Narcissistic parents

What relationship do narcissistic parents have with their children?
Narcissists and leadership

Narcissists as parents


The extent to which parents with narcissistic tendencies are perceived as a problem varies significantly. Offspring are often unaware that narcissism is involved in the idiosyncratic relationship. This article is about this special relationship and what results from it.

Parents with clear narcissistic tendencies


The extent to which parents with narcissistic tendencies are perceived as a problem varies. Offspring are often unaware that narcissism is involved in the idiosyncratic relationship. This article is about this special relationship and what results from it.






Parents with narcissistic tendencies tend to overvalue their children. They see their children primarily as extensions of themselves. Because they themselves are so incredibly awesome, their children must be as well. How could it be otherwise? These parents elevate their children to a podium. This is how they hope to get indirect admiration. Such narcissists raise narcissists.

If parents overestimate their children’s abilities, they believe they are special and better than other children. They want their children to stand out from the crowd. This is then adopted and thus characteristics are developed that are typical of narcissists.




Do narcissistic parents always lead to narcissistic offspring?


Many people with narcissistic parents worry if they themselves are narcissists. The good news is; then probably not! Read more in the article Help, am I a narcissist? 8 clues that you are not a narcissist. However, such experiences do not pass people by without leaving a trace. It often leaves scars and the need to work very carefully on yourself and take care of yourself.




Do narcissists love their children?


Especially in coaching, the question is rarely asked so directly, at least not at the beginning. Many of my clients are already parents themselves and in many ways are mature individuals. But the sting sits deep, the question gnaws at the soul. And it does so regardless of whether the offspring is still at the beginning or is already a successful CEO with great influence.

My opinion on this: Neither the understanding nor the behavior of narcissists comes very close to the understanding of love. They attach everything to conditions, it is not about the human being in itself. Narcissists consider offspring at best as an extension of their wonderful appearance on this planet. Expecting genuine appreciation and respect from them makes offspring more susceptible to manipulation and does not lead to satisfaction. It is simply not interesting for narcissists.






As long as narcissists perceive offspring as an extension of themselves they are more generous. If this reason ceases to exist, then there is little reason to hold back. Then narcissistic parents can become extremely mean. Even then, they are convinced it is necessary to make their position clear and to protect themselves. They believe this even when they attack.






Narcissistic parents have consequences. The scars do not heal easily, often never. This can affect interpersonal relationships, professional and personal. The injury to the soul costs quality of life. Depending on how severe the injuries are, positive experiences can contribute to healing.

There is not always enough distance in later years. For example, if there are dependencies and the narcissist’s influence continues well beyond youth. With family businesses, this is a regular challenge.

Either way; get help if you can benefit from it. I offer this in the form of coaching and also as therapeutic help for people suffering from narcissists.

Help in dealing with narcissists (no legal advice!)


If you wish professional support for your decision-making, communication, or because you suffer emotionally from narcissists, then we can arrange an appointment.

Either you come to me in Berlin or we organize a telephone meeting or use the Internet with a video conferencing system. All these possibilities work very well and have already helped many people.

It's urgent? Thanks to an immediate bank transfer, it is also possible to organize sessions at short notice, often even on the same day.

In any case, you can orient yourself by reading the list with fees. Often a telephone call of 60 minutes is enough.

Every day, I get many inquiries. Some have only one question, others send long question lists, some even call me at night. As much as I would like to help voluntarily, my calendar doesn't allow that anymore. I know, that not everyone has the financial means for professional help. You can then at least use the comment function to discuss issues with other people. Sometimes I also answer questions in the comments. However, the day is full at some point and I ask for your understanding. I am aware of the psychological strain that often results from contact with narcissists.

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations


Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?

If you are interested in coaching, training, or consulting, for organizational questions and to make an appointment, you can reach me best via this contact form (It is up to you whether you enter personal data) or by e-mail ( Otherwise, you may reach me by telephone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany, then. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will call you back as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. Therefore, you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees, and getting to know me. If this suits you, I look forward to working with you.






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This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in group or individual training or coaching.

Published: January 2, 2012
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: September 28, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version:

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