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100 Red Flags Of A Narcissistic Mother

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

Have you ever wondered if your mother or your Mother-In-Law was a toxic parent?

Chances are you or your beloved romantic interest might be a Narcissistic Abuse survivor, raised by a self-centered, egotistical, vain, and ultimately self-aggrandizing mother.

While the list comprehensively describes a handful of typical behaviors by narcissistic or mildly anti-social Narcopaths, understand that to an infant, toddler, child, teen, young adult, or adult child of a Narcissist or Narcopath, growing up spending a lifetime striving to please such unpleasable people can truly be socially, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually devastating. Chances are you probably saw some of these Red Flags Of A Narcissistic Mother.

Red Flags Of A Narcissistic Mother

The 100 most commonly reported Red Flags Of A Narcissistic Mother or Father.

1. Narcissistic mothers flatter people they want to impress by giving them an excessive amount of compliments, flattery, attention, money, gifts, or time—while leaving their preferred abuse target feeling left out, estranged, alienated, disrespected, unloved, unwanted, and comprehensively feeling unappreciated; the game is used to manufacture sibling rivalries and triangulations that keep the abusive parent holding all the emotional validation cards.

2. Narcissistic mothers cannot admit faults or flaws; they say, “I don’t have any,” and mean it seriously.

3. The ultimate hypocrites and situational abusers, narcissistic mothers, are not true to the values and norms of society; they are lacking in character.

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4. Narcissistic mothers and mothers-in-law [or MILs] compulsively, by both habit and nature, tend to disrespect you overtly as well as covertly; they do not return your telephone call(s), ignore you, and avoid you unless they want or need something, treating you in an utterly dismissive fashion when and if you need something but hawking your tail when they are aggrieved.

5. They refuse to deal with issues in the relationship you bring up, including but not limited to their role in the family as a grandparent, mother-in-law, or aging senior citizen as a parent.

6. MILs and toxic parents blame you for their errant and callous actions when you’re inevitably upset because of something they did to you or failed to do that directly impacted you, your family, your romantic partner, or the kids.

What is a malignant narcissist? 12 signs to spot them

7. Many covertly narcissistic parents or in-laws may present themselves as overly agreeable (even doting) at first when and if plans are being made, but inevitably, they always find a way not to cooperate respectfully.

8. Toxic moms unilaterally try to make you feel guilty when you’re concerned about something they did to disrespect you directly; masterful at blame-shifting, they perpetually expect an apology from their victims.

9. The most toxic of parents use ridiculing or shaming “humor” to invalidate and disempower other people; harmful moms and toxic fathers tend to enjoy teaming up to make fun of their offspring, doing things like making fun of voice, face, or life decisions in a ridiculing mock-joking but sincerely cruel, sadistic, and ultimately demoralizing of all possible manners.

10. puts you down or leaves everyone around them consistently feeling unappreciated and insulted.

11. Blame the world and anyone else they can think of for their problems—especially their spouse, parents, people they stereotype, and their children.

12. Show up late for appointments, pull disappearing acts without warning, or cancel plans without warning or valid excuse—typically always at essential times or the last minute.

13. Expects you to always come to them, do for them, and bring for them, rather than offering any reciprocity or adult versions of the respectful social dynamics of “give-and-take.”.

14. Fails to acknowledge or address your concerns regarding the relationship or interactions.

15. They are actively addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, etc., and do not care about the effects of these behaviors on the mental and emotional health of their offspring.

16. Narcissistic mothers need an excessive amount of attention or high regard from those around them.

17. They are continually worried about position or rank.

18. They are overly competitive.

19. They put you down in any way.

Red Flags Of A Narcissistic Parent

20. Try to make you envious by rubbing your nose in their good fortune.

21. I seem to be envious of you.

22. Set up outings with your other friends without inviting you.

23. Try to create triangles by involving third parties in your disagreements.

24. Talk behind your back or gossip about others.

25. Continually down, depressed, and having catastrophes.

26. Try to leave you out of the crowd.

27. Refrain from acknowledging your needs.

28. Fail to look you in the eye when you’re talking. (Look over your shoulder at others instead.)

29. Lack compassion for what you’re going through.

30. Refuse to share about themselves equally.

31. Label you or stereotype you.

32. Refuse to acknowledge mistakes.

33. Refuse to apologize for wrongs.

34. Acts entitled to special treatment.

35. Manipulative.

36. NMs lie and exaggerate constantly.

37. Downplay your accomplishments.

38. By your side when you’re down, then withdraws from you when you’re doing well.

39. They are defensive about everything they do.

40. Refuse to validate your perception of reality.

41. Attempt to tell you how you feel or how you are.

42. Criticize constantly.

43. They act like they worship the ground you walk on one day, then like you don’t exist the next.

44. It makes you feel worthless.

45. orders you or bosses you around.

46. are overly reliant on other people.

47. They won’t go out of their way for you, even when you go out of your way for them.

48. Ignore your texts, emails, or calls at any time as a covert method of showing disrespect.

49. Narcissistic mothers do not support you socially or emotionally more than physically or financially.

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50. Belittles your ambitions.

51. Speak negatively about your friends, job, or life.

52. She acts like she is always in a hurry, with very little time for you.

53. acts like she is doing you a favor by talking or listening to you.

54. treats you as less than if you do not adhere to their dogma, religion, or doctrine.

55. Talks badly about those who are mentally ill, sick, or hurting.

56. They try to turn you into their administrative assistant (call to remind me, pick up my cleaning).

57. Confusing attitudes that change day by day.

58. Does not keep their word (hardly ever) or answer a direct yes or no request for a promise with a dismissive remark like “We’ll see…” (meaning any bid will be ignored and the other person’s need invalidated).

59. seems to be more interested in power than in the relationship.

60. seems more concerned about what others think than your relationship.

61. Treats you as though she is angry without explaining.

62. Knowingly makes comments contrary to your convictions to bait or slight you.

63. Tries to change you.

64. Insults your body, clothing, personality, or anything about you.

65. She is not available when you need her most.

66. Can only talk about surface, materialistic, or vain topics.

67. Do not do what you want to do. It would help if you always controlled your time together.

68. They do not share information they have that may help you excel in life.

69. Constantly complains or whines.

70. Has anger issues, rages, and hates.

41 Manipulation Tactics Used by Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sociopaths

71. Plays games such as striving to triangulate you with family and family, meddling in your marriage, or seeking to estrange you from your children.

72. Narcissistic moms are relentlessly judgmental, knowing better than God.

73. Continues to ask the same question after you’ve told them you don’t want to answer it.

74. Chews you out or makes snide comments routinely as a “stress reliever” for their tensions (typically while striving to make themselves feel more in control of life or consequential).

75. Controlling every aspect of social interactions—constantly demanding, always spoiling a positive mood by intentionally setting an attention-grabbing tone.

76. Uses money, withholding of affection, or flattery to control you.

77. It tells you what to do, how to think, and what to feel.

78. Tells you one thing, then denies she said it or pathologically lies at will to their advantage; convenient memory syndrome.

79. Bring up your faults, flaws, or past mistakes constantly while never once admitting or factoring in the potential influence on you of their own.

80. Bring up topics every time you see them that they know you’d rather not discuss.

81. Blows up and flies off the handle for no reason.

82. Always needs to be in the center of attention and command.

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83. Cool toward you when you succeed, get attention, or look good.

84. A taker who is never pleased or satisfied with what they get.

85. challenges everything you say.

86. Negative, undermining, and always critical.

87. Black or white thinking—no gray area.

88. Moves too fast; wants to become instant friends or lovers in relationships.

89. Ignores your human rights boundaries consistently and without apparent remorse.

90. Exploits you for her gain, always at your expense of time, emotion, and physical labor.

91. Idealizes you (setting up her imaginary version of who or what she thinks you should have been capable of doing or should as a personality type should be), then thrashes you for not meeting “expectations.”.

92. acts pompous towards you.

93. Acts condescendingly towards you.

94. Agree with your adversaries instead of supporting you.

95. Acts like they know more than you and better than you about what you need to do in your life.

96. Bitter, vindictive, or vengeful.

97. Selfish, stingy, or petty.

98. Rushes you to make significant and minor life decisions without considering giving you time to figure things out on your own and make decisions in your own best interest.

99. Withholds affection or engages in a pattern of providing intermittent reinforcement.

100. Kicks you hardest and most mercilessly whenever you come to them for advice or when they even begin to suspect you’re psychologically, physically, or emotionally down.

What is a Malignant Narcissist? 12 Signs to spot them

41 Manipulation Tactics Used By Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sociopaths

Growing up with a narcissistic parent summary

If your mother or female role model behaved in such ways either toward you or in front of you as a child, understand that while you were raised by a toxic person who abused you and that they had a personality type likely to have caused them to use and abuse any other human being who came into contact with them during their lifetime, too.

If your parent failed to address your emotional needs, abused or neglected you physically, failed to protect you sexually or to be there for you as a supportive person psychologically, learning how to spot the red flags and warning signs a person with a Cluster B personality type is even in the room with you is essential for you to do.

Adult children of toxic parents tend to take on people-pleaser attributes early in life if they are not destined to grow up to be active, malicious, and purposeful ABUSERS.

Learning how to spot warning signs of abuse can help an adult child make better choices in life about how to socialize within their friendship circles, as well as develop skill sets to help them disengage from abusive or toxic relationships.

But spotting the warning signs is useless if people who are toxic parents or abusive mother-raised figures fail to connect the forensic psychology dots.

The only natural way Narcissistic Abuse victims ever “get well” is through educating themselves.

If one fails to realize toxicity in one’s upbringing or to admit on a logical, purely fact-based social level that mom simply was not right in the head, healing as an adult becomes virtually impossible.

People who claim that emphatic people are “too sensitive,” not living in the “real world,” or “need to toughen up” show clear indications they have themselves been raised by people with Cluster B personality disorders.

Break the cycle of Narcissistic Abuse by refusing to capitulate to their bullying or toxic shaming rituals.

Mommy Dearest might have an obsession with wire hangers, but that does not mean you have to take on her dysfunction.

Similarly, a loving and kind human being should in no way, shape, or form be feeling guilty about wanting and desiring to have a loving, mutually beneficial, and respectable relationship with a birth parent.

Whether or not a child of a toxic mother likes it, the sole responsibility for the emotional care and nurturing of their own inner child’s needs falls squarely on their shoulders — never at the feet of an angry, irrational, dictatorial, short-sighted, tunnel-visioned, or abusive parent. Sometimes the best way to “honor thy mother” is to refuse to tolerate or put up with her bullshit.

One can love a parent and remain in little to no contact with that person indefinitely as an act of kind, loving, and respectful service.

If you make your parent miserable to be around and they are the type of human being who won’t hesitate to remind you of their low opinion of you at every social opportunity, then limiting their ability to have functional access to harm you can be the most loving of acts.

Let them figure out in their senior years why having a loving family unit that enjoys your company is beneficial.

If they need help figuring out how to be decent and genuinely understand, SO BE IT.

Their personality, lifestyle, habits, and decisions about how to treat others are a moral and social responsibility, having absolutely nothing to do with their children’s lives.

We all die alone, solely responsible for how we choose to live our lives as human beings.

Take back any power you may have accidentally given away to a toxic parent by loving them enough to improve your own life and theirs by seriously staying as far away as you can from them without forgetting to do the emotional clean-up work necessary daily to help YOU — as the victim of a lifetime of abuse and emotional neglect— to get over having been raised by them.

While the types of personality characteristics listed below might be ones replicated by men (including but not limited to toxic fathers, Enabling Henchmen, and abusive love interests), the extreme duress a MOMMY DEAREST type mother figure places on her offspring by engaging in the following garish, attention-seeking antics are some of the most psycho-socially cruel ways in which to invalidate a child’s rights.

Such forms of extreme Narcissistic Abuse can functionally cripple any age child of a mother who thinks her own selfish needs should be met at the expense of all others she elects to harm.

It’s never a child’s fault or moral responsibility to cover for a parent choosing to act egocentrically, nor is it a child’s duty to kiss the ring of a family matriarch hell-bent on promoting her own needs over the interest of the family unit or community at large.

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Read More about Narcissist Abuse and Domestic Violence

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

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