October 3, 2012

The Grandstanding Parent

The grandstanding parent can be described as "always on stage," "playing to the crowd," "larger than life," and other such descriptors. Others in her world have to assume a subordinate role, and that role must support and highlight this parent's self-perception. Her children are perceived as extensions of her and exist to enhance and expand the areas where the parent can be admired, receive attention, be better than others, and so on. The child must never fail; and when the child succeeds, that success is perceived as due to the parent's efforts or contributions. The effects on her children can produce someone who is timid, cautious, and always seeking attention and admiration, or someone who acts out to get the same outcomes.

Behaviors and Attitudes

  • Flamboyant, dramatic 
  • Restless, moves from person to person, project to project, thought to thought 
  • Maniacal at times, talks fast, moves fast, and expects others to follow this lead 
  • Boasts and brags constantly 
  • Resents anyone who outshines her 
  • Exaggerates accomplishments and ailments 
  • Engages in considerable self-promotion 
  • Overestimates her abilities, capabilities, and talent 
  • Intrusive, ignores or fails to recognize others' psychological boundaries, possessions, or territory 
  • Assumes she is in charge 

H/T: Children of the Self-Absorbed by Nina Brown, Ed.D., LPC

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