Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say

76 Things Narcissistic Mothers Say + What She ACTUALLY Means

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Actions usually speak louder than words, but in this case, the things narcissistic mothers say will instantly unmask their true identity. You simply need to be able to read between the lines.

Narcissistic mothers are largely controlling and will see their children as an extension of who they are. As a result, they expect their children to behave in a way that makes them look superior.

However, as we all know, children are all individual and unique, which doesn’t always work with the narcissists superior facade, which they need to uphold to the world around them.

The narcissist wants others to see them as the most amazing Mum, with highly talented/ special children, yet those same children dare not outshine their narcissistic mother.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother myself, I can testify to just how difficult a childhood like that is.

Examples of things narcissistic mothers say:

  1. “Why can’t you be more like…”
  2. “You’re too sensitive.”
  3. “If you act the way I expect, I won’t be forced to punish you.”
  4. “After everything I’ve done for you!”
  5. “You’re so smart. Obviously that comes from me.”
  6. “You think you’re so good, don’t you?”
  7. “I never said/ did that.”
  8. “That dress would fit better if you stopped eating so much.”

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Things Narcissistic Mothers Say

Examples of things MY narcissistic mother said

Being such a chronic sufferer of depression and anxiety as a teen, having no appetite is always something that I always battled with. Not just through my growing years, but even as an adult.

If you didn’t know me, you could easily have been forgiven for thinking that I was anorexic, since I was so skinny. However the issue wasn’t in me thinking that I was overweight, but in the fact that stomaching food was so difficult with zero appetite.

One of the things my narcissistic mother would say was, “You’re too skinny,” with a disgusted look on her face.

You’re too skinny!

Mind you, she worked in the healthcare field and in hindsight it was pure negligence on her behalf for not actually getting me any type of medical help with the issue. Instead she chose to devalue me and erode any semblance of self esteem that may have still existed.

Things Narcissistic Mothers Say PIN

Why didn’t my medical professional mother address my issue of being severely underweight? Well, because then she might actually have to take some responsibility for what had caused the issue in the first place. Plus, admitting that there was something wrong with me would reflect poorly on her. Neither of those things were in her play book.

I moved out of home as soon as I finished school into a share house because I just had to get away from her. Over the next year I had a great time partying, drinking and actually eating (albeit, not the healthiest of diets). Hence, I went up from a size 6 to a size 8 – 10.

I can clearly remember standing in the kitchen one day when my narcissistic mother said, “You’re putting on some weight there, you’d better be careful of that,” with a critical eye.

You’re putting on some weight, you’d better watch that.

What do you even say to that? For the first time in my life I was actually a healthy weight and one of the things my narcissistic mother said was that I was getting too fat. That was on the backend of being told for the past five years that I was too skinny.

I mean, what size is there between a size 6 and a size 8? Where exactly is the ‘good enough’ sweet spot for a daughter of an overly critical narcissistic mother?

Right there is the epitome of why I’ll never be good enough for her and why I stopped even wanting to be, quite a few years ago.

That’s just one example of a whole library full of things narcissistic mothers say to their children. Let’s explore some more…

She’ll compare you to others

Narcissism Criticism

Let’s get one thing straight. Narcissists are never happy and nothing is ever good enough for them. Unfortunately, that extends right out to the children of narcissists.

You will never, ever be good enough for your narcissistic mother.

Narcissistic Mums are masters at comparing their children to others who exhibit qualities or attributes that they want and expect their own children to have. It doesn’t matter that those expectations completely disregard their children as being individuals because they merely view their children as an extension of themselves.

Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say to COMPARE:

“Why can’t you be more like your brother/ sister?”

MEANING: They are acting and appearing the way that I want them to, which means they have my approval. If you want my love and approval, you need to be more like them.

“Did you see how well-behaved little Johnny was at Church today?”

MEANING: I preferred the way Johnny behaved, rather than how you behaved. My love is conditional upon that expected behaviour.

“Why don’t you wear dresses like your best friend Cassie?”

MEANING: I expect my daughter to be more feminine. I don’t accept you as you are.

“All of the other kids are having fun, get over there and join them.”

MEANING: Everyone else’s kids are able to be themselves and have fun in a group setting and you’re making me look bad by not joining in. The fact that you’re anxious is not my problem.

Things narcissistic mothers say…
“Why can’t you be more like…!”

Your emotions are an inconvenience to her

Despair, Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissists not only lack empathy, even for their own children, but they are completely void of true emotion. They’re just not capable of it. The exception being when they need to switch it on themselves so as to play the victim for their own gain.

The general consensus with a narcissistic mother is that your emotions are an inconvenience to them and that they are irrelevant. In fact, they probably think you’re making it up half the time, rather than seeing that you’re genuinely hurt or sad.

Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say When You’re an INCONVENIENCE:

“Get over it.”

MEANING: Your feelings are irrelevant and I don’t have time to deal with them.

“What’s wrong with you?”

MEANING: How you feel or react to whatever I say is not my responsibility. I don’t want to look at my own behaviour, it’s easier to imply that there’s something wrong with you instead

“I don’t care.”

MEANING: I literally do not care about you and your needs

“Crying isn’t going to change anything.”

MEANING: I don’t have the capacity to empathise or care about your emotions. You’re obviously just crying because you want to manipulate the situation.

“Stop being so dramatic.”

MEANING: Your feelings don’t matter. You’re being over sensitive. There’s something wrong with you. It’s not my fault you react this way to my words or actions.

“You’re too sensitive.”

MEANING: Your sensitivities are an inconvenience to me. You need to stop having any needs or wants of your own.

“I’ll give you something to cry about!”

MEANING: You have absolutely no reason to be crying, regardless of how you feel. If you really want to cry, I’ll do something that would be just cause for crying, in my books.

Things narcissistic mothers say…
“God, you’re so sensitive!”

She wants to control you

Narcissistic Mother

Narcissistic mothers can be extremely controlling. They feel as though their children are something that they ‘own,’ therefore the way those children look and behave is a direct reflection of themselves.

Since narcs are totally consumed with how the world sees them, those little humans who are a reflection of them, had better slot in with the narcissist’s expectations! It’s all part of keeping their False Self and fictional storyline in check.

Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say to CONTROL:

“If you did as I asked, I wouldn’t have to yell at you.”

MEANING: You’re not an individual person with your own thoughts, you need to obey my commands without question

“I’m just trying to help.”

MEANING: I can shoulder my way into your life, saying and doing whatever I like. I know best and whether you want my input or not is irrelevant.

“If you didn’t do ________, then I wouldn’t have to _________.”

MEANING: It’s 100% your fault that I reacted this way, not mine. I will not be held accountable for my actions.

“Who do you think you are?!”

MEANING: How DARE you question my authority

Things narcissistic mothers say…
“If you act the way I expect, I won’t be forced to punish you.”

She’ll guilt-trip you

Narcissist Guilt

The purpose of the guilt-trip is to manipulate another person into doing what you want them to do.

Narcissists are masters at guilt tactics.

Disturbingly, things narcissistic mothers say is direct programming to control, manipulate and bend their children to their will. For the children of a narcissistic Mum, this programmed behaviour started from birth, so they’re well-primed in how to react, purely for the mother’s selfish gain.

Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say to GUILT TRIP:

“After everything I’ve done for you!”

MEANING: Don’t expect anything from me for free. Everything I do is purely transactional and I expect unwavering loyalty and obedience from you in return.

“You never call me or come to visit.”

MEANING: I’m the victim here and you need to give me more time and attention.

“How can you do that to me? I’m your mother.”

MEANING: I gave birth to you/ raised you, therefore you are forever obligated to me.

“You’re so ungrateful.”

MEANING: You should be grateful for everything I do for you, whether you want it or not.

You’re tired? How do you think I feel? I work my butt off all week to give you everything you’ve got.”

MEANING: Don’t you dare complain, I’m the only one who can do that.

“You owe me.”

MEANING: I gave you life, therefore you’re indebted to me forever.

Things narcissistic mothers say…
“After all that I’ve done for you!”

She’ll disguise devaluing with compliments

Narcissistic Mother

Among the things that narcissistic mothers say, you will sometimes find some compliments… however, they’re mostly sandwiched between devaluations.

The backhanded put down totally nullifies any ‘niceness’ that was delivered with the original acclaim. In other words, the compliment was completely fake and you end up feeling confused and unworthy.

So, why does the narcissist do this?

Well, they could be feeling threatened by your attributes, which means they need to pull you down in order for them to feel better. It’s also another way of keeping you in your place, which they believe is very much below them in the pecking order.

The idea that you may outshine them in any shape or form is abhorrent to the narcissist.

However, they don’t want it to be obvious that they’ve put you down, because that would reveal who they truly are underneath the narcissistic charade. Hence, the compliment to disguise the devaluation.

Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say to DEVALUE:

“You’re so smart. Obviously that comes from me.”

MEANING: Don’t get too cocky, your intelligence wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for me.

“It’s amazing how much weight you’ve lost. Pity about the loose skin though.”

MEANING: Either you’re overweight or you’re skinny with flaws. You’ll never be good enough.

You’re so good at your job, but when are going to start earning some real money?

MEANING: You’re not actually worthy or successful unless you get paid more.

“I love it when you cook, but you need to watch a few more cooking shows.”

MEANING: You’re not actually good enough, you need to learn some more skills.

Your newly published book looks good. But you know, I haven’t actually read it, because it’s not my thing.

MEANING: I want to be seen as being ‘supportive,’ but I have zero interest in what you do.

Things narcissistic mothers say…
“It’s amazing how much weight you’ve lost. Pity about the loose skin.”

She’ll tear you down

Narcissistic Mother

A narcissistic mother feels that she’s totally entitled to tear you down – after all, she is your mother.

Having a mother who tears you down is completely messed up and inverted. She is the one person who’s supposed to support you and love you unconditionally… simply because she’s your mother!

On the one hand, the narcissistic mother expects her children to be perfect because she sees them as an extension of herself. Yet at the same time, those same children dare not outshine her or else they’ll feel her wrath of judgement, devaluation and ultimately, rejection.

There is no way to win – the child will always be left feeling unworthy and filled with shame.

It really is incredible, the hurtful things that narcissistic mothers say to tear down their children.

Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say to TEAR YOU DOWN:

“You think you’re so good, don’t you?”

MEANING: I have every right to pull you down off that pedestal and make sure you don’t rise.

“No one will ever love you.”

MEANING: You’re unlovable and should be grateful that you’ve got me.

“So what, now you’re the expert?”

MEANING: You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m the authority over you, not the other way around.

“Stop showing off.”

MEANING: How dare you have confidence and be good at something.

“Wipe that look off your face!”

MEANING: Don’t you dare question me or anything that I say.

“That dress would fit a bit better if you stopped eating so much chocolate.”

MEANING: You’re never good enough, you need to try harder.

Things narcissistic mothers say…
“So what, now you think you know it all?”

She’ll deny your reality

Narcissism Denial

The only reality that exists in the narcissistic mother’s world is her own warped version. Of course, her storyline exists purely to serve her and nobody else.

Narc Mums do not like to be proven wrong or have anything threaten their image. They will deny conversations and may even simply ignore you and pretend like you never even spoke (my Mum’s personal favourite).

Examples of Things Narcissistic Mothers Say to DENY YOUR REALITY:

“I never did that.”

“I never said that.”

“I have no idea what you’re on about.”

“You’re making it up.”

“You’ve got it wrong.”

“You obviously misheard me.”

MEANING: If you try to hold me responsible for my words or actions, I’ll just deny that it ever happened.
READ: 100+ Gaslighting Terms Narcs Use

Things narcissistic mothers say…
“I never said that.”

More things narcissistic mothers say…

  1. “I’m sorry, but… [insert non-apology]”
  2. “Stop making a mountain out of a molehill.”
  3. “That was your choice.”
  4. “You intentionally did/ said that to hurt me.”
  5. “Because it’s all about YOU, isn’t it.”
  6. “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
  7. “You are so selfish.”
  8. “Good luck with that.”
  9. “I told you so.”
  10. “I should never have had kids.”
  11. “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
  12. “You can’t spend your whole life being jealous of me.”
  13. “You’re lucky to have a mother like me.”
  14. “I’m so approachable, you can tell me anything.”
  15. “I’m busy, I’ve got to clean the house.”
  16. “You’re too sensitive; I was just joking.”
  17. “I sacrificed so much for you, and this is how you repay me?”
  18. “You’ll never be as good as [someone else].”
  19. “You’re making that up; that never happened.”
  20. “You’re overreacting; it’s not that big of a deal.”
  21. “You’re so selfish; you never think about anyone but yourself.”
  22. “I always know what’s best for you.”
  23. “You owe me for everything I’ve done for you.”
  24. “Stop trying to blame me for your problems.”
  25. “You’re the reason I’m unhappy.”
  26. “You’re so ungrateful; I’ve done everything for you.”
  27. “You don’t love me; you’re so heartless.”
  28. “You’re just trying to make me look bad.”
  29. “You’re imagining things.”
  30. “You’re too young/ inexperienced to understand.”
  31. “You’re just seeking attention.”
  32. “You’re so difficult to love.”
  33. “You’ll never succeed without me.”
  34. “You’re exaggerating; it wasn’t that bad.”
  35. “You owe me respect because I’m your mother.”
  36. “You’re always the problem in this family.”
READ: What the Narc’s “I’m sorry” Really Means
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How to Deal With a Narcissistic Mother

When it comes to dealing with a narcissistic mother, I first recommend educating yourself on the topic. That way it’ll be much easier for you to identify the toxic behaviours in the moment, which is often easier said than done.

There are a few ways to deal with a narcissistic mother and none will be easy. Choosing which path to go down will be entirely dependent on your situation with your own mother and other family members.

Set Boundaries

As someone who’s been raised by a narcissistic mother, the idea of setting boundaries is enough to make me want to crawl into a hole. I get it!

You’ve probably never had boundaries with your narcissistic mother either because she would have made damn sure that you didn’t.

Setting boundaries is essentially recognising which behaviour you will no longer tolerate and not accepting that in your life.

Once you figure out what the ‘deal breakers’ are for you, you’ll need to speak up each time your narc mother crosses those boundaries.

You might say, “If you’re going to put me down, we’ll have to finish this conversation another time.”

We all have the right to walk away from anyone who crosses our boundaries – no matter who that person is.

Get ready to be hit with mega resistance from your mother! She will most probably deny that she even put you down, or she’ll totally invalidate how you’re feeling. That’s when you need to walk away or hang up the phone.

Be aware that the process of setting boundaries is going to take time to roll out. It’s kinda like training a dog. Your narcissistic mother isn’t going to change and it’s not your job to change her (she’s a big girl, she needs to do that for herself).

The idea is to put into place that you will walk away whenever she behaves in a way that is not acceptable to you.

You’ll no doubt feel truckloads of guilt as you actively set your boundaries and I’m sure your mother will make sure of it. However, you no longer need to be her emotional regulator.

It’s time to put yourself first, probably for the first time in your life and honour yourself. You’ve got this!

Low Contact

I highly recommend going low contact with your narc mother, even with setting the boundaries.

Low contact basically means reducing the contact to what feels like a more comfortable amount. Stick to short and limited phone calls and pare back to shorter in-person visits.

You are not obliged to have an abusive person in your life full-time, even if it is your mother. Consider this, if she wasn’t your Mum, would you choose for her to be in your life at all?

No Contact

If your narcissistic mother is extremely abusive and too hard to bare, you may choose to go no contact.

This is exactly as it sounds – you do not contact her again or respond to any communication from her.

Again, be prepared to be hit with resistance, hoovering, guilt-trips and manipulations. After all, “How DARE you do that to your mother!”

At the end of the day, your mental health needs to come first, instead of your mother’s needs and wants.

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