Ask Dr. Orloff

How do I deal with my narcissistic mother?

Question: Dear Dr. Orloff,

I’m the daughter of a narcissistic mom and need advice. My mom is very kind and sweet but she has zero empathy and can only "love" you when you're in her control zone. She will never visit, and only loves you in her own house. Hates to see me with a man, often sabotages my relationships. I think you're doing a wonderful job and have enjoyed your books!
Thank you,
Arianna
Chevy Chase, MD


Answer: Dear Arianna:

Being raised by a narcissistic mother is challenging. It's important to see her limitations and not expect her to be empathic, but make the most of her good points. Narcissists lack empathy which means they can't give unconditional love. In terms of relationships, I wouldn't expose your mother to a man until you have a pretty solid relationship. Tell him what is going on so you can have a united front when you visit your mother. If you do this, she won't have the power to sabotage a relationship. Thank you for your kind words about my books.
All the best,
Judith

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