Tag Archives: friendship
Many of us who have been raised by narcissistic parents seem to end up with many other narcissists in our lives. We often end up romantically involved with them or friends with them. Like many others, I have experienced both, mostly narcissistic friends. I’ve also found precious little information available about narcissistic friendships, so I decided to tackle the topic myself.
People who come on too strong when first meeting you can be narcissists. That new friend who you just met yet who wants to spend lots of time with you or claims you’re their best friend may be a narcissist. Some folks who act in this way are simply insecure, but even so, you should be aware that there is a possible a sign of narcissism.
Friends who talk down to you are often narcissists. Narcissists seem to think they are superior to their victims, & don’t mind showing it. They act smug & talk to victims as if they are much less intelligent than the narcissist.
Your friend who can’t be bothered with your problems is probably a narcissist. Remember, narcissists all lack empathy. If you tell your friend you have a problem & they act bored, act as if they can’t be bothered, trivialize your problem or change the subject, these are all red flags of a lack of empathy.
If your friendship is one sided, that’s a big red flag of narcissism. A good friendship is balanced. Sure, sometimes your friend will need more from you than usual, but there are also times you will need more from your friend than usual. It balances out. When the bulk of your friendship is your friend taking from you while giving nothing in return, chances are your friend is a narcissist.
Narcissists expect their friends to be available to them 24/7, & believe there are no excuses for not being available. Narcissistic friends have no problems calling at 11:00 at night even knowing you need to be up for work at 5 a.m. If you don’t take their call, they say you’re a terrible friend, accuse you of not caring & more. If they need a ride somewhere, that is what you are for, to provide it. In fact, if they need anything, you are supposed to meet that need.
If your friend talks non stop about himself or herself, while never or almost never asking about you, that is another sign of narcissism. Narcissists almost never stop talking about themselves. Overt narcissists may brag about their fantastic accomplishments or covert ones may be subtle in discussing the things they do for others. They may discuss their problems or interests non stop.
Once you realize your friend is a narcissist, it’s usually best to end the friendship if at all possible, as is often the solution with any narcissistic relationship. Most often I believe the Gray Rock method is the best way to end a relationship with a narcissistic friend. In other words, become boring to your friend. Take their calls, spend time with them & do things for them less & less. When they get mad at you, pretend it doesn’t bother you in the slightest. Show them no reaction or emotion. If they demand to know why you weren’t available, give no excuses. Just say you were busy, & change the subject. When they talk about themselves, act disinterested. The more boring a narcissist finds a person, the less time they want to spend with that person. Often, they get bored enough to discard their victim.
Having a narcissistic friend isn’t easy, but you can protect yourself & handle the situation! Remember the kind of person you are dealing with, keep your emotions under control around them & conduct yourself accordingly.
Job 35:11 Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? (KJV)
One of God’s greatest blessings is animals. I’ve always loved & appreciated animals, but the older I get, the more I love & appreciate them. Animals love deeply & unconditionally, they are fun, they are very intuitive & intelligent. What’s not to love?!
In 2001, my husband & I lost Bubba, a very gentle, sweet, special orange tabby cat I’d had since he was only 4 weeks old. I was absolutely convinced losing Bubba was going to kill me, my grief was so strong. In spite of the pain though, God showed me something interesting at that time- I could communicate with animals.
The day after Bubba died, I let the cats out into the backyard for some supervised fun. I went to Bubba’s freshly dug grave for a moment of grief. I told him how much I loved him & missed him, & always would. A small voice spoke to my heart saying, “It’s OK, Mommy. I feel much better now!” (Bubba suffered with feline AIDS & emphysema for about 4 months before he died) I wasn’t sure I heard this right at all, & quickly came back to the part of the yard where the cats were. Spitfire, the queen of the castle, looked at me with great concern as I came near her & I heard, “Something is wrong with Mommy.” I told my husband what happened, & he said he could believe I could hear them. After all, I was extremely close to all of our cats.
The following day, I turned on some music while I was doing housework. When Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song, “Freebird” came on, I heard what I’d thought was Bubba’s voice again, as I heard it the previous day. “Mommy, this song fits me. Listen to the lyrics.” By this time, I doubted my sanity. Once I was done my chores, I prayed, asking God what was going on. I felt no answer coming, so I opened up my Bible. It came open to the book of Job, & my eyes fell on this Scripture: Job 12:7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (KJV) Immediately, I knew I heard Bubba & Spitfire. I wasn’t crazy!
Since that time, I’ve gotten better at communicating with animals. I don’t often hear them as clearly as I did Bubba & Spitfire, but I still communicate with them constantly. What’s so interesting is the more I wanted to communicate with them, the more they wanted to communicate with me. Our late chow chow mix, Bear, taught me that when he barked once it meant yes, twice meant no & three times meant I love you. Vincent, my granddad’s cat that we ended up adopting in 2008, told me one day his great great great great grandfather was a purebred Abyssinian cat. He was very proud of his heritage apparently. Minnie Rose, our dilute tortoise shell cat, actually tries to form words with her meows, so there is never much trouble figuring out what message she is trying to get across, especially when she says, “Yea” or, “NOOOO!!”. Punkin is our orange tabby with feline PTSD. He is very vocal & very clear at communicating whatever he wants me to know with certain facial expressions as well as meows.
I’m always impressed by how if you just pay attention to them, animals will make sure you know what they want you to know. You just need to be observant.
Also, not all animals are overly interested in communication with people, so if you try to communicate with some animals, they may have absolutely no interest, no matter how hard you try. Some seem to put up a mental wall.
Be careful reading about communicating with animals. Some who discuss animal communication claim it is some sort of psychic ability instead of a gift from God. They make it sound almost occult in nature. I have asked God to help me to communicate with animals His way, & with whatever animals He wants me to communicate with. I believe keeping God involved keeps anything bad out of what really should be God’s gift to His children.
Several years ago, I wrote my first book on the topic of animals. I even included some about things my animals & I have discussed. If you would like to check out this book, it is called, “Pawprints On Our Hearts”, & is available at this page on my website, simply scroll down : http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Books-For-Sale.php
Tomorrow is the 22nd anniversary of hubby’s & my first date. Hard to believe! Time sure flies!
Ever since the first anniversary of this special day, we have done a little something to commemorate the day. It can be as simple as sharing some wine, cheese & crackers when he gets home from work, talking by a fire, playing a board game or it can be a bit bigger such as going out to dinner, taking a day trip or recreating that special day. Whatever we do though, we enjoy ourselves & reminisce.
We used to do something similar after we first got married. We got married on September 24, 1998, so on the 24th of every month, we would celebrate a little. (not sure why we stopped that, come to think of it..). Interestingly when I mentioned it to my granddad, he said he & my grandmom used to do that too, for many years.
I’ve found these little celebrations are really nice! They give you something to look forward to. They also encourage intimacy. They foster closeness. They also help you to slow down & enjoy each other in a world that tends to be just too busy.
I’ve expanded this celebrating thing a bit, too. I include my best friend in celebrations too. We met in August, 1988 (although the day has escaped me) & each August I remind her of that & tell her how grateful I am for her friendship for so many years.
Remembering & celebrating things like this helps those in your life to feel loved & special. It also is fun for you when you can make those you love feel that way. It helps to add more joy into both your life & that of your loved one. Why not give it a try? Celebrate special events with those you love!
Ever since I can remember, most of my relationships have been unbalanced. I’ve been the one to do the bulk of the work. It started with my parents. Both came to me with complaints about their marriage or involved me in their fights or for me to help them feel better if they were upset. As I made friends, they often came to me with problems or needs, & expected me to listen or meet those needs often without so much as a thank you or even asking how I am. Yet, if I had a need or problem, I was on my own, unable to count on them for any help.
This was simply a way of life. Until recently.
I’d realized this was a problem several years ago, but had no idea what to do about it or even if I should do anything about it. After all, people need someone to talk to & there isn’t a great deal of empathy in the world. I thought maybe I needed to just suck it up & continue on this path. After all, so many said, “I can’t talk to anyone else about this problem!”, “I feel so much better after talking to you,” “You’re the only person who understands- I don’t know what I’d do without you” or someone close to the person would say, “You need to stay strong for her/him!” Those phrases made me feel obligated.
Then last year I got sick. Coming close to dying changed me. No longer could I listen without having a significant physical reaction. For a short time, certainly, but not for a long time or even frequently. Suddenly I no longer felt a bit tired & drained after listening to someone talk about their problems. Instead, I now feel absolutely exhausted, sometimes for days. I also realized I felt a new resentment when I was expected to listen to someone who couldn’t even ask how I was doing or changes the subject or interrupts if I start to talk. I also became very angry when someone would expect me to listen to them, offer comfort or advice without so much as asking if I was busy before taking up my time. I felt disrespected, taken for granted & much like their personal trash can.
Have you ever felt that way? Like someone’s personal trash can? It’s a very unpleasant way to feel isn’t it?
Those who survive narcissistic abuse are often very compassionate, caring people. We know what it’s like to hurt, & want to help other people not to hurt. We also are people pleasers, because we were raised to please a narcissistic parent. People pleasing becomes a habit. As a result, others tend to take advantage of us. They expect us to help them or listen to them without offering anything in return. We can become their personal therapist.
While it’s great to help people & listen to them if they need to talk, it’s unfair when it’s one sided. Relationships should be balanced. Maybe sometimes you do most of the giving but there also should be times when the other person in the relationship should do most of the giving.
Being the trash can also leads to unnecessary stress in the listener. The talker is the one who gets to dump all of his anxiety, anger or hurt onto the listener, basically freeing the talker from much of those negative emotions & turning the listener into his personal trash can, catching those negative emotions.
This also leads to resentment from the listener. Eventually, the unfairness & stress of the situation will kick in, & the listener will be tired of being the trash can. She’ll be angry & tired, & she has every right to be.
To handle this, I think the best place to start is with God. Talk to Him about how you feel & ask Him what to do. Then, do as He guides you to.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries. You have every right to tell the person who wants you to listen to them that now isn’t a good time, you have a lot on your mind & need some time to yourself, or even simply no. You need to do this for your own mental & physical health. Plus, doing so can be good for the talker as well. He needs to look to God & other people for help. You can’t be his savior! By you being there all of the time, basically you’re in the position that God should be in in his life.
There have been a great deal of controversial things happening in the world lately, such as same sex marriage becoming a nationwide right. People often have extreme feelings on controversial issues. So extreme in fact, many friendships have ended due to people disagreeing with each other.
This makes me sad. I don’t understand why people won’t respect each other’s opinions. Agree to disagree, if you will. You don’t have to agree on every single thing to have a good relationship. No two people will anyway, because God made everyone an individual, with unique tastes, thoughts & feelings.
Disagreeing with someone’s views on a topic doesn’t give you the right to force your views on them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whether it’s right, wrong or indifferent. If God Himself doesn’t force people to do anything, what makes you think you have that right?
I’m hoping, Dear Reader, that this doesn’t describe you. But, if it does, I pray God will help you to become more gentle & understanding in your behavior.
If you’ve been on the receiving end of harsh words due to a differing opinion, I’m very sorry. It’s hurtful, I know. If you haven’t lost your friend because of your views, but you two disagree, it may be a good idea simply to avoid discussing the topic. If you have a good friend, yet you both feel strongly on different sides of a topic, why let that one thing hurt your friendship? Agree to disagree. Simply accept that you both feel differently on the issue at hand, & don’t discuss it anymore. This really works if both people value the friendship & are willing to do this. I’ve done this myself in my friendships, usually with good results.
Sometimes though, it doesn’t turn out as well. Some people are so determined to make sure you hear their opinions & change yours to theirs, it will ruin a friendship. They always remind me of this one dream I had last year. I wrote about it here if you’d like to read it. I’ve been in that situation too, & it really hurts. A few years ago, I ended a friendship of 20 years because that person only cared about what he cared about, nothing else mattered, even hurting me. It still hurts to this day. Unfortunately in these situations, you’re going to hurt. It’s just a fact. All you can do is nurse your wounds, & appreciate the good, caring friends you have who are willing to accept you even if you differ on opinions.
Does it seem like not only are narcissists everywhere, but they all find you & want to be your friend or romantic interest?
I’ve felt that way myself. I’ve had so many failed friendships with people I later realized were narcissists. I probably would’ve had more failed romantic relationships with narcissists as well if I wasn’t so particular about who I dated before I got married. So many times in my life, I’ve felt like a narcissist magnet- if there’s one within ten miles of me, they will find me quicker than a bloodhound on the trail of a rabbit..
And, it’s not just me. Many other people I’ve talked to share this experience. This made me wonder why do some of us keep ending up with such dysfunctional, abusive people in our lives? I came up with a theory…
Like me, the other folks I’ve talked to who have had many narcissistic relationships also were raised by at least one narcissistic parent. This means they learned very early in life to behave in a certain way- to work hard to please others, not to ask much (anything, really) from others in a relationship, to tolerate abuse, to offer much praise & no criticism. These behaviors are extremely pleasing to narcissists, so upon meeting people who behave that way, narcissists are instantly attracted. They then begin their own version of “love bombing.” Love bombing is when a narcissist inundates their prospective “love interest” (more like victim..) with loving gestures- romance, gifts, words of love & praise, wanting to take care of the love interest financially or rescue from a bad situation. Narcissistic friends do this minus the romantic aspect. They listen to you, pretend to share things in common with you, & more to draw you into a relationship with them. Once you’re in though, the mask comes off & the true person is revealed.
So how do you avoid attracting narcissistic friends & romantic interests? Get mentally healthy!
The more mentally healthy you are, the less able narcissists are to use & abuse you, which is an incredible turn off for them. While many narcissists enjoy the challenge of destroying someone who is strong, empathetic, & intelligent, they do like someone who can be molded into whatever they want. An mentally healthy person won’t let that happen. She knows her boundaries, & enforces them strictly. She also recognizes dysfunctional & abusive behavior quickly, & won’t tolerate it. Being mentally healthy is more valuable than having a high IQ when it comes to deterring abusive people from wanting to be in a relationship with you.
I’ve seen this come to pass in my own life. The more mentally healthy I’ve become, the less interested in me narcissists are. I seldom find any interested in talking to me for more than a short time, let alone pursuing a friendship. Plus, I usually can spot them a mile away now, so when I realize the person I just met is a narcissist, I’ll have fun with them. I’ll change the subject off of them, their interests, etc. onto something else. Preferably me, since narcissists have no interest in talking about anyone other than themselves.. heehee!
Something else has come from being healthier too- not only do I attract less narcissists, but I attract more mentally healthy people! I honestly can say right now that I do not have ONE abusive &/or narcissistic friend in my life. My friends are caring, compassionate, intelligent & generous. If we have a disagreement, we can work things out, even if we never come to agree. We know it’s OK to agree to disagree. We don’t always share many similar interests, but we do respect each other’s right to be interested in what the other is interested in without judgment. We often think very much alike & share similar religious beliefs.
I’m not saying attracting narcissists in your life is your fault, or that you have to be completely mentally healthy & over the narcissistic abuse to have good friendships. Not by any means! Please don’t think that is what I mean at all! It’s still completely on the narcissist that they seek out victims. And, once you start recognizing & failing to tolerate abuse, things will change naturally. Abusers will start seeing you as an unavailable target & seek another victim.
Most of us know how to identify narcissists in real life- the haughty attitude is a clear sign of an overt narcissist, while the sweet, innocent act as the person is trying to manipulate you is a giveaway that you’re dealing with a covert narcissist. Unfortunately, when you participate in social media or in online forums, detecting narcissists isn’t so easy. Online verses in person gives significant disadvantages. In person, you can read body language or voice tones, but online, such helpful clues are unavailable. This means the clues are much more subtle.
So how can you identify a narcissist simply via online contact?
First, if a person doesn’t ask how you’re doing, what’s going on in your life, or similar questions, that is a red flag. Even people who aren’t close will usually ask questions about the other person’s life. Maybe not every single time, sometimes people have an off day, but if not asking anything about you is the norm? Red flag!
Second, a narcissist isn’t open to hearing the views of others on any topic. Politics, religion, relationships.. the narcissist knows it all, & if you don’t believe that, just ask the narcissist..
Third, narcissists don’t “agree to disagree.” If you disagree with a narcissist, she will take offense. If she disagrees with you, then you need to hear about how wrong you are.
Closely related to the previous point, narcissists will beat you to death with their opinion if they feel you aren’t hearing them. I had a dream once I wrote about here that made this point clear to me. I recommend you read about it- the dream clearly demonstrated this point to me.
Narcissists also have absolutely no interest in what you have to say. You can tell a narcissist anything, no matter how important, & they won’t care. If it doesn’t directly affect a narcissist, it doesn’t matter to a narcissist.
And, narcissists aren’t humble. If you give one a complement, you won’t hear “Thank you!” They instead come across with this attitude of “It’s about time you noticed” You’ll be lucky if they give you a little smiley face in response…
Mark 6:4 ” But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house.” (AMP)
This Scripture came to mind recently as it reminded me of something..
It seems like so many people have a serious physical or mental health problem, yet their families don’t believe they are as sick as they say, are faking their illness for attention or only to get those ‘good drugs.’ Personally I have been told to get over my past, learn to fix things with my parents, think more positive & just get a pill- that will fix it. I’ve also heard that I am wrong-that my parents aren’t so bad, I need to cut them some slack since they aren’t getting any younger yanno…
I have tried in vain to make other people close to me see the truth of my situation to no avail, & I have seen other people do the same with people close to them. Witnessing this made me realize exactly how fruitless it really can, & that some people, often those closest to you, just do not care. Unfortunately, people are so hungry for validation, that we sometimes keep beating that dead horse.
While it is certainly understandable to want that validation, especially from those closest to us, sometimes it is time to realize it won’t happen. When discussing your symptoms or your condition, sometimes you can tell when the other person is not interested in the subject at hand. They may look bored or try to change the subject repeatedly. They also may say invalidating things such as, “it can’t be that bad,” “It must be nice for you, not having to get up & go to work in the morning,” or defend the person who abused you “Well, I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way,” or “she did the best she could by you.”
If your conversation takes a turn like this, it’s time to make a decision- is it worth continuing to try to convince this person that you have an actual problem or should you just stop?
I have decided to stop wasting my time. It just isn’t worth the frustration on my part or making the other person angry. It hurts, but I have accepted that some people just aren’t capable of the empathy or compassion it takes to be supportive of me.
People who genuinely know & care won’t be invalidating. They will be supportive & not judgmental. They know you well enough to know you aren’t making anything up or exaggerating. People like that are a wonderful blessing!
I am also very blessed with wonderful, wonderful fans who email me often not only to say thank you for something I wrote that helped them, but also sometimes to offer me encouragement. 🙂 It seems strange to me that people I’ve never met care more than some who are closer to me, but apparently it happens. Obviously Jesus understood it well & experienced it firsthand.
Good morning, Dear Readers!!!
Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. I am blessed to be married to Eric. My favorite thing about him is that he is my friend, not just my husband. We have fun together. Last night, we turned out all the lights, I lit some candles, made some popcorn, & we watched a scary old Boris Karloff movie together. (“Black Sabbath”- if you like scary old movies, this one is great!!! Check it out) Today, we unfortunately have some things to do, then later, we’re going to have a picnic in our back yard with wine, cheese, & crackers. Nothing fancy, but romantic. I’m looking forward to it.
Is your husband/wife your friend too? Celebrate that friendship & have some fun together!!