Six reasons why narcissists put your friends against you

Narcissists have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. One of their favorites is turning all your friends against you.

They might sabotage you behind your back, telling your friends horror stories about you. Or, they might tell your friends you’re no longer interested in a friendship. 

It doesn’t make sense that a significant other would do this to you. Don’t they want you to have friends to support you?

The narcissist doesn’t. You having friends is the last thing they want to deal with. 

There are several reasons they put your friends against you. We’ll explore them below.

The narcissist’s games

Before diving into the specific reasons narcissists don’t want you to have friendships, it’s helpful to refresh ourselves on the narcissist’s classic games. 

Remember, the narcissist is willing to exploit you to get what they want from you. They also feel entitled to have all of their demands met. 

They will go to great lengths to get what they want from you. This can include gaslighting you to make you question your views of reality.

They will also shift the blame onto you anytime there’s a conflict and use intimidation to get their way from you.

Amidst these classic games, it makes sense that they’d also put your friends against you. 

Reasons they turn your friends against you

The narcissist is willing to exert power and control to get what they want from you. In fact, power and control games are one of their favorite pastimes. 

Given this fact, they’ll probably try to turn your friends against you. They do it for the following reasons.

#1 Keeping you isolated

The narcissist needs to have you all to themselves. After all, they expect you to be ready to serve them around-the-clock.

If you maintain friendships, you have less time to cater to their every whim. Rather than admitting that they’re selfish and immature and don’t want you to have any friends, they turn your friends against you.

Maybe the narcissist messages your friends behind your back and tells them you’re gossiping about them. The narcissist will act as if they’re truly concerned, and they’re just doing everyone a favor.

Over time, this causes your friendships to deteriorate. Now the narcissist has you all to themselves! 

#2 Extreme envy

Envy is one of the key features of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissists are envious of everyone around them, because other people serve as potential competition.

Your friends are no different. The narcissist is envious of your relationship with them, as well as the time you spend with them. 

They cannot accept that you’d ever choose to spend time with anyone but them. Rather than grow up and accept that friendships are natural and healthy, they turn your friends against you. 

Don’t try to talk them out of being jealous of your friends. You need to accept their version of reality! At least that’s what they believe.

#3 Support for their agenda

The narcissist knows you care what your friends think about you. So, your closest friends are perfect targets for the narcissist’s games. 

If the narcissist is trying to convince you that you’re wrong, they might go behind your back to tell your friends how “crazy” or out of line you are.

The narcissist will come up with a ridiculous sob story, painting you as the villain while they play the victim. They hope that your friends will think you’re in the wrong, and they’ll try to convince you to give the narcissist their way. 

You might have heard the lingo that accompanies this behavior: triangulation. This is a game in which the narcissist pulls a third party into a conflict to manipulate you.

You might not agree with what the narcissist is saying, but if your friends agree, it’s a whole different story. Triangulating with your friends is a great way for narcissists to get what they want from you. 

#4 Weakening your self-esteem

Narcissists need you to believe that you’re to blame for things that go wrong in the relationship. They also benefit when your self-esteem hits rock bottom.

If you’re too confident, you won’t fall for the narcissist’s games. So, the narcissist may turn your friends against you to weaken your self-esteem. 

When you feel badly about yourself, you won’t believe you deserve better than what the narcissist is giving you. And, when you’re left with no friends, you’ll start to feel pretty rotten.

Now, you’re an easier target for the narcissist. You have no one but them on your side, and you’re feeling pretty lousy as a person.

You’ve lost your friends, so you must be the problem, right? That’s exactly what the narcissist wants you to believe. 

With no friends to support you, you’re pretty vulnerable to the narcissist’s abuse. 

#5 Projection

Narcissists have pretty weak self-esteem underneath their grandiose exteriors. They project all of their flaws onto others to protect their weak egos. 

Most of the time, they aren’t even aware they’re doing it. So, when they start to show bad behavior in their relationship, they may project those behaviors onto you without realizing it.

Perhaps they’re cheating on you, so they mention to your friends in passing that they’re worried you’re cheating. This is classic projection. 

As time goes on, they might continuously project their bad behavior onto you when talking with your friends.

While they might not intentionally be turning your friends against you, the truth is that your friends will probably start to think less of you. 

#6 As a control tactic 

Narcissists love to be in control. Sometimes they even control others as a source of amusement. 

The narcissist’s ego swells when they realize they can control the behaviors and reactions of others. 

So, they might turn your friends against you simply to satisfy themselves with the satisfaction of being in control. When your friends are upset with you, your friendships will experience increased tension. 

This gives the narcissist more power over the dynamics of these relationships. For example, if things with your friends have been rocky, it’s pretty likely the narcissist can get your friends to side with them in a conflict with you. 

With increased tension between you and your friends, the narcissist also has more control over you. They might be able to convince you to ditch your friends, leaving you with less support. 

What the narcissist gains ?

Remember, narcissists turn your friends against you because they gain something from it. Whether it’s a sense of satisfaction or having more control over you, the narcissist finds it rather rewarding when your friends aren’t too happy with you.

If you have healthy friendships, you’ll be less vulnerable to the narcissist’s games. Friendships are a source of support, and they might even warn you that the narcissist is no good.

The narcissist can’t have that, so they’ll be sure to create chaos between you and your friends. 

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