Navigating Narcissism: Why Does My Mother Hate Me?

Updated April 9, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Growing up feeling hated by your mother can be an extremely difficult emotion to cope with. Feeling burdensome, unwanted or disliked by your mother often creates ongoing problems into adulthood, including certain mental health conditions. 

Victims of toxic or narcissistic parenting often believe they are the ones at fault for their poor relationship with their mothers or feel undeserving of her love. In such cases, it can be helpful to identify possible narcissistic personality traits in your mother. 

A mother who displays persistent controllining, manipulative or cruel behavior is likely showing narcissistic personality traits. For those that have lived with this type of behavior long-term, recognizing and addressing the signs can be extremely difficult.

In this article, we will explore the realities of narcissistic mothers, what you can do to navigate the relationship, and how to take steps towards personal healing. 

Ilona Titova/EyeEm
Have you been hurt by your mother’s behavior?

Recognizing narcissistic traits

Maintaining a relationship with someone who displays narcissistic personality traits can often be challenging, with a toxic parent or caregiver creating one of the most difficult and impactful relationships to navigate.

Recognizing toxicity and narcissistic personality traits in your own mother can be extremely difficult due to the fact that her love, or lack thereof, was likely presented to you at an early age. In many cases, growing up with a narcissistic parent “normalizes” the existence of toxic behavior in the parent, yourself, and others around you. 

While some mothers are outright cruel, many narcissistic personality traits present in a subtle, more covert way. Examples of narcissistic personality traits include: 

  • An unreasonably high sense of self-importance or a desire for excessive admiration.
  • Feeling that certain privileges and special treatment are deserved.
  • The expectation to be recognized as superior even without achievements.
  • A tendency to make personal achievements or talents seem bigger than they are.
  • A preoccupation with success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
  • Feelings of superiority. 
  • Unrealistic demands or expectations of others. 
  • A tendency to take advantage of others without guilt or remorse.
  • An inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.
  • Excessive feelings of envy towards others, or an unfounded belief that others envy them. 

It is important to note that Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a diagnosable personality disorder. While someone living with NPD will display narcissistic personality traits, these same traits can be exhibited by people who do not have NPD. 


Signs of narcissistic traits in mothers

When navigating narcissism, it can be helpful to recognize that there are a number of narcissistic behaviors that tend to present specifically in parenting. While the process of identifying narcissistic traits your mother can be grueling and painful, doing so may serve as an important step towards healing. 

Some of the most common traits associated with narcissistic mothers include:

Excessive self-centeredness

A narcissistic mother is primarily focused on herself, her needs, and her desires. She may constantly seek attention and admiration from others while disregarding the needs and feelings of her children.

Lack of empathy

Empathy is often lacking in narcissistic individuals, including narcissistic mothers. They struggle to understand or connect with the emotions and experiences of others, including their children. Their interactions may be characterized by a lack of genuine concern or understanding.

Manipulation and exploitation

Narcissistic mothers often manipulate and exploit their children for their own benefit. They may use guilt, emotional blackmail, or other tactics to control and manipulate their children, often seeking to fulfill their own needs and desires at the expense of their children's well-being.

Grandiosity and entitlement

Narcissistic mothers typically have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they are entitled to special treatment and privileges. They may expect their children to fulfill their needs without question and may become angry or resentful if their demands are not met.

Lack of boundaries

Narcissistic mothers frequently disregard personal boundaries, both physical and emotional, with their children. 

Emotional manipulation and abuse

Narcissistic mothers often engage in emotional abuse to maintain control over their children. This can involve gaslighting (distorting reality to make the child doubt their own perceptions), constant criticism, belittling, and undermining the child's self-esteem.

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo
Have you been hurt by your mother’s behavior?

Healing from a hateful mother

Growing up feeling hated by your own mother is undoubtedly challenging and oftentimes traumatic. Typically, the first step toward healing comes from identifying the reality of your mother’s behavior, then learning to accept that your mother’s behavior is no fault of your own. 

While there are a number of support groups available online for those of us with emotionally abusive or narcissistic parents, the complex and painful nature of growing up with a narcissistic mother is typically navigated best through therapy and mental health treatment. 

A therapist or mental health professional can often provide individualized guidance in the matters of navigating or healing from a toxic maternal relationship. In many cases, it is possible that online therapy may serve as a valuable resource for those looking to heal from a different parent-child relationship. Additionally, research has proven online therapy to be equally as effective as in-person therapy.


While recognizing the signs of a narcissistic mother can be challenging, doing so can often be helpful when it comes to the navigation of the relationship, as well as personal well-being. If you are having trouble coping with the negative effects of a mother’s narcissistic behaviors, it may be best to reach out to a therapist or mental health professional for guidance and support.  

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.