Your core beliefs are what you think about yourself and the world around you. They are the hard drive that shapes all other information that you process. If these beliefs have been tampered with in childhood, it can have very serious consequences later on in life. These beliefs will have been implanted at a very early age and are not necessarily true at all because you will have been told by primary carers who they want you to be and they will not have listened to who you are or wanted to be. This causes a lot of confusion for a child because you look to your parents for validation and to feel safe, if they constantly give you negative feed-back and are critical all of the time it can ruin confidence and self-esteem. The reason that they do this is because narcissists have to put everyone around them down to inflate their own sense of superiority. So if it means verbally, emotionally or physically attacking infants that is what they will do, it doesn’t cost them a thought. Everything is a competition with narcissists and they simply have to “win” all of the time.
These attacks can happen because
- You asked too many questions
- You were being a child and displaying age appropriate behaviour
- You were popular
- Someone paid you a compliment
- You were funny
- You got a prize at school
The list is endless and difficult to understand how someone being a good child and just doing your own thing could be a threat to an adult narcissist, but it is. Narcissists are incapable of nurturing and taking care of their young because it is too much trouble, it is boring for them and there isn’t enough in it for them. The child and the narcissist are also in the same emotional space and is therefore automatically a threat.
What a child learns from a narcissistic care giver is that they are not good enough and that they are defective. Behaviour and performing well on tasks will be constantly judged and monitored and will be attacked. If you under-perform you “are an embarrassment” if you over achieve you “are a threat”, although they will never say it directly they will say something like “stop showing off” or “well you would wouldn’t you”, using really negative intonation or just shrug it off like it didn’t happen.
Some core beliefs are.
- I’m not good enough
- I’m stupid
- I’m not worth anything
- I’m a bad person
- I’m a horrible child
- I don’t deserve nice things
- I am unlovable
- I’m always left out
- I’m not wanted
- I’m alone
- I’m boring
These negative core beliefs create fear in the child and therefore makes them easier to control. A narcissistic parent for example will constantly threaten to abandon their child which is like a death threat and creates beliefs such as
- If I don’t do exactly as I am told I will be left on the side of the road
- What I want is not important
- If I am happy I upset my parent(s)
- I’m not as good as others
- If I express myself, an opinion, doing something creative or have fun, I will be punished
The aim of the narcissist is to control, so what they will do is give their child age inappropriate sense of responsibility for always putting the needs of their parents first, but taking away all power. This also contributes to low self-esteem and a sense that you are not entitled to stand up for yourself. This in turn makes you susceptible to being bullied in the future.
If you come from a narcissistic family of origin you might be a people pleaser, people pleaser’s core beliefs could be:
- I cannot ask others for help (it is too risky as I will be refused/rejected)
- I have to do everything myself
- I must put the needs of everyone else before my own
- My needs don’t count
- I only feel good when I am serving other people
- I always have to pretend to be happy
- My genuine happiness and well-being is not important, so long as I put on a show of happiness.
So when you compare those core beliefs to narcissistic core beliefs, a narcissist will always have the upper hand unless you address the issue. A narcissists core belief like so many of your core beliefs has absolutely nothing to do with their capacity or competency in life. They have simply decided that this is who they are and any evidence to the contrary will just be rejected completely
- I am superior to others
- Nothing bad is ever my fault, everything good is to my credit
- I am fascinating and deserve to be the centre of attention all of the time
- I deserve special treatment where ever I go
- I do not have to play by the rules, they are for other lesser people than me
- I am perfect
- People have absolutely no right to criticise me
- If people upset me they deserve to be punished for it
- If I upset other people, they are just being “over sensitive”