Narcissistic Friendship: Can Narcissists Be Good Friends?

Can a Narcissist Be a Friend?                                   

Do you sometimes question whether your narcissistic friend is actually a friend or a ‘frenemy’? Do you wonder if he or she is even capable of friendship?  If you have something narcissists want or can use, they will engage in behavior that resembles friendship. In the beginning, they will beguile and romance you whether they are male or female. Narcissists are often generous and giving in the beginning of any relationship as this is the time when they are scouting out Narcissistic Supply. They are quick to buy dinner or lavish you with gifts, big and small. They take note of your likes and dislikes and are attentive to details. They give all appearances of potentially being a great friend.

However, friendship is a two-way street of give-and-take; it is built on mutual trust, loyalty and empathy. By definition, narcissists are incapable of empathy and seldom are trustworthy or loyal and therefore, incapable of being a genuine friend. Like an addict, the narcissist has only one goal in mind- to secure sources of Narcissistic Supply. He or she does not need friendship with others for friendship’s sake.  To the narcissist, people are simply instruments to be manipulated for the sole purpose of producing Narcissistic Supply. Typically, the narcissistic cycle involves over-valuing people whom they refer to as friends (as they are considered potential sources of Supply), using them, devaluing them (when the friends no longer are a good source of Supply) and then inexplicably discarding them.

Friends who are not disgusted by his or her repetitive acts of ugliness and attitudes are left drained and weary of the narcissist’s roller coaster life. Even the last hangers-on, those few who are still loyal after many years- even they gradually abandon the narcissist because they can no longer endure his or her moods, confrontations, chaotic career and financial states, or the frequent disbanding of his or her relationships..

Narcissists don’t have actual friends. They surround themselves with acquaintances (or a posse) that they refer to as “friends”. Their friends enter and exit frequently in their life, throughout their lifetime, often very rapidly. People may initially think that they are in a friendship, but soon learn they are instead in a one-way relationship whose only purpose is to gratify the narcissist’s need for a “fix” of Supply. If and when the “friend” looks for a reciprocal relationship, the narcissist becomes distant and nonchalantly ends the relationship.

Needless to say, this results in confusion for those unfortunate enough to have been lured into feigned friendship by a narcissist. As soon as the narcissist deems the friendship is coming to an end (if not sooner), he or she then begins to seek out other “friends” to become sources of Supply and the cycle continues.

Characteristics of a Narcissistic Friend

A narcissistic friend sees himself or herself as superior, “special” compared to others. In order to maintain that superior position, he or she frequently devalues other people and actively tries to make them feel inferior. The narcissist usually demands to be the center of attention and feels betrayed if their friends don’t follow his or her lead or plans. A narcissistic friend will expect you to hold the same opinions as them and not disagree.

Interestingly, a narcissist usually has low self-esteem which he or she tries to keep hidden from the world. This is manifested in difficulty accepting criticism, feeling embarrassed or ashamed of some aspect of himself, is easily hurt and feels rejection strongly. A narcissistic friend who doesn’t exhibit those symptoms externally might instead appear to be unemotional or detached.

The narcissistic friend is completely self-absorbed. Everything in his or her environment- absolutely everything- is about him/her. He or she will talk endlessly about, and re-direct conversations back to, his or her own personal experiences, accomplishments, achievements, (successful) investments, (perfect) family and so on. Narcissists boast, flaunt, and even parade on their imaginary stage to catch the spotlight. You will always remain in his or her shadow.

A narcissistic friend will demonstrate a significant lack of empathy. A lack of empathy is one of the most defining characteristics of a narcissist. He cannot put himself (or herself) in another person’s shoes or understand the other person’s feelings. The narcissist did not develop this ability as they were growing up. Do not expect that he or she will develop empathy as an adult.

Narcissists are cold and manipulative underneath their outward mask of warmth. They appear warm and charismatic in the beginning and in public. But once they feel secure in their ability to get Supply from you, they start “forgetting” to call you, not showing up when they said they would, nonchalantly opting at the last minute to do something else with another person-sometimes not even bothering to cancel their plans with you. They are incapable of genuine warmth or putting your needs first.

Maintaining Friendship with a Narcissist

If you choose to remain friends (or feel you have to if a neighbor, relative, etc) you must have strong self esteem and be able to maintain that self-strength and positive self-concept to stay in a friendship with a narcissist. His or her casual lies, their standing you up/choosing “better options” at the last minute and their careless demeaning looks or words  can be hurtful and a blow to your self esteem if you do not understand the narcissist’s personality. Some people use humor to “distract him from himself” as a means of surviving this kind of friendship. It will be up to you to understand and accept who and what they are; you can only change your reaction to him or her, they won’t change.

Keep boundaries religiously with narcissistic people, both emotional boundaries (Example: consistently state your rules and don’t ever give in) and physical boundaries (Example: don’t move in where you will be subjected to unending demands). Ask yourself why you are maintaining this one-sided relationship and what you are deriving from the friendship. If you have a good answer to those questions, then maintain the relationship but always remember that it is not possible to have a true friendship with a narcissist as they do not possess the traits necessary to have a genuine, reciprocal relationship.

References:

http://samvak.tripod.com/faq37.html

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-signs-of-a-narcissistic-friend.htmhttp://narcissisticbehavior.net/the-typical-narcissistic-woman-as-a-friend

http://www.wellsphere.com/mental-health-article/is-your-friend-a-narcissist/975979

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About Alexander Burgemeester

31 Responses to “Narcissistic Friendship: Can Narcissists Be Good Friends?”

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  1. Emile Foreste says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, Alexander Burgemeester. After reading through the whole thing, I finally come to understand truly what narcissism really is. I have a penpal online who claimed himself to be a narcissist, and we have been friends for half a year now. I didn’t know his narcissism was certain until it became apparent to me that the friendship is one-sided. We are still somewhat friends, at least until he realises I have nothing left to offer him. My mother knows a friend who I think after reading your post that possibly her friend is a narcissist.

    Great Post and Bookmarked! I need to get all my friends to read this, all those who have been blind in the matter. Thank you again!

  2. Kaycee says:

    Hey there, I just recently got back from a trip to the old house I use to share with whom I thought was my best friend. I moved back home after falling into a state of heavy depression and anxiety which I only just realised only began after we moved in together. I turned to alcohol to deal with the emotional stress, and she insisted I needed help day after day. After I finally decided to take that advice and I moved back home, I often got messages blaming me for leaving, that I’m childish, unorganised, and there was always a constant argument or drama regarding something I’ve done to upset her even though I now live 6 hours away. She made up lies about rumours I’d apparently made about her even though I currently don’t even keep in touch with any of my university friends. After reading this article I think I can finally understand and relate to all of these traits that she has. Everything is about her, and she will say the most horrible things to make me feel worthless. Living with someone like that was the most toxic thing I’ve ever been subjected to, and I’ve noticed a large improvement in my emotional health since I’ve separated myself from that.

  3. Ryan says:

    Understanding more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and dealing with those who have the disorder has helped me tremendously in understanding the circumstances which lead to the end of what I truly thought was a great friendship.

    About 5 months ago I had a really unfortunate falling out with the person I had called my best friend for the past four years. This friend and I were virtually inseparable. We worked together, lived near each other, and spent just about every weekend together. I felt incredibly honored that he had welcomed me into and treated me as a part of his family. Make no mistake, throughout this time I was definitely aware of the fact that even though I had given him and his family so much of my time, money and energy (both physical and emotional), he rarely reciprocated and in the few times that he did, he was clearly inconvenienced by it. This created some tension in our friendship, but for the sake of maintaining what I believed to be a great friendship, I chalked his unavailability up to the fact that he had a wife and kids and that I needed to be understanding of the time commitments to his family that prevented him from being a good friend to me in return.

    Looking back there were also times that my friend would almost try to incite jealousy on my part. I never really understood this and I definitely questioned whether or not something was wrong with me – was I a jealous friend? Outside of our friendship I had never known myself to be a jealous friend. I had never been accused of being a jealous friend or even a jealous boyfriend. I think jealousy is a normal (even if not desirable) human trait , but I don’t believe that I am any more jealous than the average person. This friend however would go out of his way to barely acknowledge my presence when in the company of other friends or even acquaintances. It didn’t matter who we were with, I had come to expect that this would occur. I still don’t totally understand how, but he would encourage me to attend family events or planned gatherings and then blatantly exclude me from participation in conversations, or activities, etc. A couple times I brought this to his attention hoping that if he was made aware that it bothered me, that he would be more thoughtful. Not only was he dismissive of his behavior and of my concerns, he accused me of being jealous or too sensitive, to the point that I not only questioned myself, but believed that I was in fact doing what he accused me of doing. In doing so, he would somehow simultaneously assure me that he wouldn’t have done those things that I had pointed out because I was his “best friend.” I have to admit, I ate that up. I for some reason had placed him on such a pedestal, which is exactly what he wanted and needed from me, that I felt so incredibly honored to be his “best friend.”

    Please understand, I am not a meek person by any means. I am lead in-house counsel for a government agency. I am usually the go-to guy if/when circumstances arise that require a no-nonsense approach. Having said that, I was always aware that I was the subordinate friend in the relationship and I was actually okay with that. While I think I am a likeable enough person, I am not one of those people who always seem to be surrounded by tons of friends. The other friendships that I maintain however have completely different dynamics. Much more healthy dynamics. I think I probably justified the unhealthy dynamics that existed with this particular friend as being on account of the fact that we were so close and that we were just “real” with each other so he didn’t have to be fake nice with me. I understand now, that there was nothing real about our friendship, but that he was in fact manipulating me.

    To make a long story short, it all came to a head about five months ago when I declined an invitation by my friend to go fishing. I explained to him that it was Sunday and as much as I would like to go fishing with him, I really wanted to catch up on sleep after a long hectic week at work. He invited me to his house afterward which I accepted. I could tell when I arrived at his house that he seemed off. I wondered if he was bothered that I hadn’t gone fishing with him, but didn’t give it too much thought. A couple hours into the afternoon he made a statement and I responded sarcastically, but not with any malice or intent to offend. My friend didn’t respond immediately but shortly afterward he insisted that I leave his home. I was obviously surprised by this response, but asked him if my comment had offended him, and apologized if it had. I tried to explain that I meant no harm by my comment, asked him what I had done so that I could rectify the situation, but he kept insisting that I leave. I pressed him one more time for an explanation as to what was going on and he threatened to call law enforcement if I didn’t leave. I realized then that there was no rationalizing with him. I still did not know what had caused him to change his attitude so abruptly, but I obliged and I left.

    I tried in the following days to talk with him, but he refused. His wife couldn’t explain to me why he was mad at me. He had only told her that he was tired of my “drama.” This made no sense to me because I am a pretty laid back guy and have never been accused of “being drama.” Because I wanted to repair the friendship I sent him texts apologizing for my drama, even though I wasn’t clear on what my drama was. Any efforts on my part to right the wrong that I had apparently committed were vehemently rejected. I have spent the last five months trying to reconcile what happened that night and how someone could just write-off their friend over something so trivial. In the meantime he has continued to barely acknowledge my existence. A couple of times he has been talkative and friendly and I feel a sense of relief, like the fog is lifting, and whatever caused our rift will be in the past, and we can finally start to be friends again. This is always met by a complete change in his demeanor the very next day. He will go from seeming nice to being as cold as ever, without any rhyme or reason.

    I was more than willing to accept that perhaps I had in fact done something wrong, not just that night, but throughout the friendship, and made offers to work on myself and improve myself so that he would be my friend again. I am all about personal improvement, but I had actually convinced myself that there was something wrong with me that I needed to fix before he or anybody else would ever want to be friends with me again.

    I’m am now almost embarrassed that I have reduced myself to this level, but I was open to the idea that somehow I was at fault for the demise of our friendship and that I just didn’t understand how. I now understand that my friend’s behavior is normal for narcissists. I am now understanding that my confusion and offers of concession is totally normal for victims of narcissistic personalities and their cycles. Though it is not easy, I am slowly coming to accept the reality that our “friendship” was one-sided and never could have meant as much to him as it did to me. I am also resigning to the reality that I can’t keep holding out hope that we will be friends again. It is incredibly hard for me and incredibly sad for me to acknowledge this reality, but I know I have to for my own wellbeing.

    My friend is not a bad person. Some of the posts about narcissists describe an evil character only satisfied after he has sucked everything other’s have to give and then moves on to the next victim. While to some extent that is true of this guy, I also know he had a fairly traumatic childhood. He was exposed to a great deal of domestic violence growing up, was molested by a family member as a teen, and suffered the loss of his only brother in his late teens. I know the loss of his brother was particularly traumatic for him. Having a better understanding of narcissistic personalities I now understand that he probably doesn’t know why he acts the way he does and most likely doesn’t understand that it’s even wrong to do so. In addition to him understanding that he’s not a bad person, it helps me understand the same about myself – That I can stop beating my head against a wall trying to figure out what I did to cause an end to the friendship. I can finally accept what I think I’ve known in the back of my mind all this time. That is, that I wasn’t the cause of the demise in our friendship. Instead, I unknowingly allowed myself to become dependent upon a Narcissistic personality who is incapable of being a true friend.

    • Monique says:

      Dear Ryan,

      Thank you so much for writing about your experience in such full detail. I was suffering the same thing these past nine months with a best friend. She displays all the traits of someone with NPD. I had no idea until the friendship came to an end, only I was the one to end it when she refused to apologize for deeply wounding me. I saw through the manipulation and how callous she was. She even said she could not show empathy. I realized she would go on hurting me in the friendship and because I was the one to end it, she begged me not to. She only begged because she prefers to be the one to end it.

      She had told me of failed friendships in the past and I witnessed her falling out with a common friend. She told likes about that friend that I knew weren’t true and I should have distanced myself then, but I thought she wouldn’t treat me that way. How wrong I was.

      Your story further encouraged me to face reality that there was nothing I could have done to change the outcome. I did nothing wrong. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      • Yolanda says:

        Hello guys. I am also unclear about a Narcissistic, although I have looked at different readings about it. I also have been best friends with a girl for 5 years and even though I am still unclear, these readings leads me to believe that I am also dealing with one. My story, We were great, inseparable to the point that no one could separate us even when other people would say” stat away from her”, I feel I put my whole energy in this relationship but as soon as I dish out what she dishes out, we end up in an argument and she belittles, demeanors, puts me down, insults me, but when I defend myself she argues more, so of course I felt she didn’t want to be friends anymore because of this, but that ended in an argument with her saying, “i’m tired of this negativity” but she’s being this way to me.

        She was giving up for adoption at 5 because her biological family abused her, and now her adoptive family also abused her, used her for whatever to fill their needs and left her hanging, she had to fight her way through life. . But I tired to love her though it all, even all the insults and stuff that she shelled out to me, I never did any of this stuff to her. Now she has a boyfriend and the best friend relationship was slimming down, suddenly she didn’t have time, always yelled (which was nothing knew) that she was busy. Well I know she had to give her new relationship time and attention but it seemed that she got upset when she wanted to hang out but I had other plans but when I made plans with her, she had to play it by ear. Now she did have kids but I felt that her boyfriend could take care of the kids. I soon did not want to spend time with her because I felt uncomfortable because of the way she treated me. But now that I specified to her that I do not like the way she talks to me, insults, she disregards it and starts laughing and says I’m too emotional. I was still trying for the relationship even thought she was treating me like that. She really is a good person, or so I think lol. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt but I always end up getting hurt. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me. Please answer and be honest with me

    • LEW says:

      I have recently experienced an identical situation with my best friend. Thank you for sharing your story. I have read hundreds of articles about various personality disorders. No matter how well these articles match up, I have stayed in denial and made excuses for this person, so that I could continue making attempts to stay in the friendship. Your story has made me see the light. Thank you!!!

    • ADRIANO says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience! Well, I’ve wondered about my actual friendship, and I wasn’t sure whether I did something wrong throughout the 1,5 years friendship, or I’ve done. Asking around, comparing different points of view, I just realized that my this friendship is just one-side, and that my bestfriend is really narcissist. Unfortunately, as you kind of said, they are really good at making us wonder about our atitudes when in fact they’re the issue. My bestfriend also went tough times during his childhood, but this doesn’t allow him to mistreat me as he did this week. Yelled at him, because of a girl.

      Actually, he’s trying to make like her not matter what, just because he’s obssessed about her, when in fact, he barely knows her. Just for 1,5 month. Putting her over our friendship, beyond other facts. I do love him, but I love myself most. After read your post, I’m much more confident that I didn’t anything wrong. He looks much like this friends of yours, kinds of 95%. He never invites me to hang out with his friends. I live in Brazil and he lives here(In canada). This time I came here to enjoy him, after long 25h to get in here, an he just igorss?! Seriously? What the hell he thinks I am?!

      Also, I kindly told him on Tuesday “ Hey, you know, I’II be in Canada just for 7 weeks, and the first week is almost gone, and I’d appreciate and would love to spend as much time as POSSIBLE with you, if you don’t mind, of course. Playing video games, go camping, hang out, sleepover,.. Anything as we used to do.”

      For my surprise, he told me: “Adriano, you’re drawing a line here, because I told you, that Bruna is SO important to me, and you know that I’II want her around and she’II be with me. I want Bruna around as much as possible, spending as much as possible of my free time with her. I want you to meet her, and it’s important to me that you two get along, you know.” Also, “if I’m hanging out with her and ask you to go, and you don’t want to, it’s gonna be your fault not to be around me!” when I heard that I couldn’t believe it! Isn’t that impose someone a condition? That’s ridiculous!

      We’re gonna a new chat soon, and I’II really observe his behavior, even though npw after your post, I’m aware of who I’m dealing with!

      You saved my day and a couple slepless nights! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

    • Simone says:

      Wow, I’ve been in the exact situation the past two years. It’s good to finally know I am not the only one. You described my friend and I perfectly. She lacks empathy, throws me away when she feels like it, accuses me of being jealous, but has moments when she is the best friend ever. I’ve never experienced such a hurtful or draining friendship with anyone else. She was also exposed to domestic violence and lost her brother whom she was close to. I realize she will never change but it hurts.

    • Marilyn Ennis says:

      Thank you, for your words. Obviously I am here goggling narcissistic behavior due to experiencing it first hand and not understanding. Almost to a T describes my story and I am a Senior Business Analyst who in my career life negotiates all sorts of personalities but always fails to see this one. My “Friend” I think is the third narcissist I have experienced and more horribly with a friend of mine I have known for over 25 years. It has been a roller-coaster where I am letting my long time friend go. I may be in the weeds but am not sure due to how aggressively he went after me due to no longer wanting to deal with his narcissistic mate. He doesn’t see as I didn’t, she has run all of our old friends off, I am the last one standing and now I am also moving on. Others have wondered why I have stayed and like you I reasoned her behavior due to childhood occurrences that happened to her among other things. And as a true narcissist, she always feed me with statements like you’re my “Best Friend”, trinkets, complements and or a night going out for dinner. She also had me questioning if I was a jealous person and I never thought I was and am genuinely happy when someone is successful as it means they are healthy and I can be successful. That is not true with her, only she and my friend can be successful and if we question her behavior or mannerisms it is always met with a statement of “you are just jealous” etc. etc. I would be lying if I didn’t say I feel like a idiot and I am going to miss my friend of many years but I am exhausted and done.

  4. Khalicia says:

    Dear Dr. Burgemeester, thank you for dedicating an article to narcissistic relationships that are not romantic in nature. As I am not a mental health professional, I will never know if my ex-“friend” is narcissistic or not, but his odd, extremely selfish and cold behavior led me to research the internet, and that’s how I came across personality disorders, including the narcissistic type.

    My ex-friend came across as an extremely quiet, shy and relatively charismatic individual (I met him at work—because of his shyness, everyone thought he could never hurt a fly—he mostly kept to himself). I noticed early on there was something amiss about his behavior, but I could not quite put my finger on it. I am a highly empathic person, to the point I can sometimes feel the emotional baggage of other people (as odd as this might sound), and his playing the “injured bird” victim card is how he hooked me (he manipulated me through empathy). He pulled at my heart strings with his “sorrowful” tone and his pathetic stories (he always played the sad victim).

    As time went on, he started to make hurtful comments here and there, but I would usually brush them off. He would also read things into our conversations that were not there, and behaved in an accusing manner. This always confused me because it always felt like it came “out of the blue”. I also could not understand how he could be nice one minute, and mean the next, especially since I was always there for him when he needed me (I became his “emotional refuge” whenever he felt threatened by or fearful of events around him).

    All this “strangeness” happened slowly, and over time, the relationship grew sicker and sicker. It got to the point where I felt this individual wanted me around him ALL OF THE TIME, although he had no issues turning against me unexpectedly. One of my colleagues noticed my “friend” liked “bossing” me around. One time he got upset with me because I used the “down arrow” key on the keyboard as opposed to the “enter” key, although both keys performed the same function on the task I was conducting at that moment (I was helping him write a report).

    After I left my job for a new one, I kept in touch with several of my ex-coworkers, including this individual. Unlike my other ex-coworkers who would sporadically contact me with a simple “hi, how are you”, this individual started to become needy and clingy, and it was during this time that I got to see his truer colors. The “friendship” grew extremely one-sided, and it was always to benefit him, not me. Everything was always on his terms, and I felt like I had no voice, and that he had all the control (which he did—-this has been the worst kind of interaction I’ve had with another human being). And on those RARE occasions I contacted him, he would selectively respond to my emails/texts. He slowly but surely started to pull me into his lair, almost methodically. He drained me emotionally, and things got to the point where I could give no more. The “friendship” was a constant state of confusion because I never knew where I stood with him, or what he was going to read into what I said. I found myself choosing my words carefully around him as to not “hurt his feelings”; I felt like I was walking on eggshells around him.

    As I interacted with him, I started to feel he was incapable of loving or caring for others (based on his actions and my own gut-feeling). Many times he appeared detached. Although he consistently sought me out, he also made sure he kept me at arm’s length….he would not or could not connect emotionally (he is the MOST hermetically shut individual I have ever dealt with in my life). He was never giving, warm, considerate, thoughtful, loving, and did not appear comfortable with normal physical contact….he always took and I always gave. He NEVER once randomly called to say “hi, how are you doing”, “how’s the family”, “merry X-Mas”, “Happy B-Day”, etc. He would appear monthly, without fail, just so I could assist him with something (there was always a lunch invitation associated with these monthly appearances, by the way).

    Every time we met he would act as if we were making a connection, just to disappear for a whole month without a word. He would then re-surface the following month and the same cycle would repeat. I finally got tired of his behavior, the mental and emotional tugs of war, and painfully admitted to myself that things were never going to change, and that I would never have a “normal” friendship with him, so the next month when he came around asking for yet another favor, I completely ignored his request. Less than a week later he contacted me asking me to join him for lunch (he always used lunch as a lure, and I could feel he was making a desperate, last attempt to get me to respond). Again, I dismissed him. About 1.5yrs went by without hearing from him again, until about 4 months ago where he apparently used my ex-coworker friends to get me to meet for lunch (he did this twice). I declined both lunch invitations. I have ZERO intentions/interest of rekindling any sort of relationship with this individual. I have learned a lot from this experience. This is my way of venting here, and there’s also a lot I am not including in this story. The best way to deal with toxic people like this is to completely cut them out of your life. If a “friend” does not reciprocate, then it’s time to reconsider the relationship and move on. And most importantly, set boundaries, guard your boundaries, and if something seems amiss in the beginning, don’t dismiss it. The “nagging” feeling is there for a reason. That’s your intuition trying to protect you. And if you are a highly empathic individual like myself, it’s NOT your job to fix someone else, no matter how “broken” they seem to be. People don’t change unless they are willing to change. I fooled myself thinking I could “help/fix” this broken individual, and I paid heavily for it.

    Note: Since my ex-“friend” was highly sensitive to criticism, afraid of being ridiculed, acted paranoid (like people were out to get him), read into things that were not there, was afraid of authority, suffered mood swings, spoke of death a bit much, acted secretive, was very ambiguous, appeared emotionally detached, and was verbally abusive (and I believe physically abusive as well), I suspect he has a combination of both borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder traits, but this is just a guess (i have learned that many borderline personality disordered individuals are also narcissistic). Again, thank you for posting this article.

  5. comfygirl says:

    Thank you for writing this article. My best friend of 30 years and I have been unable to reconcile a falling out. Now I understand why. I couldn’t understand why she was so callous and cruel and not understanding my feelings. When trying to just discuss the reason for our falling out she brought up many other things from our past that she claims I had done to her – things that had never been brought up before. Rather than just trying to talk and heal our relationship she just wanted to bash me some more. I had seen her do this to others but could not understand how she could possibly be doing this to me. A mutual friend of ours had told her years ago that she was a narcissist. I received a phone call with an earful of rants about how angry she was that he said this about her. I didn’t think anything of it and didn’t research what a narcissist was. However, since we were having this challenge of trying to mend our friendship, I thought I would research what a narcissist was. I was so surprised to see that this article was word for word how our friendship had been for years and why we now cannot make amends. It would never matter what I were to say or do, I now see that we will never be able to make up and mend our friendship. It also puts me at peace knowing that I didn’t ruin our friendship and now matter how sorry I say I am there will be no apologies in return. My life is much more at peace now – no more drama – no turning back. Thank you, again for posting this article. I hope it will help mend many hearts.

  6. Pooja says:

    Thanks for sharing..its a sigh of relief to know that there is nothing wrong with us (victim) but a disorder (NPD) in the other person..

  7. Pooja says:

    I am here to share my encounter (for abt 1 year)with a Nariscisst friend..

    We met at office and clicked immediately..both were creative hence we worked on some great ideas and delivered quite well..others at work were impressed by our team work..it was perfect..I fell for his charismatic persona..his good looks (overly groomed though, eyebrows done, hands n legs waxed !! – weird for a guy to do all this..but it somehow kept me attracted towards him) his style of talk..his style of dressing everything…

    I kept my feeling to myself..and poured lot of efforts to nurture this friendship..he asked me out for a sunday..to go shopping, movie etc..we had a great time..
    this continued for many weekends..i felt so good to be hanging out with such a desirable guy..

    things changed (but i was blinded..and kept ignoring..i realise all this now..)
    i was always there for him…i lent him money on several ocassions (which he either never returned or returened after months ..that surprised me coz he was earns much more than me..and how can u not return money to some1 who had lent you in ur need of hour )

    i gave him all my time at work…bkfst, lunch..i was always there to accompny him…but d reverse was not true…he never bothered if i was alone for lunch..he would ask me only if his glamourous friends were on leave…( i used to think those r his genuine friends..but later realised no..coz he talked bad abt them..laughed at them by telling me )

    i did every lil thing for him..but he never reciprocated..wen i fell sick for days..he never bothered to call me..
    most of our time togther was abt him..his looks…his clothes..he is self obsessed..keeps looking in d mirror..n seeks constant attention n compliments.. i am also at fault coz i fed his ego..kept giving him genuine compliments ( coz i liked him genuinely)..

    he never noticed if i wore anything new…other random ppl would notice n complimnt but he would not..it hurt..

    even weekends were all abt him..his choice..his shopping..he never offered to pay..( but i paid coz i thought we r great frends n its ok to spend on frends) but i realised much later that alst once he could have treated me..atlest with a ice cream..its about gestures n not abt how much u spend…

    he bought only branded clothes, shoes n boasted a lot abt it..every week he would shop..
    he looked down upon others..constanly gossiped abt co workers..laughed at their mistakes..
    this started drainin my energy..i confronted him couple of times..explaining that i felt bad wen he ignored me..his reaction used 2 b- “oh i dint even realise that would have hurt u..dont b so emotional”

    he would flirt with all hot gals around in office..his word revolved around I ME MYSELF..
    lack of empathy.. worst trait..

    suddenly he started avoiding me on weekends..i would suggest some plan n he would discard..sometimes he sais yes on friday n suddenly cancel on saturday…

    i felt humiliated by such repetitive behavior..it was all abt his mood, his preferences..i felt like i was slave to a king..

    it gave me sleepless nights, non stop crying, depression to face this hard truth dat i mean nothing to him…our frendship was a illusion..d good times were a illusion..i was a mere company to him…n wen he dint need me he discarded me…

    i am now recovering and getting my self esteem back..coz i was d giver n he was s taker in our frendship..it drained me emotionally, financially, n i lost precious time..coz i had put in all my time, emotion, energy into the great frendship…

    only i know how i faced the truth dat our frendship never existed for him..i was enchanted by his charm..only to have a toxic 1 sided relationship…

    but once i faced d truth..my recovery began…now i will be more careful in life..
    May God give the strength to all the victims..

  8. Pooja says:

    I realised that he came to me only when he needed something..be it compliments for his new clothes, company for lunch if his glamourous frend is not there..when he needed cash..when he needed someone to vent…when he needed my inputs for a project..

    other trait is – once his mission is accomplished he never acknowledged it…in 1 yr he had hardly thanked me on any ocassion..

    basically narsccist take u for granted,,,n take u for a ride…
    beware of such toxic persons n protect urself ..

  9. Claudia Gomez says:

    Thankyou for your article, and the replies. It helps me unerstand why so much of my life I have felt that I was only just hanging on to sanity.

    Seeing these articles shows me the only real way to deal with the narcissist is to run a mile! But I can never do that as it is my daughter!
    I have a daughter with NPD. She is so difficult and I cannot ever escape as she is my daughter! Although to punish me she does cut me out of her life for long periods. My blessing is that my other daughter is wonderful, loving, kind. She too has suffered for many years. Also God blessed me with a husband who is everything a husband could be. ( He is not my girls Dad, but my second husband)

    My narcissistic daughter is now 42 years old, expecting her first baby, not allowing me any contact, she has a new man friend who is the father. My darling 96 year oldmother has just died and she is not even coming to the funeral, nor contacted me.

    I email her regularly to try and keep some contact. I tell her I love her. The last time she replied (some six months ago, as i had sent her some money and asked if she had received it) she didnt adress me as ‘mum’ but by my first name just to hurt.

    I am 68 years old and find it so hard, particularly now with my precious mum has just died. I am so blessed to have had her for so long, but I feel as if I have been grieving for a lost daughter for about 28 years and now also my mum.

    I know there is no easy answer, over the years the pattern has been that she allows me, and sometimes her sister, back into her life only to detest us again on something we ‘failed’ at five minutes later.

    If you had any advice it would be so appreciated. Kind regards
    Claudia

    • Really? After 28 years of this you think she will change? Stop all contact, why torture yourself? Put you energy into hubby and your other daughter and friends. Just know that the narc WILL contact you after she drives off her man and she needs you for something. And no, having a baby will not make her suddenly unselfish. Save you martyrdom for something that matters, not her nonsense.

  10. Jane says:

    Hi, I fell for a NPD guy in office n have a cocktail of emotions..just want to share the most recent n worst one..even though he kept treating me like s**t..i planned a great birthday for him (days before his actual bday coz that day he was going with his family) i bought him an expensive shirt, cake, many other gifts..everythng to make him feel special..coz i had loved him truly..we had a great time..some sweet moments..pictures..nice food, nice walk..it was a fairytale evening..

    next day we met in office…he behaved as if nothng had happned last evening..then i feel sick n dint go to work for 3 days..he dint even bother to ask how i was..wen i went back to office…i was stunned by his behavior..silent treatment..no talks nothing…there were other colleagues who came to me asking how i was..but this guy dint…he dint ask for coffee, lunch..it hurt me so much…i kept wondering wat wrong have i done..wat has upset him..i dint even meet him for 3 days still wat went wrong..i shud be angry with him but he was so cold towards me..i asked him if anythng worng..he said no..nothing…

    can a normal human like this to someone who made ur bday so special..showered u with gifts..suddenly u treat d same person as s**t? flirt with other gals n completely ignore me…how inhuman, how insenstive..

    may god give d NPDS some feelings, emotions, empathy..n save us victims from this torture…

    my mistake was dat i loved him deeply, truly, purely n this is what i got in return

    • Andrew says:

      This is in reply to Jane. I know how you feel. You truly loved him but narcissists literally do not understand that emotion. To them, everything is about control. They think differently than we do and I think that’s because their brains are different – whether this is caused by genetics, early trauma (narcissistic parenting), or a combination thereof. Since everything is about control for them, they see our motives through their own lenses. So this is how I believe he saw what you did – that you wanted to control him, to own him – because that’s how they interact with others themselves. The whole thrust in narcissism is how to control others while preventing themselves from being controlled. As I said, everything is about control for them. So while you were giving him a good time because you truly loved him and wanted to make him feel special, he was probably thinking, “She wants to control me, to own me, to make me feel obligated to her, I’ll show her. I’ll give her a good time this evening but tomorrow I’ll act like nothing ever happened and flirt with other girls.” Hurting you by playing along that evening and then acting as though it never happened is a narcissist’s way of being/remaining in control. I’m convinced that the component that makes us truly human is missing in the narcissistic brain. Just read what “Lucifer” wrote in that last comment – that he does not have friends nor understand the concept of friendship between two people. Sadly, that part of the brain is just not there.

    • KATHERINE says:

      Yes, that is the horrible part. You make yourself venerable and offer true love and friendship and then you find out they are future fakers. Saying and doing all the right things only to find out it is a script and they basically say the exact same things to EVERY other woman as well. It is a VERY SICK feeling to realize that you have encountered one of these soulless sub humans!! They only feel for themselves their wants their needs and most certainly can only love themselves. Just realize they are damaged and will NEVER be able to be normal. There was NOTHING that you could have done to change the outcome. It is always the same pattern and it always ends in discard unless the primary narcissistic supply that WILL tolerate the behavior long term and give constant supply for when they run low providing a safety net from a lapse. It is said that the ONLY person that does not eventually leave the narcissist at some point is also severely damaged and will continue to accept the abuse for the few fake crumbs they perceive as caring when in fake it is just bait to get what they want— ego boosts. Good luck in the future. Read up on Cluster B disorders and watch for the red flags. THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE. When in a love fog we tend to overlook and make excuses tor these bad behaviors and tale tell signs that the person is indeed toxic and should be avoided entirely!!

  11. Suhana says:

    i celebrated his birthday in a very special way with all my time, energy n money….and wen my bday came ( i was on long leave )..he obviosly dint remember..but when got to know on office email he sent me a plain text happy birthday…lets plan ur bday party once u come from leave…he dint even take d effort to give me a call ( i now realise he used to call me only wen he needed something or wen he wanted to gossip abt someone)…just 1 dry text on my bday..wen i came from leave..again silent treatment ..not even a single ques of how was ur bday , wat did u do…lets celebrate ur bday….nothing at all…the shameless creature dint even think that this girl did so much for my bday..spent so much time, money to make me feel special..n cant i even reciprocate it in a basic way…
    i dont want expensive gifts or a celebration…even a genuine wish wud suffice…but no..these losers can never GIVE anyone anything…coz they r so empty, hollow inside….his cold n silent treatment continues..bad thing is we work at same place we come across each other…but he doesnt acknowledge me…reason wen asked..says nothing…all is normal…only a mental person can call abnormal things as normal…
    coz normal humans communicate, empathise, care for each other, support, talk, fight, celebrate..be there for each other…
    but these narcs are inhuman…
    may god do some magic n make them humans …

  12. Justme says:

    I am really glad I stumbled upon this website as it confirmed my opinion about a person I used to consider to be a close friend.
    I got to know this person at work. She was not my colleague but worked on the same floor as my team was. I could actually feel from the very beginning that something was a bit ‘off’ about her. She came across a bit cold and arrogant. Unfortunately, I happened to have a similar interest as her so we once started to chat about it and since it was all focused on her she suddenly turned into a different person. Nice, very open about her personal things (a bit too much,actually) and overly sensisitve. Similarly as in the cases before this former friend of mine played the ‘hurt’ bird in the beginning which evoked feelings of empathy for her. But then, when I invited her to go out she hardly ever had time and sometimes acted like I really annoyed her. I was confused by this as she previously agreed. This big differences in her behaviour however, got stuck in my mind. Fortunately. As the time went by I started noticing more and more of her weird ways. She was able to come to work and give us all a hug but also tell things such as she never noticed that I left when I returned to the office. She also occassionally made fun of my behaviour for no good reason making me feel awkward. Also, she was really into personal development and was convinced that her way is the right way and the rest of the people must have lives which are way worse then hers. The thing which was the worst were her emotional outbursts. She could not bear if I disagreed with her, criticised her or made fun of her but not in a bad way. Her reaction would be what I can simply call raging, she would try to keep her voice down but sometimes I honestly thought that if there was nobody around she would go ahead and hit me or something.
    When it comes to her relationship with others she was always highly critical of them, expecting them to do things for her and was deeply offended when they weren’t there for her when she wanted. Of course, others could never expect the same in return. On our last encounter (it was my birthday) she acted completely uninterested in me and just looked around for a guy to talk to. After the party was over she commented that it was a chilled out event even for her standards (as if she was doing me a massive favour just turning up). At that point I just realised I would not be unhappy if I never saw her face again.

    As in previous cases she also had an unhappy childhood and a long string of unsuccessful relationships (all ended by her decision, as she proudly confessed).

    I learnt a lot from this experience and now look out for signs. In general, if someone is just too nice and too good to be true then they actually are.

  13. Natasha Argenio says:

    After reading this article, the reason my friendship is no longer working with my friend makes so much sense, while not all of the article applies to her, a lot of things do. For the past two years we have been inseparable, we would stay over at each others houses so much to the point where our parents respectively bought things they knew we would eat and stuff like that but recently, we’ve had nothing but arguments because my friend doesn’t seem to understand what she did wrong.

    It started when she decided to drop out of college and she rang me up telling me she wouldn’t stop being my friend just because she was working a full Time job now she would still make time to come and hang out with me. We made plans twice that week and she bailed on me. Then we made plans that Friday and I couldn’t get hold of her all day and so when one of my other friends called to do something with me and I agreed, she finally rang me and she was hurt because I’d changed my plans so we rearranged for the next day and she let me stay in my house all day waiting for her to turn up and ignoring my messages and calls just to then message me back and say she was asleep.

    Then when she tells me she was upset about something, all that week I tried to speak to her and find out what was wrong, but I got two word answers back or completely ignored so, I gave her some space. Thinking she would tell me but she didn’t, then it gets to my birthday. At the time, she had been kicked out by her mother and was living with her boyfriend where as before she would have stayed with me but that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was she couldn’t find the time to message me happy birthday but she A) saw everyone else had done it and B) messaged me back the next day about something completely unrelated and couldn’t even ask me how my birthday had been so when it came to the day she was supposed to see me and she bailed yet again I got upset and she made me feel like a bad friend and selfish because apparently everything revolves around me.

    In the whole two years I’ve known her, I’ve had exactly one problem. She was there for me then but I’m starting to think she was only there because it didn’t inconvenience her in anyway. Now, I suffer with depression irregularly and she knows this and I told her before my birthday that I was having a bad time of it, whilst still managing to be there for her, but she never once asked me how I was doing whilst checked on he frequently.

    I started to think I’d done something wrong or that I just wasn’t good enough to be her friend anymore but after reading this article, I’m starting to realise that’s just her, she won’t change and I need to leave her the hell alone.

  14. G Flynn says:

    yes i had a friend who i was good too but when i had some bad luck and was feeling down there was no empathy from her at all not as much as a kind word. I then realized that the friendship had all being one way. I was very upset but now realize it is best though hard to end the friendship.

  15. janet says:

    I had one of these “friends”. It was just like the very good article said. She was a master at doing special things for people, like giving them a birthday party or visiting someone in the hospital or doing a favor that was more than most people would. But, it was all about appearances and setting up her flying monkey brigade or setting up someone to be sabataged for her delight. She blew thru alot of people, but has some core group of flying monkeys that are stupidly loyal. One guy that was her friend admitted to me shes a real piece of work and he was so glad he didnt get together with her, and that she went on and on saying terrible things about me when I wasnt around at his house. But when I finally broke off any contact after doing numerous horrible things to me, who did he back up? HER of course!!! and told me that she had been nothing but a friend to me. I hadnt asked him for anything and he just took her side, despite what he knew. I dont get how narcassists are so good at getting people to be so loyal to them and to participate in trying to take innocent people down. I have even less respect for their flying monkeys than I do the narcassists. To me the flying monkeys are weak and willfully blind. They choose to be evil out of apathy.

  16. TLT says:

    I have had a long standing “friendship” with a narcissist, but have only very recently come to realize the full scope of who she really is. I asked myself over the years what the deal was with her, not understanding what NPD was, or how those with the disorder acted. It is one of those overused phrases that is seldom explained to its fullest extent.

    I spoke with a colleague and clinician about some of my friend’s attributes and how she just drives me to distraction. As I continued to describe some of her escapades over the years, my colleague informed me that she fits the classic signs of NPD. I then began doing further research on the disorder, which is how a came across this site-the narcissistic life.

    Thank you so much for clarifying NPD for me. I remained friends with her primarily because I had grown close to her daughter and was worried about her state of mind and being. As her child got older (she is now fully grown) it was realized that she is, in fact, schizophrenic. She was acting out as a teenager, and I tried to provide a semblance of support for the child. Her mother was too wrapped up in her own life, career, and fantasy world (as I have come to realize) to truly see what was going on with her daughter and provide real help for her.

    I wondered, sometimes, if there was more I could have done for her daughter, but I later reconciled that had I not have been a part of her life, Lord know how much worse it would have been (and believe me, it is pretty bad as is)!

    Thank you again for your insight and analysis. This was truly an eye opening site, and I hope others receive the same type of “a-ha moment” that I did.

  17. Jo says:

    I got on this website because I have to figure out if I can tolerate being friends with my ex-narcissist boyfriend be cause HE LIVES NEXT DOOR!!! About a year ago, we decided we decided that we wanted to be closer, but not live together. The house next door to mine was vacant. (I own) We have been inseparable. Last month I had a family emergency that kept me away for three weeks. When I returned home, on my birthday BTW, he told me he found someone else. To make it worse, I AM a therapist, and by all rights, “should have known better” AND the woman he hooked up with is a CLIENT in my office! (Another clinicians client – but still.) I have read a lot about narcissism in the last six weeks. I have figured out a lot. (Narcissism and Personality Disorders are not my field of treatment – but is sure could be now!) I thought I had pretty good ego strength (and I did) but I see now how I have been whittled away. Is it possible for me to even be civil to him without cracking up (laughing or crying, I am not sure which.) Should I totally ignore him? Forever? I don’t think I can make him move. My hope is that he will find another source (not his current one – she won’t last, I am sure) and move away. But he REALLY likes his place and has done a lot of work on it. We live in the country, and the neighborhood loves him. Any suggestions on how to handle this in the long run. I have been on “no contact” for two weeks. I DON”T want to have anything to do with him, but what do I do when I can’t avoid it? I REALLY feel sorry for people who have kids with narcissists. God help them.

  18. Jamie says:

    Wondering if my long time”friend” is a narc then reading about it makes me sure she is. She probably thinks I am too since she loves to project on others what she herself truly is. No one is exempt from her rages or cruelty and I never attributed lying to her u til recently when I heard blatant lies. Thinking about the past, lying and deceiving has been a part of her all along. The little digs, the offenses she creates are never reconciled but only built up to blow up later. Everyone wrongs her.

    I love what comfy girl said. I want to do what she has done. Now, finding the courage to do it letting all the drama be behind. I am sickened at the thought of even seeing her anywhere. I feel like the phony friend because Normal was tolerating her crappy behavior. She does not verbalized remorse, only hesitant acknowledgement of a tiny bit of blame. Forget about a sincere apology and moving on stronger and more secure. A confrontation only leads to more bitterness and exposure of their true thinking and walking on even more eggshells. I need to crush the carton once and for all because she has never changed. Like all other narcs, maybe humbled for a bit until they know you are not going away. Her sense of control is beyond words. I’ve watched it for years and I’ve watched perfectly healthy, adorable people cower and disappear at her hand. Letting go is hard but necessary.

  19. Jimmy says:

    I have a “friend” who is a narcissist. He ALWAYS needs to be the center of everything & have everything done his way or at his control, always going the the same places (Which is either his home or a routine pub not far from home). He has NEVER once asked “What would you like to do?” instead the conversation goes “I’m having a BBQ tonight, come if you want?” there is zero agreement unless it coincides with his predetermined plans.

    He sees women as simply disposable & objects for his gratification. There was one time when I directly challenged him about this & he actually made himself out to be the victim or shifting the blame so to deflect criticism. He constantly seeks out attention & even tells the same stories over & over again as all must take notice of his ‘superiority’.

  20. Just a Girl says:

    I have lately discovered I have a narcissist mother and now see that almost all the relationships in my life have been with narcissists. It is of course my own fault because I am comfortable playing the passive role and being the quiet supporter, I suppose my own self esteem has come from being the “rock” that is always there for the narc. I haven’t had many friendships in life but the ones I’ve had have always been deep, strong, committed – until after many years I suddenly have a need of my own to be filled – and suddenly the narc disappears from my life. It has been heartbreaking as I always felt these were very serious long term friendships, and can not believe in my hour of need the person has abandoned me.

    At this point I am ready to move forward with trying to make real friendships, and am learning I probably lack many of the skills needed to institute such normal friendships, because I am used to being pursued by another person to be their narc supply. So for example I am realizing I probably don’t check in with other people to see how they are doing, because I myself do not need such interaction and am more used to being called if needed. And I suppose I myself have a need to be as perfect as possible (as to avoid negative attention and criticism from my narc mother) and I am thinking people can tell this about me and it must turn them off. Do you know my mother would photo shop my appearance, like photoshop cut my nails, change my hair, etc., when I do not adhere to her commands in real life – she instead photoshops or recreates a story in her own mind to suit her needs. Like do you know she can’t stand the idea we own a rental house, and instead tells everyone we can’t sell it, so we have to rent it out. It really bothers her that I earn any of my own money and wants to believe I am helpless so I would have a need to rely on her.

    Anyways back to friendships, I almost feel like I have so much baggage and warped upbringing that it is going to be hard to have a deeper relationship with any one who had a “normal” upbringing, because we are just on two different wavelengths and see life differently. So I am even wondering if this will be my lot in life, to only be able to have deeper relationships with other hurt and wounded souls.

  21. bob says:

    Thanks for this.

    I’ve met two persons who were narcissists – both attractive women. The first one, I fell in love with, and she used me. It was occasionally great, but most of the time nightmarish. I finally managed to severe all contacts with her – it was the right decision, and my only regret is not having made that decision sooner. During the period that I was “close” to her, I never really came to term with her narcissism except at the very end. Looking back, I remember often asking myself questions (Could she possibly be loyal? Why would she lie about this? Does she realize how much this hurt me/others?), instead of accepting the tangible evidence that she was simply a wicked person and that I should get out. Since then, things have gradually become clearer.

    More recently, I’ve met somebody else with that charming, outgoing, attentive attitude. But I was more careful this time around, and I saw the signs. She always needed attention and admiration to an extraordinary degree. If someone would get hurt around her, she’d complain about how it affected her instead of feeling bad for them. She would ignore her obligations towards others when she could get away with it… etc. So I maintained a healthy distance; and that saved me from a whole lot of trouble.

    People like you, writing this kind of advice, probably help hundreds of others to live better lives. Again, thanks.

  22. Seb says:

    Thank you so much for your article – so now it all makes sense!

    Just over 2 months ago, my ‘best friend’ called time on our friendship in a really brutal way – she just moved out of the house we shared in the middle of the day when I was in work and that was it.

    We’d been best friends for 3 years. It started when she came over to the UK for work. She was quiet, seemed timid and wasn’t surrounded by many friends although she lived with a group of girls from Canada (where she was from). She started working with me and I befriended her – I had lots of friends and thought I could make her life better/happier and make her feel included. My first warning sign was that no one else in work liked her – they all thought she was rude, snobby and entitled. I just saw someone that I could help. I’ve always been an empath/fixer.

    I was sold all of the usual pity stories about her family being mean and manipulative (and her family’s mental health problems), bad friends who weren’t there for her and had abandoned her (and not a patch on me – she’d never had a friend like me before…. apparently), friends that had assaulted her, exes that were in love with her. Before long, I was pushing aside other friends to spend time with her. Red flags were ignored and boundaries trampled all over – my family and friends pretty early on told me that she was awful/selfish/vacuous and totally unlike my other friends. It was apparent that I was giving everything to this friendship. I was slowly losing my own identity because I became so wrapped up in her needs, her happiness, her security. I completely lost myself somewhere in the process. I hadn’t noticed how one-sided this friendship had become. I would sometimes remark that I felt that I cared about her more than she cared about me – I was told I was wrong, I was being oversensitive, she cared about me just as much. I bought all this gladly. I noticed the mismatch between her words and actions and often told her that I felt she was skilled at telling people what she thought they wanted to hear. I said that it’s the disparity between what you tell people that makes people lose trust in someone. She just couldn’t see it – she was so used to telling different stories to different people in an attempt to make them happy.

    After about a year of friendship, she fell out with the group of Canadian girls that she lived with, claiming that one had assaulted her after an argument. The girl strenuously denied this but I was blinded by the bond/love I felt for my friend. She moved in with me and slowly, without even noticing it, I was isolated from everyone else. I barely saw other friends, I only spent time with her. If I did ever go and see a friend or my sister, she would be there too. She stopped wanting to go for work drinks, asking if we could just go home instead. If ever I did want to go she would come too and text me after one drink asking if we could leave. By this time she had no friends and it really bothered me. More than anything I felt protective of her – protective about the group of girls from Canada that had just abandoned her. I reassured her that she didn’t need fake friends, only real friends. I would constantly tell her how much my family and friends loved her (and they really did make an effort for me). I also felt a huge sense of responsibility being her only friend. She didn’t hang out with anyone. Again, after being in the UK for almost 4 years I should have questioned why I was her only friend.

    I had friends asking to meet me without her, concerned that I wasn’t happy and that she was sucking all the fun and enjoyment out of my life. Even though I have very well-established friendships of many years, ones with a healthy, loving, reciprocal dynamic, I was aware that our friendship was very much one-sided. I was doing all the giving, all the forgiving, sacrificing my time, energy and money, investing EVERYTHING I had into this person who I would constantly praise and build up. If ever I got upset and showed any concern at the nature of our one-sided friendship I was told I was wrong and she would say how much she cared for me too. I was clearly bought by these words, even though my gut told me not to listen to words and to look for actions. It was as if my sole purpose was to boost her and to sacrifice my needs in the process. If ever I had any stress or worries she was incapable of being there for me.

    I became aware that every 6 months or so I would *somehow* hear her bad-mouthing me to other friends or family over Skype. I was so devastated by all this but would usually let it slide. I confronted her once, not angrily, just upset. I couldn’t for the life of me work out why she would speak badly about me – it was a repeated offence. I asked her if she felt any loyalty to me whatsoever. I assured her that I was 100% loyal to her (something she never doubted) and that I would never call up family and friends and talk badly about her. She cried and said it wouldn’t happen again, but it always did.

    I won a very prestigious award in work and asked for no publicity – because I just knew that she wouldn’t be happy for me, that it would be a source of jealousy and upset for her.

    Then about two months ago, her brother moved over the UK. In the two weeks leading up to his arrival I could feel her pushing me away and becoming distant. I mentioned it a few times, the distance and the silent treatment I was getting from her but was told I was being paranoid each time, that she was happy and nothing was wrong. Her brother was staying with us until he found somewhere to live (bearing in mind, we’d been living together for 18 months at this point). After 5 days of him being here, on the way to work, we started arguing. I was upset because I’d found out that she’d lied to me yet again about something. She listed her usual response that she had to lie because of how I reacted – always blaming me for everything. It was a heated argument and some mean things were said – I said I wanted her and her brother out of the house. I also said to her that I felt that she didn’t have the same capacity to love people as I do. Something in her just didn’t sit right with me. It was like this constant niggling away at me. – but by the time work had started we’d both made attempts to make up. I had apologised and said lets talk about this after work, I didn’t want her to go, I loved her, she loved me too, let’s talk later.

    Then, before the end of the day I get a message that simply read, “Ive moved out of the house. Please don’t contact me.” That was it. She’d run home in the middle of the day and she and her brother had moved out completely. I, along with all family and friends that she’d made through me, were deleted and blocked from all social media, she changed her phone number and was gone. Her family, even ones I wasn’t friends with, had all blocked me too. I was so stunned and confused, left totally reeling, like wtf has just happened to me. I was offered no explanation, nothing. She was just gone and that was it. Then two days later, I get called in by my boss. I was being relocated because my friend had accused me of assaulting her during our argument. At this point – having barely slept or eaten for two days – I was so stunned I barely reacted. I tried to reason with the boss, that this was a story I’d heard about another friend (and there was one before her apparently) and that I never expected to end up on the receiving end of her wrath. I felt such a fool – I had defended her to everyone, always, and now I was sat there trying to convince everyone that I was the victim in all this.

    It’s coming up to 3 months since all this has transpired and it’s been a fight to try and clear my name. I’ve seen my friend twice since (in work things) and she’s blanked me and ignored me every time. She’s now run back to some of the Canadians that she was friends with before and now I’m being labelled as the crazy one. It’s been so surreal to think that after all the love and loyalty I showed her, I am now being treated to this smear campaign. I’m in counselling, trying to pick up the pieces of my life. I just can’t get over how destructive this person has been to my life – she’s tried to destroy my career, my life, my reputation, my self-esteem. I was a very happy-go-lucky person before her, I was happy and successful and surrounded by friends. I’m just reeling at the damage one person can cause. If I knew back when I befriended her what I know now I would run the other way.

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