Children of narcissistic parents often struggle to please their parents & make them think they are good, & not the terrible person their parents say they are. Sadly, no one ever can be good enough for their narcissistic parents. Eventually, they realize this, & a desperate attempt to gain the approval of their parents can manifest in self-sabotaging behaviors.
One way they try to obtain their parents’ approval is by trying activities they are not qualified for, such as taking on high-level jobs or starting businesses they don’t have the skills to manage. This can lead to failure, which they may use as evidence to prove their parents’ belief that they are inadequate.
In an effort to gain their parents’ approval, children of narcissistic parents may marry people they are not compatible with, but their parents like. They may think that by marrying someone their parents like, they will be able to gain their parent’s approval, even if the relationship is not a healthy one. They prioritize their parents’ approval over their own happiness.
Another way they attempt to gain their parents’ approval is when children of narcissistic parents get into a lot of debt & then rely on their parents to help them pay it off. This can be a way for them to prove their parents right by showing that they are unable to manage their finances & need their parents’ help.
In order to stop this destructive cycle, it’s vitally important to recognize that you deserve better than this. You are a child of God! Galatians 3:26 in the Amplified Bible says, “For you [who are born-again have been reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified and] are all children of God [set apart for His purpose with full rights & privileges] through faith in Christ Jesus.” God is the only parent whose approval you should seek! Seek Him & nurture that relationship. He will give you that love & approval you want & more.
It’s also very important to focus on building self-esteem. Study what the Bible says about you. God has very definite & wonderful opinions of His children, & learning those things will help build your self-esteem.
It also will help you to learn how to have realistic expectations of not only yourself but your parents as well. If you view yourself & them realistically, you won’t be disappointed when you make mistakes or hurt when they’re so critical because you know that is just what they do.
And, while the Bible says we are to honor our parents, that doesn’t mean we are to allow them to determine how we feel about ourselves. Your self worth doesn’t need to depend on how they see you. It needs to come from learning what God says about you & from within. Honoring them also doesn’t mean that you have to tolerate anything they say or do to you, no matter how cruel. You can have healthy boundaries & honor your parents, although I’m sure narcissistic parents will disagree with that statement. I wrote a small book on the topic called “How To Honor Abusive Parents”, & it’s available on my website at www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com or at this link.
Learn to release the hope of ever gaining your narcissistic parents’ approval. Also get to know God as your Father, learn to love & accept yourself & have realistic expectations of your parents. You will be much happier for it!
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