8 tips for dealing with criticism from narcissistic families

One of the painful trademarks of the narcissistic family is constant criticism and judgment. In their presence, one can feel insecure, put down, and typically not valued as a person. When around narcissists, if you really listen to their ramblings, you will hear them judging others ad nauseum, and in turn trying to make themselves look bigger, better and more powerful.

This behavior is caused from the narcissists’ own insecurities and fragile ego. But… it is tiring, not pleasant, and particularly difficult if it is directed at you. Many of my clients, past and current, experience this dread when the holidays emerge. With holiday music as the backdrop, the fears still arise. “Will I have the strength this year to stand up to the criticism, set boundaries, and take good care of myself?” “Can I possibly endure the put downs, jealousy, or just plain mean behavior?”

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