With a narcissist parent conversations in the present are typically about the past

When a parent or other person of influence in your life tries to teach you “how to be a better you” by saying: “This is how _____ does it” …keep this in mind, especially when it’s done with an accusatory air, with judgment, or as a confrontation that actually says you did something wrong to them:

It’s likely that the exchange is not about the current-day situation between the two of you

It’s likely the person is playing out the dynamic with you that he or she had with their own parent or significant caretaker

It’s likely that the words the person is saying to you and are feelings about her his/her own actions that have been transmuted into words that seemingly have to do with you. This is a complex, completely unconscious process but one that makes total sense if we examine it objectively.

For more help with navigating the emotional and fraught road of having a narcissistic parent, please see: When Your Parent Is a Narcissist