10 Symptoms Of Daughters Of Narcissistic Fathers
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to seek help from a therapist who specializes in treating adult children of narcissistic parents if you suspect that your childhood was negatively impacted by the behavior of one or both of your parents.
Many adults don’t realize they have been affected by the actions of their parents until they are well into adulthood and begin to experience symptoms of narcissistic abuse impacting their lives negatively.
These signs and symptoms can be related to having a father with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or, less commonly, having an emotionally abusive mother.
1. They feel like they can’t do anything right
Many daughters of narcissistic fathers grow up as people-pleasers, constantly concerned with how others perceive them.
These women often are hard on themselves and continually look for ways to please those around them. The problem with living up to someone else’s high standards is that you can never feel good enough. It’s an impossible task.
Instead, try setting your own goals and striving for things that make you happy, not what other people want from you. You’ll likely find yourself feeling much better about yourself in no time.
Another symptom of growing up under a narcissistic father is self-doubt and low self-esteem.
Women these types of men have raised grow into adults who don’t see their actual value instead of focusing on their perceived flaws.
This leads to constant feelings of inadequacy that serve as a barrier to being able to trust anyone or create healthy relationships.
Instead, focus on nurturing your true self and realize just how strong you are! You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish once you stop worrying about what others think of you.
If they were told they were worthless: As children, daughters of narcissistic fathers often feel like they’re never good enough for their fathers.
The problem with constantly feeling like an inadequate child is that many women carry those feelings into adulthood which can lead to problems in other areas of life.
2. They get angry easily
Narcissists often have a short fuse, and their children, who grow up in homes with frequent displays of rage, soon learn to respond with fear or defensiveness when faced with even minor slights.
It’s hard for daughters to stand up for themselves when they don’t feel like they can safely do so at home. Thus, it may take several years after leaving a narcissistic father for your daughter to muster up her voice.
She doesn’t trust that anyone will understand or believe her. You may have reasons for dismissing your daughter’s accusations as exaggerations or fabrications (the narcissist can be very convincing), but take a step back and give her perspective some thought. After all, if a narcissist raised you, you know how things go down at home.
And if you’re willing to admit that there is more than one way to view any given situation, then perhaps you are ready to hear what your daughter has been trying to tell you all along: Your ex-husband is not a good person. He does not love his children unconditionally. He does not respect women.
3. They are afraid of confrontation
You don’t want to hurt your father’s feelings, so you are careful not to contradict or make him angry.
You may have learned as a child that confrontation leads to punishment, so you rarely ask for what you want.
Instead, you try to please people so they won’t reject or abandon you. Your goal is approval and love at all costs.
The truth is that some confrontations are necessary in life regarding your health and wellbeing, for example.
And getting approval from others does not give us true self-worth. Take care of yourself by speaking up about what matters most to you; even if it makes someone angry at first, ultimately, he will respect your honesty and authenticity.
They feel like an extension of their parents: To be loved, you must be exactly who your parents want you to be.
They punish you with criticism and disapproval if you do something different or develop an interest that isn’t theirs. As a result, any time spent away from them leaves you feeling lost and out of control.
But being independent doesn’t mean doing everything on your own it means learning how to set boundaries with other people so that everyone can maintain their own identity while still being there for each other when needed.
This means setting boundaries with your parents too! Tell them what feels right to you without fear of their reaction.
4. They feel invisible
In their relationships with their fathers, daughters are not noticed. When a father talks to or about his daughter, he does so regarding how she affects him.
Her feelings want, and needs do not register with him in any meaningful way. A father like that cannot acknowledge his daughter’s pain or suffering because he doesn’t see it.
She can feel invisible and often does in her own family. In some cases, she may also feel ignored by society. When she leaves home to begin her adult life, people fail to ask about her family and do not see her as part of an exciting narrative.
It is hard for her to develop a sense of self-worth. It takes time and works to develop healthy self-esteem.
In daughters of narcissistic fathers, however, self-esteem is typically low or non-existent.
They don’t believe they deserve better treatment than they received from their father; they don’t believe they have value beyond what they can offer others.
And they certainly don’t believe anyone would want them for who they are if given a choice between them and someone else. They think everyone sees them as worthless (which isn’t true).
Because of low self-esteem, many struggles with depression and anxiety disorders later in life stemming from poor treatment from their fathers growing up.
5. They don’t know how to love themselves
A narcissistic father often gives his daughter a warped self-image by comparing her to others. He may believe something is wrong with her if she isn’t good enough, beautiful enough, successful enough.
It’s hard to have an identity when you’re constantly being compared and put down, says Carol Anderson, Ph.D., Healing Your Emotional Wounds and Creating a Better Life for You and Your Children.
To survive in a relationship with a narcissist, many daughters spend years putting themselves second, and after years of sacrificing themselves for someone else, it can be challenging to learn how to care about yourself first.
It’s not easy being alone. First, Dr. Anderson says, learning how is crucial if you want your life back on track and if you want any chance at having healthy relationships in your future.
They feel unworthy: A narcissist doesn’t just make his children feel bad about themselves; he also makes them feel like they aren’t worthy of love from anyone, including him.
6. They’re afraid they’re going crazy
Growing up in a household with an unhinged narcissist can mess with your mind.
You’re constantly second-guessing yourself, questioning whether you’re crazy, and wondering what’s happening. As one daughter recently said, I feel like I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out if my Dad is abusive that now I think it’s all in my head.
Another says: I have so many anxiety disorders because I don’t know if my problems are happening or if they’re just part of me going insane.
Daughters must understand that their reactions to their childhood experiences make total sense. They aren’t crazy. The things they’re experiencing are authentic.
7. There’s always something wrong with them
In narcissistic families, nothing you can do is right. You’ll always fall short no matter how much you try to please them.
If something is wrong in your life, it’s your fault, and if they have problems, they need to be solved by you.
As a daughter of a narcissistic father, no matter what your accomplishments are or how happy you may be in another area of your life (even if it’s completely unrelated), you’ll still never feel good enough.
And that means their love for you will always feel conditional and unfair. You’re constantly walking on eggshells: The most challenging part about having a narcissistic parent is that you never know when they will blow up at you.
It could happen from forgetting to put away your dishes after dinner to get a C on an exam. It doesn’t matter whether it’s something big or small; there’s always some drama around every corner.
And because these outbursts come seemingly out of nowhere, it makes sense why so many daughters grow up feeling like they’re walking on eggshells around their parents, which has been shown to cause anxiety disorders in children and adolescents later in life.
8. They don’t trust people easily
Because they’ve learned to watch out for predators, daughters of narcissistic fathers don’t fully trust other people.
It takes a long time to earn their trust, and they let down their guard only when they think you won’t try to exploit them. This can make it difficult for them to make friends or have healthy relationships with romantic partners.
Even after getting close to someone, daughters of narcissistic fathers often expect their partner will reject them. It’s difficult to shake off.
They feel like they’re not good enough: Because daughters of narcissistic fathers are used to being treated as if they aren’t good enough, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
These women constantly compare themselves to others and believe that there is always someone more attractive, more successful, or just plain better than them.
They struggle with perfectionism: Perfectionism is closely linked to narcissism, so it makes sense that many daughters of narcissistic fathers work too.
Perfectionists never accept anything less than perfect from themselves and tend to be critical of others to avoid feeling inferior.
9. They believe they’re not good enough for anyone
These daughters tend to believe they’re not good enough for anyone or anything, including themselves.
This stems from their father’s inability to see past his wants and needs if a man can’t accept himself.
He can’t. The daughter grows up thinking she’s unworthy of love and attention until she becomes independent, self-sufficient, and strong enough to deflect her father’s lack of empathy.
It takes an emotional toll on her self-esteem and sense of security in romantic relationships later in life. Still, she can break free from these false beliefs about herself with therapy and time.
10. Their greatest fear is their family finding out about them
The daughter’s greatest fear is that family and friends will discover her father’s abuse and manipulation. She wants to keep it a secret, even though she desperately needs help.
She knows others would find it hard to believe that her excellent father could do such terrible things, so she buries it deep inside.
Despite his promises, he never changes: No matter how hard a daughter tries to win her father’s love or how much she pleases him, he never seems satisfied.
He always finds something wrong with what she does. He constantly criticizes her and puts her down in front of others or behind closed doors.
She feels like nothing she can do will ever make him happy. He makes her feel responsible for his unhappiness: Her father blames everything on her, telling her that he wouldn’t have to punish her if she weren’t so stupid, ugly, or lazy.
He tells her repeatedly that if only she were different, he’d treat her better. If only she tried harder, then maybe he’d love her more.
To conclude, I want to say that there are some pretty evident and well-known symptoms of daughters whose fathers are narcissistic. However, after listening to my friend’s story, I began thinking about all the other things you can do if you are a daughter whose father is narcissistic.
Although it may be difficult at first and may not be easy, it will help you overcome your issues and allow you to move forward in life so that one day you can learn how to stop being affected by your father’s abusive behavior.
Even though narcissism affects everyone differently, some ways can help overcome these experiences, which, unfortunately, is something we have had to deal with for most of our lives. And we have already discussed ten symptoms of daughters of narcissistic fathers.