A person is molded and refined in the environment that he breathes in. Growing up, we need certain elements to help us shape into thriving people.
Kids and teenagers go through a lot of mental stress –mostly because of all the hormonal changes going on inside their bodies. It is natural and very common to hate your parents and siblings all the time while you’re growing up. But with the right kind of parenting, kids learn to trust their mothers and fathers even through puberty.
Some parents make it easy on their kids, however, most of the parents(narcissistic) fail to understand what their kids might be going through. And for someone who has a narcissistic mother, it could be a nightmare. Children depend on their parents for love, compassion, and support. They need their parents to be a good listener, comfort them when they reach out, and show them a way out of the puzzles of life.
A narcissistic mother is not able to do any of that most often. Firstly, everyone needs their space but she keeps crossing the line of personal boundaries –stays unaware of her children’s emotional needs, shouts at them for no reason, and makes it all about herself, behaves rudely but plays the victim in the end.
It is, no doubt, quite rough to live in that kind of situation –especially if you’re living in the same house as your mother. But I believe there is always a way to handle things. There is always a key to the lock. There is always a way to make things better. Problems do not exist without a solution.
And in this article, I want to help you see it. I want to help you get along with a narcissistic mother by adopting a few strategies which might do the work for you.
Sometimes, it’s wise to stop fighting against the water currents. When the road gets rough, if you accept that there are going to be bumps, you can be vigilant and you’ll drive safe. Just that way, you need to accept the harsh truth that your mother is somehow a narcissistic impact on your life. That is just who she is. Maybe she was not parented well, maybe she was neglected as a kid too, maybe life was too harsh on her that she adopted this as a coping mechanism to feel safe.
When you accept this, you will be able to let go of the hate building up inside you. Your mother is only a human. We all make mistakes. We all have our flaws and things that make us imperfect. It does not have to mean that we are monsters. It does not mean that we do not deserve love.
Having a mother in your life is a beautiful thing. But if you have a dysfunctional family system, there are still ways to make it breathable for you. You CAN have the best of both worlds.
Let your mother be. Try to see things from her perspective. It is possible to love someone from a distance. Acceptance is going to free you from internal anger and madness. Let go. Breathe. It is okay to have a mother who is not always there for you. You are supposed to go out in the world and make friends and acquaintances. You will find many people who will offer you the love and comfort that your mother is somehow not able to offer you.
Say Less or More
It’s hard to communicate with a mother who is not willing to listen or understand your perspective. Being a kid, you surely want a listening ear from your mother or a guardian. But a narcissistic mother is emotionally unavailable at most times and this could lead to disappointment.
Narcissism most often comes along with the bipolar disorder. If you find your mother having highs and lows, try to reach out during her highs. Being a mother, it’s her instinct to be there for you. Try not to argue with her all the time. With a narcissistic mother, you are going to have many differences and you need to find a way to not let them enrage you.
You also do not have to share everything with her all the time. Do that with another family member instead. You can create that bond with your father or siblings.
If not, your friends are always there for you. But make sure to find someone you can trust. Humans are bound to share their lives. We are not meant to live alone.
So if your mother is not always able to hold you back, you can reach out to someone else.
You do not have to agree with everything that she says and vice versa. If there’s something that you need to talk to her about, do it when she seems relaxed and set back. Talk to her politely and tell her if something that she did hurt or bothered you. Let her know that you did not like her behavior. Somewhere along the way, you will condition her to respond the way you want. But don’t expect hearts and hugs all the time.
Set Clear Boundaries
This is the most important part of EVERY relationship. Once you figure out what you want from a certain relationship, you can set your boundaries. For example, you meet someone and you think, “Are we going to be friends?”, “Do I want to talk to this person all the time?” etc.
Just like that, you need to question yourself concerning dealing with a narcissistic mom.
Ask yourself, “How much do I need her to know?”, “Is it okay to have her meet my friends?”, “If I share this with her, will she understand?”. Once you find out how much of her participation you want in your life, set boundaries there. It is going to help you get along with your narcissistic mother in a more fruitful way. Sometimes, too much of anything is bad. Even the blood relations.
If she is behaving unreasonably, just ignore it so she realizes that you are not going to entertain that behavior. Agree to disagree. You do not have to answer everything she interrogates out of her ego. Just walk away. If you fight back, it is only going to make things worse for you.
Empathy versus Love
Being your mother’s daughter or son, you are always going to have a place for her in your heart. You might find yourself hating on her only to feel bad later on. You might be confused. It is natural to feel that way. She is your mother, at the end of the day. And you love her.
Trust me, she loves you too. Even though most of the time it seems as if she doesn’t.
You are not responsible for narcissistic mother to act it out like this. And you are not bound to serve her with empathy when she is being illogical. It is draining to offer so much empathy for someone who does not appreciate it. Learn the difference between empathy and love.
So love her –from a distance. Have the respect for her that she deserves being your mom. But you need to stop being an empath towards her all the time. It’s not going to do any good to you. You need to learn to love her by keeping the boundaries. Remember, you cannot compare her with other moms. Everyone has their demons and struggles.
Talk About It
If all of the above strategies fail to work out for you and you still find it difficult to get along with your narcissistic mother, it is always great to reach out for professional help.
Now, your narcissistic mother is not going to agree to go see a therapist right away. You will need to talk her through it. Notice when she is in a good mood and vibes, start by informing her that sometimes she has outrages that hurt you and you wish the best for her. Ask her if something is bothering her and if she would like you to help her.
Focus on being subtle about it in the beginning. You don’t want to say, “Get help, mom!” right away because it is going to make things harder for you. Tell your narcisstic mother it’s healthy to get help and get counseling to solve inner conflicts and if she would like to go, you support her.
When you start suggesting it like that, she might consider going for therapy. A narcissistic mother does not appreciate ideas being imposed on her. Her ego fights back. She becomes rebellious and defensive. So always find the right words to persuade her. Therapy can do magic for narcissistic people. It helps them see past their reflection and embrace other people in their lives. So once your mother finds someone to talk about it, preferable a counselor, it is going to aid you in getting along with your mother more often.