Narcissists Friendship & Loyalty

Did you ever question whether or not a “friend” was actually a friend or did you have a niggling feeling that they were stabbing you behind your back, only called when they wanted something?  That they act in a friendly way to you but this only a means to an end.  They will flirt, charm and be completely engaged at the beginning and seem like they have to potential to be a great friend.  Once they have harvested the information that they want about you/from you they will disengage if they do not deem you to be useful to them anymore.

Narcissists do not make good friends because they are only showing up for what they can get out of the “relationship”.  They have absolutely no sense of loyalty and will drop the friendship in an instant if someone “better” turns up.  In other words, someone/ or something that they perceive can give them more.   Make them look “better”, offer them social standing/network, be better dressed/looking or indeed make them look virtuous in some way such as church or charities.

At the beginning they can seem absolutely charming, have many shared interests and values and look like a potentially good friend.  However, this is all completely insincere and done to “groom” you, make you like them.  If you are not famous, rich or powerful they will lose interest over time and will expect you to come and visit them, do all of the running in the relationship and make all of the effort.  They will be indifferent about anything going on in your life, interrupt you if you talk about anything that interests you and expect you to listen endlessly to them and be tolerant of their latest obsession.  They are not looking for a friendship like most of us see them, they are looking for your attention and any resources that they might be able to extract from you, by lies and deceit if they think that it would serve them better.

Loyalty doesn’t exist for them as they do not see other people as anything other than objects to be manipulated and mined for resources.  They can easily say vicious things about you behind your back.  However, narcissists do understand the concept of loyalty as they will expect is from you.

If you suspect that your “friend” is a narcissist ask yourself:

  • Do I feel better for having spent time in their presence?
  • What is my energy level like after being with them?
  • Did I just drive for an hour to see them and all they did was talk about themselves?
  • Did they ask about me?
  • If they did, did they wait for you to answer or get bored with what you were saying very quickly?
  • Narcissists see their friends as accessories to prop up their image, are you welcome to some events and not invited to others because you don’t have the right clothes or contacts?
  • Narcissists feel superior to other people and to maintain this feeling of superiority will devalue others (including you).
  • They will not be able to enjoy/sincerely celebrate any of your achievements and if someone else congratulates you, they will behave like you have stolen something from them.
  • Narcissists are cold and manipulative, even if they hide behind a mask. You will feel that you have been walked up a blind alley a lot of the time.  They are incapable of genuine warmth or even considering your needs.

“We have to recognise that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.”

Cornel West, Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life

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