October 3, 2012

The prickly self-absorbed parent

The prickly self-absorbed parent is very demanding and expects prompt and accurate compliance with her needs, whether or not these needs were verbally conveyed. Others are expected to "do the right thing," to always "do it right," without ever having an adequate explanation for what "right" means for this parent. Deviations from the self-absorbed parent's internal understanding of "right" cannot be tolerated, and the child endures constant criticism and other negative comments. This parent can also be very touchy, sensing disapproval, criticism, and blame from almost everything that is said and done, whether or not that is what was meant. As a consequence, others can always be on edge around this parent, are careful in what they do and say, and continue to try to "get it right" or withdraw physically and/or emotionally.

Behaviors and Attitudes

  • Critical and criticizing
  • Never completely satisfied 
  • Picky~everything must be done to her perceptions and standards 
  • Demands perfection 
  • Hypersensitive to perceived criticism
  • Blames others when she is uncomfortable, and also blames you when you are uncomfortable
  • Makes demeaning or devaluing comments to and about others
  • Takes offense easily 
  • Nags


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

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