Does the Golden Child Become a Narcissist? (The Impact of Privilege)

Wondering if a “golden child” becomes a narcissist? This guide is for you!

In childhood, one child is not uncommon to be favored over their siblings by their parents, receiving significant attention, privileges, and resources.

This child is commonly referred to as the “golden child.”

But what happens when this golden child grows up? Will they develop a personality disorder known as narcissism, marked by self-love and a lack of empathy?

This is a question that has been discussed for years.

What is a Golden Child?

The term “golden child” identifies a child favored or given preferential treatment by their family, often to the disadvantage of their siblings.

This favoritism can take various forms, such as special treatment, protection, and praise, which may be based on academics, athleticism, or personality.

Being the golden child comes with clear benefits: they receive more attention from their parents, elevating their self-esteem and sense of worth, and more opportunities and resources to succeed.

But this can also lead to downsides, such as a sense of entitlement, unrealistic expectations, and difficulty coping with disappointment and criticism.

How Does Being a Golden Child Impact Personality?

Being a golden child can positively and negatively impact personality development. Simply, it can foster a sense of superiority and confidence.

However, on the negative side, it can lead to narcissistic tendencies, a lack of empathy, and problems forming healthy relationships.

How Does a Narcissistic Parent Treat the Golden Child?

A narcissistic parent might see the golden child as a source of pride and a reflection of their perceived superiority, showering the child with attention, praise, and special treatment.

However, this dynamic can also be fraught with manipulation, criticism, and emotional abuse. The golden child must be aware of these negative patterns and seek support.

How Does Being a Golden Child Affect Sibling Relationships?


Being the golden child can cause jealousy, resentment, and competition among siblings, leading to strained relationships, a lack of trust, and isolation.

Can a Golden Child Change Their Narcissistic Tendencies?


Yes, with the proper support and guidance, a golden child can overcome their narcissistic tendencies and develop a healthier sense of self and empathy for others.

This can be accomplished through therapy, self-reflection, and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors.

The Interplay between Being a Golden Child and Narcissism

The relationship between being a golden child and developing narcissistic tendencies is complex and nuanced.

While the privilege and attention that comes with being a golden child can contribute to feelings of superiority and entitlement, it is essential to note that not all golden children will become narcissists.

Similarly, not all individuals with narcissistic tendencies have experienced the kind of favoritism and privilege associated with being a golden child.

However, when a narcissistic parent is involved in the dynamic, the risks of the golden child developing narcissistic tendencies increase.

The parent’s constant attention, praise, and special treatment can contribute to an inflated sense of self and a lack of empathy for others, leading to narcissistic tendencies.

At the same time, the manipulation, criticism, and emotional abuse from the narcissistic parent can create a negative feedback loop, exacerbating the child’s narcissistic tendencies.

The Impact of Being a Golden Child on Personality Development


Being a golden child can have far-reaching effects on a person’s personality development, both positive and negative.

On the one hand, it can provide the child with confidence, a sense of worth, and opportunities for success.

But on the other hand, it can also contribute to feelings of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and difficulty forming healthy relationships.

The impact on sibling relationships can also be significant, leading to jealousy, resentment, and sibling competition. Even into adulthood, this can result in strained relationships and a lack of trust.

Overcoming Narcissistic Tendencies as a Golden Child


While the relationship between being a golden child and developing narcissistic tendencies is complex, a golden child can work towards overcoming these tendencies and creating a healthier sense of self and empathy for others.

It is essential for individuals who have experienced being a golden child to seek support in this process, whether through therapy, support groups, or other resources.

With the proper guidance and support, a golden child can break free from the damaging cycle of narcissism and build healthier relationships with themselves and others.

Parents can play a crucial role in avoiding the creation of a golden child dynamic and supporting their child to prevent narcissistic tendencies.

When the Golden Child Wakes Up

When the golden child finally wakes up to the reality of the situation and realizes they have been used as a tool for the parent’s ego, it can lead to feelings of confusion and betrayal.

This can also result in a shift in the dynamic within the family and cause the golden child to distance themselves from the narcissistic parent.

It’s essential for the golden child to seek support and work through their emotions to heal from this toxic dynamic and create a healthier future for themselves.

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