Is Your Adult Child a Narcissist?

People who have NPD tend to have the following personality characteristics:

  • Big time egos. Narcissistic adult children think the world revolves around them. They make unreasonable demands and push time and place boundaries when doing so. 
  • Feeling entitled. I often hear parents telling me how their adult children feel they are owed things like financial support or that parents should shoulder their responsibilities. This can include them automatically assuming their bills will be paid, laundry will be done, or expecting help to apply to jobs, make meals for them, and even them expecting parents will clean up after them. 
  • Distorted thinking. Narcissists lie to themselves and to others in their lives. They often deny things that are obvious. They embellish past events to support their distortions and fantasies.
  • Hidden need for validation. Narcissistic adult children need to feel constantly valued from others because, sadly, they don’t adequately value themselves. They often want credit for things that are givens such as showing up and being nice to others at a family function. You may find yourself giving your narcissistic adult child an inordinate amount of praise over something that’s a normal and expected part of family life.
  • Exploiting others. Narcissists manipulate to get what they want. This exploitation can be easy to see (throwing temper tantrums) or passive-aggressive (not responding to communication). They may try to entice you with sweetness and affection when they want something, and blaming their behavior on you. In more extreme cases, they may not visit or allow you to contact your grandchildren
  • Throwing Others Under the Bus. Narcissistic young adults are often putting down other people’s accomplishments. You may find your narcissistic adult child trashing their acquaintances and friends behind their backs, but feigning respect for them when these same people come around.

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