Narcissistic In-Laws—Identify Them and Protect Yourself

You don’t have any control over who are your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and other family members. And you can not determine who will become your in-laws. And that is a huge dilemma if they are narcissists. One narcissistic in-law can spoil your whole day and more —-if you let them. I’m not saying it is easy to maneuver their circuitous, deceitful, ruthless ways. The first step is in identifying them as quickly as possible. It is invaluable for you to spend some time studying the narcissistic personality—the character disorder of our time. Once you know that one or some of your in-laws are narcissists, keep out of their range. There are few things that they love to do more than trapping you in a corner all alone and project their psychological venom on to you. Do not be alone with these people. Their toxic bursts are non-stop. Narcissistic in-laws lie about family members all of the time. It’s like a sport with them. They are seeking complete control of the family including family assets. You say—but they’re family!!!!No, they are not. They carry this title in name only. They are ruthless, treacherous narcissists who will endeavor to brainwash or vanquish everyone in the family, stepping over everyone to get to the very top. And often they do—by stealth, cunning, pretending to care deeply about someone whom they can control. Never sell these individuals short. I have known of cases in which a narcissistic in-law stole three inheritances that didn’t belong to them. They became executors, won the trust of unwitting family members and they never got caught. It’s hard to believe but this happens.

Protect yourself from these vipers. If there are other family members who are as perceptive as you and recognize their true natures, form an alliance with them. In some cases they have undermined everyone. Family members are living under the spell of the toxic in-law and you have to step aside and protect yourself and lead your life free from them. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Sing Your Own Tune Not the Narcissist’s

We all have music inside of us. It may be a small voice that calls
from inside that is barely heard. It may be a swelling sound like a
river held back too long that is bursting to go over its banks. When we
are little many of us sing to ourselves and if we are fortunate, others
share their voices with us. Song has been with us for thousands of
years. It is a part of our nature. We were meant to move to rhythm and
to hum and sing. Listen to very small children and you know that is part
of who we are.  When we sing and give power to our voices, we are whole
and free.

Those who are tied to the narcissist in a
charade marriage narrow their chances of becoming the person they were
meant to be.  The narcissist demands mirroring of him/her alone. He is
the master; you are the follower.

He is always right–impeccable.
You make all the mistakes. Every fine idea or creative endeavor evolves
out of him, even when its origin is yours. You can never win with a
narcissist. They may create a comfortable lifestyle that is consistent
with your external goals but where is the heart of the narcissist. It
can’t be found. Narcissists are masters of pseudo empathy and caring
when they have to play the part but once the drama is over and they have
gotten exactly what they wanted, they revert back to their fits of
rage, recriminations, constant lies and ruthlessness.

you have had more than enough and can hear your own song in your head
and it is getting louder and your intuition is messaging you frequently,
pay attention. You are being told to make a decision, to take a
different road, to activate yourself fully as an individual without
limitations.  We come to this earth in our present form once only. Make
this one count. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth,
visit my 

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

No Longer In Shadow of Narcissistic Sister

I hear from many sisters who were psychologically dismissed because
they existed in the shadow of their older sister golden child. She was
beautiful and bright. Everyone paid attention to her. Her birth was long
awaited and she became the star of the family immediately. The
narcissistic mother worshiped gorgeous Sis. Second sister Alyce was not
an extrovert. She was quiet and  intelligent. Alyce learned to survive
by living in her older sister’s  shadow. She  tried to imitate her
manner of speech and gestures, thinking that she would be able to get
her mother’s attention and love if she succeeded. Instead Alyce was
laughed at, demeaned and humiliated. The narcissistic mother who was
psychologically fused with her older daughter would mimic Alyce, even in
front of company. Alyce was so hurt that she ran to her room and cried
uncontrollably. No one came upstairs to see how she was feeling. She knew
that her mother and sister didn’t care. They were too engrossed with
one another in mutual adoration mode. Alyce learned to keep very
quiet and become invisible to this duo. She didn’t have confidence in
herself and hid in her studying and books. When Alyce left for college she was relieved to get away from the narcissistic abuse.  

The psychological pain
remained with Alyce. She found excuses not to visit the family on
Holidays. After going through a rough period of depression, Alyce sought
psychotherapy. She developed a strong therapeutic alliance with the
therapist and went through the process of grieving for the mother
she never had and a sister that could do without her. It was difficult
work. Alyce emerged emotionally stronger and steadier, more clear about
her true identity as an individual and appreciative of her unique gifts.
As time passed Alyce severed her relationship with her narcissistic
mother and narcissistic sister.

She is no longer in the shadow of
her narcissistic sister nor does she fear the disapproval and cruelty of
her mother. She has gone through a process of personal transformation.
Alyce feels free to move ahead with confidence and optimism about her
present and future. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic
personality, visit my 

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

The Narcissistic Style Has Taken Over

The narcissistic style is obsessive self involvement sprinkled with
lack of empathy, compassion and doses of  of materialism and the need
for external perfection. There are countless individuals who lead their
lives with consideration for others and who will stop and help people
they don’t know. They provide comfort to their friends and are present
and loving to their families and people whom they have never met before.

am talking about what has happened to many individuals in the course of
a decade or so. The narcissistic style is being highly rewarded by
corporations, amid many social circles, in the media and entertainment.

of face, body, figure, clothing, connections, glamour and youth are
rewarded over kindness, consideration of others, thoughtfulness, empathy
and deep awareness. It has become a Darwinian world. Many people are
out strictly for themselves and brag about it with their constant self
references of success, monetary gain and, with regard to parents, the
perfection  and brilliance of their children.

individuals need to wake up and realize that some people lead very
difficult if not impossible lives. They had it very rough as children.
They were dismissed, abused, neglected, beaten, psychologically
deprived, physically ill and poverty stricken. Never assume when you
meet someone that they have not had a very painful background and that
every moment of their life now is trying. I am sickened by the lack of
sensitivity and awareness of those who have taken up the narcissistic
style as a way of life. Learn to tune in to the other person before you
start bragging about yourself and all of your achievements and monetary
worth.  Keep still and listen and take the other person in. Then you
will know what to say about yourself and when to keep quiet.

are extraordinary human beings who are so empathic they restore your
belief in the goodness of people. We need more of them. If you are one
of these, appreciate yourself. Let your light shine. Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Is Your Mother a Histrionic Personality and a Narcissistic Personality

There are cases in which a child has a mother that has a dual
diagnosis. She is both a narcissistic personality and a histrionic personality disorder. The histrionic is noted by her compulsive need to be the center of attention at all times. She is given to fits of temper and is highly dramatic. These individuals are highly impulsive and no one can predict their next exact behavior. They disrupt parties, family gatherings, and public events without batting an eye. That is how emotionally labile they are. Combined with the HPD diagnosis you have a antisocial personality disorder. Completely self-absorbed, lacking empathy, incapable of emotional intimacy, selfish, self-centered, grandiose, manipulative, exploitative–that is at the core of the narcissistic personality. Being the child of this mother is extremely difficult.

There is no emotional or psychological bond or security with
this parent. The child is not cared for or cherished. She grows up
without emotional attachment to the mother and her deepest needs to be
cherished and treated as a unique individual are overlooked. Mother is
too immersed in herself to pay appropriate attention to her son or

In many cases these mothers both histrionic
and narcissistic unconsciously project their self hatred on to their
children. They have no insight into themselves. These are fixed
personalities and do not change.  If there is a loving responsible other
parent, the child has a chance to go through the normal stages of
development and become a stable individual.

If you now
know that you mother was a dual diagnosis histrionic personality and
narcissistic personality—don’t blame yourself and begin to think she
could have been any different through any of your interventions. You did
not make her disturbed. She had a long history of psychopathology long
before you came on the scene.  Other members of the family are likely to
pressure you into believing that mom is normal, just a little
eccentric. You know that “There she goes again” attitude. This is not
true. Mother suffers from a dual diagnosis which is very serious.
Children who survive these mothers psychologically are extraordinary and
have great courage. Sometimes there are other family members who take
on the role of surrogate parent and provide the child with much needed
stability. Some children raise themselves, seeking the families of
friends, learning to keep themselves together with their minds in
solitude, study, art and other creative pursuits.

is one of the most difficult maternal backgrounds. Give yourself
tremendous credit. In many cases high quality psychotherapy can be very
helpful. Be sure to interview several therapists to find one that is
both clinically skilled, highly empathic and who is neither narcissistic
nor histrionic. Take very good care of yourself. Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi,Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

From Budding Narcissist to Adult Narcissistic Scourge

Many of you have had the experience of watching a narcissist grow
from early childhood into adulthood. You heard the ear shattering
tantrums, saw the parents make no attempt to get their “golden child” to
behave. Their efforts were feeble because from the beginning he/she was
never corrected for inconsiderate and boorish behavior. This child was
considered special from the beginning–a little king or queen who was
raised to the highest pinnacles. I have been astounded and chagrined by
the outrageous behaviors of these chosen children. I have bitten my
tongue sore in social situations to not say: “Make that brat behave. He
is not the only one on  the face of the earth.” “You are growing a
monster who will come to hate you, exploit you and make the lives of
others intolerable.” But in social situations I have kept quiet in the
past. Now I refuse these invitations. I would be watching a parent
creating a mini monster who will grow into an abominable human being.
Adults especially  parents make excuses for their unempathic, selfish,
materialistic, cruel, sadistic children. And others in the family go
along with the charade. After all this child is so bright and
attractive, what could be wrong with him. He is excelling in school as
he charms everyone. What else can a parent want? You as a member of this
family are expected to believe this delusion and to adore the child as
much as his parents. Beneath the surface, the budding narcissist, day by
day is becoming more self obsessed, grabby about what he must have,
more grandiose that he is superior to everyone else and cannot make
mistakes. He lies impeccably to trick others and make fools of them. He
intimidates his brothers and sisters who live in sheer terror of his
footsteps. Mother and father are oblivious and reluctant to correct or
criticize the little prince. He has become a  reflection of their
perfection. They cannot be objective. The family image rides on the
their son’s perfect narcissistic facade. In the current societal climate
today,narcissists are ruling. They get away with their treacheries
because they exude confidence and are often very clever and forceful
personalities that no one will buck them.

If a member
of your family is a narcissist and you have known him/her since
childhood—-he is not going to change. Now as an adult he is a larger,
more ingrained, more vicious facsimile of his younger self. In fact many
narcissists become meaner with age, more duplicitous and malicious. Do
you need this person in your life? Is it worth all the  hurt feelings,
cruelties to be a part of this pathological drama. Ask yourself these
questions and trust your inner response. You don’t deserve this savage
treatment. Learn about the inner workings of the narcissistic
personality. This will help you in making discernments about the people
you want to include in your life.  Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Narcissistic Mothers–All About Them All the Time

Being married to a narcissist, being the sister or brother of a
narcissist, having a narcissistic mother or father or being the member
of a total narcissistic family sucks the energy out of a person’s life.
No matter how you play it and under every circumstance–It is always
about them–their looks, their homes, their holidays, their parties,
their outward image, their financial successes, their victories over
enemies, their seductions, their cruelties to the weak and vulnerable—
I am reminded of the words from Ecclesiastes: ” Vanity of vanities,
saith the Preacher…all is vanity.” One can add the word ego here
to represent the overblown self absorption and exclusion of the
feelings and entire lives of others when we speak of the narcissist’s
true nature.

With narcissists in one’s family, little
children are aware that the focus of attention was always on someone
else, not them. They thought that was the way life went. There is a
powerful figure a narcissistic mother who rules. She is always right and
you are always wrong, stupid, slow, lazy, ugly, despicable,
unworthy—name any derogatory word and that’s what you were. Day and
night these words were etched inside of your consciousness. You even
drempt that mother was screaming them at you in your sleep. There was no
way of escaping her verbal lashings. Often you believed her. What else
could you do. You were a prisoner in her house of hell. 

the blatant abuse, the narcissistic mother is completely obsessed
with  her life- her career, her looks, her social influence, financial
security, the need to have anything she wanted. She put the attention on
herself compulsively. She expected her children to adore her and to
serve her. Some children of narcissistic mothers described themselves as
full time servants–cooking, cleaning, washing, fetching, ironing
clothes for mother so she could leave them for entire long nights by
themselves. Even children as young as two or three  years old have been
left alone to take care of themselves.

narcissistic mothers would throw a bottle in the crib of her screaming
infant and slam the front door. Her only reservation and hope was that
no neighbor would hear the baby crying and find her out. She would
return late in the morning to find a child whimpering from sheer terror
or exhaustion or passed out from crying all night long. These things do
happen when children have narcissistic mothers. This is the epitome of
“It’s all about me.” These are crimes against children. I believe they
are unforgivable. I have heard too many life stories of these themes of
extreme maternal deprivation and abuse.

It is time to
recognize that maternal narcissistic abuse is occurring all of the time.
We need to shine a bright light on it. If you have been a victim and
have survived and are now living your own life in freedom, I applaud
your ability to save yourself and to prevail. We begin by learning
deeply about the nature of the narcissistic personality. Visit my 

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation: United States and International

Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life