Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 12 · 2 years ago

The Rules of Living in a Narcissistic Family

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Every family has unspoken rules like: don’t wake mom when she is taking a nap, no matter what it tastes like say dad’s cooking is good, or always clean before grandma comes to the house. These guidelines are followed without question to keep the family running smoothly.

However, when a narcissist is added to the mix, the rules take on more intensity.

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...to grow with Christine dotcom forward slash narcissism. That's grow with Christine dot com, forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with Christine Dot Com. Forward, slash narcissism. Oh this is understanding. Today's narcissist brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Today we're going to talk about the rules of living in a narcissistic family. Having grown up in one, I can tell you that there are all kinds of unspoken rules that exist, and so we're going...

...to talk about what it's like, as a child or a spouse, being in a narcissistic family and what these rules actually are. You might not even be aware that you've been arbitrarily following some rules and when you become an adult, then you are now passing those onto your own child, and it doesn't need to be that way. So let's not pass down narcissistic tendencies and characteristics from one generation to another. We have enough of that naturally going on already. So let's talk about what these unspoken rules look like so that you can make sure that you are not passing them down to the next generation. Every family has these unspoken rules, like don't wake mom when she is cleaning. Taking a NAPP no matter what it tastes like. Dad's cooking is always good, or always clean up before grandma comes to the house. These guidelines are followed without question, usually to keep a family running smoothly. However, when...

...a narcissist is added to the mix, the rules take on more intensity, let's say, the consequences for not following these guidelines are so severe, such as giving a person the silent treatment for days, withholding financial resources for groceries, verbal assaults or even our long anger rants. No one, unfortunately, is immune from the effects. The spouse and the children are expected to adhere to the standards without question, and sometimes these rules aren't even spoken, so you don't even know that they exist. But I'm going to give you an idea of what some of these rules look like. We're going to go over seven different examples see which ones fit your situation. Number One, only their perspective matters. A narcissistic spouse was keeping track of his wife's menstrual cycle so...

...he could manage her, quote unquote, crazy mood swings. Knowing that he did this, his wife even spoke to her doctor to see if she had a menstrual disorder, and the response was no. Still, he continued to point out her cycles and blame any discontent that she expressed on them. When her husband was asked if he ever took the time to understand why his wife was deeply offended by this, his response was now, why does that matter? narcissist view the world from their perspective only. Any attempt to get them to view things from another point of view is met with intense resistance. So unspoken rule number one. Only their perspective matters. Number two appearance is everything.

The whole purpose of narcissism is to cover up a deep rooted insecurity, so it stands to reason that the same principle will be followed in their home. A narcissistic female spent hours cleaning the house, making food and ordering the family around and preparation for an after funeral party. She was so obsessed with what everyone would think about her house that she missed some of her mother's funeral just to make sure everything was done in order. Before the guests arrived, she was yelling over some spilled wine is suit. As they entered, she put on her happy face, so to her guests she appeared to have it all together, as not a tear was even shed for her mother so when spoken. Rule number two, appearance is everything. By the way, the...

...seven examples I'm sharing with you today are all true. These are actual, true stories from my clients. Number three, there are a lot of family secrets. The irony about family secrets is that the narcissist does not honor other's secrets, but demands compliance with theirs. A beautiful young woman spent years in middle school going through her self identified ugly phase. However, her narcissistic mother still like to carry a picture of her daughter during that time, calling her my ugly duckling. She had the habit of bringing out the picture when, for others would compliment her daughter on her now very good looks. One day, after finding a terrible old picture of her mother, the daughter likewise shared...

...the photo with some friends. The mother flew into a rage and refused to speak to her daughter for several years, acute using her daughter of embarrassing her in front of her friends. So rule number three. There are a lot of family secrets. Will Number Four. Sex is expected on demand. The birth of their first baby was a bit traumatic, resulting in several tiers, tears and stitches. The doctor gave strict instructions not to have sex for at least six weeks due to the amount of damage. Two weeks after the birth, the narcissistic father began insisting that his wife have intercourse with him. His persistence was unrelenting and finally she gave in, despite the pain. This caused her to bleed and our stitches to be reopened. The husband then blamed the...

...doctor for not doing an adequate job. Sex is not about the narcissistic partner meeting the narcissistic partners needs or wants. Rather, is it is about meeting their needs and wants, and they will say and do whatever it takes to be able to have sex. So, number four, sex is on demand. Number Five, there is instant comparing. In order to maintain superiority status, narcissists constantly compare themselves to others. However, it doesn't stop there. Spouses, children, houses, cars and bank accounts are also continually evaluated. A narcissistic spouse looks at another woman in comments to their spouse, why can't...

...you look more like her? A narcissistic parent sees another kid performing while on the football field and begins to brate their child for not doing as well. A new college. Narcissistic graduate turns down several jobs because they are beneath me and I deserve better soon. Number Five, there is constant comparing. Number six, it's never their fault. No matter what the circumstance, a narcissist will not accept responsibility for any failure. Instead, things will be twisted and blamed on others. A narcissistic parent was asked to pick up their child after soccer practice. All the other parents had come and gone before the child texted their parent. The Narcissus's response was filled with anger, saying that the child was being impatient, demanding and uncaring about the work related issue that delayed the parent for an hour and a half. There was even been more in rage...

...upon discovering that the child also texted the other parent, letting them know about the incident. The narcissistic parent then accused the child of creating problems in the marriage. Number six, it's never their fault. Number seven there is unnecessary drama. One of the TELMART signals of a narcissistic relationship is the generation of unnecessary drama. Often this is done to stir up confusion so that the narcissistic spouse can look like the hero. During a night out with friends, the spouse makes a casual comment about their income being a bit less this month's due to the economy. Immediately the narcissistic spouse gives them the stare, which is a silent shut up. Now, on the way home and in the house,...

...the narcissistic spouse rants for hours about how the comment of embarrassed them and was completely disrespectful. Then the narcissist demands that the spouse retracts their comments with friends and replace it with the gratitude for the bonus that was earned the year before. Number seven, there is unnecessary drama. Once again, here are the seven unspoken rules that I find frequently and a narcissistic family. Number One, only their perspective matters. Number two, appearance is everything. Number three, there are a lot of family secrets. Number four, sex is expected on demand. Number Five, there is constant comparing. Number six, it's never their fault. Number seven, there is unnecessary drama. So, while...

...there are more unspoken rules that a narcissistic family can have, these point the highlight and the most predominant ones that I tend to see. To recover from such a family it is useful to write out your own unspoken rules so they can be properly evaluated and discarded, and then we won't be passing this down to the next generation. Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Central dotcom. For more information, visit grow with Christine dotcom.

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