Growing up, was your father really charismatic? Was he the life of the party? Did people think he was really cool or great or handsome? Did he think he was all of those things?

If you said yes to any of those questions, you may have been raised by a narcissistic father. I have talked about the topic of having a narcissistic mother in a previous video, but many wrote in asking about fathers, so in this week’s Real Love Revolution video, I will cover:

  • Behaviors of a narcissistic father
  • Difference between selfish and narcissistic
  • The impact narcissism in fathers has on daughters
  • How you can heal from having a narcissistic father
  • How to NOT date a version of your father

Understanding the behaviors of narcissistic fathers is important to determine if you had one.

Some behaviors include being self-centered, vain, and having an inflated sense of self-importance. He also uses people to achieve his own ends, which is something you most likely witnessed. He expected everyone to cater to him. He was the life of the party – everyone wants to be around this type of narcissist, and he loved to be in the spotlight. Very tender about criticism and would either cut people off if they criticized him or he would try to hurt them back. If he got angry, his rage was very scary. Another quality is an inability to be sympathetic to you as his daughter. He was more concerned with how other people felt about him than how his own children felt about him.

In some ways, as the daughter of a narcissistic dad, your value depended on what you could provide for him to brag about to his friends. You were something to prop up his ego and make him feel better about himself. There’s no way you could really get what you wanted from him (like love and a healthy amount of attention and adoration.)

Narcissism is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and a lack of empathy. This begins in early adulthood. If we’re getting clear about the difference between a selfish father and a narcissistic father, a narcissistic father does not have the ability to empathize with his child, and he really believes the rules don’t apply to him. It can be really depressing to be raised this way. It does impact your dating life and who you attract. Once you’re not living at home anymore, you end up internalizing his criticism and directing that negativity to yourself. You can develop a deep rooted fear of being left in a romantic relationship because down deep somewhere in this narcissistic relationship, you’ve internalized that you don’t really deserve love, affection, loyalty, etc.

So, let’s move on to healing. Once you become an adult, you might want to consider getting into therapy as it is the fastest way to your healing. Coming to terms with what you experienced as a child is crucial to moving on. Journaling is another way to fully understand not only how your father hurt you in the past, but how his narcissism is affecting your life today. If your dating life has been hell, you need to ask yourself these three questions to understand where you might be having a transference: Who does this person remind me of? Where have I felt like this before? And why is this behavioral dynamic familiar to me? When you answer those questions, you’ll be able to see that you are being drawn to narcissistic men because they remind you of your father. In your unconscious mind, that may equate to them being partner material. Consciously changing that association is what creates space to have a different experience. For the full list of tips, click the button to download the Checklist: 5 Essential Dating Tips for Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers now.

Know that you have permission to cut off anyone in your life who is too toxic. If you have a parent who is abusive or a narcissistic father who is using you for his narcissistic supply, your job is to protect you.

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Thanks for watching, reading, and sharing!

And as always, take care of YOU.

Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.