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How will Trolls React to Your Success and Failure?

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Why trying to appease a troll’s finicky and fluctuating expectations is futile

Written by Vivienne Juan, Associate Elect Partner

Internet trolls these days are a dime a dozen, but the original, sometimes more sinister trolls can be closer to home than you think. Trolling within narcissistic families, and from parents in particular, not only comprise our first experiences of trolling, but can continue to keep us under the thumb as we get older.


According to Psychology Today, the needs of the parents are the focus of a narcissistic family, and the children are expected in various ways to meet those needs. This includes adult children of narcissistic parents!


In the video below, Lighthouse International Group’s Head Mentor, Paul Waugh, shares about the personal experience of Senior Partner, Kris Deichler, with toxic narcissism. To hear more about Kris’ story, read his blog about his experience of being in a controlling family.



If you want to understand in more detail and depth about narcissism and toxic narcissism in families, here is a thorough and necessary article from Sally Davis.


For more on handling toxic narcissism, to get the right help, or to register for a support group, please check out our Parents Against Trolls & Trolling campaign.


Have a question? To send me feedback or share your thoughts, please do get in touch and drop me an email — I’ll be happy to hear from you.



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15 Comments


zach54
zach54
Feb 07, 2022

Thank you for this article! It's powerful to see how much we don't learn growing up about what healthy relationships are beyond my own perceptions of this that I have never thought to question! To look at the devastation caused by online trolling and the impacts in particular on young people, it's devastating to see how in many cases people are being trolled online by those who ought to be giving them the most love and support! Such a crucial issue to be understood and addressed!

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Daniel Schmitz
Daniel Schmitz
Feb 03, 2022

Thanks, Viv for this article. “The needs of the parents are the focus of a narcissistic family, and the children are expected in various ways to meet those needs.” I feel that is a great summary of narcissism and also of the behaviour of trolls. This causes so much pain and suffering and I feel so many dreams (and lives!) are being destroyed because of this behaviour from narcissistic families. Thanks for highlighting as well that there is a way out of that situation and that help is available! It shows the importance of the parents against trolls and trolling campaign as well.

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Gillian Watson
Gillian Watson
Feb 02, 2022

Thanks for sharing Paul's experience and critical analysis of what is actually happening behind the words said within families. They are so often, on the surface, caring and supportive, but are usually not founded in action or true belief in who you are and the vision you are working towards. Especially when that vision doesn't fit the mould of what social expectations are for that family or social circle. It's so important to know what you stand for and to be aware of who you surround yourself with.

Here's a great short video from Jordan Peterson on this.

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Jack Comer
Jack Comer
Feb 01, 2022

It’s a big reality check when we think that those who say they would support us through anything and help to make sure we are okay actually don’t. I had a few recent experiences of family members say they would help me out, but when I went to them for help found every excuse under the sun to slime their way out of actually helping me. When I learned that trolling can come from family members wanting to control me and my every move was when I started putting in boundaries between us out of respect for myself. No one should let themselves be a banquet for trolls. Thank you for encouraging everyone who reads your article to be able…

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asifvaliji
asifvaliji
Feb 01, 2022

Thank you for sharing this Viv. I have read more articles since the start of the toxic trolling that Lighthouse International and its partners have been subject to. What I have found though, in my own experiences of supporting people as a mentor and coach, is that we are far from alone. The amount of families, siblings, children (especially teens) who go for long periods of time - often in their late teens or early twenties without speaking to each other, mothers and fathers going for long periods with very little from their own families, and this is 'normal' - you have got to wonder why? What is really behind your son never really being able to confide in you…


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