Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

NARC children - anyone got one, know one, was sibling of one....?

(30 Posts)
mulranna Wed 16-Sep-15 07:35:44

Just interested what were/are their behaviours? Can early intervention turn them around?

- read loads about struggles with NARC adults - but were they born that way - or only become NARC as an adult? Is it hereditary ?

Hoppinggreen Wed 16-Sep-15 09:36:16

My father was a narc and I'm pretty sure my brother is too.
They were/are both charming, fun to be with, totally self centred and vile to anyone they perceive as challenging them. My father waw never physically violent towards, but my brother was when we were children but as long as I conformed to their idea if how I should be - sweet, compliant, a cheer leader for their wonderfulness they generally treated me well.
I finally got the courage to go nc with my father when I was pg as I didn't want him hear any child I had, no regrets there and didn't go and see him when he was dying or go to his funeral.
I had an ok relationship with my brother as long as I knew my place, although any deviation from that was met with his vile temper. He actually went nc with me about 3 years ago when I politely suggest ed that something he was about to do was illegal. I'm not bothered really, although I know it upsets my mum.

mulranna Fri 18-Sep-15 19:32:39

Hopping that s almost an exact description of my sister - loud, funny and centre of attention as a child but you knew not to "outshine" her ina nyway otherwise the viciousness would come out - very devious, back stabbing and manipulative - would undermine you with your own friends and any adults that dared notice you rather than her.

When I was nine and she was seven - we stayed for a week as guests of my my old teacher (without parents) - she pulled a pair of my pants out of the dirty laundry bin on the landing - turned them inside out to reveal a skid mark and left them on the top for all of their family to see. I really though I would die with shame....I still go cold 39 years later.

Betty89 Fri 18-Sep-15 20:20:30

Sibling of one.

As above. Loud, everyone loves him, so charming, helps out everyone, charms the pants off everyone.

Could not give a crap about anyone but himself, if you challenge him or undermine him or question him in any way his attacks are so devious and manpulative and mind bogglingly viscious it takes your breath away.

Fighting back is futile.

Also as above he undermines me to friends, colleagues and other family members.

He offerred to lend me money last week and "accidentally" texted everyone on whatsapp broadcast message with the message "how much am I lending Betty again?" and claime dit was meant for Mum and sent to everyone in the family and friends group by accident.

He gets away with it because he plays the fool. Very few people see the truth.

I try, insofar as possible to be NC.

Mum is also mildly narc but on a smaller scale. Lacks empathy for me really. Adores my narc brother who she sees as perfect.

Betty89 Fri 18-Sep-15 20:21:18

I think when I was a teenager he used to take my friends aside and tell them I didn't really like them!!!

He was 5 years older!!!!

Betty89 Fri 18-Sep-15 20:23:10

No, I think there is no cure and no help.

I believe it is genetic and biological to some degree. I think something is missing in his brain or executive function. He genuinely lacks guilt or accountability. The only time he feels "down" is when he appears guilty. He hates shame or looking bad.

Also think it is nurture in part too. Narc parents pick one child to worship and that child becomes a narc too.

Betty89 Fri 18-Sep-15 20:26:28

Rason there is no cure or no help: they see themselves as perfect / wonderful. It is active delusion. They completely believe it.

If I asked him about that broadcats text incident on a truth serum, he would genuinely believe deep in his heart that if he was doing me a favour / lending me money that it was only right that all our family and friends know it - because he has earned that apreciation.

His view of right and wrong is utterly wonky.

You will never win, because they are without a true conscience. they utilise triangulation to beat you down.

For argue with narc instead of dicussing, she will then call someone else in the family to tell them she is ill and has chest pains. When questioned why she will slowly admit that you have done somethign awful but ask them not to tell anyone.

Before you know it everyone is angry at you / against you and you have no idea why. They divide and conquer. They win every time.

The only way out is NC.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Fri 18-Sep-15 20:28:46

My mother and my brother were cut from the same cloth.

I'm NC with both of them.

Muskey Fri 18-Sep-15 20:33:21

My oldest sister is one. Again likes the whole centre of attention always over the top friendly with people especially non family members but actually means nothing she just uses people and then discards them when they are no use to her. She has a vicious temper when crossed and uses very barbed comments when she is speaking to people to show them up. The sad thing she ended up marrying a narc who is actually worse than she is. I try not to speak to either of them

brokenhearted55a Fri 18-Sep-15 22:04:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Sat 19-Sep-15 08:40:51

Blimey, broken remind me not to get on the wrong side of you! grin

My brother's behaviour was created by my mother who made him the Golden Child.

I used to put soap on his toothbrush. Really work it in so he couldn't wash it out... winkgrin

brokenhearted55a Sat 19-Sep-15 20:35:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squidzin Sat 19-Sep-15 21:23:14

I would be cautious labeling children as "narc".
All children are narcissistic, and all psychiatrists avoid placing such labels until adulthood.

The only childhood traits to pay reasonable attention to us thd MacDonald Triad, a precursor to psychopathy.

Narc traits stay with a child who has learned that the traits work for them, Ie they were never penalised for their behaviour or never had to share.

squidzin Sat 19-Sep-15 21:27:40

Indeed there is no cure for a narcissistic disorder, it's as if the affected are stuck in a mental regression of which they will never grow out of.

Imbroglio Sun 20-Sep-15 09:46:37

Narc traits stay with a child who has learned that the traits work for them, Ie they were never penalised for their behaviour or never had to share

I hate the 'narc' label but this fits with my experience. As a child my sibling was always the apple of my mothers eye and did what he liked. Not generally nasty but very self-centred, eg would ignore requests to help with chores, would help himself to stuff he liked. Mostly life was very cosy for him. But if anyone did get in his way he could get very nasty indeed.

He's desperately unhappy now, and I think its because he doesn't seem to comprehend that he might be responsible for anything that doesn't go his way, so he can't resolve the situation or move on. He just gets in a rage that other people aren't doing what he wants or feeling what he wants them to feel.

mulranna Mon 21-Sep-15 14:00:49

squidzin - yes I agree .... I was just curious if others could look back to the childhood of a narc adult and see the signs? And your point that ego is quite "normal" in childhood is well made -- I am thinking of the "queen bee" "bossy" "leader types" - quite domineering but often centre of social scene and controlling it amongst children in the playground -- wonder if these types cause havoc in later life.....

Lottapianos Mon 21-Sep-15 14:13:37

'He's desperately unhappy now, and I think its because he doesn't seem to comprehend that he might be responsible for anything that doesn't go his way, so he can't resolve the situation or move on. He just gets in a rage that other people aren't doing what he wants or feeling what he wants them to feel.'

This also describes my brother perfectly. Both our parents are narcs and as he was 'the golden child', I think he is also a narc now he's an adult. He has no interest in anyone other than himself, gets into a rage at the least provocation, feels the world owes him a favour, is jealous and mean-spirited and agressive. He's one of the most miserable people I know. I'm virtually no contact with him now.

In my experience, and based on what I've read about narcs, the problem is created, not inherent. As children, narcs were either treated as the centre of the universe and expectations of them were way too low, or at the other extreme, emotionally neglected and expectations of them were way too high. My sister and I were parented in an extremely different way to our brother and neither of us are narcs.

squidzin Mon 21-Sep-15 15:09:15

Children naturally explore a whole spectrum of traits as a natural part of development. They will explore domineering, bullying traits, fantasy-world lives, and altruistic, generous, empathetic traits.

I would just avoid labelling a so called "Bossy" child narcissistic. I will avoid jumping on you for labelling any child (usually a girl) Bossy anyway, as this is designed to opress female authority.

Some children grow up to be narcissistic because they learn that they get what they want (their own way, attention, material gain) through a certain set of traits.

You can't tell how a child will end up as they go through so many phases.

squidzin Mon 21-Sep-15 15:12:02

You can look back and see signs, but usually the signs originate in developmental environment, not necessarily in the child themselves if you see what i mean...

Lottapianos Mon 21-Sep-15 15:13:45

'You can look back and see signs, but usually the signs originate in developmental environment, not necessarily in the child themselves if you see what i mean...'

Very much agree squidzin. It's my experience that environment is usually the most significant thing in predicting how a child will turn out. Very little is 'hardwired' or set in stone.

Imbroglio Tue 22-Sep-15 08:32:09

I suspect it can be just as damaging for children to have their natural narcissism squashed - children who's parents refuse to 'spoil' their children with praise or mock them when they try something out or tell them constantly that they won't be good enough.

springydaffs Tue 22-Sep-15 08:53:55

It's my experience that narcissism is inherited. Yes nurture up to a (crucial) point but nature can play a large part.

I think I have a narc daughter - excruciating to be conclusive about it - whose father was a narc (and his father was a narc). Whom she had relatively limited contact with. From a tot she also jutted out her lower lip in exactly the same way as her paternal grandmother whom she didn't meet until she was 4 (other side of the world).

She was parented in exactly the same way as her siblings - mindful mother throughout in this case.

My father is a narc - how I ended up with a narc, probably. 2 narc sisters - the rest of us are splattered against the 4 walls as those 3 rampage through everything (though I am now nc).

My daughter has caused unbelievable damage to my family. She now lives a way off and I know better than to disturb the beast. Agony though.

Hoppinggreen Tue 22-Sep-15 11:37:13

That's interesting springy. I think that my DS6 most certainly has narc tendencies, I know that very few 6 year olds don't but having had at least 2 narcs in the family I am aware of certain things. While I am careful not to label him or treat him differently from his sister some of the things he says and does are so like my brother ( who he doesn't see) that it scares me sometimes.
I make sure he is most certainly not the golden child while dd is the scape goat and I don't reward his behaviour so perhaps he will be ok. He is actually a generally well behaved lovely child but sometimes he says things that due to my experiences with my father and brother make my blood run cold.
I suppose it's possible that I am just hyper sensitive to it and it's all in my head but DH has also commented how like my brother DS is sometimes.

springydaffs Tue 22-Sep-15 11:55:54

I thought those things throughout her childhood, and my blood also ran cold. I was also aware that bcs my life has been crawling with narcs I might be trigger-happy about it all (not that there's anything happy about it). I was well-up on narcissism, had looked well into it, as well as had a lot of therapy myself. I worried about/mindful of 'fleas' [learned narc behaviour] on my part as a parent - I was brought up in a narc-infested home after all, the narcs held sway.

So, yes, I was on it to the best of my ability and the information available at the time, at least. I don't know what to suggest - not that you're asking but I would like my time again, in retrospect, to see if some kind of intervention may have headed her off in a better direction. I really don't know.

One thing I would have done is cut off my family, or my family from my children. I didn't quite get the full implications of their narcissism at the time. But bloody hell it's all played out now sad

Hoppinggreen Tue 22-Sep-15 16:27:34

Hopefully springy surrounding my DS with non Narcs and rewarding opposite behaviour will work for us.
Hes got plenty of good traits too, fingers crossed they will be the dominant ones.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now