Narcissistic Mother’s Pernicious Envy of Daughter

The narcissistic mother’s shares the stage with no one—not even her lovely daughter. There are a some NMs who choose a daughter that will mirror the mother’s perfection and who becomes her living clone. The daughter’s beauty, mental brightness and other gifts are the reason that she is chosen as the quintessential narcissistic supply to keep mother’s ego fully inflated.

Daughters who are not chosen are treated very differently. Some are discarded out of hand and neglected—left to fend for themselves from the time they are young.

Some daughters of narcissistic mothers refuse to be forced to play the role that mother has written. These daughters are are often very bright, attractive and have a mind of their own. Narcissistic mothers hold a deep envy of these offspring. They view this daughter as a threat to her power and control. They are obsessively envious of the daughter who can think for herself and is not willing to play the role of clone or discard. This daughter becomes mom’s enemy. Mother fears that this child will surpass her. As she becomes older (narcissists are terrified of aging) her daughter develops into a very attractive, intelligent young woman. The narcissistic mother tries every put down, verbal ambush, humiliation in her book of cruelties. Mother starts to call her the “problem daughter” who is unstable and unpredictable, causing the entire family horrific problems. These are mental inventions on the part of the narcissistic mother’s attempt to demean and diminish her daughter’s identity.

On an unconscious level the narcissistic mother cannot deal with her feelings of emptiness and self loathing. She projects these toxic feelings on to her child. Some daughters recognize early that they are the targets of their mother’s envy and recognize the pathology of their family. Many of them spend as much time away from mother’s psychopathology as possible. Some find other female figures –teachers, aunts, grandmothers–who appreciate them for their authentic selves and give them a secure place to express their feelings and thoughts.

Many of these daughters benefit from quality psychotherapy and work through the core issues of having an envious narcissistic mother. They recognized their entitlements as unique individuals capable of using all of their creative gifts and to participate in giving and receiving love and affection–becoming the human beings they were meant to be. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life