AdultsFawn McNeil-HaberNarcissismTrauma

7 Tips for Developing Self Trust After Being Raised by a Narcissistic Parent

A child sits with their head down as their parents sit facing away from one another. This could represent the trauma a trauma therapist in Scotch Plains or Branchburg, NJ can help you overcome. Learn more about trauma therapy in Scotch Plains and Branchburg, NJ by searching for a trauma therapist near me.

Being raised in a narcissistic family or by a parent with narcissistic tendencies or full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder can wreak havoc on a child’s emotional development.  These children learn that their parents’ emotional needs come first. The impact is a child who must contort who they are to win their parents’ approval and have their needs met. Since children rely on their parents for survival, they trust their parents’ interpretation of themself and the world around them.  Due to the use of invalidation, gaslighting, and projection by narcissistic parents, adult children of narcissists tend to struggle with a poor sense of self, self-doubt, and a lack of trust in themself

A close up of a black teen holding their temples. Learn how a trauma therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ can offer support with healing from narcissistic traits. Search for narcissist Scotch Plains, NJ for support via trauma therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ. If this feels like a familiar story to you, you may find you overthink everything from choice of clothing to intimate relationships to holding healthy boundaries.  Can you really trust that you know what is right for you?  If you do stand your ground on a boundary, are you really being selfish? If you choose to buy that item the critical voice in your head says is chintzy, are you being foolish?  These are definitely signs it’s time to take a deep dive into knowing yourself outside of family expectations.  It’s messy work.  It’s full of mistakes. But it can also be immensely gratifying.

Here are 7 tips to develop and strengthen your sense of self and trust in yourself

1. Spend time connecting with yourself

For children of narcissistic parents, much of your time has been spent attempting to read the needs of your parent in order to keep the peace.  You may have brought this survival strategy into your adulthood.  Perhaps you work hard to meet the needs of your parents, partner, and friends to the detriment of your own needs.  

A close up of a person painting on a canvas. This represents doing things you enjoy and self-fulfillment cultivated by working with a trauma therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ. Learn more about trauma therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ today by searching “narcissist Scotch Plains, NJ”.Take some time and space to really develop a relationship with yourself.  This may be hard at first if you have been given the message that you are selfish when you prioritize your own needs.  Or if you have received the message that you are not worthy of attention and love.  

Take a walk with yourself and observe your inner dialog.  Is there a critical voice in your head?  Are you able to build yourself up?  Do you know the values and beliefs that are important to you?  Consider journaling to learn more about yourself.  You may need to start with just a few intentional minutes a day before you can tolerate long periods of self-reflection. 

2. Connect with your body and your nervous system

Our body is constantly sending us messages about our inner experience and the external world.  These may be messages of hunger or thirst.  They may be messages of grief or anxiety due to experiences of loss or threat.  When a child must ignore their own body’s messages to manage a parent’s emotions or expectations, one result is that they can become disconnected from their body and the messages that it sends.

Begin to reconnect with your body.  Listen to all the messages it sends you.  Start to SIFT through the different ways your body can send messages:  Sensations, Images, Feelings, and Thoughts.  Are there some messages you believe more than others?  Are there some that you ignore? Attempt to increase awareness and get curious about the messages you are receiving from your body.  Learn more about how the nervous system responds to invalidating childhood experiences

3. Figure out your preferences, likes, and dislikes

If your preferences were invalidated or seen as a problem then your child self may have learned that they are unimportant and not worth considering.  However, this is not true.  Your preferences and priorities are very important.  Take some time to consider who you are, what you like, and what kinds of experiences work best for you.  Are you someone who likes casual clothes, to be all dressed up, or both?  Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  What kind of food do you like?  What would an awesome day off of work look like for you?  Do you like to be creative and if so what is the expression of choice?  How do you like your home space to look?  Figuring out your preferences and likes is a journey of trying new things and listening to your body’s reaction and then honoring that reaction.

A person smiles while holding a yoga mat near her friends in the park. Learn how trauma therapy in Scotch Plains, NJ can help you achieve the life you want to live. Learn more by contacting a trauma therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ today.Discovering yourself can feel awkward and uncomfortable.  You may find yourself in uncharted territory.  Self-judgments may increase before your own inner wisdom kicks in.  In the next segment, we are going to move from knowing thyself to ways to take action on that developing knowledge. Stay tuned for the final 4 tips to develop and strengthen your sense of self and trust in yourself.

Overcome Abuse from A Narcissist With A Trauma Therapist in Scotch Plains or Branchburg, NJ

Processing emotional trauma caused by a narcissistic family member(s) can be difficult. That’s why the skilled therapists at our Scotch Plains and Branchburg, NJ offices offer EMDR therapy for childrenteens, and adults. With EMDR therapy or telehealth counseling, we can help you process your own trauma.  If you want to stop the cycle of the narcissistic family and heal your trauma follow these simple steps:

  1. Reach out to Brave Minds Psychological Services
  2. Meet with an understanding counselor 
  3. Break the cycle and heal from your emotional trauma

Brave Minds Psychological Services’ Other Counseling Options in New Jersey

EMDR Therapy isn’t the only service that our skilled therapists offer at Brave Minds Psychological Services. For adults, we provide trauma therapyfood allergy therapy, and couples counseling. We offer counseling for parents along with postpartum counseling, and birth trauma therapySupporting teens and children is also important to us. This is why we offer teen anxiety treatmentsocial phobia therapy for teenschild sexual abuse therapychild anxiety treatment, and more. If you are wanting to connect with peers going through similar struggles we offer several options for group therapy. Our services are offered in person at our Scotch Plains and Branchburg, NJ offices and through telehealth counseling in New Jersey.


Fawn smiles for a headshot, she is a trauma therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ. Learn more about the support trauma therapy can offer today.