Family dynamics can be complicated, especially those between parents and adult children. If your relationship with your mother is tense or even harmful, you’re not alone. Here’s how to recognize toxicity in a parent child relationship, plus some tips on how to handle it so you can hopefully stop thinking, "I hate my mother."
8 Common Characteristics Of A Toxic Mother
Parenthood is challenging, and no parent is perfect. It’s not uncommon for all parents to display some of the characteristics on this list from time to time. Their negative behavior may be demonstrating toxic patterns, however, when they regularly or constantly embody two or more of them. Your parent may be toxic if your relationship with them is characterized by…
- Constant harsh criticism
- Controlling behavior
- Guilt-tripping and manipulation
- Invalidation of the child’s feelings and emotions
- Passive aggression, such as the silent treatment
- Disrespect of personal boundaries
- A lack of reciprocation
What Is A Toxic Mother?
A parent who constantly criticizes everything around them is likely creating a toxic environment for the people in their life, including their children. It may seem like nothing is ever good enough for this person and their “editor-in-chief” tendencies, and they likely display signs of toxic perfectionism. If you grew up around someone like this, you may have even developed a harsh inner critic for yourself that mirrors their impossible standards and judgments. Another toxic situation is when parents constantly compare their children. When a parent always appreciates your sister and you are always bombarded with criticisms, this can make you think "I hate my sister too." This type of parent may make you feel like you’re lacking, no matter what you do, which can lead to mental health issues.
A mother with controlling tendencies will make her opinions known and may even force them on others. She usually has strong feelings about everything in your life—something that likely hasn’t changed now that you’re an adult. She may not hesitate to give instructions about how you should live, and probably doesn’t hold back when she disagrees with your choice of clothing, career, or partner, for instance. Pushing back against her strong opinions can be difficult or may even feel impossible, especially since this may be a dynamic that has existed between you since you were a child.
Guilt-Tripping And Manipulation
Most of the characteristics on this list are manipulative, but some parents may display this common trait more prominently. For example, they may work to make you feel guilty or responsible for their bad behavior, especially when they can’t get their way. They may know exactly what emotional ‘button’ to press to get you to give in. They are experts in what makes you tick because they know you so well, and they may use this skill to get their way or simply to exercise control that makes them feel superior or in charge.
This toxic trait can be subtle or brutally direct. It often takes the form of jokes that are harmful and inappropriate, which your mother may even make in front of family and friends. If you confront her about these comments, a toxic mother’s reaction is typically to brush it off, saying that you’re too sensitive and can’t take a joke or a piece of advice. This kind of verbal abuse is generally another form of her exercising power over you and can be harmful both because of the impact of what she says as well as the gaslighting and dismissal of your feelings, which can cause low self-esteem.
Invalidation Of Your Emotions
Toxic relationships with a parent may make someone feel like their emotions are incorrect, inconvenient, or too much. Your parent may belittle, criticize, or challenge you when you express yourself, making you feel like you can’t honestly tell them anything or be who you truly are. Such invalidation is especially common if your feelings relate to unhappiness, anger, or frustration with the way your parent treats you, or if they involve any other negative emotion toward them.
Passive aggression is when someone indirectly expresses their negative emotions. It could manifest as sulking, self-pity, victimization, or sarcasm when they’re unhappy with something. When a parent displays this type of behavior, it’s a way of avoiding confrontation at all costs while making their disapproval known in all kinds of other ways.
Disrespect Of Personal Boundaries
Mothers who disrespect your personal boundaries as an adult may still be treating you like a child. She may act inappropriately toward you, ignoring that you’re a fully capable adult with their own life and need for space. These behaviors could include opening and reading your mail without permission, picking up your phone to read your texts, contacting your friends to discuss you, or showing up at your home unannounced. When you push back against these boundary violations, she will likely claim it’s her right as your mother, say she was just trying to help, or insinuate that you’re overreacting.
A Lack Of Reciprocation
Some adult children are very close with their parents and may even describe their relationship as a friendship. This dynamic in adulthood is not inherently toxic and can be quite fulfilling. However, such a relationship may cross the line into toxicity when your parent relies on you as their best friend and support system, and when the relationship revolves around them and their life. They may insist that their problems and feelings always be the focus. They may show jealousy toward their other friends or partner if it means they receive less attention. There’s a clear lack of reciprocity, which is generally not the foundation for any healthy relationship.
Potential Effects Of A Toxic Relationship With Your Mother
If your relationship with your mother is characterized by some or many of the dynamics listed above, it’s likely to affect you in a variety of ways. Constant criticism may leave you feeling like you’re never good enough or that there’s something inherently wrong with you. Controlling behavior may make you believe that you’ll only be loved if you remain obedient, small, and powerless. Manipulation may have you questioning what’s true or right. Humiliation can negatively impact your self-esteem and make you question your feelings, as can invalidation of your emotions. Passive aggression can give you an unhealthy view of communication and conflict resolution. Disrespect of your boundaries and a one-sided relationship can make you feel like you’re not worthy of being loved the way you want and deserve. If you experienced child abuse, including physical abuse, while growing up with this parenting dynamic, you may have unresolved trauma that is causing further complications.
In addition to the pain you may experience in the moment as a result of these types of interactions with your mother, the suffering may be long-lasting and develop into toxic stress A dynamic like this could take a toll on your self-esteem over the long term. You may even develop a mental health disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, depression, or an eating disorder as a result of the tension.
It could also warp your view of what a healthy relationship looks like and potentially impact or shape all other social relations in your life. For instance, you may not feel comfortable being your full self with others. You may have a high tolerance for being treated poorly and not think twice about doing the majority of the emotional labor in a relationship. You could also be prone to self-sabotage because you don’t believe that you’re deserving of a healthy or loving relationship with someone, or that it’s truly possible.
Seeking Help In Healing With A Toxic Mother
Your relationship with the person who raised you is one of the most formative of your life. Whether you realize it or not, your dynamic with them throughout childhood and now as an adult may be impacting other areas of your life. If you’re looking to unpack these effects, gain a greater sense of self-awareness, heal from any adult or childhood trauma related to the relationship, and learn how to better assure yourself going forward, therapy may help. A therapist can provide you with a safe, nonjudgmental space where you can express difficult emotions and sort out complicated ones. They can help you identify unhealthy patterns and find out how to set firm boundaries for the future, including cutting ties with a toxic parent if necessary. If it feels like you’ve been going head to head against your mother for your entire life, the listening ear of a therapist can feel deeply validating and healing.
You can seek therapy in different ways, according to what’s most comfortable and convenient for you. For those who lack options for providers in their area, have a busy schedule and no time to commute to a therapist’s office, or simply prefer engaging in therapy from the comfort of their own home, virtual therapy is an option. With an online therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can get matched with a licensed therapist whom you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or online chat to address your concerns. Since research suggests that this format offers similar benefits to the traditional, in-person therapy style, you can feel confident that you’ll receive helpful, compassionate care with whichever method you choose. If you’re interested in online therapy, read on for client reviews of BetterHelp counselors.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do You Deal With A Critical Mother?
Any parent is going to have some disagreements with how you lead your life, even if the two of you are quite the same. However, there is a limit, and many critical, and potentially toxic, parents cross it. If you're wondering to yourself, "How can I deal with the relationship with my toxic mother when she's so critical?" here are a few answers.
- Set boundaries. If there is a subject that always causes toxic criticism, you should make it clear that you're not going to take it. Instead, agree to change the subject whenever this is brought up.
- Remember, your toxic parent isn't infallible. If you don't agree with your toxic mother's criticism, don't take it. Instead, live your own life, and tell her that you love her and want to be there, but you're living your life how you see fit.
- With that said, do empathize. Sometimes, a critical, and potentially also toxic, mother is coming from a good place, but she may just be taking her criticisms too far. Listen and try to understand where she's coming from, but also be firm and tell her that this is your decision.
What Is An Overbearing Mother?
An overbearing mother is a mother who is extremely critical of everything you do. She will always watch you from behind the shadows, only to pop up when you've done something wrong. Overbearing mothers can hover over you at all times and are sometimes called helicopter parents. This is another example of toxic parenting, and those who have overbearing mothers can face a lot of problems due their toxic behavior.
How Do You Deal With A Crazy Mother?
- First, don't write her off as just being "crazy." Sometimes, she has concerns and may be level-headed, but doesn't know how to express her opinions without sounding difficult or overbearing.
- Speak calmly about how you feel and set up some boundaries. If your toxic mother crosses them, remind her of the promise.
- Small doses may be your solution. Sometimes, taking your toxic mother in tiny doses can help keep the relationship strong while not being too much.
- If all else fails, try seeking help from a family therapist. You may not be equipped to deal with your toxic mother's mindset, but a therapist could.
How Do You Deal When Your Mother Is Toxic?
Setting boundaries is the most important thing to do here. If you're an adult, you don't need to have constant contact with your toxic mother. It's important to remember that you are separate from her and that you don't need to report to your mum. The most important thing to do is to take care of yourself and work on setting boundaries, establishing your sense of self, and learning to use self-compassion in counseling. Sometimes, when your parents are toxic, you're left with a lot of overwhelming feelings. These emotions are difficult to cope with, and therapy or counseling can be beneficial for those in this situation.
What Is A Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationship?
A toxic mother-daughter relationship is a relationship that involves an unhealthy balance in the roles between a mother and daughter. The dysfunction that occurs in these potentially toxic relationships tends to have a negative impact on many other aspects of their lives.
Sometimes, toxic mother-daughter relationships can go undetected if both parties are not aware and a toxic mother-daughter relationship takes both the mother and daughter to be aware to be able to heal the relationship. A toxic mother-daughter relationship is actually more common than one may think, and it usually forms from relationship patterns and behaviors. It’s important to remind yourself that it’s no one's fault. No one intends to create a toxic relationship and there may be deeper underlying reasons for the toxic relationship having formed. Being aware of the toxic relationship is the first step, but you don’t have to wait for your mother to be aware of the toxic relationship to start the healing for yourself.
If you’re unsure how to navigate your toxic mother-daughter relationship and need some guidance, reaching out to a licensed family therapist could be a great place to start. They are experts in all sorts of relationships and can help you feel supported on your journey to healing.
How Do You Know If Your Mother Is Toxic?
The most common sign of a toxic relationship between any people is the presence of controlling behaviors. Toxic mothers tend to want to micromanage every aspect of their children's lives. Children may end up feeling emotionally immature or dependent upon their toxic mothers, which can lead to feelings of insecurity as they age and have children of their own.
Other Signs Of Having A Toxic Relationship With Your Mother May Include:
- Your toxic mother is emotionally unavailable to you. Your toxic mother may withhold love or affection from you while giving it to others, leaving you feeling unwanted or unloved.
- She is dismissive of your feelings. Children who are raised by toxic mothers who dismiss their thoughts or feelings or show no regard for their child’s accomplishments often feel unworthy of attention from others. It can lead to self-doubt.
- Your mother is unreliable. Toxic mothers are typically self-centered and, therefore, have no interest in being the reliable parent unless, of course, their availability can someone how serve their own purpose.
Having a toxic mother can have a negative impact on a child, especially in the early years of child development. While not every toxic mother will be willing to reach out for help, there are sources of help. Talking to a counselor or therapist or joining a support group are great ways to open communication and begin to learn to develop healthy mother/child relationships.
What Causes A Toxic Mother?
Lack of good maternal roles or healthy relationships with their own mothers can cause some women to become toxic mothers. A woman who has childish tendencies may exhibit toxic behaviors such as being possessive or controlling.
If you are noticing signs that your mother is toxic or if you are exhibiting symptoms of being a toxic mother, seek help. For many, learning how to effectively communicate and to set healthy boundaries can have a positive impact on your relationship with your mother or daughter and can help improve the way you communicate in other relationships, as well.
Why Do Mothers And Daughters Clash?
The relationship between mothers and daughters is often a complicated one. Arguments and a battle of wills is a normal part of daughters growing up and mothers learning to let them. The cause of clashes in mother-and-daughter relationships can range from different personal opinions about rules within the home or who a daughter should be friends with to a mother feeling unappreciated or undervalued. Mothers and daughters both experience emotional highs and lows. As daughters grow into teenagers and begin experiencing hormonal changes, emotions can make them feel like they are on an emotional roller coaster that never stops moving.
Understanding that differences of opinion and changes in the way a mother and daughter feel about personal matters is important. While mothers and daughters don’t have to agree on everything, finding some middle ground for compromise and learning to effectively communicate can help you build healthy relationships. When you feel like the differences are too big to overcome alone, seeking the help of a counselor or therapist may be helpful.
Why Is My Mom Always Mad And Yelling?
It is not uncommon for people to raise their voices or yell from time to time. Your mum may feel like you aren’t paying attention to what she is saying or that you are purposefully ignoring her. In this case, it’s important for you to acknowledge what she is saying. Even if you don’t have time to do something right away, you can respond and tell her that you are listening to her. However, when anger and yelling go hand in hand or occur often, there may be some deeper issues going on. People who have difficulty dealing with anger issues may be more likely to raise their voices or yell when trying to communicate. Although this is not usually conducive to healthy communication, it happens, nonetheless.
Additionally, some mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder cause individuals to behave in angry or irrational ways, often yelling. If you are concerned that your mother has a mental health condition, it may be a good idea to talk to your primary care provider or a mental health professional for information and advice on what steps to follow.
Can A Mother Be Jealous Of Her Daughter?
Yes, unfortunately, a mother can be jealous of her daughter. There are many reasons why a mother may experience feelings of jealousy toward a daughter, and while they each can make both mother and daughter feel uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean that a healthy relationship can’t be established. The first step is understanding the reason why a mother is experiencing jealousy toward her daughter.
For example, when a middle-aged woman goes through menopause, it is not uncommon to have altered mood and behavior because of hormonal changes. They may feel unattractive or unimportant. These feelings can lead to jealous emotions. In fact, Dr. Charles Sophy, says that some women experience what he refers to as “perceived transfer of sexuality (PTS)”. He explains that PTS is the result of a mother feeling threatened as her daughter’s sexuality peaks and hers declines.
If a mother felt like she was forced to give up her hopes or dreams for a career or travel, she may feel jealousy toward her daughter for being able to pursue those dreams. Additionally, mothers who are not emotionally attached to their daughters may experience feelings of jealousy toward their daughters when their daughters begin to develop healthy emotional attachments with others.
It’s important to understand that toxic mothers can learn how to develop healthy relationships with their daughters. Learning to establish habits of personal growth can impact the relationship between mothers and daughters in powerful ways.
How Do You Deal With Difficult Parents?
Usually, it's the child who is stereotyped as being difficult, but the truth is that parents can be just as bad. When there is a difference of opinion or life path, parents may be difficult in accepting it. Obviously, you don't have to change each other's mind, but the goal is to agree to disagree and love each other all the same.
This is another case where a therapist may be your best option. When someone is being difficult, it's hard to be civil, especially if they aren’t. A therapist can help your parents understand your point while teaching you better ways to communicate.
What Are The Signs Of Toxic Parents? Behavior, Thoughts, Feelings, Goals Of Toxic Parents?
- Controlling: They want to tell you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
- Disrespectful: Toxic parents often fail to view you as an individual separate from them and often show little, if any, respect toward you.
- Self-centered: They typically put their wants in needs before yours and rarely consider how their behavior affects you or anyone else.
- Critical: Toxic parents often have a hard time paying compliments, but usually find a way to criticize even your best efforts
- Manipulative: They often twist the truth to make it look good for themselves. They may use denial or guilt to make you give in to their wants and needs.
How Can You Tell If Someone Has Toxic Behavior?
The term "toxic" has been used a lot recently, and it's one of those terms that's a little subjective. Toxic people and toxic relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and what is toxic for one person may not be for another. With that said, there are some signs that most would agree with being toxic. Here are a few of them.
- Toxic people tend to be guilt trippy. This means that they will make you feel upset when they don't get their way. Being disappointed is one thing, but a guilt tripper will go on and on until you feel like you have no choice but to obey.
- Toxic people tend to have no respect for boundaries. In a friendship, relationship, or anything else, there are boundaries, and a person who is toxic will try to cross those boundaries, or at the very least lean on them, quite a few times.
- Toxic people tend to be the ones who can never be nice or praise you without it sounding like some kind of backhanded compliment. A backhanded compliment is something that sounds nice at first, but then when you think about it, it's an insult. For example, if you're overweight and are wearing an outfit that shows some skin, someone may say that you're brave and confident for wearing that. It sounds nice, but it also brings your insecurity to the front and acts like wearing clothes is some kind of incredible concept. A real compliment would just be, "You look great.”
- Expanding upon the earlier note, a toxic person is one who only seems to talk to you when they disagree. You've probably seen this phenomenon on Facebook, where someone never likes your posts or gives support, but if you have an opinion, they'll be the first in line to say how wrong you are.
There are many other signs that the person is toxic, but this is a good starting point.
What Makes A Toxic Parent? Can Adults Be Toxic With Their Kids?
A toxic environment and toxic relationships are bad, but the biggest challenge many will face is the toxic parent. A friend who is toxic you can easily cut off, in most cases, but there is a bigger stigma towards a toxic parent, especially if you have to live with them. Here are some signs of a toxic parent.
- They are always overly critical of you. Every decision you make is wrong, and there is no room for disagreement or discussion.
- They want to know where you are at all times. They pass the line between concern and watching you like a hawk, hovering over you whenever they can.
- They won't listen to you because they have a sense of superiority due to them being the parent, even if you're an educated adult.
- The toxic parent just creates a toxic environment. You feel uncomfortable whenever you're around them.
How Do You Deal With Selfish Parents?
Selfishness can be hard to deal with. Some people only care about themselves, and don't consider their own feelings. With parents, selfishness can arise.
Usually, it's the child who is stereotyped as selfish, but parents can definitely be selfish as well. We all know parents who have guilt-tripped their children because their children didn't make all the decisions they wanted them to.
In order to deal with a selfish parent, it's complicated, but not impossible. Here are a few steps:
- Make your point perfectly clear and set up some boundaries. If your parent crosses them, remind them of the boundaries.
- Try to have an honest conversation about why your parent is being selfish. By trying to understand each other's perspective, perhaps the two of you can reach common ground.
- Remember, you have to do what's right for you. Sometimes, it's okay to be a little selfish, especially as a response to your parents. Caring for yourself is good, but it crosses the line when you don't have any consideration or empathy for others.
What Is Critical Parenting?
Critical parenting is when parents are overly critical of their children. Offering constructive criticism is one thing, but a critical parent is one who is never satisfied with what their kid does. A critical parent may ignore their child when the child does succeed in doing something, but then go off with one little misstep.
Children of critical parents may end up having a hard time recognizing emotions, and they may live a life where they're worried they have to walk on eggshells. As a parent, it's important that you aren’t overly critical of your child.
What Defines A Toxic Parent?
The term "toxic" is a bit subjective. Someone's behavior can be up to debate as to whether or not it's toxic. With that said, there are some traits a toxic parent has that most people can agree are bad. Here are a few common toxic parent traits.
- They use guilt in order to control you. You can't choose your own career path because your parent wanted you to be something else, and that makes them upset. Any difference you have in life is met by guilt-tripping, not a civil difference of opinion.
- Speaking of wishes, the parent may act like their happiness depends on what you do. People should be happy on their own, and not make their self-worth reliant on their adult child.
- A toxic parent is someone who doesn't have boundaries. With most relationships, there are boundaries. Maybe you two have a subject, such as a difference in faith, that you agree not to discuss, but then the toxic parent brings it up. With any relationship, it's important that you have boundaries, but toxic parents tend to ignore that.
- They are overly critical of everything you do. There's a difference between having constructive criticism or not agreeing with a life decision, and berating you constantly. A good parent should be one who realizes that you're not going to do everything according to your book.
- A toxic parent is one who will withhold their love until you meet all their criteria. Parental love is something that should happen unconditionally, at least in theory, but toxic parents don't do that. Instead, a toxic parent will act like they don't love you until you're ready to bend to their will.
- A toxic parent makes you afraid to be around them. Even if you're an adult, you still fear your toxic parent, and the pain just doesn't go away.
There are other traits that define a toxic parent or toxic parent, and these are just a few of them.
Dealing and coping with a toxic parent or toxic parents is never fun but learning to take control of your life is incredibly important, and worth doing for your own mental health and wellness.
Why Do Adult Children Still Live With Their Toxic Families?
If you know someone who is an adult, is making money, and lives with their toxic parents, you may wonder why they're doing it. There are many reasons for this, and here are a few reasons why adult children continue to live with their parents.
- Guilt-tripping. One sign of a toxic parent is making their adult children feel guilty if they try to have any independence. The toxic parent may say the adult children don't love them anymore if they move. The parent may use a health problem they have or claim to have as an ace in the hole to make the child stay. For a person who may feel guilty easily, this technique may work.
- Threatening to cut them off. While the adult children may have enough money to live, the parent may say that if they move out, they'll never be able to speak to the parents again.
- The parent may be leeching off the child. This does sometimes happen, especially when the parent doesn't work. Their adult children may be paying all the bills or loaning the parent money they aren't going to pay back, which can cause the child to have financial issues.
- The child or adult children may fear their parents if they try to move out. Quite often, a relationship with a toxic mother, father, or parents, in general, can feel like an abusive marriage, where fear controls everyone.
If you or someone you know is in a relationship like this, it's important for them to seek help. While they may love their parents, their mental health is much more important.
Can A Toxic Parent Cause Eating Disorders?
Yes, a toxic family may cause their child to have eating disorders. Some parents can be bullies, telling their children they're overweight or need to lose some pounds. This can lead to poor self-esteem, and with time, the child may develop an eating disorder. It's important to seek help for this whenever possible.
How Do I Set Boundaries With A Toxic Parent?
You may love your parent or parents, but you know that they are toxic. If that's the case, it's important you set boundaries and stick to them.
If the toxic relationship is due to your beliefs, your career, or something else your parent doesn't approve of, make it perfectly clear that you don't want to discuss it. When setting a boundary like this, your parent or parents may try to push it. They may make backhanded comments about it, for example. Don't let these comments slide. Put your foot down or leave the conversation should these boundaries be crossed. In these moments, it’s important to be clear with your boundaries, and firm. It may take a few attempts, but it may end up working out for you.
However, in some cases, while a person may want and try to set boundaries with a toxic parent or toxic parent, it could be very difficult to maintain these boundaries due to their parent or parent’s violating these boundaries. For example, you feel as though when one or both of your parents barge into your room without knocking, this a violation of your own space, disrespectful, and a sign of toxic behavior. Therefore, you try to set a boundary with your toxic parent or parent by telling them, “When you come into my room without knocking, it feels like a violation of space and is disrespectful.” However, the reaction you receive is dismissive, angry, or is completely ignored, even with repeated attempts to state your boundary. In these cases, even though you have tried to set very clear boundaries with your toxic parent or toxic parent, it can be difficult to maintain them. If this scenario relates to your own experience, it’s important to remind yourself that you are not at fault. Sometimes, the best you can do is to clearly and consistently state your boundaries with your parents but to be careful not to take responsibility for the way that one or both of your parents may react.
How Do I Find A Therapist Who Deals With Toxic Family?
When you have a toxic family or parents, one solution is to find a therapist. A therapist can help in many different ways, including:
Helping you with any mental health problems you're facing due to the toxic people in your life. Improving your mental health can allow you to be firm in your communications.
Being the middle person in a family feud. It's important you find a therapist who can help everyone reach common ground and who can teach people who may have communication problems to talk in a way that's productive and not toxic.
It's also important you find a therapist who can work individually as well as together with your family. Sometimes, you may not feel comfortable talking with your family about everything, and if you find a therapist who does both, it can be beneficial.
Licensed counselors and therapists are available at BetterHelp.com, an online platform where you can connect with someone who has been trained to help you deal with a toxic mother or any other mental health challenge you may be facing.
Can I Find A Therapist Who Reconnects Me With A Family?
Adult children and their families, be they toxic parents or other relatives, may become estranged throughout their lives for one reason or another. Sometimes this can happen as a result of a major life decision that either party did not agree with or perhaps the family was exhibiting toxic behaviors and at the time, you felt it was in your best interest to cut contact with the toxic family. Or perhaps the family you want to reconnect with is either one or both of your parents and you’re not sure how to take the first step.
A licensed therapist can help you reach out or be the mediator between you and the family, whether that be your parents or other relatives. While many therapists could help you start the conversation to reconnect with your parents or family, therapists who specialize in relationships such as a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT) may be a great place to start looking.
If you’re interested in individual therapy to help you deal with your family issues with your parents or relatives or are interested in family therapy for you and your parents or family, please reach out to email@example.com to find out more about BetterHelp as a company, please find us on Instagram.
If I Find A Therapist, Are There Any Red Flags To Look Out For?
If you're having family issues, it's important you seek help from a therapist as soon as possible, but you also need to have a therapist who will help you. Here are a couple of therapist red flags.
- The therapist needs to be as neutral as possible. During a family session, your therapist shouldn't be your best friend who gangs up on your parents, and they shouldn't be scolding you and siding with your parents. They need to bridge gaps between adult children and their families.
- During individual therapy, what you say is a kept secret. Your therapist is not someone who should be telling your family what you say. In fact, they could get in trouble for doing that.
- It's important you find a therapist who uses proven techniques to help repair relationships. When you find a therapist, do a little research. Read some reviews if you must.
Dealing with toxic parents is never fun but learning to take control of your life is incredibly important, and worth doing for your own mental health and wellness.
Is My Mother A Narcissist?
What Is Narcissistic Mother Syndrome?
A narcissistic personality disorder is one of several personality disorders that is characterized by a person having an inflated sense of self-worth, self-centered behavior, and a lack of regard for others. Narcissistic mother syndrome is a term used when a mother or maternal figure suffers from narcissism. It is characterized by an inability to recognize the feelings and needs of others, which is considered a quality of most mothers. Women with maternal narcissism require constant admiration and may be envious of any attention that is given to others unless it has a positive reflection on them personally. Their behaviors can have a significantly negative impact on their child’s life.
How Does A Narcissistic Mother Behave?
If you are wondering if your mother is narcissistic or if someone else is a narcissistic mother, the following signs could indicate a strong probability.
- She violates your boundaries: Narcissistic mothers rarely allow you any personal space. She may snoop through your things such as searching your dresser, closet, or diary. A narcissistic mother seems unable to differentiate where she ends and you begin, rather than seeing you as an extension of herself.
- She demeans you or makes negative remarks toward you: A narcissistic mother may insult you in front of others or make you feel as though she thinks less of you than she does others. She may make negative comments about your looks or your abilities in a manner that causes you embarrassment.
- She tries to make you look and feel crazy. Narcissistic mothers may act cruelly or do things that offend you or others. Then, when confronted with her behavior, she may make statements such as, “Where did you dream up that” or “You have a wild imagination.”
- She is self-absorbed. Her feelings, needs, and wants are more important than yours in her mind. She makes you feel insignificant and irrelevant.
- You fear her. Narcissistic mothers have a way of making you feel terrorized. They make you afraid of their anger, which usually makes you feel the need to give into her wants and needs so that you don’t experience their wrath or punishment.
What Are The 9 Traits Of A Narcissist?
9 common traits of a narcissist include:
- An exaggerated sense of self-importance
- A sense of entitlement
- Takes advantage of others for personal gain
- Lacks empathy for others
- Shows arrogant and haughty behaviors and attitude
- Believes that he/she is unique and only people who are equally important can understand them.
- Preoccupied with fantasies of power or success
- Is envious of others or thinks others are envious of them
- Requires excessive admiration
Do Narcissists Cry?
Narcissists do cry. The question that is often debated, however, is whether a narcissist genuinely feels emotions that are connected to crying. Many mental health professionals believe that narcissists “cry” when it benefits them. For example, they may cry if they believe showing emotions toward others or in support of others will cause them to get something they want. On the other hand, many believe that narcissists do experience emotional responses that cause them to cry, even if they are not on as deep an emotional level as others.
Therapy Is Personal
Therapy is a personal experience, and not everyone will go into it seeking the same things. But, keeping these nine things in mind can ensure that you will get the most out of online therapy, regardless of what your specific goals are.
If you’re still wondering if therapy is right for you, and how much therapy costs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. BetterHelp specializes in online therapy to help address all types of mental health concerns. If you’re interested in individual therapy, please reach out to email@example.com and check out our Instagram. For more information about BetterHelp as a company, please find us on
If You Need A Crisis Hotline Or Want To Learn More About Therapy, Please See Below:
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) - 1-800-656-4673
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-7233
- NAMI Helpline (National Alliance on Mental Illness) - 1-800-950-6264
For More Information On Mental Health, Please See:
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) SAMHSA Facebook, SAMHSA Twitter, SAMHSA LinkedIn, SAMHSA Youtube
- Mental Health America, MHA Twitter, MHA Facebook, MHA Instagram, MHA Pinterest
- WebMD, WebMD Facebook, WebMD Twitter, WebMD Instagram, WebMD Pinterest
- NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), NIMH Instagram, NIMH Facebook, NIMH Twitter,NIMH YouTube
- APA (American Psychiatric Association), APA Twitter, APA Facebook, APA LinkedIn, APA Instagram
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