Self-esteem

What It’s Like To Be Raised by a Narcissistic Parent

Have you ever felt the irrational anger of someone who felt you came short of their expectations or just misunderstood you? Or someone who just want to take the glory for your successes without considering you at all or just see your achievements as a threat to their value or respect? This is exactly what we will be looking at as we go further.

Anyone can be a narcissist but that could be more tolerable than having a parent who is one, let alone being raised by such parent. This context is not about blaming but simply exposing the hidden things about some parents you may not have known.

Generally, people define a narcissist as someone with a high sense of value for him or herself alone and care less about others or their feelings.

However, experts define narcissism as a high sense of self-importance, a deep need for self-admiration and complete lack of empathy for others.

Children who are raised by narcissistic parents may not be aware of the fact their parents are narcissistic.

Every child wants to hear these words;

  • I love you.
  • I’m proud of you.
  • I’m sorry.
  • I forgive you.
  • I’m listening to you,
  • This is your responsibility so, go for what it takes.

But with Narcissistic Parents, this is just a nightmare and the fun of it is, they often appear so loving and concerned about their children and could manipulate them to believe what they are doing is actually a show of love or just a display of parental authority over their children.

Here’re some ways to tell if a parent is narcissistic.

Well, most NP behaviors may often seem like normal difficult personalities but only a closer look and observation will reveal it’s entirely an abnormal behavior or simply a psychological problem. There are many ways you can tell if someone is a narcissistic parent.

1. They’re always right.

How parent reacts to criticism is simply a trait that they are a narcissist too. Because they possess a delicate self-esteem, a slight criticism gets them off the hook and that could make their children their worst enemy. Whatever they say or do is the best and their children aren’t just thinking right . Their children could become a subject to total domestic violence…

Self-Esteem: What Is Self-Esteem and What Is Not

When the subject of self-esteem is raised, the air suddenly becomes dense with the negative connotation that the topic suggests. It has become a deep-seeded issue that resonates with the majority; we can find solidarity in the fact that we never feel whole. Therein lies the problem. It has become normal to feel obsolete. Although highly influenced by external factors, our level of self-worth can come from nowhere but within ourselves.

Self-esteem issues effect our everyday performance, and basically just every moment of everyday. How you perceive yourself is transmitted through every action you take, every expression you make. You can vastly improve your quality of life by positively altering the way that you view yourself, and realize that you’re awesome, and so deserving of love and the rewards from your success. Changing your thought process is next to impossible, but it can be done. And it is quite literally, a labor of love.

Here are a few Lifehack articles (written by yours truly) covering different facets of self-esteem.

The Most Appropriate Definition of Self-Esteem

Social Media presence has such a hold on society, that we gauge or self-worth based on our “following” or “fame.”

Identifying narcissistic behaviors within yourself or others, and how to nurture self-love without allowing it…

How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism In This Generation

For a healthy mentality, it is of the utmost importance that we as individuals learn to love and accept ourselves. But as with anything else, there is a limit to this love. And if allowed to transform into a kind of obsession, then you may be dealing with narcissism.

In today’s society, it is considered taboo to relish and love yourself openly and may be mistaken for narcissism. When in all actuality, this is just an exhibit of high self esteem. So where is the distinction?1 When does high self-esteem and love for oneself breach the dangerous curve into narcissism?

Self love is the unapologetic act of accepting oneself, putting yourself first, and being proud and confident in your achievements. This is a healthy mentality, unlike narcissism.

Narcissism is a personality disorder where the individuals have an inflated sense of self-importance and a total lack of empathy.2 They believe that they are superior to most people, and can only be understood by those who are also equally as special. This sense of prestige comes at a price, and is incredibly delicate. Those with narcissistic disorders need constant reassurance from their peers, because their self-esteem is actually incredibly fragile.

Self Love vs. Narcissism

Self Love: Those who have high self-esteem and practice self love don’t need recognition or congratulations for their accomplishments. They are well aware of their efforts and their success, and that knowledge is more than enough to feel adequate.

Narcissism: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If a narcissist accomplishes success and no one is around to witness it, is it truly a success? The answer in this case is no. Without recognition and praise, they may as well not have accomplished anything at all. It makes the win feel empty, because they only receive satisfaction from the admiration of others.

Identifying flaws within one’s self

Self Love: Everyone has flaws and idiosyncrasies that makes them an individual. Those who love themselves accept their flaws, and work to improve them if need be. They understand that those quirky little bits of themselves are what make them unique.

Narcissism: They act as if they do not posses any flaws. Everything they do, they do it better than anyone. Everything they have is better than what you have. If someone notices that they exhibit a flaw, it must be a misconception, because there is no way that any aspect of themselves could be anything less than perfect.

Knowing who you are-and being comfortable with it

Self Love: In lieu of self acceptance, these individuals are totally comfortable being themselves, and appreciate who they are and what they offer. They do not feel that they need to make any vast changes to themselves or their lives in order to achieve happiness, because they already are.

Narcissism: They are never happy with who they are and what they have. They often find themselves fantasizing about a more ideal lifestyle, job, or appearance. They never truly feel satisfied with any aspect of their life. They think that they deserve better, but put not effort forth to achieve their desires.

Self Love: They have a strong sense of empathy and humility. They support and encourage others to…

When Parents Are Trying Too Hard, Loving Their Kids Becomes Destroying Them

is a constant question with no definite answer. Will this benefit my child? How will my choices and actions affect them in the future? The truth is, everyone is doing their best. And as a parent trying their best, you must understand that your child is also doing their best. In your efforts to push them to success, you may be hurting their self-esteem 1 in the process.

Expectation Isn’t Everything

All parents want what is best for their kids, and for them to have the opportunities that they didn’t. Or perhaps they just want them to follow in their footsteps to achieve the level of greatness that they have, or better. That’s why they choose to instill those values in them at an early age. To work hard, and to do well.

Children absolutely need that encouragement and that support to excel and flourish. But there definitely is a limit. When the need for success is taking a toll on your child’s happiness, 2 parents need to look at the bigger picture here. Their personal well-being is more important than achieving a perfect score. Parents’ needs for their flawless success could be blinding them from their deflating ego. While children need their parents’ support to thrive, they need it even more when they fail.

We all excel in different forms of intelligence.

This unnerving need to succeed, achieve, and win can have some very negative effects on a developing child’s well-being. They will harbor this supposed value throughout their lives, leaving them completely devastated in the event that they inevitably fail. College students especially struggle with this when they are unable to achieve sometimes unrealistic expectations.

This negative reaction to failure is an indication of low self-esteem, which is a learned reaction that deepens over time. To these kids, it is completely unacceptable and they are less of a person for making a mistake.

What these children never learned, because their parents may have not been aware, is that there are nine types of intelligence’s.3 Just because an individual does not excel in one area does not mean that they are unintelligent or incapable.

  1. Nature Intelligence
  2. Musical Intelligence
  3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  4. Existential Intelligence
  5. Interpersonal Intelligence
  6. Bodily-Kinetic Intelligence
  7. Linguistic Intelligence
  8. Personal Intelligence
  9. Spatial Intelligence

If your child is struggling academically, look at their strengths and weaknesses. Help them to excel in the areas that naturally “click” with them, and get them extra help where they might come up short. Consider your own…

How Social Media Manipulates Our Views on Winners and Losers

Social media undoubtedly has it’s perks. Free advertisement, an endless opportunity for networking, and keeping in touch with long lost friends. But there is an incredibly sinister aspect to constantly staying, “connected.” Social media has negatively altered the way we view ourselves as well as others, and it just keeps getting worse.

The illusion of “perfect lifestyles” make us resent our own lives.

Social media is no longer just about sharing your thoughts and actions among your peers. It’s become a form of self promotion. Establishing a brand, and sharing the lifestyle that you lead.

However fabricated and fraudulent that supposed lifestyle may be, many of these individuals who follow these social media gurus honestly believe that these people lead flawless, exciting lives. To a degree, those who have honed the lifestyle career sentiment seem to have it all figured out. They have achieved ultimate freedom; except that they’ve made their lifestyles into their career and therefore everything they do and say is for show, and none of it is truly authentic.

But despite this disillusioning truth, the abundance of social media superstars make the average person feel as if their lives are not fulfilling,1 and they’re not good enough to acquire such a following.

People are beginning to rate their self worth in terms of likes and follows, as if that actually validates how valuable and interesting they truly are.

We judge the value of other people based on their following.

Millenials especially put a very strong emphasis on the importance of a social media following,2 and how they perceive their peers. I have actually heard individuals between the age of 18-24 say, “They have to have at least ten-thousand followers before I’d even consider dating them.” And mean it.

I have to wonder, are they even slightly aware that they are lusting after a false ideal? With the abundance of picture altering apps, allowing the most average of individuals to airbrush their mediocre pictures to a stunning, flawless perception of themselves?

On social media, people have the freedom to only show people only what they want them to see. Many of these “perfect” posts require lots of careful planning, timing, and coordination. People spend hours trying to take that perfect picture, to give it that effortless image that so many strive for. Studies have shown that many of these individuals leading “perfect” lifestyles are actually incredibly stressed and suffer from anxiety and depression.

Many online business…

People Who Are Loud Outside Are Insecure Inside And Have Low Self-Esteem

You probably know that person who is outgoing and charismatic. They are the life of every party and appear to be the epitome of confidence. Yet they take an hour to get ready to go to the shop just to buy some bread. If they were truly that self-assured, why would they need to be so well turned out to do such a menial task?

The reality is that people who are loud and outgoing can often have low self-esteem issues too.1 Often times, they use their personalities to mask how they truly feel inside.

People with low self-esteem try to be loud to camouflage their insecurities.

It stems from underlying insecurities. As a result, it often makes them try to act superior or in a way so as to hide their low self-esteem.

This overcompensating loud behavior is seeking validation. It could be as simple as trying to portray, “Hey! Look at me! I am a fun and a really happy person!” Whereas those who genuinely feel that way about themselves would be confident about it and not necessarily feel the need to express it for it to be validated.

It is often easier to try to silence the low self-esteem by contradicting it to prove otherwise.

People with these personalities tend to have a stronger need for compliments or being reassured about positive traits. Without this sort of validation, they may feel down and anxious.

  • Poor relationship with parents – Not having the right support, affection or attention while growing up could contribute significantly to a young person’s development.
  • Peer pressure – Similarly, being in an environment where classmates or peers treat them in a way that brings their confidence down or pressures them to do things they are uncomfortable with, can contribute to one’s insecurities.
  • Unsatisfying appearance – According to the University of Washington 53% of girls were not happy with their bodies and this figure rises to 78% by the…

If Your Compassion Does Not Include Yourself, It Is Incomplete

If your best friend stood you up for a date at the movies, would you be forgiving and understanding when he/she explained what happened?

If you made that same mistake to your best friend, would you be forgiving and understanding of your own mistake? Would you mentally beat yourself up for days or would you just chalk it up to human error and circumstances?

That ability for you to be understanding of your own mistakes in life is self-compassion.

Do you give more consideration for others when they make mistakes than you do for yourself? If you do, then your need to evaluate your self-compassion, as it has a huge impact on your mental well being.

We can have good self-esteem but little self-compassion.

You may have good self-esteem, meaning you think you are a person of value and therefore you believe in your abilities. However, you can have good self-esteem, but without self-compassion you will struggle to accept your failures as human error or circumstantial.

Without self-compassion, you will be extremely hard on yourself and your personal mistakes, which therefore will affect your self-esteem negatively. If you always criticize yourself when bad things happen, then your mental health can also be adversely affected. Not being too hard on yourself, or having self-compassion is essential to your mental well being, so you better know if you have it or not.

Self-compassion is the ability to be understanding toward yourself.

Having good self-compassion means that you are understanding and considerate toward yourself, as you would be for a dear friend. Often in life, people are hard on themselves, hoping that it will propel them to greater success.

Theories of self-compassion explain that your success is more likely to happen if you have good self-compassion. The reason is because you are more likely to survive set backs, mistakes, and trials with a greater ability to rebound, get back up and try again because you are self-compassionate.

Dr. Kristen Neff is a a world renowned expert on self-compassion. She explains that self-compassion involves providing yourself with understanding when you fail:1

“Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?”

Dr. Neff explains that three components make up self-compassion. Understanding these three components can help you understand whether you possess self compassion. These components include: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

In possessing self-kindness you are not judgmental toward yourself or your failings. It also means that you aren’t overly critical of yourself….

Emotional Quotient Isn’t Just About Emotions. It Involves Numerous Skills

Your emotional quotient plays a major role in your personal and business relationships. In fact, if you don’t work on honing the numerous skills that can boost your emotional quotient, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up dealing with a lot of unnecessary drama and pain.

The good news is that you’re not stuck with one emotional quotient from birth. Your intelligence quotient (IQ) can change throughout your life 1, and the same is true for your emotional quotient.

What is ‘Emotional Quotient’ ?

Your emotional quotient defines your level of emotional intelligence. If you are able to understand the motivations of others and work cooperatively with them, you are displaying a high emotional quotient. However, it’s vital to be aware that this is just one piece of the puzzle.

Psychologists have divided emotional intelligence into five major categories 2, according to Psychcentral. Your overall emotional quotient is determined by assessing all five of the following factors:

1. Empathy.

Your ability to understand others and be sensitive to the needs of a diverse group of people. Here are a couple of things empathetic people excel at:

  • Service orientation. Empathetic people are skilled at this because they are able to anticipate and recognize the needs of others.
  • Developing and understanding others. These individuals have an innate sense of what people need to advance, and they can determine the feelings behind a person’s wants and needs.

You have the initiative, drive, commitment and ability to feel optimistic when facing obstacles. Even if you lean toward having a negative attitude, you can will yourself to be more optimistic when facing hurdles in life.

3. Self-Awareness.

Your amount of self-esteem and awareness of your own emotions, including how they impact you and everyone around you.

There are two major elements of self-awareness:

  • Self-confidence or the confidence in your capabilities and self worth; and
  • Emotional awareness, which means you are capable of recognizing your own emotions and their effects.

4. Social Skills.

Your success at working in a team, communicating effectively, being a leader, wielding influence, building relationships and initiating change all fit into this category.

5. Self-Regulation.

Your ability to manage your most disruptive thoughts and feelings, along with your level of innovation, trustworthiness, adaptability and conscientiousness.

There are many tests available that can help you determine your current emotional quotient. The Institute for Health and Human Potential even offers it for free. Just click here to take the quiz.

Is Your Emotional Quotient High or Low?

There’s no shame in discovering that you have a low emotional quotient because this gives you the opportunity to work on your self-improvement skills. Remember, we’re all constantly learning about ourselves and our place in the world.

The difference between a low and high emotional quotient can be as simple as deciding that you want to work on the necessary skills to improve your relationships.

Self-awareness is one of the biggest factors in your emotional quotient, but for many, it’s the hardest part to work on. We all live with ourselves 24/7, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve done the deeper emotional work that is required to be truly aware of what motivates us.

You might even be doing yourself more harm than good 3 by taking an anti-negativity approach. The reality is that all humans have negativity in their lives, but you can learn from yours.

How do You Determine Your “EQ”?

For example, let’s imagine a scenario where you and…

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study 1 published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression2 . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression3 worse explains4 the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study5 published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.6, social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially…

Verbal Abuse Is Much More Destructive Than You Think. Don’t Overlook That

You may have heard disparaging comments directed at someone, or maybe even yourself: in the girls’ locker room, on the bus, at work, but when someone faces them on a regular basis, it cracks their self-esteem and erodes their self-confidence. They feel hurt, lonely and maybe even afraid.

Verbal abuse is “the excessive use of (negative) language to undermine someone’s dignity and security through insults or humiliation in a sudden or repeated manner”.1 It does not get better after a time, it only gets worse.

According to statistics, 1 in 5 college women have been verbally abused by a partner2.

The first verbal attack will take you off guard. You may even think you heard it wrong, they were joking, or more than likely, misunderstood them. But then you may notice these incidents more and more.

Common Forms of Verbal Abuse

  • Name calling
  • Crude remarks
  • Put-downs
  • Sarcasm & mockery
  • Hostility
  • Threats
  • Spreading rumors
  • Yelling & screaming

Lesser Known Forms of Verbal Abuse

These lesser known forms of verbal abuse often go over-looked, as they happen in relationships and often privately.3

Blocking & diverting

You try to have a conversation with your partner and they switch gears mid-conversation and redirect the subject away from what you intended. Other times they refuse to discuss the subject point blank.

Blaming

Everything that goes wrong seems to be your fault. They can’t find their wallet- you must have moved it (you didn’t). They forgot their dentist appointment- it’s your fault you didn’t remind them. It doesn’t matter what the issue- they could hit you and still tell you it’s your fault! They refuse to take responsibility themselves.

Denial

They deny everything. No, they didn’t eat that last piece of cake. No, they aren’t having an affair. You may even catch them doing something and yet they will still deny it.

Criticizing

They let you know that everything you ever do in life is wrong. Your cooking is all wrong. Your choice in clothing is atrocious. You wonder how you ever survived all these years making such bad choices! It’s not you- it’s them. You will never live up to their imaginary standards- no one could.

Treating you like a servant

They expect you to drop what you are doing and tend to their needs- now, as if they are the most important person in the world and you are their lowly servant. They think your own jobs should be put on a back burner when they are around. They believe they are king of the castle, and will make you feel miserable if you don’t bend to their wishes.

Undermining

You have dreams and goals, and they set out to make them collapse under you. If you plan a weekend away, they suddenly have an important meeting that came up at the office and they need the car. Any shining light towards a free life of your own they will hunt down and snuff out. They don’t want you to be free or chase your own dreams, as they don’t want to lose their power over you.

Telling you that you are crazy

You know what happened the other night, but they twist the scenario around to suit them and tell you that you must be going crazy. It sounds insane that you could even fall for it, yet when it happens over and over, they are conditioning- or brainwashing you. Eventually you will begin to doubt yourself and your perspective. You may even believe you might be crazy. You aren’t.

Making you feel like you are with a Jekyll-Hyde

One moment they are charming and lovable and the next they are an unbelievable terrifying monster. You live a stressful life around them as you are never sure which version you are going to face. You tip-toe around certain trigger topics just to avoid Mr. Hyde from rearing his ugly head.

Verbal abuse takes it’s toll on victims mentally and physically4.

Verbal Abuse Affects You Mentally

  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Memory issues
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome)
  • Eating disorders
  • Sleeping issues
  • Alcohol & drug abuse
  • Self-mutilation
  • Suicide
  • Becoming an abuser yourself

Verbal Abuse Affects You Physically

  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines & frequent headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Gastric issues
  • Stress-related heart conditions

Why Abusers Act Like That