If you are here looking for the signs of a narcissist friend, I feel for you. You must have been manipulated, used and dismissed a million times by a friend who was perhaps the most supportive, understanding human on the Earth. What would have started as a wonderful friendship would have eventually been characterized by large amounts of drama episodes daily. It would be as if they are consuming and draining you.

Honestly, a narcissistic person can never be your true friend because they are toxic. Their main agenda is to make you feel small about yourself while portraying themselves as perfect. Their superiority complex will exhaust you. Their demanding nature will keep you on your toes. BUT, when that’s not how they were at the beginning of the friendship. Or so you thought.

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Many of us exhibit narcissist tendencies every now and then. Arrogance, envy, a sense of entitlement and wanting to be constantly admired are some narcissist behaviors most of us would be guilty of. When these tendencies become an inherent part of our being, the problem arises.

When these behavioral symptoms become severe, it essentially calls for a medical intervention. People with NPD are not bad people, but they suffer from extreme sense of self-importance which can make it difficult for them to maintain any interpersonal relationships.

According to studies, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, selfishness, a lack of empathy for others, and an intense need for admiration and attention. Even though it’s a mental health condition, they know what they are doing is wrong.

A narcissist friend too, shows these traits and what usually starts off as a great friendship becomes a pain to carry on with. Its difficult to know that your friend is a narcissist because the early stages of friendship with them are very warm and welcoming. Most people end up confused because that thoughtful, supportive friend suddenly turns into an egoistic, self-centered, unreasonable person who can even get aggressive with you. To sum up-

“Narcissists are sadly the most ungodly of God’s creations because they don’t show remorse for their actions, take steps to make amends, or have empathy for others. They are morally bankrupt”, quotes Shannon L. Alder, a relationship author who has been published in more than 500 books. 

Yes, that’s how ungrateful and selfish narcissists are. You can never trust them. You can never expect them to be faithful to you. It is a personality disorder and all the narcissistic traits they may exude will eventually disrupt your mental peace. That is why it is so important to identify them and learn how to deal with them.

11 Signs Of A Narcissistic Friend 

A research showed that narcissistic individuals may have some awareness of their own narcissistic tendencies, but they may not fully recognize the negative impact of their behavior on others or the need to change their behavior. The thing is, they know their actions and behavior are unacceptable but they don’t realize the damage it causes. 

Narcissistic behavior in friendship manifests as an emotional roller coaster ride where you are constantly bullied and bellittled. Narcissistic friendships often prove to be emotionally and mentally draining.

Prevention is always better than cure. That’s why you need to take a look at the signs of a narcissistic friend for self-awareness and find out if your friend is being just mean and sarcastic or they are truly a narcissistic: 

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1. They will gossip about you

How to know if your friend is a narcissist? They will gossip about you with your other friends. We all indulge in a little bit of gossip once in a while but that doesn’t mean anyone can backbite about you in your absence. A narcissist friend will go beyond gossip and spill the most personal details of your life to literally everybody. 

And why? They do this because they have a low self-esteem and to hide their feelings of insecurity.

Perhaps they feel you are better than them in many aspects and they can’t ever digest the fact that someone can be better than them. Narcissism is characterized by a sense of self importance. Such a friend will have nothing nice to say about anyone. Furthermore, they will spread rumors about you. This is one of their biggest negative traits. 

2. They always want to be the center of attention 

“I, me, and myself” will be your narcissistic friend’s motto. They think the world revolves around them. They will demand your attention and space when they feel like it. It would not matter to them if you are busy with your family, children, work or any other friend. They feel entitled to your time. Your failing to meet their expectations and demands would trigger episodes of unfailing drama, guilt-tripping and blame games. They crave:

  • Validation
  • Attention
  • Admiration
  • Special treatment 

What is a narcissistic friend like? They are attention-seekers who always want to be in the limelight. When you don’t give them the special treatment they think they are entitled to, they feel hurt and act like a victim. They get into vicious abusive behavior that includes guilt-tripping, name calling, shaming and even changing the narrative. This is because they are thin-skinned and can’t tolerate the fact that someone else could be better than them. 

3. Narcissist friends are selfish 

Joseph, a 23-year-old mechanical engineer student from Boston, wonders, “Is my friend a narcissist or just selfish? Everything is about him. We always go to the restaurants he wants to dine at and hang out only when it is convenient for him. He never accommodates his schedule for us. He somehow even manages to manipulate us into bending to his demands.”

According to Research, all kinds of narcissists are selfish. Some signs of a selfish friend include:

  • They are two faced
  • They never commit to anything unless there is something beneficial for them
  • They don’t care about you 
  • They are control freaks 
  • They will betray your trust 
  • They lack empathy 
  • They will point out your past mistakes often and highlight their superiority over you

4. They can’t stand criticisms

Your narcissistic friend has a fragile sense of self-worth that gets triggered when met with criticisms. Regardless of whether the criticisms are constructive or destructive, they will lash out. They can never comprehend that you are talking in their best interest.

They may even become aggressive and cut ties with you because their whole nature is based on a fake grandiose display of themselves. Criticisms are a threat to that portrayal. If your buddy can’t handle criticism, it’s one of the signs of a narcissistic friend. 

A Reddit user shares their experience with a narcissist, “Narcissists cannot handle criticisms and will dodge the issues you present them and flip the conversation on its head and bring up all your problems instead of focusing on solutions to what you have brought up.” 

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5. They will blame you for everything 

One of the most important narcissistic tendencies is to blame others for everything wrong in their life. Your friend will never take responsibility when things go wrong. They will often place the blame on you or your other friends who did nothing wrong. 

Furthermore, even if narcissistic people agree that it was their fault, they will make sure they bring up your past mistake as a compensation. Your good deeds don’t matter to them when they are at fault. They will always count your bad ones and hold you accountable for everything. 

6. They feel entitled to everything 

Entitlement is a belief that a person’s importance and wants should be placed over everyone else’s needs. It’s a common trait among narcissistic people. Not just that, but they will also cross your boundaries to prove that they are entitled to everything. A narcissistic friend will want special treatment wherever they go. 

Friendship with a narcissist can drain you mentally. You are just another person in their fantasy world where they are the king and everyone must bow to their demands. Their grandeur delusions of being entitled to whatever they want could also result in betrayal and anxiety. 

7. They will amplify your flaws 

Narcissistic people like to be in control of others. They will belittle you in front of others and make it a big event. They will highlight the intellectual gaps between you two and demonstrate how lucky you are to have them as your savior. They leave no opportunity to establish they are superior to you (and others)..

They love to project their own insecurities and negative traits onto their friends. When they think they aren’t getting the recognition they deserve, they will try to:

  • Amplify your flaws and show the world that you are nothing in front of them
  • They will hyperfocus on that stupid mistake you made once and they will never forget about it
  • They will make sure all your other friends know how they are better than you in all aspects of life

They do this because it makes them feel superior when indicating your flaws because in their perspective, they are perfect. Here is the best advice you will ever get — Don’t ever consider your narcissistic friend’s opinion of you. The moment you realize that they have been bickering about your shortcomings frequently, shut them out and protect your sanity. 

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8. They will put you down 

Narcissistic people often put down other people as one of the means to uplift their own sense of superiority and maintain their control and power over others. They may engage in this behavior for a variety of reasons like:

  • To hide their own insecurities
  • To hide their feelings of inadequacy
  • They have a need to constantly reinforce their own grandiose sense of self-worth

If you are friends with a narcissist who always puts you down, they can create a power dynamic where they are in a position of authority and you are a subordinate to them. If this happens, you will forever bend over backward to keep them happy. This is one of the signs of a narcissistic friend. 

Infographic on Signs of A Narcissist Friend
11 Signs Of A Narcissist Friend

9. They will exploit you

This is one of the signs mentioned in all the articles out there. Narcissist demands are endless. They will make sure they fully exploit you. Narcissistic people will even take advantage of you financially and emotionally. You will have no space or time for other relationships

But it does not start out like this. They come across as good friends initially. Narcissists treat people well in the beginning. They will make you feel safe. They will foster an environment where you will start blindly trusting them. Once they find out all your vulnerabilities, they will use them as ammunition against you. 

They are super jealous people who learn all your insecurities and will use them to control you. They want to have the upper hand everywhere they go. They will make fun of your shortcomings and act like it’s not a big deal. Moreover, they will do this in front of your other friends hoping you won’t speak up and let it 

10. They will hide their secrets and weaknesses

One of the signs of a narcissistic friend is that you only know them on a surface level. You don’t know anything beyond because they have never let you in. They won’t share their secrets, vulnerabilities, and insecurities with you. They are ones with insecurities but they will act like they love themselves more than anything else.

A Reddit user shares how narcissists remain aloof and secretive, “I noticed that the scope and depth of my conversations with a narcissist started to wane. The longer we were together, the less I felt like I knew him. It didn’t feel like our conversations or connection were organically growing. By the end, we were having the same shallow conversations everyday, which mostly consisted of how his work day was going and the stock market. 

11. They will end the friendship when it stops benefiting them 

When someone no longer serves the narcissistic, they will cut ties with them because they weigh other people in terms of what they can do for them and what they can’t. This behavior is often referred to as “narcissistic discard”. Friendship with a narcissist can negatively impact you because when you are discarded by them, it can damage your self-esteem.

Not everyone can please a narcissist. When your buddy thinks there is no point in being friends with you because you are no longer needed in their life, they will throw you out. They will ignore you. They will stop communicating with you. They will speak poorly of you once you have departed from their life. The sheer suddenness and unpredictability of this move can leave you agitated and sad. 

how to deal with a narcissist-friend

5 Practical Ways To Deal With Them

Unfortunately, studies have found that there are no FDA-approved medications for the treatment of NPD. That’s why it’s crucial to take a look at some practical ways to deal with them because most people don’t realize what they are dealing with until it’s too late. Identify the signs early and deal with them using the below steps.

1. Establish boundaries

Not all narcissists understand the concept of boundaries but you need to make them understand that their narcissism is affecting you. Set clear boundaries and stick to them. Here are some examples of healthy relationship boundaries:

  • Say no to them when you don’t want to do something for them 
  • Stand up for yourself when they are being too critical of you 
  • Ask them to stop pointing out your imperfections in front of your other friends 
  • Firmly state that they can’t use your vulnerabilities to control you 
  • State it clearly that their unreasonable expectations are outraged and they are starting to weigh you down 

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2. Don’t let their actions affect you 

Narcissists lie a lot. They will cook up stories to make you believe their lies. They will move heaven and earth to influence you. You believe them because you love them but they don’t love you. Once it’s confirmed that they have made a mark in your life, they will start playing their toxic games. They will act like they love you but a narcissist can only love themselves. 

When they try to attack you, deal with a narcissistic friend by:

  • Disarming them by keeping calm 
  • Not giving them attention
  • Not feeding their ego
  • Not arguing with them because it is pointless 
  • Being emotionally intelligent and walking away from them

3. Prioritize other friendships 

They aren’t your only friend. So, focus on good friendships who have helped you grow in life. A true friend will accept who you are. They won’t judge you or make you feel small about yourself. They will motivate you to become better people in life. So, if you see signs of a narcissistic friend in someone, it’s time to let them go and focus on other friendships. 

4. Learn some magic words to throw them off 

Just like a narcissist has some magic words as a weapon, you can also learn a few statements to throw them off track. However, you need to stay calm and composed because narcissists treat drama as their number one priority. They thrive on it. They do not respect you and you know that by now. Say the following statements while being as cool as a cucumber:

  • We can talk about this matter when you are not yelling or screaming
  • My perspectives are as important as yours, don’t you think? 
  • When I respect your decisions, why can’t you respect mine for 
  • We can agree to disagree
  • You are entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine 
  • I want respect in this friendship and respect goes both ways 

5. Suggest them to seek help 

When nothing works, ask them to seek professional help. Narcissists also have positive attributes that hide behind their negativity. Show them that they can get better by getting help. Ask them to seek support from other friends, family members, or a therapist who can provide validation, empathy, and guidance on how to handle the situation. 

These are some of the healthy ways to deal with a narcissist. You don’t need to go through high quality pdf versions on narcissism to find out how to be more self-aware. The above-list is enough to protect your sanity. We hope you find the article helpful and help your friend while staying sane. If it gets too chaotic and toxic for you, it’s time you consider ending the friendship altogether. 

FAQs

1.Do narcissists have good friendships?

Narcissists don’t have good friendships because of their narcissistic demands and the need to prove others wrong all the time. Their habit to control people will always come in the way of their everyday life and they will have a hard time maintaining friendships.

How to end a friendship with a narcissist?

You can’t directly stop spending time with your friend. You have to advise them first to seek professional help. If their Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the reason behind their selfishness, then you can be there for them till they get better. On the other hand, if they know they have narcissistic tendencies yet they choose to remain toxic because they love the power it gives them, you need to stop talking to them altogether. Don’t encourage them and don’t let them affect you