Dealing with a narcissistic elderly mother can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience, and it’s one I’m intimately familiar with.
I understand what it feels like to be caught in a never-ending game of emotional manipulation and self-centeredness because I lived that game.
And like me, you don’t have to be a victim of these games any longer.
Below, I’ll share with you 10 battle-tested strategies I’ve developed through my own experiences to help you navigate this complex relationship.
They have allowed me to reclaim my life, maintain my sanity, create healthy boundaries, and put an end to the games once and for all.
- Prioritize your well-being by Protecting your emotional health by putting your interests first. Make decisions for your happiness, not their manipulation.
- Stand firm in your decisions by trusting in your choices and values, even if your mother disapproves. Your peace of mind is crucial.
- Be proactive and set boundaries by taking charge and establishing firm boundaries. Ensure you’re not caught in their manipulative games.
Table of Contents
10 Coping Tips on How I Deal With My Narcissistic Elderly Mother
Navigating life with a narcissistic mother demands a toolkit of coping strategies honed through personal battles.
These coping tips have been my lifeline in the face of my mother’s manipulation and narcissism.
Just as they’ve helped me regain control of my life and sanity, they can guide you in establishing boundaries and breaking free from the enduring games.
Here’s how I cope with a narcissistic parent:
1. Put Your Own Interests First
When dealing with an elderly narcissistic mother, it’s important to prioritize your well-being, a lesson I learned the hard way.
I recall a time when my mother’s constant demands consumed my life. Her insatiable need for attention and validation made me feel bad, emotionally drained, and suffocated.
It was then that I realized I needed to put my own interests and needs at the forefront. And so, I made a conscious decision to engage in activities that brought me joy and fulfillment.
I delved deeper into my passion for sports, organizing and leading teams to victory. This not only boosted my self-esteem but also provided a much-needed escape from the toxicity at home.
When I focused on my own interests and passions, I was able to create a buffer against the negativity and manipulation of my narcissistic parent.
This strategy empowers you to regain control of your life and foster the resilience needed to break free from the never-ending games they play.
Remember, your well-being matters, and it’s perfectly okay to prioritize yourself.
2. Make Peace With Your Decision
It was a moment of clarity when I realized that I needed to stand firm in my decisions and find inner peace.
You see, my mother often resorts to narcissistic mother guilt trips, having unrealistic expectations, and showing disdain for anything that doesn’t align with her vision of success.
But, eventually, I came to understand that my life choices should reflect my own aspirations and values, not hers.
This empowerment allowed me to confidently pursue my degree and subsequent career, regardless of her disapproval.
By making peace with my decisions, I regained control over my life narrative, freeing myself from the guilt and manipulation that a narcissistic parent often wields.
This strategy is a profound step towards personal liberation, enabling you to carve your path with confidence and resilience.
3. Be Proactive and Take Charge of the Situation
Taking a proactive approach and assuming control of the situation can be a game-changer.
I distinctly remember a challenging scenario where my mother, despite being divorced from my dad, decided to stay with him temporarily.
Her presence stirred chaos due to her abusive behaviors, leaving my father at a loss.
In that crucial moment, my father reached out to me for assistance.
Recognizing the need for swift action, I promptly informed my older sister, who held the coveted role of my mother’s golden child.
With a calm and decisive demeanor, I urged her to take our mother into her own home.
By taking charge of this situation, I not only shielded my father from the emotional turmoil but also ensured my mother’s well-being.
It was a clear assertion of boundaries and a testament to our determination to put an end to her destructive behaviors. We were no longer willing to tolerate her manipulative games.
4. You’re Not Her Personal Secretary
It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a narcissistic parent’s constant source of assistance and attention. But it’s important to recognize that you have your own life to lead.
You are not obligated to cater to her every whim and do whatever your mother says.
In the past, my own mom would bombard me with requests, treating me as if I existed solely to fulfill her needs.
This left me feeling overwhelmed and stifled, like a shadow of my true self.
It was then that I decided to assert my boundaries and remind myself that I had my own aspirations and responsibilities.
By setting clear limits and establishing that you’re not at her beck and call, you regain your sense of self-worth and autonomy.
5. Get Help Outside the Family
Dealing with a narcissistic mother is not easy. One day, your relationship is okay, the next day, you’re struggling to even get a word in.
Turning to friends, mentors, or therapists will prove to be invaluable when dealing with a parent with narcissistic traits.
They can offer a fresh perspective, guidance, and a safe space to vent and heal.
They understand the unique struggles of dealing with a narcissistic parent and provide you with tools to cope effectively.
Remember that relying solely on your family to support you might not always be feasible, especially when they are entangled in the same dynamics.
Seeking help outside the family circle can offer a sense of liberation and validation, reassuring you that you’re not alone in your experiences.
6. Get Your Siblings Involved
While personal relationships within the family dynamic may vary, enlisting the support of your siblings can create a united front against manipulative behaviors.
In my own experience, I’ve found that maintaining a distance from my mother allowed my siblings to take on more significant roles in her care.
They often became the primary caregivers and bore the brunt of her demands and emotional turbulence.
Even then, I remained ready to step in when my mother’s behavior spilled beyond the family’s borders.
This collaborative approach sends a powerful message to a narcissistic person that their tactics won’t divide or conquer your family.
It establishes a shared understanding of the challenges you all face and encourages collective decision-making.
Moreover, it relieves some of the individual burden and stress associated with managing their behaviors.
7. Expect Your Mom to Resist Help and Play Victim
Narcissistic parents tend to resist any form of help or intervention. They often see themselves as invulnerable and above reproach, making it challenging to address their issues.
When you do attempt to offer assistance or suggest change, be prepared for pushback, denial, or outright hostility.
Another one of the damaging personality traits of narcissists is that they are adept at playing the victim.
They may twist situations to portray themselves as the injured party, seeking sympathy and deflecting blame.
I’ve witnessed this tactic countless times with my own mother, and it can be disheartening.
Understanding that resistance and victimization are par for the course allows you to approach the situation with a sense of emotional detachment and realism.
8. Understand That No Matter What You Do, It Will Never Be Enough
This harsh truth has been a recurring theme in my journey, and it’s a pattern I have come to accept over time.
My mother, like many narcissistic individuals, thrives on playing the victim and perpetually seeking sympathy.
I’ve seen her set unattainable standards and shift the goalposts constantly. It’s like nothing is ever good enough for her, no matter how much you give or sacrifice.
I remember a time when I went to great lengths to fulfill one of her requests, hoping it would finally earn her approval.
However, her response was far from appreciative; instead, she found fault and criticized my efforts, just like she’s always done.
It was a stark reminder that in her world, perfection is an illusion, and she is determined to keep you chasing it endlessly.
Understanding this unattainable standard is important for maintaining your own sanity and emotional well-being.
9. Stand Your Ground and Don’t Take All the Abuse
This lesson has been a cornerstone of my own experience, and it’s a strategy that can help you maintain your self-respect and sanity.
When faced with my mother’s hurtful words and manipulative tactics, I’ve learned to assert my boundaries firmly.
Instead of engaging in a futile battle, I choose to disengage and walk away.
It’s a decision born out of self-preservation and the realization that I don’t have to subject myself to her toxicity.
I recall instances when her abusive language became unbearable.
In those moments, I made a conscious choice to spend time with my father, who provides a more stable and sane environment.
Thankfully, their divorce allowed me to have limited contact with my narcissistic mother, reinforcing the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing my emotional well-being.
10. Don’t Lose Sight of Your Life
Not allowing your life to be consumed by the games of an elderly narcissistic parent is a vital strategy for your well-being.
I’ve lived by this principle, and it’s a powerful reminder that your life and happiness matter, too.
When confronted with my mother’s childish behavior and manipulations, I made a conscious decision not to be drawn into her games.
Instead, I chose to disengage and focus on living my own life. This meant pursuing my interests, spending time with friends, and nurturing relationships that brought positivity into my world.
Rather than being sucked into her drama, I will gracefully excuse myself and continue enjoying the company of those who appreciate me for who I am.
This act of prioritizing my life allowed me to maintain a sense of normalcy and happiness amid the chaos.
My Relationship With My Narcissistic Elderly Mother
As the daughter of a narcissistic mother, my relationship with her has been a journey filled with challenges and self-discovery.
It’s a path where I’ve learned to set boundaries, prioritize my well-being, and start my healing.
Each day is a reminder that dealing with a narcissistic parent isn’t a straightforward task but a delicate dance of self-preservation and resilience.
Through personal experiences and hard-earned wisdom, I’ve come to accept that there’s nothing I can do to change my mother. She didn’t change when she and my father divorced, she isn’t likely to change now.
But what I can change is how I respond to her behavior.
It’s about finding a delicate balance between kindness and self-care, recognizing that her actions often stem from her own insecurities and need for control.
My journey has forged me into a person of strength and authenticity. It’s a testament that even in the face of adversity, we can find our light and build a life that’s true to ourselves.
Walk Away if You Have To
Dealing with a narcissistic elderly mother can be an emotionally draining journey, one that demands resilience and self-preservation.
Through my own experiences, I’ve learned that sometimes the most powerful step you can take is walking away when necessary.
As children of narcissistic parents, we may need to go low or even have no contact with them. It’s not an act of defeat but a choice to protect our emotional and mental wellbeing.
By refusing to be drawn into manipulative games, you regain control over your life and maintain your sense of self-worth.
It’s perfectly acceptable to prioritize your own happiness and peace. In the end, your journey is about reclaiming your life and defining it on your terms.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you cope with your narcissistic elderly mother?
Prioritize your well-being by putting your own interests first and setting boundaries. Remember, you’re not her personal secretary, so take charge of situations and don’t be consumed by her manipulative games.
Is it okay to focus on your own life and decisions when dealing with a narcissistic elderly mother?
Yes, it’s important to put your interests first and make peace with your decisions. Your well-being matters, and you have the right to lead your own life.
How can you ensure you’re not falling into your narcissistic mother’s manipulative games?
Be proactive in setting boundaries, stand your ground, and don’t take all the abuse. If needed, disengage and focus on nurturing positive relationships and interests in your life.
Why is your mother resistant to help and always plays the victim?
Narcissistic individuals often resist intervention, see themselves as invulnerable, and frequently portray themselves as victims to seek sympathy and deflect blame. Your mother’s resistance doesn’t diminish the importance of prioritizing your well-being.
Is seeking help outside the family recommended when dealing with a narcissistic elderly mother?
Absolutely. Turning to friends, mentors, or therapists can provide a fresh perspective, guidance, and a safe space to vent and heal. They can help you cope effectively, ensuring you’re not alone in your experiences.