Is Your Estranged Adult Child a Narcissist?

“Narcissist.” It’s a loaded word, tossed back and forth between estranged adult children and their parents.

Adult children cite parental narcissism as the reason for necessary cut-off.

Rejected parents on the other hand wonder if narcissism is keeping their child from taking perspective, or caring about the wounds they’re inflicting.

This latter assumption is the one I addressed this week in a post on PsychologyToday.com.

Believe me, you don’t want it to be true that your child is simply a narcissist. You can have much more influence on your relationship if their apparent lack of empathy toward you has a different origin.

Say they don’t contact you on your birthday, mothers or fathers day, or even when they know you’re having surgery. Could it be that, to your child, contact might feel too much like opening a can of worms?

If your relationship has been troubled, or they’re seeking distance in the interest of gaining greater independence, they might not want to confuse you — or themselves — by initiating something.

Let’s hope there’s another cause for your child’s apparent lack of empathy toward you, besides just plain narcissism.

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