Signs Of A Narcissistic Grandmother

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Lori Pace

In other article of narcissistic grandparents, we have discussed about how to recognize their tactics to manipulate their children and grandkids. However, this article will only talk about signs from one side, the narcissistic grandmother and what she can do to control everything around her. Besides, we also provide some tactics to deal with these situations. However, please notice that we are not experts, these are based on our own experience.

*If you are facing more serious issues, it’s the best to consult an expert, or psychologist, psychiatrist.

Who are Narcissists?

In general, narcissists are people who are too self-centered, vain and have a high sense of importance. Although we all have narcissistic tendencies, (we all love praise and admiration, and most importantly, we prioritize our needs above those of others), some people go to the extreme.

This is the pathological form of narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder. It is a mental illness that is characterized by:

  • A false sense of self.
  • They need to be admired and paid attention.
  • An absence of empathy.
  • Entitlement
  • Arrogance
  • Envy on others
  • Exploitation of Others

Two Types of Narcissists

  • Grandiose Narcissists – arrogant and have a high self-esteem. They think they are better than others, and will often show off their achievements or put down others.
  • Vulnerable Narcissists – too sensitive and egocentric seek approval from others. They are often shy, sensitive, emotional, and tend to prefer playing the victim.

Although most narcissists fall under one of these categories, others may display characteristics from both.

The Signs of A Narcissistic Grandmother

A Narcissistic Grandmother Has Controlling And Manipulative Tendencies

A Narcissistic Grandmother Has Manipulative Tendencies

A narcissistic grandmother will want to have complete control over your family and the entire family. This is one of the most obvious signs. She might try to dictate where you live, work and where your children go to school.

She believes she is the best person to do what’s best for your family. Narcissists will often go to great lengths in order to ensure that this happens. Narcissistic grandmothers can also be manipulative. To get their way, they often resort to guilt trips, emotional blackmail and gaslighting.

Narcissistic grandmothers can play with their family members to get what they want. She might tell your children that their grandparents are evil and they should be avoided.

No Boundaries

Is your grandmother always at your home? If she does, it is likely that she doesn’t have boundaries. They often intrude on the privacy and personal space of their loved ones. They believe they have the right to all of your personal information and will go to any lengths to obtain it.

Sometimes, narcissistic grandmothers might even be able to snoop through your belongings and listen in on your conversations. Narcissistic grandmothers are also open to discussing your family problems with you. If it makes them look good, they will not hesitate to air your dirty laundry in public.

Attention Seeking Behavior

You will likely find a narcissistic grandma who loves to be the center of attention, and seeks validation from others. Many grandmothers who are narcissistic are charming and charismatic. They are able to charm people and work well in a space.

Narcissistic grandmothers can be insecure, anxious and self-conscious behind the facade. They want to be the center of attention and will go to great lengths in order to do so. Narcissistic grandmothers, for example, will interrupt conversations and change the topic to all about them.

But that’s not all! Narcissistic grandmothers can be quite dramatic. She could make everything big or cause conflict where there is none. She only cares about getting the attention that she so desperately desires.

A Narcissistic Grandmother Always Tells Lies

Are your mother’s stories always inconsistent? Are her lies always true? Narcissistic grandmothers often lie about their achievements, feelings, or age. They want to be viewed as perfect and will go to great extents to make sure everyone thinks so.

Narcissistic grandmothers can be a problem. They are often flawed people. They don’t want to let you know. They’ll tell lies and manipulate the truth in order to look good. Narcissist grandmothers might also lie to manipulate your children or you. They might use lies to control or get what they want.

It doesn’t matter what, it is important to know that narcissistic grandmothers can be dishonest and shouldn’t be trusted.

Guilt Trips You And Your Children

Narcissistic grandmothers will often resort to guilt to control their family. You may be tempted to do things for her, even if it is guilt-tripping. She may try to guilt-trip you into spending more time with her, saying, “I’m so lonely.” You don’t get to see me very often.”

She may try to guilt trip you into paying her money, saying things like “I’m not as old as I used to be.” I can’t do it all by myself.” Narcissistic grandmothers may also guilt-trip grandchildren into doing the right thing.

You might hear them say, “I’m too old and fragile.” You can help me around the house. Or you could say, “I have no one else to call.” You are my only grandchild. Guilt-tripping refers to a narcissistic method of controlling and manipulating her family. Be on the lookout.

A Narcissistic Grandmother Lashes Out At Your Kids

Narcissists are known for getting angry at people who don’t do what they want. This type of narcissistic rage may be directed at anyone, including your children. Narcissistic mothers may get angry at their children if they don’t follow her instructions or do not behave in her way. She might yell at, hit, or otherwise do hurtful things to her children. She is the authority figure in her head and must be respected.

It’s more than yelling. Also, narcissistic grandmothers are more likely to be passive-aggressive. You may find them giving your children silent treatment, or withholding affection and love from them if they don’t do the things she wants. This is another way for her to manipulate and control her family.

Doesn’t Respect Your Parenting Rules And Decisions

An egoistic grandmother may try to subvert your parenting decisions and rules. She might buy your children candy even though you have told them not to, or allow them to stay up later than usual.

There might also be an attempt to discipline your children if they do something wrong, even though you have dealt with the problem. She believes she is smarter than you, and will do everything she can to prove her point.

A Narcissistic Grandmother Says Inappropriate Things To Your Children

Your children may be misunderstood by a narcissistic grandmother. She might say hurtful or mean things to them, like calling them names or telling them they’re worthless. An egotistic grandparent might also speak inappropriately to their grandchildren.

They might make inappropriate comments or jokes. This is the most abusive and narcissistic thing a grandmother can do. It is important to keep your children safe from this and be vigilant.

Mistreats Other People In Front Of Your Children

You might see a narcissistic grandmother mistreating other people in front of your children. She might say hurtful words to them, call their names, or make fun of them. Narcissistic grandparents might also abuse their grandchildren physically.

They might hit, slap or push and shove others. Another way she manipulates her family is by being narcissistic. It is important to keep an eye out for it and protect your kids from it. Children may be taught to treat others the same way by their grandmothers. They might also struggle to empathize with others and may develop a sense of entitlement.

Has A Favorite And Outright Shows It

A Narcissistic Grandmother Has A Favorite And Outright Shows It

Every grandmother has a favorite grandchild. But a narcissist grandmother will be able to identify who her favorite grandchild is. She might go out of her way to spend time with the golden child, give them gifts and boast about their achievements.

She may not even be aware of the existence of her other grandchildren. Children can find this behavior confusing and hurtful. Children may wonder why they don’t deserve better treatment or how they can be made to feel better.

A narcissist grandmother might also try to control her grandchild by telling them what to wear and how to behave. But that’s not all! A narcissist grandmother may have a favorite grandchild, but she might also have one she doesn’t like. The grandmother may abuse this grandchild by making her the scapegoat.

The grandchild might feel that they are not good enough or are always wrong. The narcissist may also abuse them verbally and physically. You should be suspicious of your mother’s narcissism by looking at how she treats her grandchildren.

A Narcissistic Grandmother Wants To Be The Favorite Grandparent

If your mother is always trying to be the grandparent of choice, it could be an indication that she may be a narcissist. She might buy her grandchildren better gifts than her grandparents, boost her achievements, or take her grandchildren on more extravagant vacations.

Many grandmothers who are narcissistic feel that they have to be the best and most loved in order to be loved and accepted. For grandchildren who want to be able to communicate with their grandparents in a normal way, this can prove exhausting. It is possible for them to feel that they cannot please their grandmother.


Do you ever feel like you are always on eggshells, even when your mother is nearby? Fear of her launching into a narcissistic rage, you can’t speak up, share your thoughts, or express your emotions.

Narcissistic parents are often volatile. They can change from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds. She may seem sweet and loving one minute, but the next she could be critical and yelling at you. For grandchildren, this emotional rollercoaster can be exhausting. It can make them feel helpless and incapable of doing anything.

Cares Too Much About What Other People Think

Narcissists can be very conscious of their image and worry about what others think. They might go to great lengths in order to present a positive façade and put on a good show. This can be detrimental to their loved ones who may see them as just props in their quest to validate and approve.

A narcissistic grandmother might try to control their family’s behavior and dress by manipulating and controlling them. This can be particularly difficult for grandchildren who might feel they have to conform to her standards in order to avoid her wrath.

However, not all grandmothers who are concerned about the opinions of others are narcissists. If your grandmother is constantly putting on a show to please outsiders and seems dependent upon approval, this could be a sign that she is a narcissist.

A Narcissistic Grandmother Pulls A Disappearing Act

If your grandmother disappears for extended periods of time without giving any explanation, it could be an indication that she is a narcissist. She might go on extended vacations or business trips.

It can make you feel lost and confused. It can feel as if she doesn’t care about you. When she does reappear, she might act as though nothing has happened and ask you to continue where you are at the moment.

Bad Mouths You

Narcissistic grandmothers will often make fun of you and your children. It can happen in front of you or behind your back. However, it is hurtful. This could be done to undermine your confidence, or to manipulate you into doing what she wants.

She may make negative comments about your parenting or your appearance. She may also try to make your children hate you by telling lies or exaggerating truths. They also try to compare you with your siblings by telling you different things about each. This can cause a breakdown in your relationship with your grandmother, making it hard to trust her.

Plays Victim

Narcissists excel at playing the victim. They might try to make it seem like you are the victim or feel sorry for them. You may be gaslighted, make false accusations or twist your words. She may claim that you have been neglecting her even though you call her every day. She may also claim that you did something to hurt her, even though you weren’t.

This manipulative behavior can lead to confusion and frustration. It is important to remember that she is not responsible for her happiness and wellbeing. Setting boundaries and standing up for your rights should not be considered a crime.

A Narcissistic Grandmother Has Family Members Who Fall For Her Act

They could be family members, friends, strangers, or even other narcissists. They will defend the grandmother’s poor behavior, spread rumors, and try to convince you that they are right. These people might also attempt to cut you off from your support network. These people can make it difficult for you to resist the narcissist, further damaging your relationships.

Only a Grandma When It Suits Her

narcissistic grandmother Only a Grandma When It Suits Her

Narcissistic grandmothers often only care about their grandchildren when it suits them. They might use them to make themselves attractive, or try to mold them into the ideal grandchild image. They often fail to be there for their grandchildren when it is time.

She might cancel plans last-minute, ignore their emotional needs or just not show up. This can make grandchildren feel unimportant and unloved. It can also affect their self-esteem, making it difficult to build healthy relationships for the future.

Never Owns Up To Anything

Narcissists don’t take responsibility for their actions. They find someone or something to blame. If you confront your grandmother, who is likely to be narcissistic, about her bad behavior, she will most likely deny it or make excuses. You might think she was joking or that you misunderstand her. She might also try to shift blame onto you by claiming you are the one responsible.

A Narcissistic Grandmother Might Have A Drug, Alcohol, Or Other Addiction Issue

Many narcissists suffer from addiction. This could include alcohol, drug abuse, gambling, or shopping. While not all addicts will be narcissistic or egotistical, there are many who share similar traits.

They may lie about what they are using, manipulate and be secretive, or not be able to accept responsibility for their actions. It’s important to seek help if your grandmother is suffering from an addiction. It’s important to understand that you cannot fix your grandmother. Your support is not enough. You must hope she will be able to find help on her own.

How To Deal With A Narcissistic Grandmother

Set Clear Boundaries With Your Grandmother

You can begin to set boundaries with your grandmother once you have realized that she is a narcissist. Tell her what you will tolerate and keep those boundaries in mind. If she attempts to go against them, you can walk away or end the conversation.

You should also be assertive with your grandmother. Narcissistic grandmothers will often manipulate or guilt their families to get control. Do not fall for it. Instead, be strong and tell her that you won’t tolerate her bad behavior.

Avoid Getting Drawn Into Her Drama

Narcissists create drama all the time. It can be tempting to get involved but it is important to not fall for her trap. Instead, walk away. You will have less control over her if you don’t pay attention to her.

Build A Support System Of Your Own

One of the favorite strategies of the narcissistic grandmother is to isolate her family from their support networks. This could include making you feel bad about yourself to others, making it difficult to see friends or moving away.

It is essential to have a support network. Do your best to create one. These can range from close friends to counselors or therapists. There are many online support systems, such as chat rooms and forums, that you can access even if you’re not physically there.

Protect Yourself Emotionally

Narcissistic grandmothers may be emotionally abusive. You may be constantly criticized, made to feel bad, or put down by them. While it is important to confront this behavior, it is also vital to protect your emotional well-being.

This will mean limiting the number of contacts you can have with your grandmother. This could also include seeking professional help to address the emotional damage she has caused.

Don’t Force Your Kids To Spend Time With Her

Narcissistic grandma can be abusive and destructive to their grandchildren. You don’t have to make your grandchildren spend time with your grandmother just because she is your grandmother. It may be better to keep them away from her, if at all possible. If you can, protect your children from her bad behavior.

If All Fails, Cut Her Off

Sometimes it is impossible to have a healthy relationship and be happy with a narcissistic grandmother, regardless of what you do. In these situations, you may want to end your relationship with her. You don’t have to cut all ties with her.

It does however mean that you must set boundaries and limits for your contact. This could also refer to talking to her only when she is absolutely necessary. Do what is best for your family, no matter what you do. Don’t let a selfish grandmother dictate your life.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!