Father’s Day — the day children of Narcissistic Fathers dread. You know the drill. Everyone on social media is bragging or pretending that they have the best dad on the planet while you sit and squirm, wishing like heck you could say glowing things about your own father or father figure that even remotely resembles him acting like something other than a self-absorbed and typically obtuse and oftentimes dictatorial toddler.
NPD, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (for short), is a nurtured Cluster B personality type. The condition arises due to how a child is raised from birth through typically the ripe old age of four years old.
Sophisticated Narcissists may mature emotionally to the age of six intellectually when it comes to social interaction with their family members, love interests, and offspring they produce.
The key to identifying someone who is NPD by nurture — rather than something more difficult to socially deal with like ASPD (Anti-Social Personality Disorder), BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), or Narcopathy — is to evaluate their forensic psychology history of public, private, and instinctive behavior.
Narcissistic Fathers are groomed to behave in ways that reflect low EQ and egocentrism. Their behavioral choices are unnecessary, habitual, and learned. Unless Dad is willing to strive to improve social behavior and relationships for the sake of his own medical as well as civic health, expect him to decline in behavioral choices and to become even more prone to irrational, erratic, or dictatorial behaviors as he approaches his natural chronological retirement age.
Understanding that Enablers lied to us during our childhood — profoundly gaslighting themselves as well as us into believing the medical fairy tale that Cluster B people are biologically capable of maturing with age — is the fastest way to come to terms with what’s happened to them as human beings in life as well as to us, as their collectively exposed contemporaries and offspring.
Once you figure out they are parroting things their earliest childhood caretakers told them about what to do when and if someone in the home or in a public venue was behaving badly or in a way that reflected social competition, they stop sounding like authority figures with high levels of any form of subjective social, intellectual, or emotional credibility. That does not mean their life experience and observations in general about how THEY choose to survive are not valid insights; it does mean that every word that comes out of their mouth — especially when they blurt something on impulse — provides neurological based Forensic Psychology insight.
Depersonalize. Remember… it’s not often Jane Goodall hoots and hollers back at a primate instead of seeking to comprehend the difference between a subject’s natural instinctive versus trauma exposure-induced, nurtured environmental, socially competing, or ultimately physically or socially “butthurt” poo-flinging low EQ, social survival instinct based domineering behavior.
Most forensic psychology studies report the choices people make in life as fixed or endpoints without noting the steps of the process someone took to make their decisions or including detailed mention of things like…
What was a person’s first reaction to something like new news or social stimuli?
How did they respond to, say, someone’s need for emotional comfort, care, companionship, social support, or request and or need for mentoring assistance from the person being armchair diagnosed, studied, or professionally and clinically evaluated?
Because 99.99999% of all social interactions with the suspected or confirmed narcissistic person or Cluster B actor occur out of sight and in places inaccessible socially for a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or a Clinical Researcher to observe…
And because few people are surrounded 24/7 365 by Law Enforcement, Social Service Evaluators, agents of the court in high conflict divorce situations like Guardian Ad Litems, or reality television teams not prohibited from recording and filming real life in the IRL from every possible vantage point, line of sight, or possible method of audio as well as digital recording…
It’s wholly lawful and medically necessary for friends and family members as well as for the victims of Cluster B actors to:
- make mindful objective notes about actual events and how the toxic or problematic person’s words, deeds, and actions impacted the victim at the time, and…
- to create a paper trail to share with authority figures as necessary that helps them understand the behaviors that are being exhibited in public or private by the problem person.
Such documentation not only validates victim experience so they can be treated for things like PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome after being gaslit, and C-PTSD (conditioned PTSD that arises after multiple exposures to pervasive trauma). It indicates not only the abuse-prone person’s core nature they default to in private but also the nature of the abuse they tend to dish out to a victim so victims — specifically — are able to make better decisions about how to deal with it.
In the case of Narcissistic Fathers, the most common complaint is that they seem to behave, without justification, as if the entire world simply and solely revolves around them. Children are seen as extensions of themselves… not the extreme degree that ASPD fathers and mothers see their children as property rather than as people. But actually as non-differentiated aspects of themselves.
If father needs or wants something — including attention, companionship, affection, praise, manual labor assistance, or control of a social setting… it’s very Confucian to behave in a groomed manner allowing him to have all of his needs met. But in a Confucian household, a father or male authority figure is expected to behave respectfully back.
Dads who are narcissistic by groomed nature tend to be men who were doted on and encouraged to show overt disrespect to other males. Mothers who treat little boys like kings without need or desire to do anything other than to cultivate Alpha Predators who are socially aggressive, domineering, and emotionally bulletproof to constructive criticism — taught to see requests for them to collaborate rather than to simply show up to family events and acting as if the people in their brood or clan are nowhere near as important as they are — are the men who are expected to cater to their own toxic parent in a codependent, socially competitive, toxic family values-driven dance.
Children who have loving, supportive, and healthy relationships with their male authority figures can count on being treated like ends rather than as means. They are treated with respect, shown appropriate levels of social support and affection that is rooted in mutual affection and like for one another as human beings, and that gives the child and parent mutually beneficial rewards of being able to ultimately count on an adult level of FRIENDSHIP — rooted in mentor-mentee collaborative association by free will choice.
Not out of a sense of dread or fear that if father is not treated as if he can do no wrong in life that the child will suffer things like fiscal, social, and emotional abandonment or withholding of appropriate father-child affection in public or private. Or from a misguided sense of trauma bonded obligation to strive to please a nurtured unpleasable person with no biological excuse for their deplorable behavior.
If you are wondering whether or not your father is toxic, a Narcissist, or prone to mild levels of nurtured Cluster B behavior in the eyes of people educated about things like basic Forensic Psychology (from a self-help perspective) and Developmental Psychology (from a clinical perspective), the following list from the Huffington Post provides keen insights.
“Here are 11 signs that your dad had narcissistic tendencies or was an outright narcissist:
1. Dad was self-centered and pretty vain. He had an inflated sense of self-importance that led him to believe he was superior and entitled to only the best.
2. Dad used people for his own good. He would take advantage of others, to the point of exploiting them when it suited him. Everybody seemed to cater to him — or at least he expected them to.
3. Dad was charismatic. Everyone wanted to be around him and he relished admiration from others. He loved being in the spotlight and the positive reinforcement that came from being the center of attention.
4. No one had an imagination like Dad. Grandiosity is alluring, and so were his fantasies of success, prestige, and brilliance. He would often exaggerate his achievements, and his ambitions and goals bordered on unrealistic.
5. Dad didn’t take criticism well. Nothing stung him like criticism; he often cut those people out of his life or tried to hurt them.
6. Dad’s rage was truly scary. Some people get mad and yell a lot. Dad could hurt you with his anger. It cut to the bone.
7. Dad could be aloof and unsympathetic. Narcissists often have a hard time experiencing empathy; they often disregard and invalidate how others feel. Of course, he was exquisitely sensitive to what he felt, but others were of no mind.
8. Dad wasn’t around a lot. He got a lot of gratification outside the family. Other fathers hung out with their families a lot more. Plus, he craved excitement and seemed to be more concerned by what others thought of him, rather than how his own kids felt about him.
9. Dad did what he wanted when dealing with you. Narcissists don’t step into someone else’s shoes very often. He only did things with you that he enjoyed.
10. Dad wanted you to look great to his friends and colleagues. You were most important to him when he could brag about you.
11. You couldn’t really get what you needed from him. Even if Dad provided on a material level, you felt deprived on a more subtle level. For example, you wanted his attention and affection but would only get it sporadically, and only when it worked for him.
When you go through these traits, some may hit home while others may not be relevant. Some may ring as very true while others as less so. This is why narcissistic traits are not synonymous with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.”
Please do be mindful if father is prone to excessive gaslighting and or domestic violence of a physical nature of any sort that a comorbid or alternate diagnosis of ASPD or BPD is also likely.
We say that to folks fortunate enough to have fathers — especially those who were members of the WWII Generation or who are or were part of the Baby Boomer generation — who only ended up narcissistic. Most of the men who were raised and came of age during eras like WWI, WWII, Prohibition in the United States (when running or purchasing bootleg liquor was rampant as a social habit in many family units), when the Nazis sympathizers and their Enablers fled Europe and resettled clandestinely in North and South America to avoid social detection by people likely to hold them lawfully accountable for socially amoral behavior in Europe, and those who were pulled into conflicts like the Korean War or the Vietnam Conflict ended up not only with massive trauma-induced ASPD but also C-PTSD issues that led them to neurologically freeze their own neuroplasticity in a misguided medical attempt to avoid feeling things like complex emotions.
Knowing what is a behavior or symptom of NPD compared to BPD compared to ASPD can literally help a victim not only wake up and overcome nurtured Codependent Personality Disorder thinking caused by being groomed by toxic parents to enable predatory people but it can assist the problem person’s social sphere of influence in understanding the best approach to deal with the person as an end rather than as a means in themselves.
Most codependent thinkers will come up with a million and 12 logical but morally and medically invalid reasons why children and other family members or a lover should tolerate abuse, overlook the reality of human behavior impact on their personal as well as civic health, and they tell you to think about what you get from a materialistic or social standpoint from being willing to “go along to get along” while devaluing victim human rights and experiences.
We cannot say this emphatically enough…
Fathers who love, like, care about, and respect their children honor the divine parenting contract.
In a court of law, if one person proffers a social contract with the intent to commit fraud or to neglect the duties presumed or implicitly described or prescribed by the definition of the term parent (father or mother)… the contract is by nature rendered default and invalid. But the Narcissist and their Enablers who aspire to rise to assume their proverbial throne after death seldom (if ever) tell groomed, improperly parented, and trauma bonded (rather than emotionally secure and loving children or their targeted social abuse marks) that.
If your father failed to honor HIS PART OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT to act like your parent…
But he still showed up, tried, and made himself present (if not emotionally available on occasion), understand he might be the victim of his own personal life experiences, trauma exposures, and neuroplasticity freezing upbringing. If he ruled the house with a dictatorial iron fist, you are NOT simply dealing with a narcissistic parent.
Really take time to be objective and to set aside your emotions as a victimized or trauma-exposed person when thinking your way through armchair diagnosis.
A father with NPD who is approaching or already in senior years may never become the loving, kind, or appreciative parent an adult child with a healthy relationship to a living father or father figure in life deserves in a world that is healthful and free of problem personality types. The faster offspring get realistic about their parent’s forensic psychology and neurological history of behavior that indicates whether or not they, as a person (before being a parent) are or ever were neurologically healthy, the more likely we — as children of culturally toxic and truly morally and civically misguided adult-not-adulting cultures can prevent ourselves from ending up with the same psychological and emotional defects as our parents, grandparents, and ultimately as our great-grandparents who by choice in life set all these patterns of toxic and anti-social, health-destroying life patterns in motion as they responded to things like the atrocities of war and abject poverty.
Keep this article in mind on holidays like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, on days like birthdays, or on other special holidays when respect for a parent or family unit is expected to be lovingly proffered. If your Narcissistic Father is a real pain in the butt but not prone to socially violent behavior — meaning he’s egocentric and self-absorbed, claims to enjoy social competition, and he’s in his own little world that has nothing much to do with reality outside the inside of his mind or home…
If he’s alive and you WANT to be with him on a special day like Father’s Day — do. And remember to hug him.
But remember this as well.
His behavior — the behavior that he habitually enacts that causes problems for others — is likely to be rooted solely in attention-seeking motivation.
If your father was never taught as a child how to ask for attention or how to properly show attention… every time we, as society members and as adult children of toxic parents reward bad behavior by showering them with extra attention of any quality when they start to act socially and emotionally manipulative we ENABLE. By remaining in relationships with them because they pay our bills or because we hope to someday inherit cash after 8 or 9 decades or poor treatment, we show them overt (albeit passive) disrespect by treating THEM as a means like they do to us.
Consider this post your permission sign from the universe that you can stop.
Mail a card. Make it an E-Card if you don’t want to take the time to drive to the store or to spend the financial resources to buy him one at the local Hallmark or drug store.
Ask him what he wants to do for the day. If he says NOTHING, send the card to show you remembered the event, call his bluff about holidays being stupid or a waste of everyone’s time, and go on with your day.
A father who loves and likes himself and his children is not likely to treat offspring in discard pile ways.