A common criticism from narcissistic parents to their children is calling them lazy. I can’t count how many adult children of narcissists have said their parent constantly called them lazy. I’m also one of them. These parents don’t allow their children to rest when sick or simply relax after a long day without criticisms.
While being called lazy & not being allowed to rest & relax doesn’t really sound like a big deal, it actually is.
Being treated this way is surprisingly damaging to a child. It can cause a child to carry a tremendous amount of guilt & even shame until the child dumps the dysfunctional false belief put on her. Many so called lazy kids show the following characteristics that stem from being called lazy…
- Feeling as if you never should rest or relax.
- Feeling intense guilt &/or shame if you need to rest, such as when sick or injured. Along those lines- resuming activities quickly, not giving your body time to recover.
- Feeling unappreciated.
- Feeling as if you never can do enough.
- Developing OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), & being fanatical about cleaning your home or doing your job.
- Going in the opposite direction from OCD & being extremely messy.
If any of this sounds familiar, then it’s time to make some changes.
I have found that looking objectively at myself was a good place to start. I looked at what I do & realized I do quite a bit. Granted, in the past few years, my health has forced me to streamline my routine so I don’t do as much at a time as I once did, but I still do quite a bit.
I also looked at my mother objectively. She is rather lazy. She’s never been one to keep her home spotless. Since marrying my father she put him in charge of not only maintaining her car but cleaning it as well. She doesn’t cook often & never has. She hasn’t held a job since before getting married, other than a part time job for a week or two in 1989. This tells me that her calling me lazy was simply projection rather than fact. (Projection is when a person behaves in a certain way, then accuses another of being that way when they truly aren’t. It allows the accuser to get mad about the flaw without taking responsibility for it. It’s a very common tool used by narcissists.)
I began to tell myself I’m not lazy. I believe in working smarter not harder, but that isn’t a bad thing. It was starting to sink in, until I got sick in 2015 with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. It took every ounce of energy out of me for months on end, & I felt like the laziest human on the planet since all I could do was lay around. As I lay there recovering, I watched a lot of TV. One evening, out of the blue, God spoke to my heart & told me why He allowed me to get sick. One of the reasons was I needed to rest more. In spite of starting to realize I wasn’t lazy, I still pushed myself too hard. Now I have to rest sometimes- my body just can’t work as hard as it once did. He said if I continued pushing myself too much, it would kill me eventually. It had to stop.
I can’t believe I’m the only person God would do this too, so I’m including it as a warning to you, Dear Reader. If you are that typical adult child of a narcissistic parent who pushes yourself too hard, it’s time to stop. If you don’t, what’s to say God won’t allow something to happen to you that causes you to need to rest? It’s much better to rest on your own terms! Try what I did- look at your situation objectively & you’ll see you aren’t lazy, & there is nothing wrong with resting & relaxing! You also deserve to have joy in your life, & how can you do that if you work non stop? Take better care of yourself, Dear Reader! You deserve it!