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How are narcissists with their friends?

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How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby white flower » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:29 pm

Do narcissists keep friends for very long? The message I have gotten is that, no matter what the "friend" might provide for the narcissist, they still get bored and move on. Do they ever confide in these friends? Do they protect these friends (as in never talk bad about them)? Are they loyal? Just curious as I am desperate to learn all I can. Thanks in advance.
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby Esquire » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:41 pm

The main thing to understand is that Narcissists do not bond with other people the way that Nons do. So instead of forming an emotional bond, the Narcissist views other people as existing for his pleasure. You will be worth to the Narcissist what you bring to the table in terms of making him happy. This is true of all the Narcissist's relationships, not just friends. A Narcissist will be romantically inclined towards the latest attractive girl to bat her eyelashes at him, and the unaware Narcissist will be convinced himself that she is The One for him and his soulmate. He will lavish her with attention and gifts and she will think she's found the perfect guy. Then he will devalue her over time as he gets bored with her, as she turns out to be less than perfect, or as the thrill of newness wears off. The unaware Narc simply tells himself that he was wrong about her, or even worse, that she deceived him into thinking she was perfect when she wasn't! He will dump her in a huff, as if she is the one who was at fault.

The same goes for friends. A Narc likes friends that are shiny and new. That are entertaining or amusing. That are reliable, even though he won't be reliable when they call for him, or if he is, it's because he is trying to keep them staying loyal to him, not because he cares about them, but because of the benefits they bring to his life. Also, the Narcissist will immediately size up his friends as either capable or incapable of dominating. The Narc is always aware of whether he is in the dominant or submissive role in his relationships and friendships. This is instinct to the Narcissist, who understands only power, not love or empathy.

This is why Narcissists get along with another Narcissists. They are "civil enemies," to quote another poster on this site. They don't threaten the Narcissist by trying to enslave him with intimacy or with the binds of a true relationship based on love and emotion, beyond the emotion of making the Narcissist happy. The Narcissist recoils when someone asks him for anything that doesn't make him happy. This feels like an unreasonable request, even if it's just a ride to the airport.

So to answer your question, a Narcissist will keep you as a friend so long as what you have to offer is important to his overall happiness. He will be loyal to the extent that he benefits from the loyalty. For example, let's say I liked to go to movies, because it makes me happy. But going alone makes me seem awkward, and I worry that people will think poorly of me, which I can't abide as a Narc. So let's say I have a friend who likes movies too. Let's say he'll go with me whenever I want to see a movie. That would be a friend I would keep around so long as I liked going to movies and as long as he would go with me. That friend is important to me because he is providing a service that makes me happier, see? But let's say I meet a beautiful girl who wants to go to movies with me. I will absolutely drop that friend in favor of the girl, because going with her would make me happier.
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby white flower » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:17 am

Thank you so much! I am starting to understand. How would I know narcissism as opposed to someone who is just selfish?
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby Esquire » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:44 am

white flower wrote:Thank you so much! I am starting to understand. How would I know narcissism as opposed to someone who is just selfish?


Yeah, don't go around thinking everyone's a Narcissist just because they're putting their needs and wants above yours. So much of Narcissism occurs in the Narc's own mind that it's hard to pick them out. Some clues: do they live a transient lifestyle, move from place to place, or from job to job? Do they dump friends a lot? Do they think very highly of themselves without an objective reason to do so (i.e., do they think they're smarter or more attractive than they are, or do they pride themselves in whatever ability they really do have to an unhealthy, egotistical extent)? Do they have trouble getting close to people? Do they seem controlling or manipulative? Do they have trouble with boundaries being set between them and other people? Do they fear intimacy? Do they start a new relationship by building the other person up and acting like they're perfect, only to tear them down over time and then dump them? Do they get offended when you criticize them for even minor reasons?
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby white flower » Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:15 am

"Friend" in question is controlling, anxious, greedy and moody based on his own confessions. At the same time, he seems like a really good friend. On the other hand, he talks about himself ALOT, criticizes strangers (though I've never heard him bad mouth a friend), and is insensitive. It's strange that he seems afraid to have a one-on-one conversation with me but, if someone else is present, he is uninhibited enough to answer anything you might ask. He does have a stalker-ish persona towards me, but it is covert...no one else would notice it. I can't tell if he's just an incredibly selfish man with a crush or a narcissist in pursuit of "supply." He would respect verbal boundaries, but again with the stalker-ish behavior. Like you said, I will just have accept that most of it is in his head and hopefully we can just play nice. Just wish there was ONE thing that was a definite 'yes' or 'no' so I knew how to handle it all. Oh yes, and maybe I am confused because I don't bring much to the table as far as him getting anything from me. Maybe I'm attractive in his opinion, but LOTS of women are friendly and attractive. It's not like I give him money or food or job offers...I don't really give him much attention either, but he definitely wants it.
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby IamTitanium » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:32 am

white flower,

With all due respect, everything you have posted about this person makes him out to be someone you would want to avoid at all costs. Plus, you've mentioned several times that he is married. Taking all that into consideration, why aren't you getting the hint that you should be avoiding this guy completely? What difference does it make if he is a Narcissist, NPD'ed or garden variety jerk?? He sounds like someone you definitely do NOT want to get involved with. Period. No diagnosis required. Why do you want to keep wasting your time trying to figure this guy out?
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby white flower » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:23 pm

Yes, absolutely I want to avoid him. I have even tried changing my schedule, but he just changed his. My motivation to try and understand him is that I want to know what I'm dealing with. From my understanding, narcissists can be vindictive...am I right? I could really do without that. Before I do anything drastic (referring to the stalker-ish behavior), I need to educate myself. He has a family so whatever I do will affect more than just him and myself. I like to think things through vs. react emotionally. That's really all it is. But, yes, I am leaning towards the 'eliminate him from my life' option vs. the 'just tolerate him' option.
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby IamTitanium » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:05 pm

white flower,

Yes, N's can be vindictive. So can a lot of people. I understand what you are trying to do, but it won't work.

My point is this . . . You've been posting these questions for at least a week. It should be becoming apparent to you that there is no possible way of diagnosing this guy based on an Internet forum. His "diagnosis" is not your problem. He is a co-worker, correct? Trying to call him out as a "Narcissist", or a "NPD'ed" person, or a psychopath, or whatever "label" you are looking for, will not help you. Or him. for that matter. It's a no-win situation.

If the way he is behaving towards YOU is bothering you, deal with it appropriately for a workplace setting. Go to HR and report what has happened. I'm not sure what sort of Company you work for, but if they have a decent HR Dept., they will have been trained what to look out for as far as unstable employees are concerned. If you go in there spouting about all the research you've been doing, you are going to look like the vindictive one. Don't try to just handle the situation yourself. Obviously, it makes you uncomfortable or you wouldn't be here. Just go to HR and present the FACTS, not your theories or suspicions, just the facts. Get the facts on record. You don't have to have HR take action on him yet, just make sure they know what's going on. I don't think that would be considered as, "acting emotionally". This is work, not personal.

The N's I have known do not pursue women unless they believe they have a chance of garnering something from them. (They don't pursue for the sake of pursuit). They need to have really good odds of some major pay off for them to continue pursuing. Basically, if you are just polite and make it clear that you are not interested, you will bore them and they will go away.

If you continue to allow this guy to be your obsession, who is going to look like the unstable one? Him? Or you?
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby white flower » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:00 pm

Yes, I concur. The plan is to change my schedule and if he pursues again, I will go to the right people. Any time I've tried to ignore/avoid him, he seems to try harder so I guess I'll have to ask for help. I do not find him intriguing in the slightest, rather his narcissism is what I'm trying to wrap my brain around. Thanks so much for the input.
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Re: How are narcissists with their friends?

Postby Lucifer » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:33 pm

I rarely ever answer or talk to them unless I feel something good can come out of it. I never confide in them as I believe we all need personal boundaries and I apparently don't trust them enough. I believe they have a vendetta against me if they aren't agreeing with me and thus I never apologize for my behavior(which I can't understand being bad). It's all water under the bridge until the next time they disagree with me in which I feel like they should just disappear from my life.


In other words, I don't have nor understand the concept of friendship as it relates to two people.
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