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  • Lynn Catalano

Why do narcissists ruin holidays & special occasions?

When it comes to a holiday or special occasion, narcissists consistently do the following:

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 from 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.

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.

I’m a survivor of narcissistic abuse and now I coach people on their healing journey. I have purpose in what I'm doing. I give people clarity, validation & comfort.

Learn more about me here:

Click here to book a free session with me. We’ll figure out if we work well together.

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

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