Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play

Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play

What does it matter if a parent is a Narcissist? Children have to survive and because they need to do that, it is built into them to be as sharp as nails. Looking at Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play, oftentimes freaks people out. It doesn’t take long to see these patterns in your own family. Even if you’re not expecting to see them on your own side of the street. The emotional stuff they cannot make sense of or handle, gets suppressed or distorted until they are mature enough to process it all and place it in their brains appropriate memory folder, as they lay these matters from childhood to rest. Seven dysfunctional character roles families play: The Hero, Golden Child or Conformer The Scapegoat The Mascot or Jester The Enabler, Rescuer or Orbiting Parent The Victim The Lost Child The Narcissist, Bully or Persecutor A narcissist parent won’t acknowledge the child’s feelings.

Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play

Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play come out for all to see in plain sight. They will compete with the child so as not to be out done. This kind of parent will constantly send mixed messages, manipulate, often blatantly lie and play mind games with the children to get their way and maintain control. In response the children will learn to seek external validation rather than internal. Drug addiction for example, may be one such outcome. The children will feel neglected, abused and may even suffer symptoms of emotional incest. Their self esteem will take a bad, long term blow and trauma work in a therapists chair will more often than not be the intervention needed to escape the cycle. Lest the next generation falls prey to the consequences of Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play.

Thus, the child will not be able to build feelings of trust. Trust is what all relationships are built on. “The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger, feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety and depression, and has no clue about how he or she got that way.” —Pressman and Pressman, The Narcissistic Family Work on the trauma egg is ideal for people who want to explore some of their own therapeutic work at home or by themselves. This and other exercises can be used from Marks book Auto Therapy, How to Heal your own life. It is available directly from Mark, the websites or Amazon.

How to avoid Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play

1. Honesty. Nothing works better at healing this and almost all other negative family systems models. Just don’t keep secretes betwixt and between, spoken or unspoken. Speak up and speak honestly. Nothing will develop more healthy mechanisms, rules and roles than this.

2. Forget the family image. Just settle on a normative and honest image. Don’t fake it.

3. Be open and communicate properly. Keeping secrets keeps families sick.

4. Don’t triangulate. Parents must be parents and siblings and kids must be what they are. Don’t make them what they are not, even if they are willing to play mom or day, it doesn’t work. Create clear boundaries and decent family hierarchies, that are open and positive.

Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play around the central figure, or controlling Narcissist.

5. Don’t play the blame game. Be quick to forgive and move on. Each day anew is sunshine for the soul.

6. All family members need permission to fail, permission to succeed, to be, to grow and learn.

7. Seek a spiritual path and follow spiritual principles. When healing starts these principles will already be in place.

8. Flexible families flourish. Don’t minimize the rigid, authoritarian parent. It is known to be the most damaging kind of parent there is on the planet. Yes, it is even worse than a parent who ignores the child and let’s them do what they want. We meet so many people in therapy who are over policed and over parented by authoritarians. It can create the worst kind of trouble for the child and the family. Authoritarian or Narcissistic? You decide on definitions as they apply to your family.

One parent can be narcissistic and the other parent can be the enabler or the rescuer while the child in the middle ends up as the victim. The Narcissist smashes the confidence, tells weak, stupid, less than the others. The enabler pacifies, protects, coerces and manipulates the other family members to keep homeostasis. But the sad and sorry judgements of the narcissist are too harsh. The critic strikes fear into their victims, as narcissists do and dominates this way. Not even a word has to be spoken family rules and triangulation and family systems all make it unfold until the goal is met. Ego of narcists is fed by the compliant and not so compliant. By the hero’s the scapegoats and the lost ones. 

When a parent or caregiver, or even a child that has grown up and through a traumatic upbringing in a narcissistic family, the best thing you can do is start to confront the issues head on. Do the work personally and get into therapy and heal. Don’t minimize the issues, as it is very likely they will persist. Worse still that the issues will be passed on, like some sick, hereditary curse. The good news, please don’t discredit the good news is that good traits, attitudes, talents, rules and roles are also passed down through families. They can be much more powerful in adulthood than any disease or trauma that one may have had to bear. Yes, this is all very treatable and curable. So don’t stay stuck. Get help from professionals, outside of the family circle, away from the silent and some not so silent rules and roles of the narcissistic family system. 

Imagine of perfection and normalcy is goal to outside world. Feelings are not spoken about and oftentimes ignored.

Narcissistic Families – 7 dysfunctional character roles families play


Connect with Mark and Center for Healing and Life Transformation online or at our Center in South Africa, established in 2012 by leading professionals and headed by Mark L Lockwood(BA)(hons)(psy). The Center is a modern healing bridge between clinical healthcare and outdated, punitive healing systems. There is no longer a need to wait for a rock-bottom, or stay stuck. Thousands of lives have been changed. Wherever you are mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually today, know you can Heal Your Life! GET IN TOUCH Call or message today +27824424779 email See our Pathways Addiction Treatment Program here See more about our Wellness Program packages here #narcissisticfamily #dysfunctionalfamily #familytherapy #parenting

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Published by Mark L Lockwood

Mark L Lockwood (BA)(Hons)(psy) teaches spiritual transformation and is the founder of Contemplative Intelligence. Author of The Power of Contemplative Intelligence, Autotherapy and Recovery Magic. Our work is about the science of finding your spiritual self.

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