I Met Such A Girl

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

I met such a girl and I want to write about her. Well, I really want to say that I don’t know how to write about her and I want to practice writing about her.

She and her brother were born in a very conservative immigrant family, which means almost nothing is allowed unless it is explicitly granted, or unless it is done to improve the family’s image or social status. This poses a serious problem since a child’s natural flow of emotion and expression is completely shut off. Or when one stray emotion is accidentally revealed, it is ridiculed or politely shamed to make sure it will not happen again.

And the observation of strict customs is inviolable in their daily life. However there has always been an ongoing battle about food. As you know, a child’s expression about food is spontaneous and very often hard to control. And in this aspect, the parents do their best to modulate. They would let out good-natured laugh at their children’s facial expressions when they are hungry; they would tell stories of their children’s eagerness for food while sacrificing a manner that they think a child should have; they compare their children’s immaturity to an adult’s maturity and feel the satisfaction of their own superiority, which are used to justify all the rules they have imposed on their children to help them “improve”.

“I am hungry” is considered an unpardonable remark.

“You don’t want to say ‘I am hungry’ when your mother is cooking. That’s very impolite and even rude.” The father would scold the kids gently.

“Can I have a snack?” The children would say.

“If you have a snack now, you won’t have appetite for the food your mother has spent more than an hour to cook.” The father would responds.

“Snacks are so expensive right now. A little packet of snack costs more than three dollars.” The mother says when she brings a cooked dish over from the kitchen.

The parents look at their kids, shaking their heads. Their children’s expression is usually considered an impolite request, an inconvenience, a little drain on family budget, or a childlike imperfection. And the parents are happy that they have their undisciplined children under control.

“Our kids are so well behaved. And look at those wild kids our friends have. Oh, they are a disgrace.” The parents congratulate each other on their successful effort of wiping out every single natural expression their kids ever have.

This is a typical narcissistic couple and I met the couple’s daughter. She’s a teenager now and she’s very sulky. There’s a little project involved and she is so frustrated because she can’t be perfect. She puts so much pressure on herself that I feel that she may break down any moment. I really want to give her not only advice on academic subjects, but also on life. She should not be so unhappy and she should know that she has many options and she should give up on her parents’ expectations and work for herself to get a life she loves.

However what should I do? I don’t want to be too obvious…

19 thoughts on “I Met Such A Girl

  1. I feel bad for kids who have parents like that. They grow up hating themselves for not being perfect but in reality they will never be perfect. Even if they actually were perfect it wouldn’t be good enough for their parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sooooo true. Those parents will move the goal post if the kids really reach the goal. I mean those narcissistic parents cannot love–this is what was pointed out by the psychologist. They try to justify their parenting by setting up goals so that the kids’ attention and energy are channeled in a way that the lack of love and normal emotional exchange in the family is obscured or unnoticed.

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  2. It’s difficult to know what to do in such situations. I suppose letting the girl know that she’s not the one to blame and that allowing herself to relax a bit could be the right thing to do. But since she’s always lived in such stringent conditions, it may be tough for her to understand some other aspect. Really a heartbreaking circumstance…

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  3. That can be very difficult, especially as you still want to respect the parents while also looking after her! Maybe see if you can help her while her parents aren’t there? While they’re working? Or after school perhaps? Hope the situation gets better!

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    1. So true. That’s the thing–the narcissists never change, which is a signature of being a narcissist, same with crazy people, who will never admit that they are crazy. It is a delicate issue since the girl needs to be enlightened and at the same time the girl has to understand that she cannot bring this up to her narcissist parents since it will only make things worse.

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  4. This is never easy to do, but this is what I do in such a situation:

    I open the door on the conversation by asking how they are.

    If they respond they are okay, I will gentle probe further by saying “I only ask, because you seem to have a frown on your face.”

    Most people will then answer with a surprised look and say “that’s very perceptive of you. I had no idea I was showing how I was feeling.” They will, most times, either keep the conversation going or politely close it down.

    If they want to keep the conversation going, they will tell you what’s on their mind and you then have opportunity to explore various topics.

    I used this approach with one of my key people the other day. It put them at ease as I helped them verbalise what was on their mind. They also thanked me for my “intervention.”

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    1. I am itchy to play the amateur psychiatrist, having read and watched videos about narcissism and personality disorders. I can actually imagine you doing what you said you were doing since you are a gentle soul well respected and accepted and loved. People enjoy the interaction with you. I think the trust and reliability have to be established first…

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  5. My first thought was is the poor girl truly hungry? I never knew this was bad manners in any culture to actually talk about being hungry. Thank you for teaching me that. I too feel sorry for the girl. I wonder if there is anyway you can ask her to have tea and tell her you are concerned about her and why. You are kind to be concerned and to want to help. Big hugs for your big heart. 🤗🤗❤️ Joni

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    1. Thank you for your sweet message and many hugs for you too. Yes, I have witnessed the family life in which all the details are ruled by tradition and customs. And children are taught to observe these rules, but often children will ignore these rules when the food is concerned. And this is why food becomes a contentious point in a family like that.

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        1. You just point out something I’ve thought about for a long time because I think I was a narcissist growing up in a narcissist household. I dedicated a big portion of my life to be the narcissistic supply to my parents and in the meantime growing up like a narcissist just like them. I am glad life has taught me a different lesson…

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