Narcissistic Parents Create Codependents. Explaining the Origins of Codependency. Relationship

The eventual manifestation of codependency is directly connected to early childhood psychological damage perpetrated by a child’s emotional manipulator parent. Emotional manipulators (extreme narcissists) are typically neglectful of their child’s basic emotional needs, as their narcissism prevents them from truly understanding and knowing how to unconditionally love and nurture their children. The child’s ability to successfully cope with his/her parent’s narcissism will transform into an adult codependency.

Ross Rosenberg’s latest book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap (2018) and his personal development, seminar, workshop and other services can be found at or

Ross Rosenberg’s work on codependency, narcissism, trauma, Self-Love Recovery™, and his “Codependency Cure™” has earned him international recognition. He owns Clinical Care Consultants, a multi-location Chicago suburb counseling center, and the Self-Love Recovery Institute. He has traveled to 30 states and twice to Europe to present his workshops. Ross’s first book, “The Human Magnet Syndrome” sold over 50K copies and is published in French, Spanish and soon in Czech. His latest Human Magnet Syndrome book, a complete re-write of the first, is available on February 1st. Ross’s 7 million video views/68,000 subscribers YouTube platform has established him as global phenomenon.

Ross owns Clinical Care Consultants, a counseling center located in Arlington Heights and Inverness IL. .

Ross’s articles at

Dysfunctional Relationship Information.


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Comments (32)

Does EMM mean Emotional Manipulator???

This honestly not only describes my life but the people around me. It is so hard to "be good enough" when you done everything a parent has asked. This is much needed for everyone who is in this situation but thinks it's normal or makes excuses for why this situation is normal. Being a person that constantly just gives and has to be perfect for a person who always wants to take is draining. I hope many more people watch this video to realize what situation they are in and use the knowledge to break that cycle.

My mother is very authoritative and has oversteps my boundaries. Total enmeshment and inability to say No and social anxiety.

So true! They make you co-dependent and then mock you for not being able to do things BECAUSE they enabled you to the point you couldn’t do anything yourself and wouldn’t let you. They control you.
I’m an adult now and suffered at the hands of narcissism and alcoholism. The effects are devastating and I still don’t know how to overcome it. Emotional, physical, and mental abuse stick with you forever.

I started crying at 10:09 and long after. That’s what I became, the one who sacrifices everything, even their safety and mental wellbeing, for their siblings and other people. I say this with no pride or form of boasting… It was such a heavy burden to carry as a child and I carried it all up until now into my adulthood. I’m slowly learning to care for myself even when I want to discard myself and care for others. I do it because I care for them, but also because I was raised thinking I did not matter. I was just the responsible one. I talked to police for my parent. I lied to relatives for my parent. I stayed and spoke to them when no one else would… If they were drunk and screaming, I tried to have them rethink their actions. It has made me very responsible… but so much so it drives me insane that I don’t know how to reclaim my own emotions.

I was jogging sometime last year , although this should be a time for me to relax and empty my mind i tend to do anything but! However it dawned on me that its now time to put my narcissistic mothers love to the test.Not in a nasty way ,but there was a strong realization ,ive been running after her needs all my life, showing her love, that im good ,worthy and can be trusted . Pretty much everything she does not and has not offered me.
I dont expect change ,but i have created boundaries, i talk clearly and stay on point ..offering her little to no emotion ,if i do find myself locking horns i vent and walk the other way.I want to know that i wasn't born as a mean to her ends , something perhaps we would all like to know.

In this very moment I feel healed! Knowing that I’m not the only person who experienced this growing up!

Every time I watch your videos, I heal! Little steps

The definition of sexual incest was wrong here. Ross said, "sexual incest is when an adult uses a child to fulfill their own sexual needs". That is pedophilia. If the adult is the child's parent, then that is incest. But incest is also sexual abuse dynamics between siblings or other blood family members. This may also include the same sort of abuse within step family bonds – I'm not sure, as I've never looked into it. But actual incest by sibling survivors know this is not just an "adult" perp matter.

Does the parent have to be a narcassist or just an emotional manipulator of some sort?

The healthier parent will nurture the growing child, look after the child's needs, but this parent will model healing…, encourage the child to progress into healthier inter-dependency.

I think you nailed it . Great job Ross

Its so messed up cause I am a victim of this and no matter what i do or say that shows that none care no matter if they say they do. When clearly they have no emotion and turn back on me instead of taking responsibility and yet all talk behind my back but not to me and I point it out and none ever prove me wrong.

So true, i am 42 years old and i just realising this now why i am the way I am

It's as though you read my mind, met my parents, and bugged the house where I grew up. This video lays 50 years of confusion and frustration to rest. The pattern is clear. Thank you for making this information available! I just bought your audiobook.

At the very least after watching this and allowing myself to feel the pain of the immense truth in this video and realization that this has been my life and I was living in a dillusional bubble for the past 27 years…. I have an odd sense of what I can only describe as comfort ….comfort in the fact that I am actually not alone, unlike how I've felt for the past year.. there are others out there who can relate to this and know how I've felt …. I am not alone. 😭😭😭😭 This video is officially #1 most powerful for me by far.. somehow I feel a small amount healed.

I’m a simple man, I hear Alice Miller, I click like.

My aunts dominated my mom because for long time she was not able to breed a male child. My father dominated my sisters. My mom and sisters plus her side of family dominated the only male and last sibling which being me, in the end i became a good boy. All of them would threaten me, scare me with stories if i did not follow the directives. Sometimes she got physical on me. She being way too overly protective she would almost break my hand crossing the street. We had a true codependent relationship with my mom and her daughters. They hated me, threatened me, sweared at me when i tried to break the cycle. Only way they know how to live. Me seeing that this would never work i left them. I sometimes am lonely. I wish to and always will keep fighting my inner demons mainly my dysfunctional relationship patterns with humans. I just want people whom are confident and comfortoble with their own skin so they don’t have to control or manipulate people in order to keep them around. I am fighting everyday and i wish to keep fighting and i will keep fighting everyday.

My older brother could play basketball, get money for expensive clothes ect. yet he was the black sheep I guess. I got the privilige to lear how to clean the house, how to take care of the garden, how to be a little helper that would always entertain my mother. Mother that is always negative, always dissinterested in new things, unless I am being interested in something or just plain happy with anything or anyone but not her.

The privilege and responsibility to take care of emotional state of my step-father. Kind man, great neigbour, people can shit on his head and he will wipe their ases. On the other hand if I'll express my emotions, show anger, tell about my displease or simple irritation with anything he snaps into anger and all that buried rage is now my fault.

I need help my parents are literally killing me

What's an EMM? Emotionally manipulative what?

This is an excellent explanation and is extremely refreshing… Thank you!

I listen to this and think, “it couldn’t have been my parents?”

I believe there are two kinds of codependent people.
-the kind whom where raised this way.
-the kind whom where later in life formed this way.

I believe, the later is a little easier to recover from.
For me, through a triangulation of programming, for twenty years, it has taken me a lot of time.
But having some part of my life, not under there programming tactics of these type of people, I had something to compare right from wrong with.

I feel very sad for those who’ve been programmed at birth. This must be a Hill they don’t recognize let alone a blindness to a glimmer of hope to look forward to.

As I told myself when I opened my eyes to this, “I just want my identity back”!
I was a lost soul, living in a pit of darkness.

My idiot ex wife is back living in the sick house that raised her. She’s a nurse, makes money, but can not leave her mother, nor her moms thought process. They are both drunks, fixated on appearances, have no idea what money really is, and I spent 14 Fykkin years with her. Trying to teach this kid – 44 actually – how to be an adult. It’s been over a year and we are legally separated. She has had over a year to get her own place, but ……..codependency! She pays for nothing there, just like at my home – nothing – and gets to hang out with her mother! Just like when she was 5. And 9. And 18. And 24.
I am an idiot.
It’s too bad, as she has many good qualities. But perhaps that was an act.
Screw it. I was abused by her.

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