TL;DR: My dad is calling my sister an embarrasment while I'm the "golden child" that seems to do most things right in his eyes. My dad seems to not realize that me and my sister talk often, and she expresses her frustrations to me often about his words.

Related to this question: What to say to steer passive-aggressive narcissist parent(s) away from saying guilt-tripping statements to me or other people?

The other day, she informed me that he was embarrassed that she did not give him anything for his birthday in front of his friends. On further investigation, I found that she indeed had photographed and developed (at school) two pictures and given them to him for his birthday. She simply forgot that the photos were in her room (she thought they were at our mother's house), and did not bring them out to show everyone. He feels that her thoughtful and simple gift of two photos she developed herself was not enough.

His words to my sister:

"I'm amazed lately at how unappreciated you make me feel."

She is away at camp for this week, and she expects a stern talking-to from him when she returns because she is an ungrateful child, and needs to learn that lesson. She is dreading it.

At this point, I know he will fire away at me for not behaving as he thinks I should, and there's nothing I can do to avoid it. I will just ignore his words and not attempt to explain myself, like I've done in the past. I have gone to counseling 8+ years for this, and I have mentally drawn the boundaries for myself. My #1 frustration is that he's taking this slight from her very personally.

I do see his side of it, and I understand his relationship with all three of his daughters have been rocky, and he's trying to get through it. However, I think he has Narcissist Personality Disorder. This exacerbates the issues that we have with each other.

How do I call my dad out on his demeaning statements towards my sister, and make him think twice about it?

  • 1
    I´m a little confused as I'm the "golden child" and At this point, I know he will fire away at me don´t really add up. Should the second to last paragraph be a citation of what your sister tells you?
    – user6109
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


I don't know if there is anything that you can do about your father. If he can be persuaded to go to counseling, that would be great, but it doesn't sound like that's something you can count on.

My advice would be that you support your sister by standing up for her if he "attacks" her in your presence. It may not change his behavior, but the very fact that she has a champion who will stand up for her and who she knows loves her, is HUGE. I would suggest that you rehearse in your head what you are going to say. Your argument will be much more effective if you can stay in control of your emotions and not let them color your message.

And, just as important if not more, stand up for her in private. Bring the elephants out into the open, dissect them and let the poison out. Every time he dumps all over her, the fact that she has someone to express her hurt to will ease the pain.

My father sometimes did the same to me. In fact, I've been on both sides. When a parent criticizes one child and compares them unfavorably to another, they set up a resentment in one child and embarrassment in the other. Let her know that your father's favoritism embarrasses you and that it is hurtful to both of you and you will be able to keep the love and communication between the two of you strong, which is the best thing you can do for her.

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