You’ve probably discovered that interacting with your narcissistic mother is a veritable minefield. One wrong move, and she flies into a rage, attacking you at every turn. It’s frustrating and damaging to your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. That’s why it’s critical to know what to do, and even more importantly, what not to do to keep the peace.
Here are 11 things you should never do when you’re around your narcissistic mother:
- Don’t Underestimate Her
- Don’t Give Her Any More Ammunition
- Don’t Personalize Her Actions or Words
- Don’t Minimize Her Behavior
- Don’t Justify Your Behavior
- Don’t Defend Yourself
- Don’t Accept What She Says at Face Value
- Don’t Expect She Will Be Loyal to You
- Don’t Look for Empathy
- Don’t Try to Beat Her
- Don’t Trust Her
The key to managing your relationship with your narcissistic mother is knowing what you need to avoid doing so that you don’t provoke her rage or give her ammunition to use against you. Read on to learn more about these 11 things you must never do when you’re around a narcissistic mother.
1. Don’t Underestimate Her
It’s easy to think she’s a little crazy, but you should never underestimate your narcissistic mother. Narcissists have plenty of mental problems, but they are not stupid. What’s more, they are very adept at spotting weaknesses in the people around them and using those weaknesses to manipulate and control them.
If you don’t watch yourself very carefully around your narcissistic mother, she will see where you are vulnerable. She will use that knowledge to push your buttons and control your behavior every chance she gets. That’s why you should watch everything you say and do around her.
2. Don’t Give Her Any More Ammunition
Your narcissistic mother has known you all your life, and she has helped shape you into the person you are today. She already knows too much about your weaknesses and how to manipulate you.
Don’t give her any more ammunition to use against you. Watch what you tell her, and keep your private thoughts to yourself. You cannot confide in her, so don’t tell her any more about what frightens you.
3. Don’t Personalize Her Actions or Words
This is difficult to do because it’s your mother, but her behavior really has very little to do with you. Your narcissistic mother is driven by her own deep-seated insecurities, shame, and self-loathing.
Your narcissistic mother lives in constant fear that her flawed true self will be revealed to the world. Everything she does is geared toward preventing that from happening. It’s not about you, so don’t personalize what she says or does. As psychologist Nakpangi Thomas writes, “Accepting who they are will reduce your anxiety.”
4. Don’t Minimize Her Behavior
While what your narcissistic mother says and does is not personal, that doesn’t mean you should minimize her behavior. What she does to you is damaging and hurtful, and you need to find ways to process your emotions about that and heal those wounds.
Your mother has a huge effect on who you become. You need to take what she does seriously and work hard to heal yourself from the abuse she heaped on you.
5. Don’t Justify Your Behavior
If you go down the road of justifying your behavior, your narcissistic mother has already won the battle. If you try to do that, she will know she has you right where she wants you, and the manipulation and control will just get worse.
Additionally, your narcissistic mother will never feel you are justified for anything you do. In her mind, the only thing you should be doing is exactly what she wants you to do. If you do anything else, no justification will suffice.
6. Don’t Defend Yourself
If you try to fight your narcissistic mother, she will never give in, and she will never accept any responsibility for what she has done. You can’t win with a narcissistic mother, and trying will just encourage her to keep going.
Instead, just calmly walk away without offering any defense or trying to convince her she is wrong. You’ll be happier you did in the long run.
7. Don’t Accept What She Says at Face Value
Never accept what your narcissistic mother says at face value. She always has a hidden agenda. If she is being nice, there is a reason for it. If she compliments you, she wants something.
Narcissists are always trying to manipulate and control you, so don’t believe anything she says. She is working an angle, and it’s better for you to know that ahead of time.
8. Don’t Expect She Will Be Loyal to You
If you think your narcissistic mother will ever defend you and have your back, you need to think again. Narcissists expect loyalty from you, and your mother will harshly criticize you if you don’t back her. But she will never give you the same treatment.
If having your back doesn’t suit her needs, she will throw you under the bus every time. You just can’t expect that she has the same feelings of loyalty that healthy people do.
9. Don’t Look for Empathy
The hallmark trait of a narcissist is their lack of empathy. They don’t have the ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes and imagine how they would feel. Your narcissistic mother can’t imagine the damage she is doing to you.
She simply doesn’t have the ability to imagine how she would feel in your place. It’s part of why she can treat you so badly without any sense of remorse.
10. Don’t Try to Beat Her
You can’t beat a narcissist at their own game. To do that, you would have to be a narcissist yourself. People who are not narcissists have empathy and can imagine the impact of their actions on other people.
You’ll never be able to be as cold and cruel as she is. If you try, she will beat you every time. It’s better to avoid provoking her rage by simply walking away. You’ll be happier than if you try to win at her game.
11. Don’t Trust Her
No matter what your narcissistic mother says or promises, you cannot trust her to follow through on it. She doesn’t feel as if she owes you anything, and no matter what she promises, she will have no compunction about simply not doing it.
What’s more, narcissists lie all the time, and they don’t see a problem with that. They are only concerned with getting what they need, and if lying achieves that goal, they will promise the moon and deliver nothing.
What Should You Do?
If you can’t go no-contact with a narcissistic mother, then the best you can try to do is minimize your contact with her. Keep your emotions under control at all times when you do interact with her, and don’t let her provoke a confrontation.
If you can get your emotional triggers under control, you can stop her abuse. If she doesn’t get a rise out of you, she will lose interest in trying to manipulate and control you. It’s difficult to do, however, and you’ll have to process and heal many of the old wounds she has created to be successful.
There are few types of parents more damaging than a narcissistic mother. She is exactly the opposite of what a mother should be. She is selfish, manipulative, and controlling. She can be extremely cruel one minute and swing wildly back to being incredibly loving the next. It’s devastating for your own self-esteem and emotional stability.
If you can’t go no-contact, you’ll want to read this post about how to detach from toxic parents. It will give you some valuable insights into managing your relationship with such a toxic parent.
If you want more tips for dealing with narcissists, setting boundaries, and managing emotional triggers, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel