Can You Be Friends With a Narcissist?

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Photo by Drew Leavy via Flickr

Sometimes you have that one friend. The one that always seems to have drama in their life but is never responsible for the drama because it’s always someone else’s fault. The friend that seems to drain all of your energy and has that unique gift  to always make you feel like an idiot no matter what you say or do. Many times this friend had been in your life for so many years that you have got into the habit of making excuses for their behaviour.

Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out to you how unhealthy this relationship is. How it brings more negative into your life than good, and how you are always the one there to help this person no matter what and it is never reciprocated. You make more excuses for them trying to convince others but ultimately you are trying to convince yourself. You say “they would be there if I really needed them.” But at that one rare moment when you do really need them they do something that makes the situation even worse and you stop and think, “what am I doing?”

It’s time to acknowledge that you are dealing with a narcissist. You will never, ever be able to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist.

 

“A narcissist will always turn tables on you and reverse accusations by shaming and attacking your credibility” – Sam Lopez De Victoria, Psychotherapist

 

Signs of a Narcassist:

1. They are charming, charismatic, and persuasive. Especially if they want something from you. They will make you feel special until their use for you wanes and then they will drop you without a second thought. And if there is a second thought than it is one about how they had to distance themselves from you because of something you did. (see quote above)

2. They always manage to make the conversation about themselves. They have the complete inability to actually just listen to you because they care to hear what you have to say. They take something you said and then find a way to make it about themselves.

3. In every story they tell there is an air of entitlement or victimization. Since they believe they are better than most and never wrong, everything they say will be about something they believe they deserve, or something unfair that happened to them. Never will they reflect upon themselves and see that many of their actions may have caused the issues.

4. They like nice things. Which isn’t bad in itself, but when they always expect nice things, even to  the detriment of others, then issues arise.

5. Appearance is everything.  And not just physical appearance, the way their life appears to the world. They need to be seen a certain way and will work very hard to keep up that appearance even if it is completely false.

6. They are strongly averse to criticism. Seriously. Don’t even think of criticize anything they may have ever done, will do, or even have thought of doing because you are wrong. Not only are you wrong, but they will lash out at you calling you selfish, conniving, hurtful, and accuse you of never having their best interests at heart.

7. Excuses are their second nature. You learn to never expect anything from them. Ever. Instead of looking forward to whatever they promised you find yourself wondering how they are going to let you down this time? What excuse are they going to come up with? And it will never be their fault that they broke the promise. It will be “out of their control” and they will lay the blame on someone else’s shoulders. Probably yours.

8. They leave a trail of wreckage behind them. They live their life not caring whose they destroy or who they must step on to keep up that life. Their friends mean nothing to them unless they are providing them with something that they need at that time.

9. They are more likely to cheat. This goes along with feeding their ego, presenting a false image, and because they feel they deserve it.

10. Everything is personal. Anything you say to them gets them defensive, or they react with anger. Especially if it isn’t going their way. Don’t you dare give them suggestions or advice because if you do not respond the way they want you to, they accuse you of not being on their side or not understanding how hard their life is.

10. You resort to flattery to maintain the peace. More often than not you find yourself walking on eggshells around them. You find yourself thinking of things you can say that they will want to hear. You keep a mental note of topics to avoid so that you don’t anger them.

If a friend had a boyfriend/girlfriend like this you would tell them to run for the hills. So why would you want a friend like this? A true friend is someone who makes a commitment to your happiness. Someone who will put your happiness above the friendship if need be. In order for this to be considered a friendship it must also be reciprocated. A narcissist will never put your happiness above their own so it will never work.

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm, but the harm [that they cause] does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” – T. S. Eliot

The worst part is that a narcissist doesn’t usually intend on hurting someone. That isn’t their goal. They just lack the empathetic ability to have concern for another person’s well-being. The damage they cause is often just a side effect and you end up just being just another casualty.

 

“If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.” -Raylan Givens, Justified

 

Here is a great article describing narcissistic behaviour with some great quotes, and another article on how it affects their victims.

 

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Sara

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