Is your parent a narcissist? Many parents are difficult or overbearing, but a few cross the line into the pathological type of narcissism that can turn your relationship into a nightmare. If your parent fits this description, here are five ways to cope.
1. Recognize that their behavior is abnormal, not merely “difficult.”
Most people ultimately want to work out a problem in a way that’s mutually agreeable, but a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder thrives on the power play. For a parent with NPD– or who you suspect has NPD– it’s often “their way or the highway.” In my own family, my father has chosen not to see his grandchildren for years rather than make a reasonable concession about the terms of visits. If your parent values their ability to control you above having a functioning relationship, you can assure yourself that this is not normal or healthy human behavior.