Sometimes close friends really want to understand, and we can struggle to know how to explain.
Here is my attempt to give comprehensive but not complete examples. If you find this useful by all means print it out to give people.
Narcissistic mothers do the opposite of what real mothers do:
Where real mothers build us up, narcissistic mothers knock us down. They either do it deliberately, for the pleasure of that, if they’re malignant narcissists. Or just carelessly, as collateral damage to their own wishes.
1. Real mothers provide a soft place to fall when their daughters are down and weary. Ours begrudgingly provide a barren concrete slab. Or maybe a mattress of barbed wire, for the fun of adding to our misery.
2. Real mothers see themselves and their daughters as being on the same side. Our mothers see us as the opposition.
3. Real mothers enjoy our company. Narcissistic mothers enjoy our attention.
4. Real mothers see their daughters’ beauty and applaud it. Ours will make sure we know all our flaws.
5. Real mothers want their daughters fulfill all their potential. Ours do not want us outshining them. Unless they want us to do well as a reflection on them. Often they can have both of these desires (“Don’t outshine me but do well to make me look good”) and so we’re in a no-win situation there.
6. Real mothers rejoice in their daughters’ successes. Narcissistic mothers resent them. And/or hijack them.
7. Real mothers mourn for our sorrows. Narcissistic mothers relish the drama of them.
8. Real mothers delight in their daughters. Ours delight in what we can do for them.
9. Real mothers are interested in their daughters’ lives. Ours have no interest in anything outside themselves.
10. Real mothers are kind. Ours are completely selfish.
11. Real mothers are warm. Narcissistic mothers are cold. Except for the heat of anger.
12. Real mothers can be annoying, with foibles and faults. Ours are emotionally and psychologically toxic.
13. Real mothers hold us in their hearts. Narcissistic mothers hold us in contempt.
14. Real mothers can be testy and cranky and short-tempered at times. Our mothers are downright nasty.
15. Real mothers are willing to discuss and compromise. Narcissistic mothers invented my-way-or-highway-ism.
16. Real mothers look for the win-win. Narcissistic mothers insist on the “I win.”
17. Real mothers love their daughters. Our mothers love only themselves.
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