Daughter of a Narcissist?



By Cynthia Good 



Daughter of a Narcissist?


It’s a feeling many professional women struggle with – an overachieving spirit allowing them to accomplish much, but somehow, they never quite feel successful.

Could Mommy Dearest be partly to blame?

Working women with self-absorbed mothers often suffer from the “impostor syndrome” and feel they’re never good enough – no matter how much they accomplish. That’s according to Dr. Karyl McBride, author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

“This comes from being raised with a lack of unconditional love and empathy, and causes a considerable amount of self-doubt in women,” she tells PINK. “It’s sad, because so many [working women] are so incredibly competent but they have trouble giving compassion to themselves.”

The American Psychiatric Association says 1.5 million women have a narcissistic personality disorder. Nonclinical narcissism is more pervasive, says McBride. Many of her therapy clients are high-powered professional women who internalize the message, “I am valued for what I do, rather than for who I am.”

What to do about it?

McBride says she used her recovery model to heal herself and now others. It includes recognizing the problem, realizing your mother (if she’s “narcissistic”) won’t change (you can only change yourself), and understanding that you only have to be “good enough” for yourself. Recognizing your own goodness and strength, says McBride, allows women to move past perceived shortcomings to live a happier life.

Cynthia Good is an author, speaker and CEO and founding editor of LittlePINKBook.com .

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