Does something like this happen to you frequently? You’ve worked as far as you can on a project at work. You need information, but the person who has it is your supervisor. You approach his office and see he is reading a stack of papers. Afraid of bothering him, you retreat to your desk.
You go past your boss’ office several times that day. Each time, the fear of bothering him overwhelms you, even when he’s standing by the window, hands on his hips, doing nothing.
This has nothing to do with your boss’ personality. He has never been anything but kind to you. It’s just that you don’t like to intrude and bother people.
For instance, you won’t take back the blender that you recently purchased that doesn’t work. You’re nervous about bothering the customer service staff. Last night at a restaurant your soup was cold. However, you didn’t send it back because you didn’t want to bother the server. Continue reading
Do you know who you are? I don’t mean in a name, rank, and serial number way of knowing. Do you have a solid, healthy identity? Are you blessed with a strong sense of self with solid boundaries between you and others? Or are you filled with self-doubt about who you truly are?
Think about how you see yourself. Is the first thought that you are the son or daughter of your narcissistic parent? Or do you think “I’m a loser” or some other derogatory description?
I was driven to ask myself these questions when my son appeared in the kitchen in the middle of a school day. A high school junior, he left during the middle of the lunch period because he didn’t feel right. He asked me about family history. He said he was trying to figure out who he is.
I told my son that family history can tell you where you came from. But it doesn’t define who you are. I think that this is an important lesson for adult children of narcissistic parents. Continue reading
As narcissism’s child, you weathered a constant storm of criticism. At times it seemed you could do nothing right. Your grades were criticized. How you performed your chores was not good enough. You may even have been criticized for the way you smelled, chewed your food, or chose to dress.
What made the criticism even worse is If you had a sibling who was your parent’s “golden child”—the child they favored and placed on display. You faced constant criticism in relation to her. You faced putdowns like these on a daily basis:
• “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”
• “Your sister gets A’s on her report card. Why can’t you?
• Your sister keeps her room clean, why can’t you? Continue reading