How I Ended my Friendship with a Narcissist

The parasitic nature of a narcissistic person, how to spot one, and what scares them the most

Image by Alex Iby on Unsplash

A few years ago I met a girl at a party. She was vibrant, hilarious, and loved animals. She had so many good qualities and literally lit up a room. This would be my first experience with a narcissist and I had no idea.

We became fast friends and we were inseparable. While I noticed some things about her behavior I didn’t like, I made excuses for her. She suffered from mental illness and I attributed her behavior to the demons she was dealing with.

Eventually, I introduced her to a guy and they became serious quickly. He was a good person, an empath like me. However, they had a very tumultuous relationship.

After a couple of years, they broke up and I was left to pick the pieces. Initially, I didn’t mind being there to console her. That’s what girlfriends do! I went to her house, made grocery runs, and cooked her dinner. However, it was never enough for her.

She called me crying multiple times a day, for weeks. I began to feel drained and irritable. My fiance became concerned about the amount of time and energy she was taking from me. I realized that I had to put some boundaries in place if our friendship was going to survive.

I gently brought up the idea of therapy. I advised her that friends can only listen and give guidance but a professional can help her cope with the loss of her partner. I told her that I wanted to help but that I couldn’t heal her from the breakup. She became enraged and began to distance herself.

After this conversation, I messaged her frequently only to receive no response. She deleted me off of social media and cut me out of her life completely. She told our friends in common that I wasn’t there for her when she needed me the most.

“When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth just like you did.” — Jill Blakeway

Subsequently, our friends in common had the same experience. They were there for her, she became parasitic, and when they set boundaries she was gone with the wind.

I grieved the end of our six-year friendship like a death. I felt like I didn’t do enough for her. Now I realize that whatever I did was never going to be enough. She was a narcissistic person who only cared about her needs.

I had a hard time when this friendship ended. I valued and loved her as I do all of my friends. We had good times together and those memories meant a lot to me. For her, these things didn’t matter.

Narcissists only care about what they can get out of someone. They don’t look at people as allies. People are objects they use and discard when they are no longer of service to them.

Ironically, I was actually the person that ended the friendship. I realized that I terminated the relationship by setting boundaries. This is not a bad thing.

After this experience, I grew as a person. I realized I had to protect myself from narcissists. Now I can recognize the signs of a narcissistic person before they take over my life.

There are many signs of narcissism, however, this list contains the traits I’ve witnessed first-hand.

Their time is always more important than yours

Narcissists will make you wait for them, sometimes for hours. They are typically late showing up to events because only their time matters.

That being said I know plenty of people who are chronically late but are not narcissists. The difference is that narcissistic people will not apologize for being late. As far as they’re concerned, they are the star of the show and we are merely actors.

They prefer having one friend at a time

Narcissists tend to seek out a person who is caring and nurturing. Generally, they prefer people who are passive. This is because they know they can freely drain this person.

They use this person until there’s nothing left or the person finally sets boundaries. Then they are gone, off to find a new host.

They want emotional support from you without reciprocation

Narcissists love a good venting session when it’s all about them. They need someone to be constantly coddling them.

When the time comes that you need support, suddenly they are “swamped at work” or are having another crisis. Naturally, this crisis is worse than yours and needs to be discussed right away.

They fish for compliments by putting themselves down

Narcissists want all of the attention on them, always. When all else fails, self-criticism will get them the results they desire.

This is all about compliments and recognition. They rely on others to build them up because deep inside they know they are broken.

They refuse to be around people that intimidate them

A narcissistic person usually has a grandiose sense of self. They believe that their presence is a gift to whoever they are with.

They do not like being around people who are more successful or good looking than they are. They have the need to shine and these people make them look dull in comparison.

They are notorious “one uppers”

Do you know who always has it the worst out of everyone in this world? The narcissist. Ironically, they have a grandiose sense of self but also need to be told that they have a hard life.

If you have a sad story, step aside because I’ll bet the narcissist has a sadder one. They are always the most injured, ill, or wronged out of everyone. Again, this comes from their need for validation.

They deflect blame onto others

Nothing that happens to a narcissist is their fault. They always have a scapegoat for every situation. They seek out drama and then blame the other person for the situation.

Naturally, you will be the person they blame. The most loving and compassionate person in their life is their target. They do this because they believe you will be there for them no matter what.

They do not know how to deal with boundaries

Normal people see boundaries as a way to keep their relationships healthy. Narcissists see boundaries as a rejection. They think they own everything and everyone.

They believe we should be available 24/7 to help them through their latest self-induced crisis. The quickest way to get rid of a narcissistic person is setting boundaries.

If you have experienced the destruction of a narcissistic person, don’t change who you are. Please don’t become jaded because you were used and abused.

There is a small percentage of people that are narcissistic in this world. The majority of people we encounter are kind, genuine and care about the needs of others.

I will never stop making new friends. I love people and I am lucky to have several amazing souls in my life.

This summer I got married and had seven strong, nurturing, and incredible women standing for me as bridesmaids. There was a time that I thought my old friend would have been one of them, but I am glad she wasn’t. Our wedding day would’ve been all about her.

If you are reading this and realizing that you have someone in your life that matches all of these characteristics, start setting boundaries.

That loss of control usually scares a narcissist away. After you’ve taken out the trash, you can devote your time to the people who really care about you.

Wife, mother, and researcher of a myriad of subjects. I love to write about anything and everything! Writer for The Startup, Better Marketing, & The Ascent👊

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