Thanks Psychology Today for the article! https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201303/the-narcissistic-father
Dad is self centered and pretty vain: My father literally thought (thinks!) that he is God’s gift to women. He loves to tell his stories about all the different women he has slept with and all the women who have hit on him. He literally believes EVERY woman wants him. In business, he has two personaes. He acts as the blustery, angry, force of nature who can get everything done through the sheer power of his will OR the suave, charming talker who can convince you of anything. It’s really disconcerting to watch him switch back and forth between the two identities at the drop of a hat. I feel like I get psychological whiplash from watching him gravitate between these two facades.
Dad uses people for his own good: A few years ago, my father got orthopedic surgery done, and afterwards, it did not go well. He thought he was going to die. He begged my mother to stay with him in the hospital, but since her job IS her life, she refused to take ANY time off of work. Instead, my father called up his friend and resident punching bag, Kay, to come and stay with him in the hospital. She stayed with him for an entire week. I thought that she would have earned his respect by helping him and being there for him in his time of need. Nope. Two weeks later, he was back to making fun of her and insulting her. Nice, Dad…
Dad is charismatic: My father is very charismatic. He can literally talk to anyone about anything at any time. People want to like my father.
No one has an imagination like Dad: My father LOVES to tell stories about his life, especially if they are a story where he comes out as the victor or acts like a hero. Embellishment is the tool of his trade. His favorite stories were from his days in the military. He would describe how me saved fellow sailors lives or manipulated/tricked his CO. Dad is definitely the star of his own show.
Dad doesn’t take criticism very well: If you have a differing opinion from my father, you are attacking him. If you try to talk to him about something that he did that you didn’t like, not only are you WRONG, but you are attacking him for no reason. Only Dad can dole out criticism.
Dad’s rage was truly scary: Red face, bulging veins and eyeballs, stomping, screaming, cursing…yep, that’s my Dad!
Dad could be aloof and unsympathetic: My Dad’s response to me having depression was epic.
“You need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps young lady!”
“You are so young, what could you be depressed about?”
“Don’t be like that! That’s how your sister acts!”
“Depression is all in your head! Think happy thoughts!”
“I was depressed once back in ’64. It was after I watched my buddy die right before my eyes. Let me tell you all about it…”
“Do we have to talk about this again?”
“No, you don’t need a psychiatrist! You are my daughter!”
Dad wasn’t around a lot: Dad spent more time on his hobbies than with me. He always tried to link his hobbies back to something we needed.
EX: Woodworking – “Your mom needs me to finish this shelf today, I can’t help you.”
EX: Fishing – “Sorry, I can’t help you with that, our freezer is out of fish. I have to go fishing!”
Dad did what he wanted when dealing with you: My hobbies consisted of hunting and fishing. Guess what Dad’s hobbies are? Do I hunt and fish as an adult? Very rarely.
Dad wanted you to look great to his friends and colleagues: He bragged about me finishing nursing school and working for a non-profit to his friends, but RARELY has he ever told me he is proud of me. If I ask, he says, “Of course I am proud of you” or “You know I am proud of you!”
You couldn’t really get what you needed from him: I have never felt understood by my father. There is the person that I am AND the person that he thinks I am…but they are not the same person. I do not fit in his mold. He doesn’t know who I am…but he THINKS he KNOWS me.