How Adults with Narcissistic Parents Might Experience Social Distancing
Updated: Jun 28
Does social distancing feel like a relief? If so, embrace this aspect of yourself!
These days I’m feeling a new sense of friendliness towards my introverted tendencies.
For me, being an introvert means I need more alone time than I need together time. It means being with large groups of people, even for short periods of time, is exhausting. It also means that I eventually run out of energy for togetherness, whether it’s small talk with strangers or intimate talk with friends.
It took a global call for social distancing for me to realize how much I have been judging myself for being an introvert. When social distancing became “the norm” I experienced a renewed sense of energy. I attribute the energy to my letting go of all the pressure I was putting on myself to be more social than I naturally desire to be. In other words, I’ve stopped trying to fix this problem.
It’s amazing how much energy it takes to try and make yourself into something you’re not! The pressure to do so can be overwhelming. Society has something to say about it. Family and friends have something to say about it, too. In my personal experience, it’s the pressure I put on myself from within that has the biggest impact.
I’ve noticed that people who grow up with narcissistic parents often have a tendency to criticize themselves quite harshly. I’ve done a lot of work on this tendency within myself, and still I continue to find ways I’m criticizing myself that are so habitual I don’t even see them.
Recently a client with narcissistic parents was berating herself for being overly sensitive. If your parents don’t celebrate you, or take the time to delight in your personality, you never learn how to do this for yourself. It’s only natural to see your traits as flaws if you’ve never been shown a different way. I supported the client in noticing her tendency to criticize her own sensitivity, exploring the origins of that habit, and then considering all the ways in which her sensitivity has been a source of strength and beauty in her life.
Do you experience social distancing as a relief? Are you an introvert? I’d love to hear how these past weeks have been for you… what are you noticing in your experience?
You can get more information about adult children of narcissists here.
About the Author
Diana Calvo is a psychotherapist and coach who helps people get unstuck and transform their day-to-day experience of work and life. After 20 years successfully climbing the corporate ladder, Diana experienced her own journey of healing and awakening. She discovered her true calling to guide others on their journey out of suffering and into a life of purpose and joy. Diana left the corporate world to start her own coaching business. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her dog Joey and a beautiful view of the mountains. She works with clients across the globe.