List of Common Narcissistic Behaviours


Narcissistic parents do not respect the physical, psychological or emotional privacy or boundaries of their children.

They may read their diaries and search their rooms.

They will not respect their children’s secrets and privacy and will often embarrass their children by disclosing private information to others.

They often shame their children for their normal bodily functions.

When their children reach their teenage years, they may become highly jealous and critical.

They will often abandon their children.

They will treat their children differently. Favoured children are known as ‘golden’ children and unfavoured children are known as ‘scapegoats.’ They will spend little money or time on ‘scapegoat’ children while lavishing gifts on the ‘golden’ children. They will continually devalue their ‘scapegoat’ children while idealising their golden children. Narcissistic parents will play their children against each other with a technique known as triangulation, this is essentially a divide and rule tactic.

When their children become adults, they may have flirtations or more with their children’s partners.

They are highly competitive and will compete with their children. This means their children may often underachieve or be ‘mediocre’ in life to deflect the intense competitiveness and jealousy of a narcissistic parent.

Children of narcissists may often be made to leave the family home at a relatively young age.

Idealising and devaluing others.

Manipulation of others in order to meet their needs. Much of what they say or do has an ulterior motive.

Apologies are rare to non-existent as they view themselves as always correct.

A strong need to control people and events around them.

Use of emotionally abusive punishments such as the silent treatment and narcissistic rage.

Blaming others for everything they feel has gone wrong.

Refusal to take personal responsibility.

Use of shame and fear to control others.

They do not value the feelings and opinions of other people.

Use of a technique known as ‘gaslighting’ to control others. Please see Gaslighting.

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Sarah Graham

I am a Counsellor, based in Bournemouth in the UK, with specialist knowledge of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I am trained in treating Complex Trauma. I work online and am insured to work in most places in the world.

Link to my Counselling Website Here