top of page
  • Lynn Catalano

Does Your Narcissist Ruin Holidays & Family Gatherings?

How many times have you walked out of a holiday dinner and said “I can’t do this anymore?”

Narcissists have a very hard time at other people’s celebrations. They need to be the center of attention and of leadership and as a result they weaponize their aggression. Narcissists actually feel that these celebrations steal their own spotlight. Some people say it’s because narcissists lack empathy. Others say they don’t feel comfortable in intimate relationships.

But whichever is their reason, they always love to crush others' joy and happiness.

Why do narcissists consistently do the following at holidays & family gatherings?

  1. Create drama where there wasn’t any

  2. Show up late on purpose

  3. Get jealous of you spending time with other people (even if those are relatives you haven’t seen in a long time)

  4. Demand attention

  5. If they don’t receive the attention, recognition, praise, and envy they need (narcissistic supply) they go into a narcissistic rage storm.

I wrote about my own experience with this in my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships: How to Identify, Live with or Leave the Narcissist in Your Life.”

“I try not to have regrets, but I’ve wasted too much time wishing and hoping my father would act like a father and grandfather. Holidays, vacations, special occasions, all were ruined. An article in Psychology Today stated, “never underestimate the damage that such a person can do. A narcissist is a criminal who leaves a trail of injury behind.” Their image is always more important than any other person and how their actions affect someone. I believe narcissists are criminals because they steal your precious time. They take away your hopes of ever having a normal relationship. They make every pleasant experience, holiday, special occasion, or vacation miserable simply because they can. It’s turds in the punch bowl every time they show up.”

Growing up, I was not aware my father suffered narcissistic personality disorder. But I was aware when it came to holidays with my mother’s family, it wasn’t a question of if my father would go into a rage storm/tantrum, it was when. These family holidays always deteriorated into his pouting in his room, my mother crying, and everyone else upset and uncomfortable. After my mother passed away, her family cut ties with my father. They had had enough.

If you want your holiday or special occasion to be peaceful, as hard as it is, you must do these things:

  1. Lower your expectations of the narcissist. Don’t expect them to have empathy, they don’t. Don’t expect them to show any deep concern for anyone else.

  2. They won’t ever see your perspective. Just stick to their script.

  3. Don’t start an argument. You know their buttons, don’t push them.

  4. Be very careful not to humiliate them or challenge them.

  5. Above all, don’t tell them what to do. They will always do the opposite.

If you do the opposite of any of the above actions listed, the narcissist will have the necessary fuel to go into a narcissistic rage storm. It’s not easy to stay on the narcissist’s script. You will spend your time walking on eggshells around them just to avoid triggering them. This isn’t sustainable for the long term but it’s only one holiday. Hopefully, your meal will be more peaceful and you won’t see any tantrums.

The very best thing for you to do at a holiday celebration or family gathering with your narcissist is…do not engage. As difficult as this may be, it is for your own protection to stay away. Sometimes this even necessitates skipping the celebration all together.

I lost a whole side of my family when I told the truth about my narcissistic father. They chose him. By ignoring me and my story, they actually added more trauma to my experience. But I’m here to tell you, you don’t need this kind of family. They weren’t there for you when you needed them. Remember, friends are the family you choose.

If you haven’t made any changes, if you’re still in that toxic relationship, questioning yourself, 2024 is your year. Change is uncomfortable. It’s much easier to stay where you are. But change comes from uncomfortable places.

Don’t step into another new year in this toxic situation. Often, we stay in these cycles of abuse because we don’t believe we deserve something better.

You do deserve better. Make 2024 your year.

I have a group starting soon. I have a limited number of seats available for serious people who want to be able to recover from this and never be in this situation again. Get on the waiting list. This is your chance. Don’t wait another day.

This is why it’s so important to talk to someone after you’ve suffered this type of abuse. But not just anyone. You need to find someone who’s familiar with narcissistic personality disorder. You see, I didn’t get here by accident. I didn't set out to become a narcissistic abuse recovery coach. But after I’d suffered this kind of abuse, I realized that my story and my experience could help so many people who’ve suffered similarly. When someone tells me about their struggles and their story, I’m not just understanding. I really get it. I’ve been there. I’ve felt those same emotions, that same rage, and loss.

I can help you.

Don’t suffer in silence from narcissistic abuse, let’s talk.

Click here to book a free session with me. Don’t wait another day.

You can find my book “Wrecking Ball Relationships” on Amazon and

484 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page