In today’s age of social media and selfies, narcissists can be found in every nook and corner. For those who don’t know, narcissist people have an inflated self-worth, require constant admiration, need everything to be about them and often display a startling lack of empathy for others. While it can be incredibly difficult to deal with a narcissist, the difficulty is multiplied by a hundred when that person happens to be your mother. It is a terrible thing to happen to someone, especially teenagers.
How to Deal With a Narcissistic Mother
Always put on a brave face
You simply cannot afford to have a bleak outlook, especially seeing how your mother derives pleasure from watching you in pain. Being negative or even aggressive in your approach is simply going to make things worse. So when you’re hurt, angry, or annoyed, put on a brave face. When your mom sees she’s not getting any reaction from you, she’s going to dial down on her antics.
Avoid the mind games
It’s the same principle as above. She likes playing mind games, forcing you to go into a corner and behaving in a way she wants you to behave. So, stop taking the bait. Be smart, recognize the game and stop playing it. It’s one of the easiest ways on how to deal with a narcissistic mother.
Make your boundaries clear
Establishing boundaries is essential. Make clear what you can and cannot tolerate (but do so in a calm and non-aggressive manner). The thing is, since narcissists are obtuse by nature, chances are your mom doesn’t even realise when she’s being a bitch to you. So sit down and have a talk with her. In private. Also keep in mind the following tips when confronting her……
Make empathic validations
Affirm your relationship with her before you share a piece of your mind. For example, when telling her how rude she can be, say things like this to her:
“Mom, you know how much I love you. I would go to the ends of the Earth for you, which is why sometimes when you shout at me in front of others, it makes me feel like I'm nothing in your eyes.”
As already mentioned, your mother is probably obtuse to your plight, and if emphatic validations don’t work with her, go a step further. Sit down and talk to her calmly, telling her the stakes are that if a meaningful solution cannot be brought forward to the problem you’re facing because of her, then it might change the way you perceive her, thus forcing you to love her differently. Always keep in mind that when working on how to deal with a narcissistic mother, threats and ultimatums never work. So even if you want to make some threats, do it smartly.
Don’t bother kissing her ass
Narcissists do have large egos, but they generally aren’t that stupid to fall for false flattery. The best you can hope for is to satiate her ego for a short-term. Such actions do not have a long-term impact on your relationship with your mother.
You will always fall short of her expectations, so instead of being hurt with her harsh words, prepare yourself instead. Tell yourself that you’re better than what she says you are and that her words will not matter to you.
Let her think about others' opinions
She doesn’t feel guilt, but she does feel shame. So exploit that. If she fears her reputation being destroyed, it might force her to mend her ways. As already stated above, narcissistic people might be oblivious, but that doesn’t make them stupid. So, this is literally one of the best ways on how to deal with a narcissistic mother.
Tell her it benefits her too
When her well-being is involved, your mother is more likely to be less harsh with you. So the next time you want something from her, ask your question in a manner that makes her believe she’ll benefit in some way too. For example:
“Hey mom, I wanna treat Jeremy to that fancy new restaurant in town. I’ve heard it’s pretty expensive. And when I come back from the treat, you can go ahead and boast to your friends how I managed to not only get a reservation in the hottest new restaurant in town, but managed to pay it as well.”
Of course, this works only if your mother’s narcissism revolves around her social standing. But you get the idea, right?
Take the high road
Think of your mother as a 5-year-old petulant child. She’s just putting on a show because she likes the attention. So long as you’re not in any danger, tolerate her small tantrums as best as you can. Be wise in the battles that you pick. Because sometimes, peace of mind is more important than who is right in an argument.
Never put up with being bullied
This is another very important tip on how to deal with a narcissistic mother. Taking the high road is one thing, but undergoing constant emotional abuse is another thing. Never let yourself be abused. If abuse is a regular occurrence, make sure you have a witness to back up your claim, or at least a hidden video recording of her abusing you. Use that as leverage over her, or better yet, report her to the authorities.
If none of the above tactics work, then just move out of her house. She might have tried to keep you emotionally or financially dependent, just so that it’s difficult for you to move out. But really, isn’t it better to struggle and live a life of your own than to handle constant negativity from her just for a life of comfort?