Why Do Narcissists Want to Stay Friends With You?

‘Old habits die hard,’ as the saying goes, and this can ring particularly true when dealing with a narcissistic ex who insists on remaining friends post-breakup.

You may be left scratching your head, wondering what could motivate them to want to keep you close after all you’ve been through. While it might be tempting to believe it’s because they genuinely care, the harsh reality is that their intentions are often far from pure.

Narcissists only want to stay friends with you for all the wrong reasons. They did not care about you when you were together and will still not care about you when you are “friends”.

Here are 9 Reasons why the Narcissist wants to stay friends with you.

#1 They want to keep control over you and your life

One of the primary reasons a narcissist might want to stay friends after a breakup is their desire to maintain control over you and aspects of your life.

It’s their way of keeping a steady hand on the reins, ensuring they’re never too far from the driver’s seat. They crave the power that comes from knowing your secrets, your weaknesses, and your daily activities.

This control can manifest in various ways, from subtle manipulations to overt demands.

It’s not about friendship for them. It’s about domination. They want to keep you within reach and ensure they can still influence your decisions.

So, you must recognize this behavior for what it’s – a ploy for control – and act accordingly to protect yourself.

#2 They want you for sexual benefits

Beyond just control, your narcissistic ex may aim to keep you in their life for potential sexual benefits. They might seek to maintain a physical connection even after the emotional one has ended.

Remember, narcissists are manipulative and cunning, and they’ll use every trick in the book to keep you hooked.

They might play on your feelings, initiate casual encounters, or promise change to lure you back into their web. It’s not about love for them but about satisfying their needs.

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You’re an object of desire, not a person with feelings. Resist the temptation to fall back into their trap.

Stand strong, remember their true colors, and don’t let them exploit your emotions for their sexual gratification. You deserve so much better.

#3 Maintain their positive social image

While resisting their sexual advances is paramount, it’s also crucial to understand another reason why your narcissistic ex wants to keep you in their life: to maintain their positive social image.

They’re often consumed with how others perceive them, so having you as a ‘friend’ boosts this image.

It’s a clever tactic to appear mature, forgiving, and friendly, especially to those unaware of their true nature. This facade allows them to continue manipulating you, while also gaining sympathy and admiration from others. It’s a win-win for them.

But remember, you’re not obligated to play along with their charade. It’s okay to sever these ties. Your emotional well-being and peace of mind are far more important than preserving your social image.

#4 They need your Emotional Validation

In the intricate web of narcissistic relationships, your emotional validation serves as the essential fuel that keeps their ego thriving. Narcissists feed off your reactions, your hurt, your adoration, or your anger—it all provides them with the attention they crave.

So, even if they’ve moved on to a new relationship, they still need your validation to bolster their self-esteem.

Your admiration, your jealousy, or even your pain—these emotions reinforce their importance and dominance. That’s why they want to stay friends. It’s not about you but what you can provide for them.

#5 They see you as a Backup if future relationships won’t work

Keeping you on the back burner, the narcissist sees you as a safety net, someone they can return to if their future relationships don’t pan out. They play a selfish game, keeping you tethered just enough to ensure their comfort.

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They’re not considering your feelings or well-being but are focused solely on maintaining their security.

Their fear of being alone or rejected propels them to keep you within arm’s reach. It’s a manipulative tactic designed to keep you available and ready to fill in the gaps when they need you.

It’s important to recognize this and set boundaries. Remember, you’re not someone’s backup plan. You deserve a relationship that values you for who you are, not what you provide.

#6 They do not want to be alone

Just as you’re not a backup plan, you’re also not a ticket to stave off their loneliness. Narcissists struggle with solitude.

They crave the constant attention and admiration that come from others. They can’t stand being alone with their thoughts and feelings. That’s why they attempt to keep you in their life.

You’re a source of validation, an audience to their performance. They’ll use every trick in the book to keep you close, from guilting you about abandoning them to painting a rosy picture of a platonic friendship.

Remember, their fear of loneliness isn’t your responsibility. You’re not obligated to comfort them.

It’s vital to prioritize your well-being over your need for company.

#7 It gives them a nice ego boost

Feeding their bloated egos, narcissists often relish the boost they get from knowing you still want to maintain a friendship with them after a breakup.

It’s a twisted game of power where they can reassure themselves of their worth and desirability. This ego boost feeds their grandiose self-image, further embedding their belief that they’re irresistible and superior.

Your continued friendship is a trophy, a tangible proof of their charm and magnetism. It’s not about you or the shared history. It’s about them and their need for validation.

So, if you’re considering staying friends with a narcissistic ex, remember: it’s likely not about preserving a meaningful connection but more about satisfying their insatiable ego.

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#8 They want to sabotage your love life

Beyond just an ego boost, a narcissistic ex might also aim to sabotage your future romantic endeavors. They can keep a close eye on your love life by remaining friends with you.

If you start dating someone new, they could plant seeds of doubt, subtly criticizing your new partner or comparing them unfavorably to themselves.

They might even try to rekindle your relationship under the guise of friendship.

This isn’t because they genuinely care for you or want you back. Instead, they can’t stand to see you moving on and being happy with someone else. It’s a way for them to maintain control and feed their ego.

#9 You are a valuable source of Narcissistic Supply

In a narcissist’s eyes, you represent a consistent source of Narcissistic Supply, providing them with the attention and validation they constantly crave.

They see you as a shiny trophy to boost their ego, a tool to fulfill their needs. They don’t value you for your qualities but rather for the purpose you serve in their life.

You’re a means to an end, a way to maintain their self-perceived superiority. Staying friends with you allows them to keep this supply flowing.

Even after a breakup, they’ll try to keep you within their sphere of influence. You’re not just an ex-lover but a valuable asset they can’t afford to lose.

Before You Go

Understanding why a narcissist wants to stay friends after a breakup isn’t about preserving a bond; it’s about deciphering their control tactics.

They may desire to control you, use you for sexual benefits or emotional validation, or view you as a backup plan.

Their need for an ego boost or desire to sabotage your love life may also be motives. Remember, you’re a valuable person—not just a source of narcissistic supply. Stand firm and take care of your emotional well-being.

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