7 Signs of a Narcissistic Father | Father/Daughter Relationship

This video answers the question: What are the signs of a narcissistic father in the context of a father daughter relationship (paternal narcissism)? What is the Electra Complex? What are daddy issues in the context of narcissism in relationships? What the difference between narcissistic possessiveness and narcissistic indifference? I answer this question by providing seven signs of the narcissistic father.

Seven signs of the narcissistic father:

1. Father sees his daughter is an extension of himself
2. Father tries to control and shape the daughter into the perfect child
3. The daughters emotional needs are not attended to
4. Father will be perceived by others as extremely caring
5. Distorted view of value
6. Adored today and forgotten tomorrow
7. Daughter blames the mother for the perceived flaws of the father


There are two types of narcissism: With grandiose narcissism we see characteristics like being extroverted, socially bold, self-confident, having a superficial charm, being resistant to criticism, and being callous and unemotional. Vulnerable narcissism is characterized by shame, anger, aggression, hypersensitivity, a tendency to be introverted, defensive, avoidant, anxious, depressed, socially awkward, and shy.

Herzog, J. M. (2009). Father hunger and narcissistic deformation. Psychiatric Annals, 39(3), 156–163.

Finzi-Dottan, R., & Cohen, O. (2019). Involvement and acceptance of custodial fathers: The role of narcissism and caregiving. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 20(1), 82–92.

Kilmartin, C. T., & Dervin, D. (1997). Inaccurate representation of the Electra complex in psychology textbooks. Teaching of Psychology, 24(4), 269–271.

Powell, S. (1993). Electra: The Dark Side of the Moon. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 38(2), 155–174.


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Comments (33)

I am recognizing so much in this that I experienced. Do most narcissistic fathers demand sex from their daughters?

My family is very broken and toxic. I have been trying to figure out if my grandfather is a narcissist. Certain things he says makes me wonder if he is. My mom acts in ways that hurt me and I'm trying to figure out if she was raised by a narc.

That sums alot about my dad. I feel so sorry about my mother ending up with my dad and have no support from her parents. My mother's mother is so toxic and blames my mother for the stuff she didn't do or wasn't her fault. My mother can't leave my dad because he won't support her financialy and tell her that she did nothing for him. As for myself, I always have a feeling that I don't know who I'm really am.

My ex treats our daughters like they don’t exist but treats our son like a king. He plays video games with our son but it’s like since our girls aren’t into video games they don’t have value to him. Is this part of narcissism or immaturity?

Reached out to my dad and today I asked him if he remembered a specific incident that had happened when I was a teenager. He had hit me and verbally berated and demeaned me then dropped me off in the middle of nowhere. I forgot how I got home after that.
Anyway. He told me I made that up in my head. And that I made up a lot of stuff that never happened as well as my two siblings and my mother. My parents divorced when I was younger.
The interesting thing is that my father, as far as I know, wasn’t too well liked nor was he charming. This is where I get hung up and start to believe perhaps I’m the narcissist but… how can I remember so many separate incidents in detail that happened that still affect me in a physical and mental way? I have nightmares and shake when I remember certain things. I jump at tiny noises and flinch when people yell. I can’t make that up. Being told I am making it up is a slap in the face.

I would appreciate an overview of the modern psychodynamic school of thought. I did not see if it has been done.

Just recently I realized I had a codependency issue with my father. I made a mistake and spent 40 dollars of my fathers money when he found out he continued to tell me how stupid I was, how I couldn’t handle these things on my own, I’m too young…. never have I ever wanted to be more independent in my life. I want to make my own money live my own life. My dad is always controlling my decisions and when I make a mistake he’s mentally aggressive on me making me feel low, codependent on him for doing everything for me. Im stuck, and this video made me realize I have a narcissistic father. I realize that I have to dependent less on him.

I think you should also give tips to victims to cope with the sitution

I remember every time in my life that my hand made skin contact with my dad's hand. and him pulling away immediately like I had stung him.
he never ever ever touched me. I mean zero expression of any sort of affection.
eventually, in my teens I would cry in the arms of my mother asking her why he didn't love me, so she started forcing him to give me a hug once in a while, which he does like I'm covered in shit and has to get over with asap.
you know, a one-armed hug, face turned away that lasts for .03 seconds, like it is painful for him.
the only times he ever said I love you was when I was hysterically crying about not wanting to do something, and him explaining why I had no choice to do it, 'because he loved me.'
I never since childhood felt comfortable being even in the same room as him, like he couldn't stand my presence. I always sequester myself in the basement so as to not be a bother. my place is alone, in silence, to occupy myself until I am ordered to be somewhere, like school or mealtime,
so my place became in front of the tv, the only place I was allowed to exist.
I thought wanting affection was inappropriate and too sexual and that's why I was not allowed to want to be touched or want to touch. like a hand on the shoulder, or a hug, I used to flagellate myself for needing affection, like it was a sin. like my need for attention was a sin and there was something fundamentally wrong with me, that I was too needy. and ungrateful for the things he did give me, which were the basic necessities. food, school, roof.
I saw other children be greeted by their father, enthusiastically running up to him and hugging him, and be talked to like they mattered, and kept wondering why I couldn't have that. I thought I was the problem.
now I have severe daddy issues, and it gets me in trouble with men, abusive men.
I try to disgrace myself, actively trying to destroy myself as though that will punish him, but it only hurts me, he could not care less.

My father cannot stand any hint of criticism and responds by flying into a rage… true sign of a narcissist

This entire video gave me chills because it perfectly described how my father was. Especially the part about creating a divide between my mother and me. My father always said it was me and him against the world. There would be weeks where we would get along so great, then out of nowhere he would give me the silent treatment for days. During the times where he wouldn't speak to me I'd fall into deep depressions, cry off and on, and have constant anxiety wondering if he'd ever talk to me again. He would always go back to being the "perfect" dad and never even address why he was angry at me. It was back and forth like that all my life. Which has led me to co-dependcey issues, ,abandonment issues, depression and social/general anxiety.

My parents divorced when i was 5 my father blamed me he didnt get custody and i never saw him for 9 years. at 15 i connected with him first thing he said was he wouldnt be a sugar daddy. .i .lived with him a and his new wife 3 kids for 3 yrs it was a nightmare he has tried to destoy my life told my ex i was bad just b4 i married when got divoced he sided with my Ex. now there best friends him and new wife Has tried using my children against me Acts like a GOD his other chilren think he is I'm just the black sheep

My dad didnt smoke or drink, he would look at otber women but he was usually affectionate with my mom until he wasn't.
I've been trying to move on but he makes things very difficult when he poses with his other kids and pretends like we were in the wrong, he needed help and never got it

Could a daughter of narcisisst father become as a narcisisst too?

For those of you who went through it…how long does it take to realize this about your father? My daughter is 24 and thinks he walks on water…she treats me badly and blames me for everything. I am soo frustrated and tired to make her see reality….I don't want to give up but it is soo toxic that I am not sure I can deal with it much longer.

What about narcissistic fathers of daughters that are the scapegoat. My sister was the golden child.

My dad is a great man as in he always provided for us but there are somethings that make me wonder if he’s a covert narcissist or if he just had some flaws like we all do. He had a authoritarian/ authoritative parenting style. So I remember you could not ask him why because you’d get in trouble, crying was a no or you would be given a reason to cry, and he would definitely spank us (which I’m not opposed to) and sometimes he would explain why we couldn’t do whatever it was we did and then get a spanking or in trouble. That was obviously in my youth. I do know he carries a lot of shame for not living up to his running career (from being injured) as well as resentment. He resented the fact that he didn’t go to the Olympics so he ended up with this career he never wanted, living in a state he never wanted, and after disclosing all of this to me how unhappy he was with his life he divorced my mother. In my teens we never really developed a bond and as I got older it was as if he had nothing to say unless it was him teaching me a lesson or giving me advice but we never ever made small talk. When he retired and was home more I remember a lot of the times trying to tell him about my day and he was so fixated on Facebook or some computer game that he wouldn’t respond or even look at me. He was always there for me when I would run in track and XC and I took it as he was reliving what he missed out in his own life through me and maybe projecting what he wanted for himself, I myself was injured and wasn’t able to run in college and then it went back to nothingness. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Great video, Dr. Grande. Very informative and detailed, which is why I've been a long time early subscriber. I had a question about a situation or dynamic that I'm hoping you might be able to expand on. It relates to romantic attractions to the type of daughter that you've described, who grew up in an environment with this type of father. As a male, I also grew up in an environment with parents that had very strong and controlling tendencies. There was always this emotional hunger where parents would attempt to live vicariously through their children, all unconscious of course. It was emotionally draining, and I understand that sometimes this is described as being an emotional vampire; Lisa and Robert Firestone have talked about this concept of emotional hunger and emotional deprivation, where there is this condition of pain and longing to fill a void of emptiness and loneliness. A hug is normally very nourishing to a child, but when it comes from a place of emotional deprivation, where the parent is attempting to soothe their own anxiety, a hug can be very agitating and traumatic to a child.

There is a young woman that I met a few years ago and became close to. But that same feeling of anxiety and agitation I'd have with my own mother was present with this young woman. Although I made the choice to not pursue her any longer due to what I've read and also because of what my gut was telling me, it was a difficult choice to make. There was a lot of compulsion and sense of suppression of authenticity that characterized my relationship with her. Sometimes when she looks at me, especially if she's finding a joke I said funny, her look unsettles me now. It is almost as if she's looking at me like my mother would, as an emotional supply. But at the same time, I wonder if I am merely projecting my own qualities onto her and not reading her properly.

I know this was a mouthful, but if there is anything here that has resonance in the field of interpersonal relationships and the nature of attraction and gut instincts, I'd appreciate a video on that. One book that I think elucidates what I'm talking about is by Ken Page called "Deeper Dating", where he explains the difference between unhealthy attractions and healthy attractions. Principally, unhealthy attractions are driven by compulsion, and describe what we understand as infatuation, which is the opening of a traumatic wound of abandonment formed during childhood by someone that we perceive unconsciously as familiar to our opposite sex parent. It describes a dynamic of dysfunction, and it's interesting because Dr. Gabor Mate talks about how we can actually have addiction to dysfunction. If a relationship lacks dysfunction, we can find it agitating, causing us essentially to introduce dysfunction thereby recreating our past dysfunctional childhoods.

There are times when I wonder if I made the right choice or not. But then I remember that dwelling on that illusion is only creating misery, and is an act of compulsion. I'm learning to become more conscious, more aware, and more grounded in the present moment and letting life unfold.

Plz talk about mommy issues. My mom is a narcissist. Some advice would be appreciated

Thanks for the explanation.
I watched wondering if this would be a reason behind the daughter becoming narcissistic after growing up.

Could a father, who criticizes a daughter often and consistently about her appearance, her clothes, etc., teasing and verbally abusing her for silly and minor mistakes, be a narcissist person?

Thanks for this video. Very informative

You forgot one huge point that I see as very important and hope that you will comment on. Narcissists lack generational boundaries and so narcissistic fathers will sexualize their daughters when they enter adolescence and become sexual beings. My father is a covert narc and his behavior is very much like Donald Trumps behavior when he talks about his daughter's body and her as a sex object. The narcissistic mother, will view their teenage daughter as competition for male supply and will constantly project their own self doubt onto the daughter to make her feel inferior… Like "that dress makes you look fat, no boys would like to date a girl like that".

Very accurate, my father pushed me into a golf career. Everyone at the club thought we had the best relationship. I think he also justified his behaviour by letting me do things I should not have been doing at that age, like drinking and so more. It cost me a lot, I can't stand him now and barely have a relationship with him but of course he acts like nothing has happened and blames my sister and I for not seeing him. I just don't care any more, it's like he fed on my youth. I'm having a baby in Feb and will do my best to raise my son to be independent and his own strong person. He must lead and build his own life. I am not having a child to fix my failures in life. Thanks for the video, gave me clarity.

Dr. Grande, I love your videos! Could you please take a look at Orlando Brown- I would like to hear your perspective specifically about how he acted on the Dr. Phil show. What was going on from a clinical standpoint?? Thank you!!

Very malignant dad who had a malignant mother. He was an only child, but had 2 daughters. I am the oldest. I knew from the time I was small that he always wanted me to be his first-born son instead, so I could never live up to his screwed up standards.He did the whole scapegoat/golden child thing with me and sis, and I took numerous beatings, humiliation, and mental torture until he found new supply and cheated on my mom. He told mom he would "set the damn house on fire and burn us out of it". I heard this, so he could never gaslight about it. As me and sis grew up and away from him, he would use his aging parents as tools to manipulate me to take care of things he should have done. When they both died, he went into a tailspin, no more supply, so he pulled me off the shelf for future use and abuse. As an adult with my own family, I kept us at arm's length for my kids' safety. His co morbidity of alcohol abuse led him to bring a prostitute into his home, that would steal from him, and kill him within 2 weeks of meeting her. Guess who got to clean up the devastation. Only good thing from this is that he can't hurt us anymore, and he was the biggest teacher I ever had of "don't let this happen to you". People are either blessings or lessons, learn accordingly–

My narc dad is a pos! Absent if you have a real problem but he stayed with my mom they're both narcs! They're extremely abusive verbally ie! I believe in being careful with words and what we attract or id leave a more in-depth comment!

Arghhh i just hate him…how to get rid of this fucked up man

A video about a covert narc father would be of great importance to me Dr. Grande plz .

Hello Dr.Grande. I'm 16, adopted, living with my mother and father, going to school. I am the only child and my parents love me a lot. My dad works in his own company and my mom stays at home. We have a very comfortable life and he never yells at us or hits us and is very caring and loving and pays a lot of attention to us. He lets me go to what school i want to go to, and have the type of friends i want, and buys me stuff I want or need and doesn't try to control me in anyway except one particular part. My dad buys me and my mom a lot of clothing and its always very expensive and beautiful but its always exactly alike, and when we go out my dad insists that I have to wear the same clothes as my mom, not in an angry way but in a very nice way and so I wear it but I find it so strange. The clothes aren't embarrassing to wear, they're very nice, and they aren't revealing or sexy or anything like that, but me and my mom always look alike. I don't know if my mom secretly tells my dad to make me wear them or something. I don't hate it I just find it very weird. I don't ask my parents because I'm afraid they may think I'm ungrateful for all the clothes I have and I don't want to disobey them, I just want to understand. Pls answer why do you think my mom and/or dad do this when you can thanks.

One of the strange thing about living with a narcissist is that you begin to ask yourself whether you are the narcissist. I feel both relieved and crushed to realize my daughter probably has it after watching this video

NO man is good enough for them. UNLESS he has a lot of money.

I'm 14 guy. and my father is psychopath. I leave him for everything. He hates my succes.
And in super good at most stuff but he give me Governament stress 24/7 so that I can't become better he sucks.i just want to be free. I prefer to do my emotional telepathy with wild animals than communicate with him. Animals also atract to me. So yes I can do emotional telepathy with them.
It's cool. But my father destroy my potential to grow more. I'm just want to be in harmony

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