Abuse & Neglect Abuse Effects

26 Narcissistic Abuse Tactics by Parents and Its Effects

Narcissistic Abuse Tactics and Effects | Hopeful Panda

This post explores some common narcissistic abuse tactics by narcissistic parents and the effects it has on their children. Being able to identify these tactics can help you make sense of what you experienced and how it affects you.

Having personally experienced these abuse tactics from my narcissistic mother, I can attest to how it has significantly shaped who I am and how I interact and feel about the world.

When I think about the underlying cause of all of my issues, the abuse I endured growing up is the root cause. Each abuse or manipulation tactic a narcissist inflicts leaves a damaging effect that influences who you are, how you feel, and how you live your life.

The damage can be particularly impactful when the abuse begins at an early age and comes from your own parents.

However, though there are many shared signs and symptoms of narcissistic abuse victims, everyone is different. Nonetheless, I hope this post can give you some insight into how the narcissistic abuse you faced might’ve shaped you into who you are today.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see Privacy Policy.

1. Subtle & Deniable Abuse

Subtle and Deniable Abuse | Narcissistic Abuse Tactics and Effects | Hopeful Panda

Narcissistic abuse is often subtle. It might be so well disguised that others who hear and see the same behaviors as you fail to recognize them as abuse.

The narcissist is great at creating a specific facade for the public world. They turn on the charm for other people but turn cold when alone with you. They can be very secretive about when and how they engage in their abuse.

Effects

It’s hard to explain what’s so bad about your narcissistic parent when they have such a carefully crafted facade they show to the outside world.

So whenever you mention their abuse, you might be met with skepticism, criticism, or counterproductive advice. This might make you question whether you have the right to feel the way you do, reinforcing the belief that maybe it’s your problem.

Due to the backlash, you might have trouble opening up to people, fearing that you’ll be met with similar responses.

2. Competition & One-Ups

Narcissists are highly competitive. Anything you do, they can do better. This also includes negative one-ups on things like illness or suffering. That way, they can continue to have attention on them.

Also, any time you get something nice, they might be angry or envious. This may be apparent when they admire whatever it is. Then, they’ll try to get it from you, spoil it for you, or get the same or better for themselves. 

And when you begin to thrive, your narcissistic parent might feel threatened and will criticize and compete with you. They may try to prevent the occasion from happening or they will try to steal the spotlight.

And whenever someone compliments your achievements, your parent might immediately jump in to claim credit or, once again, shift the attention to themselves.

Effects

You may not care about your accomplishments or what you get anymore. Or you may start keeping them to yourself, worried your parent would take credit, ruin it, or take it from you.

Maybe you believe that what you accomplish aren’t really accomplishments because your parent can do the same or better. Or you may even believe that you’re only able to because of their help or good genes.

With how competitive your parent could be, you might give up on trying because they’re just going to beat you anyway.

3. Smear Campaigns

A smear campaign is an effort to damage or call into question someone’s reputation.

When a narcissist can’t control the way you see yourself, they start to control how others see you. They’ll gossip about you, slander you, and create stories that depict you as the bad guy while they play the victim.

Oftentimes, they twist what you said or did rather than completely make something up. And when you react negatively, they will use your response to back up those lies.

If the narcissist has recently done something awful, they may lie in advance to discount what you might say before you even say it. That way, when you talk about what they did, you’ll be cut off by that whole “I already know”.

They may even intentionally abuse you so they can use your reactions as a way to prove that they are the “victims” of your abuse. This is also known as reactive abuse.

Effects

Your reputation may be irreparably damaged and there might not be anything you can do about it. You may have trouble finding mutual friends, acquaintances, or family that are on your side because the narcissist has tinted all of them.

You may feel extremely isolated and alone, and as usual, question whether you are the crazy one. In worse scenarios, you may even lose a job, get arrested, or have some other “misfortune” due to a narcissist’s smear campaign.

4. Drama & Conflict Creation

Narcissists love the excitement and drama they manufacture by interfering in everyone else’s lives. This is particularly true with their children since they’re easier to manipulate. Watching people’s lives explode is entertaining for them.

They’d create conflict out of thin air or persistently disagree with you about irrelevant things to rage over any “slight” coming from you. They thrive off of drama so that whenever you try to make a point that even slightly goes against their ridiculous claims, you’re giving them ammo.

Effects

With all the drama and conflict, you may often feel emotionally drained when interacting with your parent. You likely also feel overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated with all the issues in your life that seem to come from nowhere.

You never feel at ease and always feel like something bad is going to happen. And you feel like things can never be “normal” or peaceful whenever your parent’s involved.

5. Invalidation

Self absorbed | Narcissistic Abuse Tactics and Effects | Hopeful Panda

Narcissistic parents judge, ignore, criticize, and reject almost anything about who you are and what you do. They can have no appreciation or regard for how you feel or for the things you do for them.

They diminish, dismiss, overlook, undervalue, or straight-up ignore your feelings, wants, needs, opinions, ideas, experiences, and cries for help.

Pssh, you’re not sad.

Stop being such a baby!

Your parent may also use blanket statements, generalizations, or labels to dismiss your perspective. They may take nuances out of what you say and draw their own conclusions.

You are always so sensitive.

You are never satisfied.

When you try to discuss your feelings, they might make fun of you or try to top it with their own. Or when something big happens in your life, such as an accident, illness, or divorce, they only think about how it’ll affect them rather than how it is or will be affecting you.

How can you get sick at a time like this?

Effects

You consistently feel a lack of emotional closeness with your parent, constantly questioning whether they love you or even like you.

Due to the lack of response or understanding of your needs throughout your childhood, you may have trouble appropriately expressing or communicating your needs and wants to people in your current relationships.

And not having your needs met could cause you to feel resentful or dissatisfied in these relationships. Or you may see your own needs as a burden to others. Therefore, you may tend to bury and minimize them. You might even hate them.

You might tend to pretend you are fine even when you aren’t because you learned that your needs and feelings don’t matter. And expressing them may even lead to you being punished or more hurt for it.

All the suppression of your own needs and feelings may cause you to become emotionally numb. It may also manifest into depression or other mood disorders.

6. Exploitation

Narcissists take advantage and use people to serve their own gains and ambitions. All they know is that they want what they want and will do anything to achieve it.

If your parent has ever done something for you, they’ll constantly remind you to get some sort of repayment. If they ever made an agreement with you, it’ll be violated once it no longer served their needs.

Sometimes, a narcissistic parent will even exploit a child to absorb punishment that would’ve been theirs from an abusive partner. They may also use their child to keep a toxic marriage intact.

Effects

You may frequently make sacrifices for the sake of everyone else because it’s what you’re used to doing for your parent. You are likely a people pleaser, doing it for acceptance, approval, validation, or love, or doing it in fear of upsetting the other person.

7. Gaslighting, Lying, & Denial

Gaslighting distorts and erodes your sense of reality. It leaves you second-guessing and doubting yourself, your reality, judgment, perceptions, memories, or experiences.

Whenever you disagree with your parent or confront them about something they did, they rewrite reality. They tell you that you didn’t see what you saw, what you experienced didn’t happen, and what you call real is just your imagination.

They may insinuate or outright tell you that you’re unstable, oversensitive, imagining things, hysterical, unreasonable, overreacting, irrational, neurotic, and/or psychotic.

They’ll blatantly lie to your face about what they’ve done. And if you try to jog their memory, they’ll brush it off, claim you’re remembering it wrong, or somehow make it your fault.

Effects

Since narcissists often lie, which is something you might realize after catching them a few times, you may have trouble trusting whatever they’re saying. But unfortunately, on the other hand, you may also have trouble trusting yourself.

Gaslighting makes you start doubting yourself, eating away at your ability to trust yourself.

When a narcissist gaslights you, you may be prone to gaslighting yourself as a way to fix the cognitive dissonance you may be experiencing: Are they right or can I trust what I experienced?

Then, you start distrusting your feelings and beliefs. This can develop into crippling self-doubt that persists throughout your childhood into your present life.

8. Projection

Projection is a defense mechanism that displaces responsibility for one’s negative behavior and traits by associating them with someone else.

Your narcissistic parent might make accusations against you about things that they’re doing. Or they call you names or describe you in ways that are actually describing themselves.

They project their bad behavior, character, and traits onto you so they can deny it themselves and punish you for it. This way, the focus stays on your “deficiencies” rather than their shortcomings.

Effects

Because of how the narcissist trains you to believe everything they say you are, you may not question their projections. Instead, you may see them as a testament to who you are and start worrying about why you’re that way.

9. Blame Shifting & Scapegoating

Avoid Accountability | Narcissistic Traits and Effects | Hopeful Panda

It’s typical for narcissists to avoid responsibility no matter what. When asked a question or called out on a lie or abusive behavior, your parent might deflect the conversation back to you, change the subject, or give a vague, meaningless response instead.

Therefore, they often shift blame. They will blame anyone and anything before they even think to look at themselves. Simply put, nothing can ever be their fault.

Scapegoating is a form of blame-shifting. It’s when the narcissist chooses someone to specifically blame for all their problems, actions, and feelings.

If something goes wrong, it’ll be the scapegoat’s fault no matter what. They’ll blame the scapegoat for their depression, lack of success, or unfulfilled life. And almost always, they’ll blame them for the abuse.

You made me do it.

You made me angry.

I would be successful if it wasn’t for you.

Effects

If you were the scapegoat, you may tend to automatically apologize for things that aren’t your fault and constantly engage in self-blame. You may blame yourself for what’s missing in your life or for being unhappy.

You’re likely conditioned to put your defenses up once anything goes wrong, even those out of your control, because you were so used to being the one always at fault. As a result, you may be highly defensive whenever someone approaches you with a question or comment that might seem like an attack.

Since you are/were constantly attacked by the narcissist, it makes sense that you see almost anything as a possible threat now since that’s how it was with them.

10. Triangulation

Triangulation is often used as a way for the narcissist to act as a messenger between you and others.

Narcissists often use other people’s “opinions” or “comments” to validate their point of view while invalidating yours. They will report back what others supposedly said about you or them. Meanwhile, these “reports” are often lies, exaggerations, or twists of the truth that the narcissist started.

So-and-so agrees with me.

They told me you were crazy.

Everyone told me I was right.

Effects

Narcissists use triangulation to provide a false image of themselves as desirable and backed up by a lot of people. It leaves you questioning your feelings and experiences because if all those people are siding with them, then maybe it’s your problem.

Since it’s a form of gaslighting, it leaves you doubting yourself and second-guessing your feelings and experiences.

11. Parentification

Parentification is the process of role reversal between a parent and child.

As soon as they can, your narcissistic parent will ditch their responsibilities and leave you to take care of yourself. They may have given you tasks that were theirs and not meant to be given to a child.

Your parent might have made you responsible for their welfare, emotions, and needs. Meanwhile, you’re not allowed to have needs of your own.

They might’ve also made you responsible for taking care of your siblings or elderly family members.

Effects

You may feel like you’re responsible for your parents’ and siblings’ physical and emotional well-being because you were forced to be an adult at a young age.

You’re unable to live your own life or create goals that don’t cater to your parent’s needs. And this may have continued into adulthood where you constantly put others’ needs before your own.

12. Emotional Blackmail

Emotional blackmail is intended to elicit feelings of fear, guilt, and compliance. It includes anything that’s done or communicated to you that may come across as threatening or intimidating.

A narcissist’s threats may be subtle or blatant. But they’re used to control you or terrorize you into subordination. They keep you constantly on edge and always feel the need to appease them just to avoid the consequences of defying them.

Narcissists also often use “love” as a tool to manipulate. They only “loved” you when you did what they wanted. But if you don’t, they’d punish you or withhold affection from you.

Narcissists may also withhold things like money or communication to further manipulate you and maintain control over you.

Effects

You may often walk on eggshells, always afraid to make the wrong move that might warner a negative response or punishment. This may remain till adulthood when you feel the constant need to please everyone.

You also learned that you’re loved for what you do. Therefore, you might believe that you have to earn others’ love and approval by doing what they want. It also explains why you may be a people pleaser or why you’re afraid of saying “no”.

13. Self-Pitying Drama & Guilt Trips

Controlling | Narcissistic Abuse Tactics and Effects | Hopeful Panda

Whenever you refuse to do or agree with something your parents want, they may play the victim or engage in self-pitying drama. They’d sob and wail that no one loves them or that everyone is so selfish. They may even threaten to kill themselves to get their way.

This is also a form of guilt-tripping, making you feel bad so they can get you to do what they want. This also causes you to take down your boundaries, making you easier to manipulate.

After everything I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me?

I won’t live forever. You’ll regret how you treat me one day.

No one cares about me. I might as well die.

Effects

You may feel a lot of guilt or shame when your parent guilt-trips you or engages in self-pitying drama. So you might give in to their whims and delusions when that happens because you feel bad.

You may also feel a lot of guilt in general, feeling like you owe them for whatever they’ve provided you with (because they’ll never let you forget it).

Even as an adult, you may feel guilty when you want to set boundaries or when you say no to whatever they demand of you.

14. Boundary Violations

With narcissists, their wants and needs are always the priority, even if they pretend it isn’t. Therefore, they have very little respect for your boundaries, space, possessions, or desires.

They ask nosy questions, snoop through your things, and often do things against your expressed wishes. You probably have no idea what it’s like to have any sort of privacy or personal space.

Narcissistic parents also make you feel like an extension of them. They give away your things without your consent, even in front of you. They try to control your choices whenever they can, giving your opinions and making your decisions for you.

They treat you as if you’re incapable of deciding for yourself. And any of your attempts at autonomy are strongly resisted or even punished.

When you do establish boundaries, they’ll continually try to see which ones they can cross. The more violations they can commit without consequences, the more they will push.

Related: How to Set Boundaries with a Narcissistic Parent

Effects

You likely have trouble setting boundaries because you’re so used to them being ignored or challenged (or you don’t even know what they are or how to set them in the first place). Or maybe you’ve given up on them entirely.

You may not have anything that you feel is your own because you learned that nothing’s safe and nothing’s yours. You learned that anything could be taken from you at any moment. With this mindset, you may have attachment or trust issues.

You also likely struggle to have a voice of your own and find it difficult to be yourself, not having a sense of who you are. You may also often struggle with indecisiveness or dependency, be scared to do things on your own, or feel like you might fail if you do.

Related: Enmeshment: Signs, Causes, Effects, & How to Heal

15. Isolation

Narcissists destroy your relationships and other forms of social connections so you remain isolated. People are more vulnerable and easier to manipulate, control, and abuse when alone.

Once they’ve destroyed all your relationships and isolated you, your parent can then have full power and control over you. They may also try to discourage you from working or going to school so you can continue depending on them.

That boyfriend of yours doesn’t treat you very well.

Your friends are bad for you. You’re better off without them.

You don’t need to work. I can take care of you.

Effects

The narcissist may have caused strains in your relationships or have even successfully damaged or destroyed them. You may become isolated or you already are.

You may even push or shut people out on your own because you don’t think you deserve to be loved or maybe that the other person deserves or can do better than you. Due to the isolation, you may feel a daily sense of emptiness and sadness.

You may believe that you’re unlovable, unwanted, or hard to be. But really, it’s the narcissist that manufactured these issues.

16. Revenge & Petty Paybacks

Whenever you did something “wrong” or against your parent’s will – even in the smallest way – they’d make sure to get even. This could be full-blown revenge or so subtle to the point that it’s just extremely petty.

Effects

You never know if you did something to tick off the narcissist that would garner payback. As a result, you feel like you have to always walk on eggshells or try to continually please them just so you won’t get on their bad side, even if you don’t intend to.

Everything the narcissist has done to you is no coincidence. They very carefully plot ways to get even. But they can execute it in a way that makes it seem like a coincidence or an innocent mistake to other people.

As a result, you may be hypersensitive and/or interpret certain situations as someone “getting even” with you when it could simply be a coincidence or misinterpretation on your part.

17. Objectifying

Narcissists tend to treat their victims as a tool for their own purposes. A narcissistic parent can simply hurt their child for their own gratification. Or they can use their child to gain sympathy, money, or special treatment.

Effects

Objectifying dehumanizes the victim. You may also treat yourself similarly. You might not think of yourself as a person with feelings and worth. Instead, you might think your purpose is to take care of other people or to please your parent.

18. Golden Child & Black Sheep

Narcissists attempt to split people apart into groups. This isolates and weakens certain individuals, giving the narcissist a sense of power and control. Therefore, narcissists love to play favorites and pit their children against one another.

If they have multiple children, one (or more) may be deemed the golden child who can do no wrong that the parent showers with privileges. Meanwhile, the other(s) is the family’s scapegoat or black sheep – the one who’s always at fault.

This causes a division between the children where the golden child is hated by the scapegoat. The narcissistic parent will widen this division with lies and very obvious favoritism.

The golden child will defend the parent and indirectly perpetuate their abuse by finding reasons to blame the scapegoat. They may even directly take on the abusing role so that the parent doesn’t have to do it.

Related: Golden Child and Scapegoat

Effects

You may have strained or distant relationships with your siblings or other people in the narcissist’s family. And if you’re the black sheep, everyone else may blame you for this divide rather than the narcissist who started it.

19. Idealization, Devaluation, & Hoovering

Narcissists may initially put you through an idealization or love-bombing phase to hook you in. They make you feel special and shower you with compliments, affection, and gifts.

During this phase, mirroring may also occur. Mirroring gives you the illusion that your parent is just like you, that you’re perfect. But then, devaluation comes in and they begin to criticize the things they previously admired about you.

And once you want to leave them or claim you’re done with them, they’ll start hoovering – trying to hook you back in with sweet actions, fake remorse, and empty promises that they’re going to change. And once you’re back in, it repeats.

These stages are known as the narcissistic cycle of abuse. Although it typically applies to romantic relationships, it can also apply to a parent-child relationship and often involves the golden child.

Effects

The narcissist toys with your emotions to keep you feeling off-center and off-balanced. They put you through this cycle to keep you under their control. This cycle of abuse also makes it difficult to accept that they are abusive because of the “good” parts.

You may have fallen for their hoovering time and time again, hoping they’ll change or thinking this time would be different. Their unpredictability also makes it much more difficult to anticipate what’s coming next.

You may have trouble letting your guard down because you don’t know whether they’ll lash out at you or surprise you with a gift.

20. Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse | Narcissistic Traits and Effects | Hopeful Panda

Verbal abuse can be subtle or blatant.

Narcissistic parents might not always outright tell you you’re inadequate. Instead, with subtle verbal abuse, when you tell your parent something good you did, they may brush it off, claim your sibling did it better, or ignore you.

Examples of subtle verbal abuse are backhanded compliments, jokes, indirect comments, sarcasm, questions, or insults dressed up as concerns, loving terms, thoughtfulness, or gifts.

I only want to help you.

You look like you aged 20 years! Just kidding!

I said you were fat for your own good.

With subtle verbal abuse, narcissistic parents can get away with saying hurtful things while maintaining an innocent demeanor. And if you get angry or hurt, then you’re oversensitive or too uptight.

More blatant forms of verbal abuse are name-calling, belittling, shaming, laughing, criticizing, humiliating, taunting, minimizing, ridiculing, and dismissing. They may constantly demean, criticize, and shame you just to tear you down and whittle away your self-esteem.

You’re an idiot.

I’ve never met someone as stupid as you.

You will never amount to anything.

No one will ever love you.

Effects

The narcissist makes you doubt and hate yourself. You become insecure, oversensitive, self-conscious, and self-deprecating, which may cause you to engage in self-defeating behaviors.

All the criticisms, insults, and putdowns your parent threw at you are unconsciously programmed into your mind, developing into self-loathing, negative self-talk, and a negative self-image. You also likely verbally abuse yourself.

Negative thoughts and feelings about yourself likely remain throughout your life. And you might find yourself hypersensitive or easily triggered by any form of criticism you come across.

21. Pushing Buttons

Your narcissistic parent might intentionally pick at your wounds and vulnerabilities just to hurt you. They may tease or bug you about things they know you’re sensitive about just to annoy you.

If you’re proud of something, they’d shame that specific thing to lower your sense of self and destroy your confidence. They may even shame you about any abuse or injustice you’ve suffered to retraumatize you.

And if you complain about being mistreated, the narcissist might take the other person’s side even if they don’t know them.

Effects

You may downplay bad things that happened or are happening to you. You might have trouble opening up or being vulnerable in fear that it will be used against you like it did before. This may cause you to bottle up a lot of your feelings and fears, which could manifest into mental disorders.

22. Setup for Failure

Signs of Narcissistic Parents | Narcissistic Abuse Tactics | Hopeful Panda

Your narcissistic parent might intentionally set you up for failure just to use it as a reason to discredit, blame, or criticize you. They can also somehow convert your thoughts, opinions, emotions, and experiences into character flaws and proof of irrationality. Or they may even purposely do something to cause you to react negatively, only to mock or insult you for it.

Narcissists often “move the goalposts” to ensure that they can be constantly dissatisfied with you. Things you do are never enough or never quite right. Everything you say or do might be met with condescension, denials, and accusations – even if you’re an expert on the topic.

And even when you’ve done everything you can, they’ll demand more or hyper-focus on the one thing you did wrong. That way, they can divert you from your strengths and pull you into obsessing over the flaw instead.

Effects

By raising their expectations higher and higher each time or switching them completely, the narcissist can constantly make you feel worthless and never quite enough. You may find yourself constantly attempting to win their love, attention, and approval, but never able to please them.

You may be an overachiever or perfectionist who can’t tolerate any flaws or mistakes. Just one mistake may cause you to feel like you completely failed. You may lack confidence regardless of your accomplishments, not seeing them as so.

Successes and achievements may be downplayed or disregarded and you may not give yourself credit when deserved. You may even be scared of success and begin to engage in self-defeating patterns and behavior to sabotage yourself.

23. Comparison

Narcissists may often compare you to someone else to spark jealousy or to make you feel inferior. However, they usually won’t straight out say that they think someone else is better. They’d leave the contrast up to you. That way, they can let you know you’re not good enough or that you don’t matter without having to say it.

They’ll talk about how great someone else is, how highly they think of them, or what an amazing job they did on something you’ve also done. They may also mention how they really enjoyed doing something with someone else – something that they also did with you. Or they’ll make it clear to you that their relationship with other people is great in a way that your relationship with them isn’t.

Effects

With how often the narcissist compares you to other people, you may also often engage in comparison yourself. When you do, you may find yourself lacking or wishing you had what other people have.

You may feel unworthy, unlovable, and unaccepted. You may have low self-esteem and often feel insecure with who you are, always feeling like you’re not worthy or good enough.

Additionally, you may be always trying to prove yourself to others. You might even end up being extremely competitive or jealous of other people because of this.

24. Childish Tantrums

When things don’t go their way, narcissists will resort to childish behavior. They might act like they can’t hear you or lose their temper. They might throw things, shout, scream, stomp, storm off, or give you the silent treatment.

If you try to stop their childish behavior, they’ll justify it by pointing out something you did that they feel is comparable, even if you did it when you were a literal child.

Effects

You may find yourself giving in to your parent’s demands whenever they throw a tantrum. Or once again, you may even try to constantly please them or give in to their every whim to prevent a possible tantrum from happening.

25. DARVO

DARVO stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.

When you confront your narcissistic parent about their harmful or abusive behavior, they’ll deny or minimize it. Then, they’ll attack you by making counter-accusations or claiming you’re lying. And finally, they’ll reverse the roles, making you seem like the abuser or perpetrator while they’re the victim.

Effects

DARVO is a form of blame-shifting and gaslighting. It leaves you second-guessing and doubting your experiences and reality. You may wonder if maybe you are the problem.

DARVO can also make other people question or doubt your credibility. Others may take the abuser’s side. As a result, it may be hard to find support, or worse, like a smear campaign, it can damage your reputation and cause real negative consequences.

26. Physical Abuse

Narcissistic abuse is often done in more discreet and subtle ways. Hence why it can be difficult to explain to others just what’s so bad about them. So physical abuse is often less common.

A narcissistic parent might not straight-up physically abuse you. They might do it in subtle deniable ways like intentionally letting you endure physical pain or failing to protect you when a normal parent would’ve made an effort to help.

They might’ve left you hungry because “you eat too much” or made you go to school sick because “you’re not sick, you’re just trying to get out of school”.

However, there are times when they will explode and may become violent. And when they do, they might beat you, confine you, or put you outdoors in bad weather. You may have been physically punished for made-up offenses that they insist you committed.

Or they might have randomly lashed out at you anytime they were stressed, angry, or felt like life was unfair because it’s easier and made them feel better to take it out on you.

Effects

You feel constantly on edge, always worried you’ll say or do the wrong thing that’ll result in a beating or physical punishment of some sort, even well into your adulthood. You may be oversensitive to certain sounds, movements, tones, or facial expressions because they used to imply impending “discipline”.


Narcissistic Abuse Tactics by Parents | Hopeful Panda

Conclusion

Many of the abuse tactics listed here may also fall under the realm of emotional or psychological abuse. However, the unpredictability, subtlety, and the abuser’s motivation to maintain their false sense of superiority using these tactics are what make them narcissistic abuse tactics.

Narcissistic Abuse Tactics and Effects | Hopeful Panda

It can be difficult to identify narcissistic abuse, especially when you’re in the midst of it. It’s highly psychologically and emotionally abusive.

When we’re caught off guard, confused, doubtful, or shocked, we’re more vulnerable to being manipulated. As a result, the narcissist can continue to exert power and control over us.

It’s also hard because the narcissist isn’t all bad. They have moments where they seem like the perfect parent, especially in front of other people who don’t know the real them. Their “good” side might also make you question whether they’re actually abusive. And once you question it, they suck you back in.

This is why many people have trouble recognizing if they have a narcissistic parent and why many people have trouble believing victims of narcissistic abuse.

Once you can see how a narcissistic parent’s behavior has affected you and still is affecting you, you can do something about it. Check out How to Heal from Narcissistic Abuse by a Parent and/or the resources below.

26 Narcissistic Abuse Tactics by Parents and Its Effects

Resources

If you have a narcissistic parent, you likely struggle with a lot of the effects of their abuse.

First off, please consider therapy. A therapist can be invaluable for your healing. They can help you build coping skills, deal with existing mental health symptoms, and understand and process your abuse.

You can connect with a certified therapist here.

To learn more about narcissistic parents, how their abuse affects you, and how you can begin healing, I also recommend checking out some of these books.

Many of them helped me recognize and process my mother’s abuse and how it affected me. A lot of the information in this post is also from many of these books.

Sign up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited to read some of these titles for free or at a discount. Or sign up for a free trial with Audible and claim an audiobook for free, which is yours to keep even when you cancel.

More resources

Support Hopeful Panda

Hi there, I’m Estee. Having grown up with an abusive mother, I know how isolating, frustrating, and hopeless everything could feel – back then as a child and even now as an adult.

I am always trying to better understand and manage the effects of the abuse I experienced. And this journey I’m on inspired me to create Hopeful Panda. Learn more here.

A lot of time and effort is put into this blog. If you enjoy my content or find it helpful, please consider making a donation or becoming a member. Your support helps me continue providing free content for all. Thank you!


Begin your healing journey with The Hopeful Planner
Hopeful Planner