How Do Narcissists Treat Their Friends? Spoiler, Not Good!

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How do Narcissists treat their friends? The same way they treat everyone else – not great. Narcissists are not conscious of their character traits. What you will find is that the relationship is very one-sided, as in it’s all about them.

As much as the narcissist tries to act as if they care about their friends, their actions make it clear that their wants and needs are all they are concerned about.

If you are reading this, you’ve probably seen some red flags and you have started asking yourself questions like, can narcissists have friends? Or, do narcissists have true friends? The answer is found in the way they treat the people in their inner circle.

Narcissists and Friendship

What is a True Friendship?

Let’s start by defining true friendship; according to experts, a true friendship consists of seven pillars: Empathy, trust, selflessness, team players, humor, shared interests, and different perspectives. However, for the purpose of this article, I will focus on empathy, trust, and selflessness.  

Reading Suggestions:

Empathy: Empathy in a friendship means that when one person is discussing an issue, the other person listens, accepts what they are saying and tries to see things from their perspective. 

Trust: In order to build trust in a relationship, their must be a level of openness and vulnerability. Friends should trust that they can tell each other anything without being afraid that their business will end up all over social media. 

Selflessness: True friends will do anything for each other, they will cancel plans, take a flight, give the shirt off their back to ensure that they are giving their friend the support that they need. 

how do narcissists treat their friends?

Do Narcissists Have Friends?

Yes, but as you have read from the definition of friendship, the nature of their condition does not allow narcissists to have true friends. Narcissists have a lack of empathy, they may sit and listen to a friend’s problems, but they will quickly make that conversation about themselves.

Even if it means lying, the narcissist will start talking about how they had a similar problem but that it was much worse. The other person soon becomes irrelevant as the narcissist shamelessly dominates the discussion with tales of their adventurous life. 

Reading Suggestion: How to Make a Narcissist Come Crawling Back?

Narcissists hate the idea of vulnerability, they will never open up to a friend because for one, they don’t understand themselves enough to do so. And two, narcissism is all about keeping up a facade, in the narcissists world, they don’t have problems. 

There is no such thing as selflessness to a narcissist, it’s all about them. Even if a friend were to call and ask for a favor and they were more than capable of doing it, the response would be a swift, “No” followed by an elaborate excuse as to why. 

Can Narcissists be Good Friends?

Friendship is a two-way street of give-and-take; it is built on mutual trust, loyalty, and empathy. By definition, narcissists have a lack 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.

Can Narcissists Have Long Term Friendships?

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.

How Do Narcissists Treat Their Friends?

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.

Everyone who has ever had a friend as a narcissist will be able to sit down over coffee and discuss the dynamics of the relationship because their experiences will be the same.

9 Signs Your Friends is a Narcissist

Here are 9 signs that your friend is a narcissist to help you recognize them.

1. They Don’t Like Advice

When you offer a narcissist advice, they get defensive. As far as they are concerned, they know everything and they don’t need people telling them what to do. Another reason why narcissists get offended when you give them advice is that they interpret it as criticism. In the narcissist’s world, they are perfect, they don’t have any flaws and anyone who challenges this perceived image is seen as an enemy. 

2. Their Behaviour is Extreme

In the same way a narcissist will love bomb a romantic partner, they will do the same to their friends. When you first became friends, all you heard was how amazing you were, all your ideas were brilliant and you felt on top of the world when you were with them.

Slowly, the indirect insults started, your ideas were more likely to become a disaster than a success. Your clothes don’t look as good anymore and your skin is terrible. However, all the insults are thrown out with a hint of sarcasm so you are not sure whether they are serious or not. Every so often, your narcissistic friend will give you a compliment and you will feel that boost again. 

3. They Will Remind You of What They’ve Done For You

If a narcissist ever does you a favour, you will hear about it for the rest of the year. They will announce it whenever they get the opportunity, and if you ever dare and say “no” to one of their ridiculous requests, they will remind you of that one favour they did for you.

This is one of the character traits of a communal narcissist; it is a type of narcissism where the person feels they have a superior ability to connect with others because of the things they do for them. 

4. Their Way or the High Way

Narcissists don’t know how to compromise, which means that you can’t have your own opinion when you are around them. Narcissists think they know everything, so if they give you advice and you don’t take it, hell hath no fury like a narcissist scored!

5. You Feel Drained When You Are With Them

As cruel as narcissists can be, they know how to have a good time. They buy their friends lavish gifts, they tell exciting and jaw-dropping stories and they are always the life and soul of every party. However, this doesn’t last, as soon as they’ve got what they want from the friendship, they will switch on you.

Once they feel they’ve given you some of their energy by being the great entertainer, they want a return on their investment, and if they don’t get it, you’ll get it!. To get their supply, they become very demanding, and being around them is no longer exciting; in fact, it’s draining. When you leave their presence, you feel exhausted and undermined. 

6. They Talk About People Behind Their Backs

Narcissists don’t know the meaning of the word ‘loyalty.’ If you’ve got mutual friends, as soon as they have some juicy gossip, they will tell you all about it. Additionally, they are never happy for anyone when they have good news. They will find something to poke at. On the other hand, when something bad happens, they are ecstatic about it.

7. The Narcissist is Self Adsorbed

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.

8. They Have a Lack of Empathy

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.

9. They are Manipulative

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

Do Some People Attract Narcissistic Friends?

Yes! According to psychologist Dr. Dana Dorfman, there are several groups of people who attract narcissists, here are some of them:

People Who Were Raised by Narcissists

The individual raised by a narcissistic parent will subconsciously seek out similar relationships whether platonic or romantic. Our emotional minds are drawn to familiarity, and this causes us to repeat behavioral patterns. 

Empathetic People

Narcissists and empaths are drawn to each other because they have the ability to feel on a level that they don’t, and they are an easy source of supply.

Empaths are naturally inclined to want to heal people, as a result, they will subject themselves to abusive relationships in the hopes that one day, their kindness will pay off, and the narcissist will become the loving and caring person they were destined to be. 

People With Low Self-Esteem

On some level, the majority of people suffer from low self-esteem. No matter how well-accomplished or attractive you are, we live in a society that promotes eternal dissatisfaction, and many people fall victim to this.

However, there are some men and women are more susceptible to it than others, and live in a perpetual state of feeling down about themselves.

They settle for relationships that don’t serve them because deep down, they don’t feel they deserve any better. Narcissists love people with low-self esteem because they are more likely to yield to their demands. 

People Pleasers

People-pleasing stems from a combination of low self-esteem and a fear of rejection. People who don’t value themselves are going to look for validation from others and will do anything to make people happy to get it.

Additionally, they are so afraid of being rejected, that they will agree to the person’s every demand in fear of losing them. 

How to Deal With a Narcissistic Friend?

Narcissists are notoriously difficult to deal with, and I am in no way suggesting that you end the narcissistic friendship, especially if you feel it is worth keeping. After all, narcissists are people too, and even if they don’t act like it, they do have feelings.

To start, how you handle the situation will depend on the extent of your friends narcissism. You see, narcissism is a spectrum disorder which means there are levels to it.

At the extreme end, you might want to cut your losses and leave, but if your friend is a low to medium spectrum narcissist, there are strategies you can implement to ensure your friendship remains relatively healthy:

1. Don’t Stoop to Their Level

Narcissists can be pretty mean at times, whether its through direct insults, sly comments or the way they treat other people, you might find yourself getting frustrated with your narcissist friend.

Instead of fighting fire with fire, treat them with kindness at all times. You can gently let your friend know that you are not impressed with their behaviour, but leave it at that. 

2. Create Boundaries

Narcissists don’t like boundaries, they think they have a special privilege to everyone’s time and space. If you are going to keep your sanity, you will need to put boundaries in place.

You can do this discreetly by keeping your phone on ‘do not disturb’ so they can’t reach you any time they feel like it. 

3. Suggest Counselling

Narcissists are wounded people and their behavior is the result of deep-rooted psychological issues. Despite their confident outer appearance, they suffer from very low esteem.

You can’t just come out and tell your narcissist friend that they need counseling, but you can suggest that you are thinking about seeing a therapist and you need moral support. In this way, you’ve planted a seed and given them something to think about. At a later date, they may seek professional help with or without letting you know. 

Final Thoughts About Narcissistic Friendships

Ending a Friendship With a Narcissist

If you are tired of the way your narcissistic friend is treating you, it might be time to cancel the friendship. Unfortunately, it is not the norm for narcissists to change; in most cases, they remain that way for the rest of their lives. It is important to remember that true friendships are built on mutual connections of trust, empathy, and selflessness. Narcissists don’t possess these character traits which makes it very difficult for them to maintain a friendship that isn’t all about them. 

Confronting The Narcissist

One of the worst things you can do is tell a narcissist you know they are a narcissist. They will literally go flip mode on you, and you will experience narcissistic rage at its finest. Narcissists can’t bear the thought of being exposed, and they will do everything in their power to maintain the false character they have worked so hard to develop.

You might think it’s a good idea to approach your friend, that by having a heart to heart with them, you can salvage the friendship – bad idea! Narcissists don’t think or behave like normal people, and what you meant as a good intention will backfire. 

How To Deal with a Narcissistic Friend?

The best advice I can give you when it comes to dealing with a narcissistic friend is to keep them at arm’s length. Create boundaries and stick to them; eventually, the narcissist will abandon the friendship because you are no longer of any benefit to them.

Once you are free, pay close attention to the character traits of the next person you are thinking about adding to your inner circle. If there are any signs of narcissistic traits, run in the opposite direction.

Do you have a friend who is a Narcissist? Please share your stories with me in the comments below.

being friends with a narcissist

60 thoughts on “How Do Narcissists Treat Their Friends? Spoiler, Not Good!”

  1. 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. 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. 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.

    • 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!

      • 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

        • Think of it this way, even if she is NOT a narcissist, do you really want to have a friend like this who puts you down, makes fun of you, makes you feel that sickness in the pit of your stomach? Or do you want a nice friend who cares for you, is considerate, WANTS to spend time with you, is loyal, has your back, and treats you as an equal? But I do think she shows alot of signs of narcissism. I think when we finally WRITE DOWN what people do to us and say to us, it’s so much clearer.

          • I have been friends with this person for 3 yrs. now and its been up and down. To start off,I suffer from bipolar depression and she knows this. Yes, I got all the love bombing in the beginning. I thought that this new friend was awesome.The compliments and promises of doing things together was all there. When she found out that I had nothing to offer her( money, beach houses,was not the polar girl in my group), she slowly started to pull away. She would call me and cry about how bad her boyfriend was treating her, I would give her advice and she would listen but as soon as she was ready to go back to him, she would disappear from me. Later after a few days, she would come back with this weak excuse of why she went back to him. We have had some agruements and she would put me down some. She has another friend who has a beach house and she is always up her ass. Now I realize how she got this way. Her mom put her down all the time. Now I do like this girl. We laugh sooo much!!! We have great discussions but that’s it. I call myself her “phone friend”. Just when I figure out how to handle her, I get pulled back in. My mental illness does not match her mental illness. Sooo….

    • 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!!!

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Ryan thank you for sharing your story. I experienced the same confusion, frustration and embarrassment from a love relationship with a “covert” version of a narsissist. Was the most stressful and draining 3.5 years of my life. I escaped and am all healed up. Forgiving myself for being so invested with an emotionally vacant person took over a year but I finally got here. Reading your story is helpful because helps me know I am not alone in experiencing this type of person.

      Peace and blessings to you.

    • Ryan, your situation sounds so similar to a “friendship” that I have/had it’s ending now after almost 3 years. Thank you for sharing your story. Im wondering how you are now and any advice you wild have for me.

    • This was wonderful and i can relate to all of the ill treatment you described. It’s so hurtful and confusing during and after but im getting through. Thx for sharing your story. I have been in 2 romantic relationships with narcissists men and 2 of my closest girlfriends were narcissists. Unbelievable at this point it’s like ok so why am I attracting these people. Well it’s a trauma bond from my childhood relationship with my dad he was emotionally mentally and once physically abusive. He wanted to control me for me to fall in line to what he wanted me to be. So my light was dimmed early on. Most of my intimate relationships have been one sided and abusive and the reason I’m drawn to these kinds of people is because it’s a familiar pain. Personally i am a happy fun loving individual and God is my source of joy. So although I’ve had alot of hurt in my life I am happy as can be. These people tried to break me . Yes i was hurt Im human but i wasn’t broken. The last 4 Narcissist wow these are some mean terrible people and im glad to be rid of them the 2 males i disgarded the 2 female friends discarded me. Thank heavens for it. Now I’m finally trying to heal from this trauma bond so that it end here.

  4. 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.

    • You described him correctly. I was in an emotional relationship with a guy – similar to what you explained here. 100% the same. He treated his best friend like that and he treated me the same.

  5. 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. 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 recovery began…now i will be more careful in life..
    May God give the strength to all the victims..

  8. I realised that he came to me only when he needed 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. 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

    • 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. 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 shit..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 food, nice 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 talks nothing…there were other colleagues who came to me asking how i was..but this guy dint…he dint ask for coffee, 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 shit? 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

    • 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.

    • 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. 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, there for each other…
    but these narcs are inhuman…
    may god do some magic n make them humans …

  12. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    • I have the exact same issues in my life Just a Girl, and I can trace mine to having a narcissistic mother too just like you described. What you described about the troubles you have in always being s magnet for more narcissists and having trouble finding real friendships is like a looking into a mirror. I can also relate to trying to be perfect (stemming from a critical mother) turning people off for whatever reasons that I’m not sure I understand either. Thank you so much for sharing.

  21. 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. 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.

  23. Great article, its good to hear other peoples experiences and that I’m not alone. I have two narcissists in my life, one is my dad, the other is my best friend. Because of the way narcs demand your attention I seem to have most of my free time taken up by one or the other. If I’m not hanging out with my friend on the weekend I’m at home helping my dad, every weekend i get pulled in one direction or the other with no real choice in how I spend my free time, which results in me not getting much done in terms of things I need to do, sometimes its fair enough if my dad needs help with something but often its things that dont need to be done and negotiate as i might i cant convince him otherwise. They operate in slightly different ways my dad is more likely to be controlling and my friend is more likely to be manipulative/deceptive. What they have in common is that you need to walk on eggshells around them, they both cause drama/frustration, are both self absorbed and of course lack empathy. The result is I’m caught in the crossfire between two people who often cause me emotional distress and periodically make my life difficult. It took me years to figure out what was going on and why they were so much more difficult than other people in my life, once I read a list of the traits of a narcissist it all became clear, it was like every problem I had had with them was laid out, it described them to a tee. (In fact nobody else in my life even comes close to meeting the same criteria) I had written down my thoughts for a long time so I had all the evidence to refer to, it was like a veil had been lifted from my eyes, all the dots connected and I could make sense of their behaviour (it doesnt make sense at all, but at least now I had an explanation). There is too many instances of their narc. to describe it all here but here are a few instances: my friend in the past has gone behind my back and hit on my love interests and gained her affection, for no other reason than he wanted the attention, afterwards losing interest in her, he didn’t see that this was wrong in any way even if he knew I liked her. He has done smear campaigns against me, “our” group of friends turned out to be his flying monkey troupe that he could turn against me, he did this recently turning his family against me because I had had the gall to question his behaviour a few weeks earlier. A few months ago I travelled europe, had the time of my life, he didnt ask me about it the whole time i was away, the only time he spoke to me was to talk about his problems, when i got back he was completely disinterested in what I had been doing (same with my dad) and hadn’t even looked at any of my photos, he then proceeded to spent wads of cash (he couldnt afford) going skydiving, buying a new car, going to the shooting range, doing adventurous things clealry out of envy for the fact I now had more great experiences to boast about which made him insecure about his superiority to me. He still hasn’t looked at the photos all these months later, u would think your best friend would show an interest in that kind of thing. At the time I knew they were narcs. So it wasnt too surprising they acted this way, they were the only ones in my life who did. Looking back my holidays was great obviously because I went alot of great places and had a good time but also cuz I was away from the drama and negativity of being stuck between two narcs, i was actually a happy person during that time and since ive been back ive been worn down more and more. Later I talked to my friend about ppl not being interested in my holidays, referring to my dad as proxy, he got subtly defensive and said, “not everyone is interested in that kind of thing.” and yet i listen to him talk about every detail of his life which he thinks is the most interesting thing in the world. I know now i need to get seperate from these people, I’m working towards it, i dont intend complete severance (although they may do that to me out of spite) but definitely to be away from their influence and control.

  24. I had a really bad experience years ago with someone I thought was my friend. What she did still affects me today.
    I grew up with a girl named Inja. We would go to each other’s house, sometimes every week, and hang out or have sleepovers. We belonged to the same church, our fathers were in business together, and our families were close. In middle school we also attended the same school together. I didn’t have many friends, but she was the one person I could call my friend. Well, one day in the seventh grade, she told me she was moving to a new school. I was kind of stunned, but I figured I would still see her at church. A few days after she moved, I called her, and I remember her tone had changed. She didn’t seem enthusiastic at all in speaking to me. I thought that was strange. That weekend when I saw her at church, I remember being in the church’s gym and in she walked with a new set of friends. She walked right by and didn’t even acknowledge me. For years this continued. Year after year, week after week, I watched and witnessed as she paraded around with her new set of friends: the popular girls in church. The clique. I never got an explanation as to why she suddenly stopped talking to me. I remember one time being at camp and trying to speak to her, and she rolled her eyes at me. It was devastating. Imagine thinking someone was your good friend only to be dropped like a piece of trash in the wastebasket. I struggled for years trying to understand what I did wrong. Why she did what she did and how much it bothered me. People actually came up to ME and asked me why we no longer spoke (her mother, my mother, some people in church). What was I to tell them? I was every bit as clueless as they were.
    After that, I was unable to trust ANYONE and had such a great difficulty making friends. It really hit me hard. After years of wondering why, I finally confronted her over the phone. I explained to her that we used to be friends. I asked her why she did what she did to me. I told her how much her actions hurt me over the years. All she replied was, “I thought we were just acquaintances.” What an absolute lie. Afterwards, she proceeded to tell me how she had a bad experience at her new school once she moved, and then had the nerve to complain to me about the very friends she ditched me for. I couldn’t believe it. How self-centered do you have to be to not even care when somebody tells you that you hurt them?
    There was no empathy.
    Today, older and wiser, I can see her for who she really is. She is a social climber who uses people until someone ‘better’ comes along. Normal people do not just dispose of people or stop talking to them. It indicates that they don’t have a conscience, or they’re extremely bad with something called communication. Both of us grew up in a cult, and I was able to get out. She never did. She continues to stay despite the lies and the obvious corruption because she lacks any integrity or character. She stands for lies because she’s living a lie. She doesn’t have a working conscience.
    I’ve learned in life, sometimes rejection is a good thing. Sometimes we may want something so bad in life, only to find it doesn’t work out no matter how much we try. Even though I couldn’t understand it at first, thank God this phony, fake person is no longer in my life. As the saying goes, sometimes the trash takes out itself.
    Inja Angelino. Karma will take care of you. What you do to others will ALWAYS come back to you. What I felt and what I experienced will be experienced by you. Maybe then you will understand what a heartless thing you did to me.

    • I believe what she did is called Ghosting. Ghosting is selfish, cruel, inhumane, and emotional abuse. It leaves deep scars and makes a person feel worthless. I’m really sorry you went through that. She sounds like a coward.

      • Thank you Judy.
        I would call it ghosting, but it wasn’t. I saw her every week, sometimes multiple times a week due to church functions, so I was there. We saw each other. She just treated me like I didn’t exist. Imagine how bewildering it is to go from having sleepovers at her house, attending family functions, going on activities, talking together, laughing together, and even going to her neighbor’s house to hang out. Then stone silence. No acknowledging your existence, no saying ‘hello’, nothing. And you don’t know why. It was as if everything you ever did never happened. It was as if you don’t exist. Anyone who has ever been through that can tell you how perplexing and truly strange that is. It’s like suddenly being tossed on your back, and you don’t know what happened. I couldn’t make sense of it at all because I was thinking from the standpoint of someone who has humanity.
        But as the years went by, things became more clear. I went from thinking she was a sweet person to seeing who she really was. I watched as she became friends with people who I personally know are malicious people. People who are always talking about others, tearing people down, and judging others. Very mean-spirited, nasty people. People who, if you are a kind person, would repulse you. Those are people she was friends with. And if she was friends with people like that, she was participating in that dirty gossip. I would bet my life on it that she was trash talking me. A scandal hit the church that we attended. The corruption came out and everyone knew about it. I was suddenly faced with the horrifying reality that I needed to leave. I gathered all my courage and left. What was she doing? She was laughing it up at church galas and parties. Not a care in the world despite all the corruption all around her. Where was her conscience and integrity then? I guess being accepted by your social circle and having fun is more important than doing what’s right.
        It’s funny how she called me an ‘acquaintance’. Acquaintances don’t have sleepovers at your house. Acquaintances don’t attend your family functions. If I had asked her before all this happened if we were friends, she would have said ‘yes’. But it was only when she had something else secured that she felt she didn’t need me anymore. I watched her turn into an arrogant person. She thought she was too good for me. She thought she was better than me. She got too big for her britches.
        When I confronted her about her behavior, she simply changed the subject back to herself. Actually, my apologies, she started talking about the very friends that she ditched me for. She said, “______ is always calling me and asking me to hang out. She’s so annoying.” Here she was badmouthing her friend to me, someone I didn’t even know. I didn’t know her friend. I had no connections or dealings with her. But she easily threw her friend under the bus and trash talked her to me. Told me everything I needed to know. She’s disloyal and untrustworthy. She’s no true friend. She has no ability to bond to people. That’s why she pretended for years to be my friend and just easily cut me off like nothing ever happened. She’s not rooted in anyone or anything. She’s only out for herself.
        Here she was complaining about her friend wanting to hang out. It would have been nice if someone had asked me to hang out during that time. At that time, I was dealing with so much stuff in my life and what she did only compounded to it. Instead of being there for me, she was busy creating a whole new life in front of me, climbing the social ladder. I can only describe what she did as ugly. Ugly and completely lacking in humanity. I blamed myself for years until I realized that normal people don’t behave that way. Normal people don’t treat people like that. We are two very different people. She’s fake, a follower, shallow, and conniving. There is nothing authentic about her. She pretends like she’s a sweet lamb, but she’s a snake.

  25. Thank you for writing this article. I had a friend that sucked the life out of me. We worked together. At first she was very nice, funny, and I enjoyed her company. I was quite shy in the workplace and didn’t feel like i really fit in anywhere, but outside the work place I was more open. After awhile she would become hostile at times. Sometimes I just took it as she was having a bad day. She seemed to be up and down with her emotions and often took things out on me. She would talk about others in the nastiest way and hated when anyone disagreed with her. She was horrid to be around when she doesn’t get her way. I felt so drained from dealing with her constant demand. And quite frankly just being in her presents made me feel ill. We did have some good times, but I guess that is why the friendship lasted for awhile and I excused her from treating me like I’m beneath her. she also would try to push me into doing things I didn’t want to do. After a few years I started reaching my limit. After I confided in another friend. I heard that she had told someone that I was like her “little child” and she could get me to do anything she wanted me to do that was it. The break up was a tough one. She would confront me. Sceam that she was sorry. It was pretty tough, but I could no longer let her use me and I knew it was not going to change. I would have been happy if she had ignored me. I could not get away from her really since we had to see each other everyday. She finally did get the hint. It still hurts that I allowed someone to treat me like that. I just didn’t have the fight in me.

  26. I have been through a friendship where 1) I’m not sure it was a real friendship, 2) my awareness and expectations of who this person really was was entirely wrong, 3) I’m not sure if I did anything to bring about her rapid change in tone with me, and 4) I’m sure I was dealing with a person with one or more personality and mood disorders.

    Let’s call this friend (or should I say “friend”?) Tara. Tara works with me in the same company. She’s a couple years older than me, now in her mid-40s, and has been in this company a couple more years as well, not a supervisor, more of a senior colleague. Tara was divorced/single when we met, and I am married.

    Some background: Tara had married young, she married her husband when they were classmates in grad school, and then were classmates during an arduous 5-year training program, and then another year in practice working together until they had – what I heard to be – an ugly divorce (he had taken money from her, I heard). She never spoke much about him, occasionally mentioned she thought he was an alcoholic, but said they probably would have stayed together if they had had kids (they never did, she didn’t talk about that).

    So she had been in her early thirties, divorced and single. She proceeded to go through several relationships, none lasting more than two years (one man she mentioned she had been “almost engaged” to, not sure what that means). She had also been through several jobs in the same field, with different companies.

    At our company, she worked two floors above me for the first couple years after I joined. She was always friendly and cordial with me, I only saw her occasionally. But I began to hear that there was some rift between her and our other staff on her floor. I never heard what exactly had happened, but know Tara to sometimes be defensive, irritable, and territorial about her work – which she occasionally expressed in angry emails to the team!

    The chiefs of the department had to switch her office for other purposes, so they transferred her downstairs to my floor, a quieter floor.

    Our friendship started pretty quickly then. I had been one of the few coworkers who she had been casually friendly with even before she came downstairs and I felt sorry for her about how the others were treating her upstairs. Although I didn’t know the details about what happened up there, I felt that she was a good worker who was being unfairly maligned.

    We hit it off quickly. Mornings and afternoons chatting in each others’ offices, lunch together in the team breakroom, went to conferences together, walks to the company store together. We began emailing and texting quite frequently. Text conversations almost every day. Book and movie ideas, political discussions, you name it, fun chats. Her mother passed away and I spent several long phone conversations with Tara, although she later told me she generally did not like to talk on the phone. Tara describes herself as an introvert, she certainly is, and when she had her door closed and needed to just get her work done on her own, alone, I let her be. Some days she wouldn’t show up to work and I’d text to see if she was ok, she’d tell me she was having “a really bad time” and just needed to be alone.

    We saw each other at concerts, where she hung out at intermission with me and my wife. Went to a few company excursions with her, she was friendly with my wife too.

    Occasionally, I now realize more clearly, she didn’t treat me as a friend, though. Couple times going out with others from work, she drove me to the venue, and then just left me there without a ride at the end of the evening (once some boyfriend she was all nuts about came and took her away from our group, once she said she just needed to leave, and left me standing there alone in the parking lot calling Uber!). I asked her a couple times if she wanted to join me and my wife for dinner before a concert, and she always said she “didn’t want to be a third wheel.” When my wife and I went on a double-date with her and her then-boyfriend (later fiancee), to a festival (an excessively PDA-filled showing on their part), they just suddenly declared in the middle of the day they were leaving since he didn’t feel well. Another time we went on another double-date with them to dinner and a concert, at the end of the music, they just left without staying a minute to say goodnight. Except for one evening when I invited her (single at the time) to join me and my wife and my parents for a Christmas garden festival and nice dinner, I realize now she never wanted to go out with us unless it was to serve as a double-date for her and a guy! She never invited me out or over to her house.

    She shared with me here and there some relatively private details about her life and family (although I now realize she left a lot of details about prior work and relationship life to herself). I used to ask about how she was doing all the time. I really felt more and more that I cared about her. In a purely platonic way, I’m happily married! But I cared and felt sorry for hardships she was going through and wanted (and offered) to help in any way I could.

    One notable time I offered her advice I now realize may have been a major mistake. Thing is with Tara, she is very self-assured and confident that whatever she is doing is the right and smart thing to do, no matter what common wisdom says. She had embarked on her newest relationship and after only a few weeks of dating, he had moved into her house, she was planning to buy a baby grand piano to convert her home office into a music room for him, they went ring shopping, and she was planning on quitting her job and moving with him across the country in about a year to live closer to his parents. I only suggested to her that this relationship was moving very fast and she should keep her head on her shoulders – if she was sure it was the right thing, fine, but I was just hoping she wasn’t making rash decisions. (of note, I have kind of made the “instant relationship” mistake myself, and it didn’t turn out well!!). She became quiet – noticeably perturbed at my suggestion to merely think carefully about what she was doing – and tersely told me she had been through many relationships and could easily see that she had found the right man. After just over a month of dating, she knew everything that was bad about him and could live with those things.

    On the other hand, I told her about some private health issues I had. And a few months into our “friendship” my wife had a baby, my new son. And she never once asked me about how those things were going, about how I was doing or the baby or my postpartum wife! Not once!

    It’s remarkable to think now, but in the months before my son was born, I asked her (at first casually, then with a heartfelt written letter) if she wanted to be the Godmother to my son. She said yes, she was honored.

    The major rift happened about a week before my son was born. She had been dating a guy for about 2.5 months and was very content and excited to be in a relationship (the same boyfriend from the double-dates I mentioned). On Monday she was friendly, joking around with me, had a nice chat and walked to the store with me ….

    Tuesday morning … not a word. No good morning, no nothing. She shut her office door all morning, seemed very angry when I saw her come out of office in afternoon, I tried to talk to her and she abruptly and rudely cut me off in mid-sentence, closed her door in my face. And she remained like that the next week until I had to leave work for the birth.

    I texted her a few times, I was concerned about her very sudden change in behavior. After my son was born, she never texted back. I was reading about depression and noticed her symptoms seemed to match almost entirely (at least from an external view). She finally wrote me a text saying she was overwhelmed and needed some space. Although she said she knew I was trying to be a good friend to her, my periodic checks on how she was doing were increasing her stress, she needed space. I understood. I sent her an emoticon text every week or so to let her know I was there if she needed to talk, but I otherwise kept silent and gave her space all that time.

    When I got back to work a few weeks later, I found out from another coworker that after a couple weeks when she was very upset, people had thought she and the new guy had broken up, she came in one morning to announce they were engaged. Other than flashing the ring at me with a smirk over her shoulder, she never mentioned it to me.

    Continued silence from her. A few weeks later I wrote to her, congratulated her again, but said I hoped we could clear the air between us. I said I had valued our friendship, and hoped we could resume more cordial interactions, if only for workplace harmony. She eventually replied, again stating that she was an introvert and my interactions with her were making coming to work difficult. My “constant need for attention from her” were “very draining.”

    Brief list of possible reasons for all this:
    1- self-centered, borderline/narcissistic personality disorder(s)
    2 – insecurity/desperation being single for so long
    3 – involuntary/circumstantial childlessness
    4 – jealous/controlling boyfriend/fiance

    I’m curious your thoughts on this painful/confusing situation.


    • Your post is from 2019 so you probably already know what “Tara” was about. I’m curious too, did she manage to ruin your marriage for the sport of it?

  27. I have a friend who I now believe to be a narcissist. We met 13 years ago through my work. We started hanging around together and I was instrumental in helping her start her own business – I originally suggested she go out on her own, helped her promote it, did all her writing for her, developed documents and promotional materials for her, etc. I was happy to help and I would do anything for a friend. At first she seemed supportive giving me cards thanking me for being in her life, telling me how lucky she was, etc. but everything she would say or comment on or ask me about would always be followed by something related to her. I can remember thinking at the time that this was a bit odd – but I passed it off as ”that is just who she is” – some people are just pompous…but I liked her. It soon became evident that she had an inflated sense of her own importance – I didn’t know at the time what a narcissist was. All was great (or so I thought at the time) she would tell everyone I was her BFF, we would go to movies, lunch, shopping etc…. however, after awhile she would start to nitpick at things I did or didn’t do. She would for example tell me that she was talking to Krissy (someone we both knew) and they felt that I didn’t wear enough make up…or would not recognize that I lost weight, instead she would tell me how she hates when bones show in your collar bone area – that she thinks it is gross. She would start to do this on a regular basis. then the social activities started to slow down… rarely would we go to a movie or shop. Once a month maybe go to Breakfast. At one point about two years ago now, she was nominated for an award, which again, I helped her with as there was a lot of work to do once the nomination was accepted. She invited me to the gala awards with her and her husband – and she was pumped. I think she really believed she would win. I wanted to see her win.
    When she didn’t win, she was completely deflated but she picked herself up and did the pictures with the other nominees etc. what she had to do and after the event stayed connected with some of the others who had been nominated and won. It was just after this that I noticed that she was becoming vague with everything in her life. She no longer needed me to do her writing or help her with her business. She went on to do other projects which were in partnership with some of the winners of the gala from that night. She would refer to these other people as ‘ my friends’ but would never really saying who these friends were – no names. (She would say, my friend and I went to that restaurant, or My friend and I are working on a project) She would talk about ‘projects’ she was working on – disclosing only tidbits but never really disclosing what the projects were. When I would ask she would get agitated and tell me that she told me about it. I would sometimes confront her about things – for example when I would ask her who wrote a document she was using telling her it was really good, she would tell me that she wrote it and when I would tell her that I didn’t think she did as it wasn’t her writing style (she was an absolutely terrible writer- grammatically and in thought process – she was all over the place – I am not perfect by any stretch but she just didn’t have it.) … she would pass it off saying that is was likely something that ‘I’ must have written and that ‘I’ just don’t remember. She would get agitated and tell me that she had told me about a particular project she was working on when I would ask about it because I didn’t know about it. She was getting increasingly evasive with everything she was doing in her career as well as her personal life. I can remember thinking it was odd that we were ‘friends’ but she would now only ‘fit’ me into her life when she had nothing going on. I was no longer invited to her house and she would not come to mine… she would only text or call. She went from this positive type person to this elusive type person who would criticize things about me. She would also brag about her life (she had always done this) as if she was the most special person on the planet and tell everyone about how people love her and are jealous of her and want to be like her, etc. I can remember others telling me they really didn’t like her because she lies about things she does to make herself look better and boasts about everything she has as being the best. I let people have their opinions and could even sometimes see what they meant, but she was my friend and I believed that you know what a person is like and you decide if you want to be friends with them. If you do, then you accept them for who they are – knowing their strengths and weaknesses but move past it. Little did I realize at the time that I was dealing with a narcissist and that things would get worse. When she would text it was small talk i.e. what are you having for supper? I would tell her what we were having and she would reply “oh we don’t eat that” We eat this and that (she would go on to tell me all about all the expensive type meals they would eat) Everything she has/owns has to be the most expensive, most exclusive (even if it is not – she will tell you it is) she tells lies to make herself sound better all the time… when I would call her out on it… she would get even more distant. I went from originally loving this friendship to feeling used, undervalued, she would make me feel like I was the problem when there was any type of conflict and I would second guess myself . I don’t mind admitting when I have made a mistake, but she took this to new levels. I felt deflated. YET, I still wanted her to see me as her best friend. I felt hurt that I wasn’t. She had these new “friends” in the business world that she was now benefitting from and she didn’t need me anymore. The realization came when my daughter sent me the description of a narcissist and it described her to a T. I started to distance myself, setting my expectations of her lower and responding if she texted me….checking in with her only once in awhile, but no longer being close to her. I started to feel better and started reaching out to other friends I had lost touch with… I started to realize what a normal friendship felt like again and am now so thankful to my daughter for sharing that description of a narcissist with me. It is a brutal world to get caught up in. She still texts me and calls the odd time. Again, it is only what I refer to as fluff – small talk – nothing of any importance is ever talked about. I would like to keep it that way. I don’t want to get caught up in that world any more. It is not good for my soul.

  28. I recently got tossed aside by someone I considered a good friend for years after I asked him a simple question he didn’t seem to like and proceeded to ignore me. Now I have in fact been there for him in his times of need and never asked him for anything in return other than his continued friendship. I feel betrayed and am struggling to hold back my tears. Now I understand he’s just been using me.

  29. FEMALE – friend NARC are covert!

    I am classic empath. I had two women ( 50’s age), whom I slowly bond with. Both love bombed. I missed the red flags. 1. both negative gossiped! 2. ignored me after few months,never visited through covid 3. “neglected “success posts”i did fb ( only liked emoji stupid meme photos) 4. raged angry outbursts at any percieved disagreement, and put down their own friends?

    1. The first lady I blocked, unfriended after she projected rage, instead of dealing with her bad neighbour 2. 2nd lady, I apologized for cancelling invite to event , she raged and blocked, unfriend. I kinda got burned on that and was puzzled…but then……….OH no……!!
    I compared them. and said OH tsk tsk….another narc!

  30. Dear Mr Burgemeester

    It has been so rewarding to encounter this website. It is incredibly informative and I am very grateful to have come across it.

    My mother was a classic narcissist, and many of the instances that have been described by other commenters relating to their mothers I also experienced. Indeed, I was more her mother than she ever was mine. My sister and I wrote to her December 2017 to say that unless she changed, we would have to stay away because she was too toxic to be around. She never replied to our letters – didn’t even acknowledge them – so we had no choice but to go ‘no contact’. She died July 2020, basically having given us the finger.

    So you’d think I’d be wise to the manipulations of any other narcissist after that first-hand experience. Yet it took me 42 years to recognise the very same traits in my old school friend. The same self-centredness, the same craving for the spotlight, the same using me as her sidekick, the same needless competing and attempts at one-upmanship, the same disinterest in other people, the same inability be happy for others, the same snide superiority and putdowns and unexpected barbed remarks. Yet with all this, it wasn’t even for myself that things clicked. It was when we took a trip to see her son and his wife, who had recently moved to another country, that did it. It was what she did TO HER SON that made me realise.

    The trip became about forcing the son to show his loyalty to her rather than to his wife; about making demands; finding fault; being dissatisfied with and ungrateful for the hospitality shown; arbitrarily changing the couple’s well-laid plans; insisting on ‘magnanimously’ doing things they neither wanted nor asked for; expecting the daughter-in-law to wait on her, etc. My ‘friend’ completely hijacked the trip and made the rest of us fawn and hover over her. It was painful and embarrassing. She was like a spoilt toddler, using the trip as a platform to get her own way at whatever cost. I was left to watch the sorry spectacle from the sidelines, and messaged my sister, saying, “I’m on holiday with Mum.”

    The ‘friend’ actually succeeded in making her 37-year-old married son cry during our stay. And she relished it. It was like, “All eyes on me; look at the power I have.” She was sadistic and callous in a way I’d never known. We couldn’t have any fun around her, couldn’t talk about anything unless it was about her; otherwise she’d sidetrack proceedings, or pout, sulk and fall silent until asked what was wrong. And all this why? Because she was jealous that her son and his wife were happily married while she was not. She told me so.

    I cannot forgive her emotional cruelty towards her own child, whether or not he’ll thank me. I’m aware of unhappiness in her childhood and her marriage, but how is that a licence to inflict hurt on innocent others, especially your own children, just because your life sucks? It was dismaying to realise that she was so arrested in her emotional development. It’s as if we all had to pay because she was miserable.

    Once back from the trip, I let rip and told her exactly how I felt. Of course, there were the statements of, “I know I spoiled the trip for all of you, I know I’ve got problems,” followed by, “Was what I did really so bad? Are you really never going to go on another trip with me again?” And, naturally, the gaslighting and blaming: “You’ve never wanted to share anything with me, anyway, so don’t say I’m self-focused.” Like there was ever any opportunity to share. She sucked the air out of the room every time! And even if she asked, she never listened. But it made me feel better to tell her exactly what I thought about how she behaved, not only on the trip but throughout our friendship.

    I remain so put off by her antics that I doubt things will ever be the same again. The rest of her family may sadly be collateral damage, particularly as I’m not expecting them to take sides. But I’ve known her longer than her sons, their wives, and even her husband, so I’m entitled to say that I’ve had enough.

    At present there’s been minimal contact because, now that I know that I’m dealing with Narcissist No. 2, I have retreated. And she has nothing she can say to me because she’s never known this ‘me’ before. I suspect I’ll be inching towards ‘no contact’ and the relationship will die a death. Bang goes 42 years. Yet it will also explain why each of her other friends has also pulled away over time, with me being the last schoolfriend standing. I’m also starting to feel sorry for her family, and especially her husband, who she married at 18 and who she has lambasted to me in virtually all the time that I have known her.

    In the meantime, and even though battle-scarred, I feel elated not to have to navigate dealing with her, and that elation tells me everything I need to know about the true nature of the relationship. And I don’t – and won’t – blame myself. My empathetic kindness was mistaken for weakness and used for selfish, greedy ends. Yet I walk away with that quality in me intact, the very thing that she wanted but never possessed for herself. I’m whole. She’s hollow. That’s definitely my victory right there. From hereon in, I’ll become a more self-protective empath is all. Lord knows there won’t be a Narcissist No. 3.

    I know my ‘friend’ is denigrating and maligning me. What else would she do? But ignorance is bliss, so I don’t care. I still got to do the walking away. I know that she didn’t walk away from me, no matter what she’ll say now.

    I told her that I will get the peace I deserve, away from her bloodsucking tendencies, whether she remains a friend or not. And I’ve meant it, especially now that I can sum her up and see her for exactly who she is, in one neat little word – NARCISSIST. And a textbook one at that.

    Thank you again for the work you do, Mr Burgemeester. It is deeply appreciated.

  31. Hi, My covert narcissist is a priest. He somehow could tell I was a softie and like his mother whom he had recently lost. He confided in me that he thought he had a drink problem and was surprised to learn I was a recovering alcoholic! I listened to him and advised that he should go to AA which he duly did. We have become close but over the months I‘ve realised he only wants to talk about himself. I was helping him and it felt rewarding. I live on My own now and am Widowed and very lonely so I’ve loved the fact he texted me every day. I realised very early on that he was a taker, not a giver which is all wrong for a priest.
    He told me he had an uN happy childhood as his parents were critical and his mother particularly had been manipulative. He was an only child to fairly elderly parents.He suffered trauma I think in his childhood. He could. Not form friendships with girls.
    Anyway I have felt used. It Was
    because I wanted his friendship. Just recently I’ve realised that he is moving on to someone else. He is quite callous in that respect.
    I’ve longed to let go but I’m so lonely I haveNt had the strength. Gradually I’ve become more fed up with him as he’s not interested in my life or welfare. Our friendship has been one-sided so I’m hoping I can drift away which is probably what he wants. I realise he feeds off people and when he’s had enough, he will move on to someone else. Ive been a fool I suppose
    but all I wanted was to sympathise and be a good listener. I felt privileged!

  32. It is truly amazing how much the narcissists make peoples lives difficult and all unnecessarily, they are inhuman as far as I’m concerned, they contribute nothing but misery to society and are the most childish adults imaginable, dealing with them leaves you so disoriented, its nowhere near reality and really takes a toll on a genuine person, it really sickens me that anyone an be so selfish and think they are so entitled, there is no getting through to them and their determination to play their game is to death, I never realized how evil someone
    could be until I had to deal with one and had no option for escape, I don’t know if I will ever be the same, but will never
    surrender to such a P.O.S., which is all they will ever be.

  33. Oi where do I start, firstly, yes after reading this I would definitely say that my (heavy exhaustive sigh) friend is a Narcissist. A little over a year ago my husband and I met her, she was cool at first but shortly after she became exhausting as all she would do was talk about her and the court case she was going through with her ex, she made sure to comment on how much of an arsehole he is, and all the stuff he did to her in the Domestic Violence order. ALL THE TIME. to anyone who had been unfortunate to listen. She had pissed her landlord off by complaining about everything, so he evicted her, of course it wasn’t her fault. She moved into a house, made all her friends help to move, she refuses to handwash her dishes so asked my husband to install her dishwasher, and was unhappy with the tap at the sink, she wanted more mirrors, changes in the bathroom, the back patio wasn’t good enough. she asked if I could go to the courthouse as support, of course I said okay. sigh. I ended up going into hospital that next day with a PE (Pulmonary Embolism). But she didn’t care, didn’t call or text to see how I was going. (My husband explained that PEs can be life threatening and that i could die from them, even in my sleep. (fact)) more exhausting stuff with her ex and court and her family pissing her off, but by the sound of it they are just as bad. she asked me to meet her at woolies ON CHRISTMAS DAY! to see the exchange with her ex and his girlfriend, in handing over the boys for the day. I was talking to them and a few days later she demanded to know what we were talking about, (zero about her) she said that I shouldn’t have and they were just trying to get information, not actually want to have a decent conversation, skip ahead and she had won full custody of her two *demon spawn* sons. Their dad gave up. Now she says that her mental health is horrible and that she needs her friends to be there for her. she needs a break and time to herself, even though she demand full custody of the kids, most recently I didn’t send a response to a request she sent early or clearly enough and she was most “upset” paraphrasing of course. She asked me to dinner, and I said I would get back to her after housework, she said “I’m sorry (me), I cant be left in limbo I have had a hard time, I asked another lady.”
    Also; she screams at her two sons, over everything and that loud that one of her neighbors called family services. (wasn’t enough evidence) There is a lot more that I can talk about, but just typing this making me exhausted.

  34. The covert Narc is the worst. Here are some signs to watch for” ‘playing victim, putting down friends( you never meet) love bomb “extrovert” back handed compliments/insults, being snubbed ( birthday, NYE,christmas) controlling * when /who /how you see them. “laughing’ at others faults,pains,or being”high” like a drug from “others failures”. Using words like ” who gives a f, or “I don’t feel anything, or ” I don’t care”. Being heros ( boasting) about rescue, donations, but ignoring your personal needs. shallow”rapid changing “anger to depressive, or silent moods. Not listening..pretending or mocking. sending ” flying monkeys’ to spy on your social media. My ex narc friend “buried her husband, and said ” now I got the pension, death benefit checks, and grinned…. never cried a tear!!

  35. I believe I am the oldest victim of a narcissist in this room. From high school to now, my supposedly best friend has put me through the wringer! We are both 70 yrs old. I have had a happy family and life. She has lost every friend and 3 husbands, as well as been estranged from her own mother and even her two adult children, who tell me, I shouldn’t put up with her. .. Guess I am a slow learner and or just care too much for people. A little timeline of my life with her: Highschool – she ditched our friendship when she did not approve of other friends I had. After HS, she got a job and so did I. However, she thought since she made lot’s of money, she didn’t need to hang our or even keep in touch with lesser friends. As she said to me once; She is more of a 3 piece suit kind of person. (Referring to men) She got married and did invite me to her first wedding. I was pretty much left out of all of it. 2nd wedding was a fancy affair with her friends in higher places on a boat. I wasn’t invited. I was allowed to attend get together at her parents home later without her well to do crowd. Did not speak or call me for several years after first marriage until the middle of the night, she called me crying and freaking out about said husband #1. Suicidal. I called authorities where she lived 3 states away. Years later as her parents aged, she moved in with them and to this day complains that she got ripped off as they were suppose to build her a nice house on their property. Another move with her Mother and husband, as her Dad had passed. She had always laughed as told us that she would divorce him as soon as she could. Surprised her when she came home to see he had moved out. Again, she called me all suicidal. Btw, she supposedly attempted to kill herself by overdosing more times than I can count. Trips to hospital each time. By now, her kids had moved out, married had their own families. She then decided to take off with some guy living in the trailer of his semi when her mother was failing in health. She stayed away and never helped her Mother. Only complained about wanting her car and items. So many crazy stories I can tell you but I have gone on too long already. Ending this i will say, her kids want nothing to do with her as she has tried living with one, who she ended up complaining about everything til she had to move out. I text her kids to notify them that she has once again gone to the hospital(countless ambulance rides) seldom with doctors finding anything wrong besides her over medicating on pain pills and Xanax. I have come close to panic attacks and felt my own blood pressure and health affected to the point that my husband and kids are angered that I let her stay in my life. She is a mess and I guess I just end up feeling sorry for her. She takes advantage of this, I know now. I have written her and told her how her constant negativity has done real harm to my mental and physical well-being. She apologizes and then starts another rant about someone or something in her life. I have had to start ignoring her calls(she will call several times daily, if I allow her to). Never anything happy or positive. I don’t want to cut her off but I feel like it is coming to that soon. I cannot FIX her. I cannot continue to enable her to bring me down. So much more. I know this will not all make sense as so many thoughts about everything so negative. Even all her neighbors in her apt that she complains about ignoring her when she wants them to take her somewhere, take her trash out, do her laundry for her. Most because she is too lazy to do it. Don’t be like me. It has been a very stressful way of life, cringing every time I see her on my phone. My body actually tenses up at the thought of our next phone call. PLEASE don’t let anyone do this to you. It’s taken me 50 years to see that she is in it for nobody but herself.

  36. My husband has a friend who have everyone of these traits listed in this article! I worry, overtime it’s going to change my husband. My uncle lost his best friend to a narcissistic. He left his wife for another women. Sad part is that over the years my uncles best friend started changing himself. The women he is with his a narcissist. He’s lost all of his friends because of this person. In my marriage, I started noticing how my husbands friendship to this person was one sided. He took my husband to a limo convention and paid for the trip. Then the guy left him hanging. My husband can’t invite him to anything music related. His friend has zero interest in any of his musical hobbies. My husbands friend also started putting down my husbands other friends. Now, he’s hates me and my family. He lets my husband know that. What’s sad is all my husbands long term friends from his youth still to this day are supportive of my hubby and I. Right now, we’re separated and trying to work on the marriage. What hurts is that last year we had issues in the marriage that my husband created and his friend decided to expand upon it. He started requesting my husband take him and his partner out to inappropriate places. This friend bought my husband two vehicles. My husband pays him back but it’s the idea that he’s receiving lavish gifts from a friend. He may be paying him back for these vehicles so he can jump start his career but now he’s tied two these guys. My husband doesn’t see it that way. He doesn’t see that his friend has every quality in this article. His friend will gossip about me and other people all the time. My husband hates gossip. He also has acquaintances as friends. He will only keep my husband as a friend because he’s the only one he trust. Wait until my husband breaks his trust. When his friend doesn’t get his way, he turns my husband down or he flips out. He also doesn’t help my husband unless it’s on his terms. It’s a one sided friendship. My husband got too close to this guy and to be honest, it’s changed him. His friend as a result now, see fault everyone but himself. I can admit my faults and wrong doings. I’m not ashamed to write this response on this comment section. I got my faith that backs me up. I won’t spend the rest of my life talking about this. I am all about the truth. Anyone in my life has to like me. Otherwise, I will just move on from you and pray that you get the help you need. It’s not me that’s the problem. I can forgive all I want. I can make amends. Narcissists people have a way of making life miserable. Last year I told my husband I wanted more friends. His response we already had two friends. To be honest, I want a healthy life with healthy people in it. If they disrespected, then there getting the chance to be in our lives. I will put my foot down. I will not allow myself or my spouse to have only one friend. Last year I made friends with someone in my neighborhood and it was a blessing from God. Now, I want to spend more time with the food people in our lives. My husband can’t get over the past and he can’t make amends. I can do all that with no problems. I can learn to move on. I am trying to heal from what’s going on in my life. I see the truth. My husband allows his friend to put me down. He tell him he’s crazy. He still allows it. Me on the other hand, doesn’t allow it. It’s not coming in my home or near me. I have right to do what I want in my life because I care about others and I want to seek a happy life. His friend doesn’t have the right to be apart our lives. I think he’s so unhealthy and he’s not a good influence on my husband. My husband lately judges people for how they live. Yet, his friend inherited a home to live in. He can’t judge others when his friend got help. He may have paid off the home, he still got help. When his friend helps others he boast about it. I do t boast. If I do good it’s from my heart. I don’t want the world knowing I do good all the time. I need to boast! It’s not genuine. Thank you for this article because I know where I stand on this topic. I see what it’s done to my husband and the effects it’s having on his personality. His friend tried to convince him to leave the marriage and find a partner. Mind you his friend is not married. He has a paper stating he’s in a done relationship with the same sex. He doesn’t understand what it’s like to be married especially to a women. He has no idea. When my husband was getting to involved with his friend, it lead to some serious problems. I had to put my foot down and yet his friend just ignored me. I wish at that point I had gotten a restraining order against this friend. That way he had to leave us alone. My husband choose the bad versus the good. I am the good in his life! I pray that one day he wakes up with a huge realization about his friend. Wait until the next time he stands him up. Wait until the comments about him now become worse. I Sant be friends with someone that gossips all day about people. This article really got the mail on the head! I hope it will inspire others to let go of these people that hurt others. It’s so sad that these people do to us. I won’t stand for it! I will make it clear! I will set my boundaries! Thank you again for speaking the truth!!!

  37. Thank you for this article.

    A ‘friend’ of 25 years recently passed away and we now realize that our ‘friendship’ was not at all what we thought it was and we are searching for meaning and reflecting on the relationship history.

    The ‘friend’ was 104 when she passed recently and she had no children, only a niece that lived on the other side of the USA from the deceased and came to visit very rarely. The deceased was not a typical centurion, she was independent, ambulatory and even drove a car until 102. She remained lucid and managed her own affairs.

    We befriended the deceased when we purchased the adjacent house just outside of Washington DC in the affluent suburbs in 1995. I am a health care provider and my wife an academic at a local university. We shared many common interests with the deceased and her late husband, who died in 2003. I served as a pallbearer and spoke at her husband’s funeral service at her request.

    Despite the significant age difference (50 years) we believed that we and deceased were truly friends, and we assisted the deceased in many of the tasks associated with daily living or those tasks too difficult for her to complete on her own. Including having directly saving her life on 3 occasions due to health-related emergencies. We were the people she depended upon and often told us as much.

    The deceased even on several occasions inferred that she had included us in her last will and testament. A gesture that really didn’t motivate us, as we are already financially secure. But now appears to have been a form of manipulation.

    in 2019, my wife accepted a job at a University in Europe and we moved away from Washington DC. The deceased appeared devastated by our decision to move and asked us to stay and “take care of her”. We did experience some guilt with our decision to move away as we realized she relied on us. However, we remained in contact with the deceased, making phone calls and sending regular correspondence by mail.

    Upon her death (June 2023) the surviving Neice asked if we would come to the funeral and if I could give the eulogy. Despite the nearly $5k expense for the trip, I attended and gave what the clergy and attendees said was the best eulogy that they had ever heard, noting that it was written with love.

    The deceased was a wealthy person, with 3 homes across the USA, 2 in the DC suburbs and 1 in Naples, Florida. Despite her wealth, the deceased lived a very modest life and never overspent or flaunted her wealth.

    Since her passing, it has come to our attention that she didn’t include us in her will, nor leave us a letter or even a card to express how she felt about our friendship. Which has left us feeling confused and realizing that she really didn’t value our friendship, but rather viewed us as a means for her own survival.

    After careful reflection and analysis, I believe the deceased suffered from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and never truly viewed us a friends.

    In hindsight, we acted as friends to the deceased and would likely not have changed despite the recent events. But we feel deceived and disappointed that I made such an effort to honor a person who I thought was a friend at her funeral service.

    I thank you for writing on this topic and would appreciate any recommended readings you might have on narcissistic personality disorders.

    Best Regards,


  38. Thank you for the post above. I know it is old but so very very relevant.

    My mother was a Narc. I finally figured this out in 2012. I had gone no contact with her in 2008 I figured out what this was too in 2012 after watching videos and reading what others had done given the same situations.

    I dated alot of Narcs. Never lasted.

    My brother became a Narc. Also figued this out in 2012.

    All these things That for years and years I just could not put my finger on as to figure out what was up with them.

    I was the scapegoat. Funny I knew what the term scapegoat was in the 1980s, when I was in elementary school however did not know its relation to Narc Families.

    I moved out in 8th grade with my father and never looked back. Over the years the love bombing that I now know it is termed, continued.

    The Lures of, many things that could be bought for me If I moved back. I never did.

    Alas most of the childhood friends I made, actually all of them fit this profile. Years later (25) as an adult I reconnected with a bunch of them, and they were just the most horrible horrible human beings on the planet.

    Recently I just closed out my last friend from early adulthood as she is 100% Narc. I should have closed it out years ago, but you know I am an empath we always want to fix things and help. At our own expense. Usually with much emotional damage done along the way.

    Going forward I wont be making any more long term open ended friendships with anyone. Acquaintances yes, deep rooted friendship, no.

    I am nearly 50, and I am done with all. Of this. I have time for my kid, my husband and my menopause. Thats it.

    The years of listening to drama, and being sucked clean of energy for these vampires is over.

    I was born into it. It was relatively rare in my childhood. Today Narcs are literally everywhere.

    So, If I was unable to differentiate them in the 80’s and 90’s well, it just got alot harder.

    The me me me social fabric, phones in faces, look at me, love me, worship me, entitlement. does not bode well for reduction of narcs in society.

    Thanks for putting this up. Well written, and a good read.

    Have A Good Afternoon.


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