15 Things Narcissistic Mothers Say and How They Affect Their Daughters

From hurtful phrases to jealousy, how do our mothers affect us? Charlotte Pardy MA is an award winning Psychotherapist and mother wound whisperer.

15 Things Narcissistic Mothers Say and How They Affect Their Daughters


Growing up with a narcissistic mother can be an emotionally tumultuous journey. The words that reverberate from our mothers often carry immense weight, imprinting deep marks on our hearts and minds. In this exploration, we'll traverse through 15 commonly uttered phrases by narcissistic mothers, unearthing the profound impact they can have on their daughters, shaping not only their self-perception but also their journey towards healing and self-discovery.

The Hurtful Phrases

1. "You're Always Overreacting"


Imagine you confide in your mother about a difficult day at school or work. Instead of offering comfort, she dismisses your feelings with this phrase. This dismissal can lead to a perpetual questioning of your emotions. For many daughters, this constant doubt can evolve into a pattern of second-guessing themselves in even the most straightforward situations.

2. "You're Not Good Enough"


You proudly present a painting you've poured your heart into, only to be met with a critical eye. "You can do better," she says. Hearing this repeatedly may result in a persistent feeling of not measuring up, even in adulthood. The quest for validation from others becomes a lifelong pursuit.

3. "You Should Be Grateful for Everything I've Done"


You express a desire for a bit more independence, perhaps to pursue a hobby or spend time with friends. In response, she pulls out a list of all the sacrifices she's made for you. This statement can generate guilt, making it challenging to assert your own needs.

4. "You're Too Sensitive"


You share that a friend's comment hurt your feelings, seeking comfort and understanding. Instead, she dismisses your emotions as an overreaction. Such remarks may cause you to suppress your emotions, fearing they are invalid. This suppression often leads to challenges in forming healthy emotional connections.

5. "You're Just Like Your [Negative Trait] Father"


Perhaps you've displayed a trait reminiscent of your father, one that she's labeled as negative. She makes this comparison, instilling a sense of shame and unease about your identity.

Daughters may grapple with reconciling their sense of self with the traits inherited from a parent, which can be particularly challenging if the comparison is tied to perceived negative attributes.

6. "I Sacrificed So Much for You"


You express a desire to pursue a career or a personal goal. In response, she recounts all the dreams she put on hold for you.

While acknowledging sacrifices is important, weaponizing them creates a climate of obligation. This emotional indebtedness can be crippling, making it difficult for daughters to assert their own needs.

7. "You're Making That Up"


You recount an event from your day, something that deeply affected you. Instead of listening, she dismisses it as a fabrication.

This invalidation of your experiences can erode trust in your own perceptions. Over time, daughters may struggle with self-doubt and a sense of unreality, constantly questioning the validity of their own experiences.

8. "You Owe Me"


You set a boundary, perhaps expressing a need for some personal space. In response, she reminds you of all she's done for you, creating a sense of perpetual indebtedness.

Being made to feel perpetually indebted skews the concept of a healthy, balanced relationship. It hampers a daughter's ability to establish and uphold essential boundaries, often leading to an imbalance of power.

9. "You're Always Looking for Attention"


You share an accomplishment at school or work, seeking a bit of recognition. Instead of celebrating with you, she accuses you of seeking attention.

Accusations like these can instil a reluctance to express oneself authentically. Daughters may become apprehensive about seeking support, fearing they will be perceived as attention-seeking or bothersome.

10. "You're So Selfish"


You express a need or a desire that differs from her own. Instead of considering your perspective, she labels you as selfish.

This label can instil a deep-seated fear of prioritizing your own needs. Daughters may become adept at putting others first, even at the expense of their own well-being. This pattern of self-sacrifice can persist into adulthood.

11. "I'm Doing This Because I Love You"


You express discomfort with a particular behaviour or demand, seeking understanding. In response, she justifies it by saying it's out of love.

While love should be nurturing, using it to justify controlling behaviour can be manipulative. Daughters may grapple with the blurred lines between care and control, making it challenging to discern healthy expressions of love.

12. "You're the Cause of My Stress"


You express your feelings or needs, only to be met with an exasperated sigh and a declaration that you're causing her stress.

Hearing this can lead to an overwhelming sense of responsibility for your mother's emotions. Daughters may internalize this responsibility, striving to manage their mother's emotional state at the expense of their own well-being.

13. "You're Impossible to Please"


You make an effort to meet her expectations, only to be met with a dismissive comment about how you never get it right.

This statement may leave you feeling that your desires and needs are unimportant. Daughters may internalize the belief that their worth is contingent on meeting impossible standards, leading to a constant striving for validation.

14. "You'll Never Succeed Without Me"


You express a desire for independence or autonomy, perhaps pursuing a life choice that differs from her vision. In response, she delivers this ultimatum.

Such remarks can breed dependence and undermine your confidence. Daughters may grapple with the fear of stepping into their own power, fearing they will fail without her guidance.

15. "Why Can't You Be More Like [Someone Else]?"


You share an accomplishment, only to have it met with a comparison to another person, usually someone she perceives as superior.

This comparison can instil a deep sense of inadequacy. Daughters may struggle with a persistent belief that they are inherently flawed and must constantly strive to measure up to external standards.

Emma’s Journey: Breaking Free and Thriving

One of my clients, Emma, experienced this comparison all too often. Her mother frequently praised her sibling while subtly implying Emma's shortcomings. This left Emma feeling invisible, overlooked, and desperate for approval.

After joining my program, Emma began to reclaim her sense of self-worth. Through a combination of therapeutic techniques and personalized strategies, she learned to recognize her own strengths and value, independent of external judgments.

Today, Emma stands tall as a beacon of strength and self-assuredness. Her journey from a daughter stifled by comparison to a woman thriving in her own authenticity is a testament to the power of healing.

Overcoming the Impact: Tips for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

  1. Seek Professional Support
    • Remember, you're not alone. Yvette, one of my clients, found immense relief in seeking professional help. Through our sessions, she learned to navigate these challenges. Together, we mapped out a personalized journey towards healing.
  2. Practice Self-Compassion
    • Be gentle with yourself. It's okay to acknowledge your feelings and validate your experiences. You are worthy of kindness and understanding. This practice of self-compassion lays the foundation for profound healing.
  3. Set Boundaries
    • Establishing healthy boundaries is not only a right but a necessity for your well-being. It's not selfish; it's self-care. Boundaries protect your emotional well-being and foster healthy relationships. Through boundary-setting, daughters reclaim their autonomy.
  4. Cultivate a Supportive Community
    • Surround yourself with people who uplift and validate you. They can be a powerful source of healing. Connecting with others who understand your journey can be incredibly validating. Together, you create a network of mutual support and understanding.
  5. Download my Free Resource: "Breaking Free from Your Mother Wound"
    • This comprehensive workbook is designed to kickstart your healing journey. It's filled with practical exercises and profound insights to help you regain your sense of self. Through targeted exercises, daughters learn to navigate the intricacies of their mother wound.


Remember, your journey is unique, but you're not alone. Together, we can heal and grow beyond the wounds of our past. Embrace the strength within you and know that there is a path to healing and thriving. Through personalized strategies and unwavering support, daughters of narcissistic mothers can break free and step into their own brilliance. The journey begins with acknowledging your worth and taking that courageous first step towards healing.

Award Winning Psychotherapist and Mother Wound Whisperer, Charlotte Pardy MA

Categories: : Mothers, Narcissism, Relationship