9. Be Aware of Your Attractions with Narcissists
To add further injury to injury, many adult children of narcissists are vulnerable to being drawn into relationships with narcissists beyond their family of origin, including partners, friends, and bosses. It sucks, but there is no shame in this: Repeating the past until we learn from it is the mind-body’s way of healing. So pay attention. Learn. Keep educating yourself about narcissism. Develop a fine-tuned narcissist radar, or “nardar.” If you get tripped up in unhealthy relationships, forgive yourself and move on. Only about 6 percent of people have NPD. There are a lot of nonnarcissists out there, so go find them!
10. Honor Your Feelings About Your Narcissist Parent
Most of us love our parents, no matter what, and we cling to our need for love and validation from them. Your narcissistic parent cannot love you unconditionally the way we all deserve to be loved within our families, and for that matter is capable of no more than fleeting empathy. Yet you may still love that parent. Mixed with grief and anger, you may also sympathize with your parent’s NPD. It is also possible that you are numb to your parent or too used up to feel love anymore.
Whatever you feel, try not to judge yourself for it. Honor your feelings and let them be your guide in how you choose to interact with your family. Go no contact if that feels like the safest choice. Or operate with firm boundaries and lowered expectations. Narcissist parents, unless they are true sadists, are usually capable of affection for their children, at least sometimes. Some may be able to give in ways that you find nurturing or helpful. With a healthy dose of skepticism, take the good when it comes, as limited as it may be.