11 Effective Tips to Overcome Hidden Struggles of Daughters of Covert Narcissist Mothers

Nancy was born after 4 years of her parent’s marriage and like all daughters she always expected a true love from her mother. As the oldest daughter, she recalls her mother’s behavior as hot and cold (Covert Narcissist Mothers). Her father was keen to pamper the children but her mother’s tantrums were never in line with his idea of parenting. Her mother was always telling her husband that over-protection and pampering would spoil the children. Whenever Nancy tries to get closer to her father, all she can remember is jealousy and competition induced by her mother.

She boasts about her style of disciplined parenting, but Nancy always feels unheard and guilty for asking anything from her mother. Nancy felt like she had no say in anything and she had no identity of her own.Now as an adult, when Nancy began her therapeutic journey she came to know that behind the facade of discipline of her mother, she was robbed of living a nurturing childhood. The bond with her mother tears apart her inner child but Nancy was never at fault, it was all due to her Mother being a Covert Narcissist.

A mother is a daughter’s first ideal and sharing the same feminine bond empowers love and harmony. Unfortunately, daughters like Nancy live a traumatic childhood due to their early life exposure to Covert Narcissist abuse.

In this article, we will discuss the hidden struggles of daughters with Covert Narcissist Mothers and how they can manage their relationship with the mother. We will also delve into how daughters can overcome the Covert Narcissist abuse.

  • Covert Narcissist Mothers
  • Narcissus; the Greek Mythology
  • Hidden Struggles of Daughters Facing Maternal Narcissism
  • Managing Relationships with Covert Narcissist Mothers

Covert Narcissist Mothers

As you have gone through the story of Nancy, you may realize that the daughter’s relationship with her Covert Narcissist Mother is not so validating. The reason behind how strange such mothers behave is due to their personality tendencies, the weird things Covert Narcissists do in their relationships revolve around higher self-entitlement, possession of power or control, lack of empathy, envy of others, and constant need for attention.

Mothers who possess the traits of Narcissistic Personality often become Overt Narcissists; with flamboyant personas and extravagant displays of Narcissistic traits, or Covert Narcissists who project these traits very subtly.

You can recall noticing Narcissistic moms who always flaunt how their child is performing distinctively well at school, how their child is different from the rest of his or her peers. Meanwhile, a Covert Narcissist Mother would only flatter her child when the child is returning some favors.

Isn’t it shocking that a mother is expecting her child to return some favors? We think parental love is unconditional love, but for Covert Narcissist Mothers there is always some condition associated with a child’s every action. Covert Narcissist Mothers subtly crave admiration, they use their children as a means of gaining that social approval.

This might intrigue you, but social approval and admiration for Covert Narcissist Mothers is not always achieved by using positive means, Here is the why…

The Greek Mythology about Covert Narcissist

About Narcissus you must have heard in Greek mythology, he was the god who fell in love with his reflection. Similarly, Covert narcissistic mothers are the Narcissus of the mother-daughter duo. They believe their daughters have no individual life and no distinct identity but a reflection of their own.

Upon negating their individuality, Covert Narcissist Mothers deprive their daughters of the love and care a child needs. Mothers with Covert Narcissism try to control their daughter’s life by all means. They exert control to subtly play the “Best Mom” card in front of the family, but on deeper levels, they turn their back on their daughter’s feelings.

Covert narcissistic mothers will deliberately portray their daughters as a big-time disappointment, to gain sympathy and attention from others. They will often say; that their daughters are not smart like them, not scoring higher than their favorite child, they never wanted a daughter, they always wanted a son, etc. A mother with Covert Narcissist tendencies treats her daughter like a scapegoat for hiding her flaws.

You can imagine now how draining it would be for a daughter to live under such conditions, yet identifying the hidden struggles is salient to taking action against a Covert Narcissist Mother’s abuse.

Hidden Struggles of Daughters Facing Covert Narcissist Mothers

1.Propensity to Psychological Disorders

Research on weird things Covert Narcissists do has revealed that Covert Narcissism is more prevalent in women than men. Mothers with Covert Narcissism could also fall under vulnerable narcissism. The vulnerable side of Covert Narcissist Mother’s persona has insecure, shy, timid personality traits but behind their mask, manipulative tendencies are higher than in Father’s with Covert Narcissism. Moreover, daughters raised by Covert Narcissist mothers may develop symptoms of Anxiety Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). [1]

2.Failure to Recognize Maternal Narcissism

Surprisingly, not many of the daughters till their late adulthood recognize their mothers as Covert Narcissists. Daughters generally trust their mothers to share their sorrows and concerns, but Covert Narcissist Mothers take advantage of knowing their daughter’s details. They telltale others about how their daughters are failing at life, they can also manipulate their son-in-law and grandchildren to hate their daughter.

3.Rejection of Needs

Covert Narcissist Mothers tend to reject the existence of their daughters by subtly turning down their needs and emotions. As an adult, the daughter of a Covert Narcissist Mother lives under tremendous amounts of shame and guilt. The daughters are made to believe whatever misery their mother is facing is because of their existence.

4.Damaged Emotional Regulation

Daughters facing Maternal Narcissism struggle to develop a strong self-identity, they always live under the shadow of their mothers. They were confused about how to set boundaries with others and what role they had to play as an adult. One of the weird things Covert Narcissists do as a mother is, making her daughter walk on eggshells. This creates a lifetime inability to read and process emotions, which is why their daughters feel guilty about expressing themselves.

A daughter learns emotional regulation from her mother because of the femininity they share. Covert Narcissist Mothers struggle with their emotions as their Narcissistic ego wants admiration while their fragile self-image wants external validation. They mostly appear cold to their daughters and never let them feel good for whatever they have achieved.

5.Affecting Attachment Style

Covert narcissistic mothers set up competition between father and daughter for love or attention. As you’ve seen, Nancy’s Covert Narcissist Mother was manipulating Nancy’s father to not be gentle with the children. When a child comes between their husband and wife relationship, they don’t count it as a blessing. Covert narcissistic mothers are full of envy and feel highly insecure about the love or admiration that their daughters could get. This is the reason why they also control their husbands, causing tension between father-daughter bonds.

Having a disturbed relationship with the parents affects an adult’s attachment style in social relationships. Due to witnessing maternal ignorance and abuse from a Covert Narcissist Mother, the daughters develop an avoidant attachment style. They believe expecting needs fulfillment in a relationship is mortifying, which may lead to abandonment. They always depend on the approval of their partners and feel helpless when the relationship is not validating.

Ending this generational trauma of a Covert Narcissist Mother is exigent, to save your daughter from maternal abuse that you’ve silently borne.

Managing Relationships with Covert Narcissist Mothers

Daughters develop a sense of trauma-bonding with their Covert Narcissist Mothers, as questioning their mother instincts was never an option. But to safeguard your mental health you have to take some major steps.

1.Saying No to Victim Mentality 

The weird things Covert Narcissists do revolve around displaying themselves as victims. If you disagree or question your Covert Narcissist Mother she would play the victim card.

They will talk about their sacrifices, and how they’ve raised you with love and care. The criticism will lead them to appear affectionate towards you or love-bomb you. In response to this, don’t trust their outward personality and don’t give them another chance.

Each time you buy their victim card you lose your own survivor identity.

2.Distancing Yourself

Set healthy boundaries. Put an end to sharing your personal life, your work, or social life details with your Covert Narcissist Mother. No matter how much they assure you of their sincere regard, they eventually want to sabotage you.

Maintain your distance from them both emotionally and in physical terms. Give them brief updates and don’t ask them for advice or help.

Narcissism penetrates like a slow poison. As a daughter you have different roles to play, being a mother, wife, or sister means you’ve to protect others from the manipulation of your Covert narcissistic mother.

3.Be Assertive

Covert Narcissist Mothers provoke their daughters through verbal rage. Don’t become a part of their verbal abuse, nor try to win any arguments with them.

They tend to make everything about them, you should combat their self-absorbent behavior by being assertive.

Give limited answers or replies, and engage in dialogues but with the least verbal expressions. Slowly start saying No to her orders.

4.Control Your Reaction

Covert Narcissist Mothers intend to hurt you by self-criticism and begin sneering at you or criticizing your stance.

Staying calm is your armor against Covert Narcissists. Before you impulsively react, take a few seconds to frame your neutral emotional reaction.

“Oh, let me think about it”

“I know you care about me, let me see it myself once”

5.Using Flat Affect

Feel the emotions but do not express those emotions in front of your Covert Narcissist Mother.

Narcissist Mothers gratify their fragile ego by emotionally manipulating their daughters. They will damage your self-identity by constantly degrading your emotions.

Do not let them control your emotions. Stand upright confident with a blank face.

6.Don’t Internalize the Trauma

Don’t beat yourself up with the words Narcissist Mother utters. We understand it is not easy to let go of the insults you receive, but clinging to that will only damage your mental well-being.

Tell yourself that, what Covert Narcissist Mothers say is all about projecting their internal meanness and toxicity, no matter how loud they say it they can’t define you.

7.Seek Social Support

Look for your social support by sharing your feelings and emotions with your siblings and friends.

8.Using Coping Mechanisms

Learn about healthy/unhealthy parenting, and what role you can play in forming a secure relationship as an adult.

9.Family Therapy or Group Therapy

To understand the Narcissistic situation of your parents, working together to resolve the matters is a challenging course of action, but therapy makes it achievable. Consult Family Therapists and discuss your trauma with them in a non-judgmental and confidential environment.

10.Seek Professional Help

Professional help from psychotherapists could help you rediscover your healthy self-identity as an expert in Narcissistic Abuse will help you reshape your life.

11.Reporting Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissists lack empathy and regard for others; they can damage you severely. Contact legal authorities if their abuse intensifies.

Further exploring weird things Covert Narcissists do helps you to identify Narcissists in other spheres of life. If you want to know more about Covert Narcissists, then click here!

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