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The Lasting Impact of Growing Up with Narcissistic Parents

traumatised child from narcissist/narcissistic parent

If you grew up with a narcissist parent, you know how deeply it can shape who you are. You might find yourself constantly trying to stay safe and connected, often at the cost of your own well-being. These coping mechanisms, developed in childhood, can follow you into adulthood, influencing your behaviour and relationships.

Survival Mode: Staying Safe

When you Live with narcissistic parents you are often puts you in a constant state of survival mode. Narcissistic parents can be unpredictable, demanding, and emotionally volatile. To avoid conflict and minimize emotional harm, you probably learned to stay hyper-vigilant, always assessing their moods and adjusting your behaviour to avoid triggering them. This constant alertness helped you anticipate and avoid confrontations or emotional abuse, which was essential for your survival as a child.

Connection at a Cost

Maintaining a connection with a narcissistic parent is emotionally draining. Those carrying these traits typically prioritize their own needs and desires over yours, creating a dynamic where you had to suppress your emotions and needs to keep the peace. This likely led to a pattern of people-pleasing, where you constantly seek approval and validation from others. As an adult, you might struggle with setting boundaries, fear rejection, and have an overwhelming need to be liked, and often attract more narcissist into their lives, as this feels familiar.

Staying Small: Minimizing Presence

Childhood Trauma - Narcissist

One of the most common coping mechanisms you might have adopted is the tendency to "stay small." This means minimizing your own presence, achievements, and needs to avoid drawing attention or provoking jealousy from your parents, you might as well have put on weight, to remain "un-seen". Narcissistic parents often view their children's successes as threats and may respond with criticism or sabotage. To protect yourself, you learned to downplay your accomplishments, your body and keep your ambitions in check.

Carrying the Burden into Adulthood

These coping mechanisms don't just disappear when you grow up. Many adults who had narcissistic parents continue to struggle with either one or all of those issues: low self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, weight issues, procrastination, fear of failure amongst others. You might find it difficult to assert yourself in personal and professional relationships, often defaulting to the familiar pattern of staying small and avoiding confrontation.

Breaking the Cycle from growing up with a Narcissist parent

The good news is that if you've faced the challenges of narcissistic parenting, know that there's hope for healing through Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT®). By tapping into the subconscious mind, where 95% of our beliefs and behaviours originate, RTT® offers a powerful avenue for reshaping deeply entrenched patterns. Through this process, individuals can reclaim their sense of self and build healthier, more fulfilling lives, free from the shadows of their past.


The effects of growing up with a narcissistic parent are complex and far-reaching, but recognizing them is the first step toward healing. By understanding these dynamics and seeking appropriate support, you can begin to heal from your past and build healthier, more fulfilling relationships. You deserve to live a life defined by self-worth and genuine connections, free from the shadows of your childhood.

Feel free to reach out if you want to find out more about RTT® or if you are ready to break free from the cycle of narcissistic parenting and reclaim your sense of self-worth and empowerment: FREE initial consultation | Cathy Jenkins RTT (

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