How to Break Free From Narc Family Roles on The Terri Cole ShowHow do we know what is normal if what we’ve experienced is all we know?

Today, I dive into WHAT goes on in a narcissistic family AND common family roles that family members take on in narcissistic families.

You will notice that there is some crossover between dysfunctional families (as I’ve talked about in recent episodes) and narcissistic families, but narcissism is a very specific type of dysfunction.

This episode will help you to identify a what a narcissistic family is, the narcissistic family roles, and what you can do about it.

You can Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher or TuneIn.

And please leave me a Rating and Review!

“If you know who you are, you don’t need to make sure that “other people” know your special status.” – Terri Cole

Show Notes:

  • What are family roles
  • What is narcissism
  • The difference between dysfunction and narcissism
  • What a narcissistic family is
  • Why boundaries get blurred
  • Why siblings compare themselves to each other
  • What gaslighting is
  • Roles:
    The Narcissist
    The Enabler
    The Flying Monkeys
    The Golden Child
    The Scapegoat

“The Golden Child is seen as basically an extension of the narcissistic parent.” – Terri Cole

Links Mentioned:

“The narc family is really interested in things looking good. They are more interested in what it looks like, of course, then what it is.” – Terri Cole

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  1. This is really interesting how much it reflects my family’s roles and dynamics. It would be really helpful for me to hear now a healthy family would be different. Since this is all I experienced in terms of family, it’s eye-opening to hear that it’s dysfunctional, but I’m left wondering what a healthy family would look like.

    1. Kate-
      Thank you for your question. I will create a video to illustrate the qualities of a healthy, functional, child-focused family as it would be too long of an answer to write here. Keep your eyes peeled and thank you again for asking a question that I know will help others as well!

  2. Fascinating. Thank you for this. Your podcasts are my absolute favorite and have literally changed my life. I have broken free from the cycle but I had a pattern for many years of falling into relationships (both romantic and friendships) with narcissists/ people that display narcissistic behaviors. I don’t have come from a narc family but I feel like the roles you were describing sounded like my old group of friends I would hang out with! Do you you think it’s possible too that these roles would translate into “non family” relationships?

    1. You’re welcome! And thank you for sharing. I have lots of past podcasts about relationships with narcissist in romantic contexts and how to set boundaries for yourself and break free. I hope you find those resources useful. I am sending you strength.

  3. I too am needing to learn how to heal from a narcissist family upbringing, my was also steeped in religious beliefs, some of which I still hold on to. I want to be a Christian, act like a Christian and break free of these patterns, and heal. I have become aware, and have gone no contact permanently but still need to heal.

    1. I am witnessing you with compassion and sending you strength and protection. It is a process to break free and heal, and I am glad you are here.

  4. I know I’m a scapegoat from a narcissistic family, this episode clarified that. But it doesn’t tell how to break free. All I know is to go no contact. Could you please do an episode on how to break free of the damage? I’m struggling with the awful messaging I got as a child and all the other bs. Thank you.

    1. I’m witnessing you with compassion Jules, and thank you for sharing. Awareness is the first step. Recognizing your patterns and the patterns of your family will help you to get started with breaking free. I hear your suggestion and appreciate it!

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