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Advice on dealing with friend

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Advice on dealing with friend

Postby vicarpeggio » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:17 pm

I've just had a serious exchange with a friend who I believe has the symptoms of NPD. Been friends for many years. He's very moody, and can take it out on myself and others with some petty behaviour and insults. Nothing too severe to it, but I'm tired of being his emotional punching bag, as it's affecting my own well-being.

After his latest attempt to darken the mood, I called him on it, and told him I want him to think about how what he was saying was affecting me. I was firm when he tried to make excuses, asserting my point when he tried to wiggle out of it. I just wanted him to examine how what he was saying to me wasn't very friendly or constructive.

Fast forward 7 hours, and he sends me a text about he had been in tears and devastated about what I'd said. He was seriously considering ending our friendship, because he couldn't take my continuous criticism of him, which in his mind had gone back years. This was shocking and disturbing.

I was wondering if people here recognize this behaviour, and have some advice on how to deal with this, and perhaps salvage the friendship. I don't feel like I'm dealing with a rational person, which makes it hard to know how to approach this.

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Re: Advice on dealing with friend

Postby xdude » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:46 pm

Hey vicarpeggio,

Your guess on diagnosis is as good as any of our guesses, but that aside ...

It appears you are already on track to finding out if this relationship is salvageable. You are saying what you needed to say now, and your friend's part is up to him.

If you are correct about the NPD, then one of the real risks is that others do not say what they are really feeling/thinking for a long time. It's understandable. Maybe if we keep the peace, let it go, appease, something will change. Rarely happens that way. Now you are setting boundaries.

What happens next is up to your friend.
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Re: Advice on dealing with friend

Postby pamelaperejil » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:56 pm

I just posted this on another thread where someone was asking for advice with their BPD friend. Though it wasn't written for you, I think it's apt.

It's manipulative, most certainly, and I agree you haven't done anything wrong. I wouldn't come "crawling back", but if you value your friendship with this person enough I might do the following: leave the door open for her to come back once she cools down. It may be that she just struggles with her emotions and impulse control and, while you shouldn't give her a free pass on that kind of thing, you might do well to keep in mind that it's not always done maliciously or in a consciously calculated way. Furthermore, everyone has their flaws and inner demons, and every relationship involves compromises and a certain give-and-take. I certainly wouldn't allow her to make you feel guilty about anything you've done, but it's up to you to decide how much you value this person and if her good points are worth the frustration. Maybe you'll decide that they are not, and that's okay too.

If you let her back into your life, I would certainly keep in mind a mental set of boundaries and make sure to call her on it if she crosses them. You don't have to be unkind, but you really do need to insist. Before you even consider letting her back into your life you need to make sure that you're strong enough and patient enough to do that, to enforce your boundaries, because you will be called upon to do it.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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