Narcissistic Grannies–Ruling the Roost-Wrecking Your Life

Some families have generations of narcissists who seem to pop up everywhere. There is no narcissistic gene but it is amazing to discover how they proliferate in some families. Those of you who have been emotionally and psychologically abused by narcissists in your family understand all to well.

You think of a grandmother as a loving, open and helpful person. Someone who extends herself to take care of your children–a person of great integrity–someone who can always be counted on. Enter the narcissistic grandmother and watch out. Narcissistic grannies are on a power trip that won’t stop. They may be deep into their seventies or eighties or even older but that doesn’t stop their malevolent deeds. Besides they have an advantage–they can play the super senior call. “Why would anyone pick on me. I’ve given my life to this family and what do I get, a lot of damn abuse–ungrateful children and grandchildren.” This is grandma’s skillfully honed act. (Most grandmothers are terrific. Many of them are raising their children’s kids. They are kind, highly competent, strong and have great wisdom. Many of them have important careers and many accomplishments). I am talking about the highly pathological narcissistic grandmother who runs everyone into the ground, except her pet people who are her followers and servants.

Many of these grandmothers are holding the purse strings–they control the family assets that have been accumulated. So family members feel beholden to them to get their share of the monies and properties during Grannie’s life and afterward. Children and grandchildren are treated like servants in Her Presence. Everyone is expected to be highly differential to this woman of stone or else you will be cut out of the will or lose face in the family and be exiled forever. NGs set one generations against another, brother against brother, sister against sister by telling cascades of lies constantly. She is the puppet master–a sinister trickster–playing games with the emotional and psychological well being the members of her family. Many members are in for the long haul despite all of the abuse they must take. How can they be sure that this unempathic cruel woman will ever do anything for them. After all, she plays favorites all of the time. These grannies love play “unpredictable” and causing apprehension and fear. They glory in watching everyone jump when she opens her mouth.

You have a choice with a narcissistic grannie. You can sever the relationship or let your life be eclipsed or even ruined by this prevaricating ruthless sadistic human being. You might say:”She will mellow; she is getting older.” Oh, contrarie! As narcissistic grannies advance in age they tighten up their hands and absolutely will not help or give. They must have everything for themselves and their favored children and grandchildren. For them a relationship is about money and property not feelings, love, loyalty, kindness, devotion. These words are not part of their vocabulary.

You have a decision to make. You can stay part of this ugly play written by NG or you can sever the relationship with this malicious narcissist. Leaving these family arrangements even the worst of them is difficult but not impossible. A time will come when you realize that you cannot let someone –a cold narcissist to trample on your life or your children’s or spouse. The game is over for you. You know that you have great individual worth inside yourself. You are genuine and have integrity. You will make the break despite what the rest of the family thinks of you. What matter is how you measure yourself, your growth, creativity and the genuine relationship you have with your close family. 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