10 Symptoms Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Experience

Navigating a relationship with a narcissistic mother can be tough, this blog sheds light on 10 common symptoms daughters of narcissistic mums feel.


Feeling that my mom is a narcissist can be a tumultuous journey for many daughters, and you may find yourself arguing with mum or trying to keep your distance to avoid the fallout.

This blog aims to shed light on ten common symptoms experienced by daughters of narcissistic mothers. Recent studies estimate that nearly 6% of the population may be affected by Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)(APA, 2013), emphasizing the prevalence of this issue and even if your mum doesn't have NPD, it's likely she has higher than average amount of narcissistic traits.

So how does that affect you?

1. The Weight of Conflicting Emotions

Constant Tug-of-War: Daughters often find themselves entangled in a web of conflicting emotions. Arguing with Mum, which should be a normal part of growing up, escalates into a rollercoaster of emotions for them. This internal turmoil can leave lasting scars (Lachkar, 1992).

    Sophie's Triumph: Sophie, a client of mine, learned to navigate these conflicts with the help of therapy. Through guided exercises, she developed healthy coping mechanisms and communication strategies. Today, Sophie handles arguments with her mother with grace and composure.

    2. The Emotional Impact

    Internalized Pain: Daughters of narcissistic mothers may internalize their feelings of anger and resentment, leading to a sense of helplessness and diminished self-worth. Research indicates that this internalization can contribute to anxiety and depression (Tolmacz, Mikulincer, & Shaver, 2010).

      Melissa's Journey: Melissa's healing journey began with recognizing the impact of her mother's behavior. With the support of my Daughters of the Roses Program, Melissa learned to externalize her emotions and set boundaries. Today, Melissa thrives in her personal and professional life, free from the weight of internalized pain.

      3. The Struggle for Validation

      Seeking Unattainable Approval: Daughters may find themselves perpetually seeking their mother's approval, only to be met with indifference or criticism. This unending pursuit of validation can lead to a cycle of frustration and self-doubt.

        4. The Cycle of Dysfunction

        Strained Family Dynamics: The influence of a narcissistic mother often ripples into other familial relationships. Daughters may find themselves caught in a cycle of dysfunction, affecting their interactions with other family members. This can lead to reduced self-esteem and difficulties in forming healthy relationships (Sheehan, 2019).

          Emma's Transformation: Emma's journey towards healing began when she joined my Daughters of the Roses Program and understood the dynamics at play in her family and with her mum. Through the group calls, she learned to set boundaries and prioritize her own well-being. Today, Emma enjoys fulfilling relationships with her extended family, free from the shackles of dysfunction.

          5. The Burden of Emotional Neglect

          Emotional Neglect: Daughters may experience emotional neglect, feeling as though their concerns and emotions are dismissed. This can contribute to feelings of helplessness and a diminished sense of self-worth.

            Sarah's Empowerment: Sarah's healing journey started with acknowledging her worth. Through my group program, Sarah learned to advocate for herself and validate her own emotions, with support and encouragement from other women in the group. Today, Sarah stands tall, knowing that her feelings are valid and deserving of acknowledgment.

            6. The Struggle for Independence

            Longing for Autonomy: Daughters may yearn for independence but find it difficult to break free from the web of control woven by their narcissistic mother. This longing for autonomy can be a powerful motivator for growth and healing.

              7. Coping Mechanisms and Unhealthy Patterns

              Adaptive Behaviors: Daughters often develop coping mechanisms in response to their mother's behavior, some of which may be unhealthy. These patterns can persist into adulthood, affecting various aspects of their lives, unless the actively choose to change.

                8. Reclaiming Self-Worth and Identity

                Rediscovering Self-Value: Healing from a narcissistic mother's influence involves reclaiming one's sense of self-worth and identity. This journey of self-discovery is a crucial step towards breaking free from the cycle of dysfunction and is something I actively teach and support you with in my group program.

                  9. The Power of Boundaries

                  Establishing Boundaries: Setting and maintaining boundaries is a vital aspect of healing. It allows daughters to protect their emotional well-being and regain a sense of control over their lives.

                    10. Ditching Isolation

                    The Healing Power of Community: Seeking support from a therapist or a community of individuals who have experienced similar challenges like my Daughters of the Roses Program can be transformative. Together, daughters can find validation, understanding, and the strength to embark on their healing journey, especially as you have likely been isolated from family and friends over the years.


                      Recognizing the symptoms of a narcissistic mother-daughter dynamic is the first step towards healing. By seeking support and employing healthy coping mechanisms, daughters can break free from the chains of dysfunction and embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Remember, you are not alone, and there is a community ready to support you on your path to healing.

                      If you'd like to explore this further, why not grab my free Breaking The Cycle Workbook? It's a practical guide that helps you take your first steps towards healing from having a narcissistic mother.

                      Award Winning Psychotherapist and Mother Wound Whisperer, Charlotte Pardy MA

                      Categories: Healing, Mothers, Narcissism, Relationship, Symptoms