narcissists don’t like delayed gratification. When they want something, they want it now, and that can result in numerous financial problems.
They don’t think in terms of the consequences of their actions. They believe they can’t make any mistakes, and if something happens, others are to blame. It’s not uncommon for narcissists to end up filing for bankruptcy given the way they handle money. It’s also not uncommon for them to ask family and friends for money until those sources are fully depleted.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself Financially from My Narcissistic Mother?
The quick answer is to set strong boundaries and enforce them consistently. She will use every trick in her considerable repertoire to get you to give her what she wants, but you have to simply deny her.
This isn’t easy because you’ve been manipulated all your life. She knows your emotional triggers – because she helped create most of them – and she will use them to get what she wants. As narcissistic abuse survivor Lucy Morey notes, you may even want to “Retain a lawyer to write your mother a polite letter requesting her not to contact you regarding money again.”
In some cases, it may be necessary to go no-contact with her to keep her from being able to emotionally abuse you. If you don’t want that to happen, you have to find a way to set and maintain those strong boundaries.
There are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are a few ideas:
- Record every penny you loan her, and insist she pay it back.
- Don’t give her access to any of your financial institutions or platforms where you can spend and receive money like PayPal, for example. If she has access, immediately change all of your passwords and don’t share them with her.
- If you have shared accounts with her, separate your money immediately from hers and open your own, private account.
- Tell her the bank is closed and that she will have to find money elsewhere. If she is financially dependent on you, put her on a strict allowance and insist she live within a budget you set up for her.
These ideas are just a place to start, and you can rest assured, she will be enraged by them. But take care of your own needs because she can financially ruin you.
There are many reasons above and beyond neediness that your narcissist mother will ask you for money. It’s a way to stay connected to you, and it’s a way for her to continue manipulating you. She will also use the money to prop up her false self-image and manipulate other people in her life. To stop her, you have to set strong boundaries and consistently enforce them. You may even need to go no-contact to save yourself from financial ruin.
If you can’t go no-contact with your narcissistic mother, then you’re going to need to know how to best deal with her manipulation and emotional abuse. You need resources and these 13 effective books on dealing with a narcissistic mother can help.
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