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The Narcissistic Friend: Why They’re So Evil & How to Deal With Them

Selfish people are no fun to be around. So, if you have a narcissistic friend, what can you do? Here’s everything you need to know to save yourself.

narcissistic friend

We like to throw the word ‘narcissism’ around when describing people. Most of us don’t really know what it means when we say we have a narcissistic friend or partner.

Basically, narcissism is extreme self-centeredness. Let’s get one thing straight, not everyone who’s a little into themselves is narcissistic. There are some phases in life where we’re more selfish, but that doesn’t qualify someone as being a full-blown narcissist.

Like most things in life, narcissism ranges on a spectrum, with some more severe than others.

For example, there are moments where you might look at someone and say, wow, they are so selfish right now. And given the situation, you might be right. But that doesn’t mean they have a narcissistic personality disorder.

[Read: The 16 characteristics of a narcissist that give them away instantly]

How to tell if you have a narcissistic friend

Now, you may have a friend who you managed to figure out is a narcissist. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, but sometimes they act incredibly selfish while ignoring your interests. This may happen from time to time, and you won’t think much of it.

But if your friend is negatively impacting your life on a constant basis, then the odds are their narcissism is more severe than you thought.

If you’re having these thoughts, you want to cut back on the relationship. But how can you tell you have a narcissistic friend? Well, you’re about to find out.

1. They talk behind their friends’ backs

We all have those moments where we’re upset or angry about a friend and then talk to someone else about it. It’s not like we never talk behind someone’s back, we do.

But if your friend routinely trash-talks other people, spreading their personal information around, then that shows their lack of loyalty. [Read: Why narcissists do the selfish things they do]

2. They show no empathy

You’ve never thought your friend understood you, and well, you’re right. They can’t understand because they lack empathy.

Whatever kind of day you’re having – good or bad – they’re unable to relate. In their world, they’re without self-awareness. You’re not actually a person, rather, an object to be used and played with.

3. They knock you down

If you’re doing well in life, don’t go to them to share the good news. Narcissists aren’t into hearing positive news about their friends unless it benefits them.

Otherwise, they’ll take your good news and spin it to knock you down, working on destroying your self-esteem. They can’t handle the fact someone is doing better than them. [Read: How to set boundaries with a narcissist and weaken their hold over you]

4. It’s their way or the highway

There’s not much negotiating taking place when you have a narcissistic friend. With other people, you debate where you guys want to hang out or have a drink. But with a narcissistic friend, they call the shots. The worst part is they don’t really care how you feel about their decision.

5. You’ve been gaslighted

You’ve gotten to the point where you’re second-guessing what you’ve said to them in the past. You’re not sure who to believe; your friend or yourself.

Narcissistic people will try to spin their words, making you believe a conversation never happened, or they/you said something completely different. [Read: 14 signs a friend is gaslighting and playing mind games with you]

6. They need special treatment

Needless to say, they’re entitled. Whether they deserve the best or not, in their eyes, they can’t have it any other way.

Why? Because they believe they’re more special than everyone else. With a little effort, they expect the world to bow at their feet; unfortunately for them, that’s not reality. 

7. You’re emotionally drained after hanging out with them

If you have a friend like this, then spending an hour with them might feel like an eternity. And though you probably share some good times, further on into the friendship, you might become emotionally drained. Friends are supposed to feed your spirit, not drain everything out of you. [Read: 20 signs a friend is a user and how to stop them from draining you]

8. They need to be in control

You suggested grabbing a drink, but it’s at a bar they’ve never been to. This is dangerous territory for them; they must go into the unknown. In other words, it won’t happen. A narcissist needs to be in control of everything around them.

This is why they only go to places where they receive positive attention and know the people there. If they try something new, it’s on their terms. [Read: The most obvious signs of a controlling person]

9. They think they’re being generous

Ah, yes. They volunteered at a soup kitchen five years ago, and you still hear about how hard it was. Though we like to think narcissists are selfish, which they are, they don’t always act in the stereotypical selfish way.

Some narcissists will do good deeds to improve their public image; giving off the impression they’re kind-hearted.

10. They put you down

Whenever they get the chance, they’ll give you backhanded compliments, low-blows, and jabs, just to make sure you stay in your place.

Maybe you passed your exam, but they’ll tell you it was a fluke since you’re not that smart. These are small words, but they pack a punch. [Read: Backhanded compliments – What they are and the best ways to give it back to them]

11. It’s never their fault

They could have slept with your partner, but it wasn’t their fault because you and your partner had a fight and it was dark outside, and they were scared, blah blah blah.

Whatever they do, they’ll never, never take responsibility for their actions. Why would they? The moment they do, they lost the game, and are now seen as flawed.

12. They don’t handle advice well

Why would they need advice? They’re the light in your life. If anything, you’re the one who should take advice from them.

If they used the advice you’ve given them against you, the odds are they’re more narcissistic than you thought. In their eyes, you’re jealous, and all you want is for them to fail. [Read: 10 scenarios when it’s okay to ghost a friend]

13. They’re attention whores

Many people love attention. It doesn’t make them narcissistic. But if your friend has an exaggerated need for attention, it’s most likely paired with some of the signs above.

Everyone must flood them with positive support and words, fueling their narcissism and validation even more. All this does is inflate their ego even more; is that even possible?

Do narcissists have friends?

You might wonder if narcissists really have any true friends. Believe it or not, most narcissists do have friends. However, unlike normal people, they choose their friends very differently.

Someone who is not a narcissist will choose someone to be friends with because that person makes them feel less lonely, they have common interests, or they just basically like their personality. [Read: Narcissistic supply – how to control a narcissist and cut their power]

This is not how a narcissist chooses their friends. What they do is project an image of superiority so that they can hide who they really are. Then, the people pick the narcissist as their friends under false pretense. They don’t really know the person is a narcissist, so they are usually fooled.

This desire to feel better than anyone else is a big factor when it comes to the narcissist making friends. They might purposely choose friends who they think are inferior to them, just so they can feel better about themselves. 

But other narcissists do it differently. They might seek out a group of people who are smart, successful, and attractive. The reason they would do this is so that they can feel like they belong to a superior group of friends. It’s like they want to get the “good reputation” from this group without actually having to work for it themselves.

A normal person who has a great reputation can be friends with a narcissist, but they can be stabbed in the back by them. They might do this because they are jealous of their friend or just to be mean because they want to destroy them. [Read: Narcissistic relationship pattern – The 7 stages you have to face]

Why do narcissists have so many friends?

Narcissists are great at manipulating other people, so you might not know that they are a narcissist at all at the beginning of a friendship. They are almost fun to be around at first. But it’s only an act. They are playing to their “audience” so they get attention and praise.

However, eventually, people realize that they have been fooled. And in some cases, they may actually think they may be able to help the narcissist “change.” They think they are a good person for trying to help this narcissist be less selfish. But obviously, no one can change another person. 

And unfortunately, narcissists are almost incapable of change anyway. They can’t even understand that they might need to change their ways. It’s like they’re blind to how they relate to people and the world in general. [Read: What causes narcissism? The facts and theories to read a narcissist]

Why are narcissists’ friends so mean?

Have you ever heard of the phrases, “Birds of a feather flock together,” or “Misery loves company?” Well, there’s a reason for those sayings. It’s because they’re true.

Most people are attracted to people who are like themselves. So, if narcissists are friends with narcissists, it’s because they are similar and “understand” each other – even though it’s in a sick and twisted way.

The only reason normal people are friends with a narcissist is that they were fooled into thinking they were someone else. Hopefully, however, once they figure it out, they won’t put up with their behavior anymore.

How to deal with a narcissistic friend

Well, the best advice we can give for how to deal with a narcissist friend is to just cut ties with them. However, it’s easier said than done. Doing this can take a lot of energy because it’s so easy to get a hold of someone in this day and age. [Read: 20 signs of a narcissistic relationship that will destroy you slowly]

Because of our technology, we are literally available to anyone 24/7. So, you will just have to ignore their texts and calls. You might even need to block them on social media. 

But since this person is a narcissist, you should be prepared for how they will handle this. They still might try to contact you by infiltrating mutual friends and getting to you that way. Or, they could show up at your work. There really is no limit to what a narcissist will do so they can regain their power.

You might think that it would just be easier to tell your narcissist friend how you feel about their behavior, and they will change. That might be true for a normal person, but it doesn’t work that way for narcissists. They will never take your feelings into consideration because they always need to be right.

You could go the route of giving excuses like, “I’m too busy.” If you do this enough, hopefully, they will get the hint that you no longer want to be friends with them. But then again, they might not. If you’re too convincing with your excuses, then you are only setting yourself up to deal with them trying to stay your friend. [Read: Narcissistic rage – How to handle the angry backlash of a narcissist]

If you want to be more direct and tell them you want to “break up” the friendship, then make sure your speech is about you – not them. Use “I” statements so you can own your feelings. Be honest because it might actually benefit them in the long run.

If this affects mutual friends, then they might need to take sides. So, tell them as soon as you can so they can be prepared to handle the tricky situation of a friend breakup. [Read: Why a friendship breakup hurts just as much as a romantic breakup]

Regardless, you have to remember that you shouldn’t let the toxic friendship go on too long. Don’t delay the inevitable “break up” of the friendship. The longer you wait to do it, the more difficult it will be.

The best thing to do is to try to prevent becoming friends with a narcissist at all in the future. Prevention is always better. If a friendship seems too good to be true, then that is probably a sign that the person is putting on an act to impress you. [Read: How to spot a narcissist instantly and save yourself a world of pain]

So, don’t ever become “overnight best friends” with anyone. People who turn out to be the most narcissistic friends are really great at playing the role you need them to play at the beginning of a friendship.

Remember to follow your gut instincts. That is probably the best way you will weed out these excessively selfish people. Put yourself first.

[Read: How to make your toxic friend walk away for good]

Now, have you seen many of these signs of a narcissistic friend in your life? What are you going to do with your friend? It’s time to make some tough decisions in your best interest.

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