5 Ways to Spot a Narcissistic Friend

Hey Optimist Minds!

Do you have a friend who has a knack for making everything about themselves? Maybe they’re good looking or successful, and they love talking about it. 

Narcissists are people who are incredibly self-absorbed and entitled. They consider themselves the centre of the universe and vilify anyone who disagrees. Having one as a friend can be pretty draining, especially if you’re not aware of their narcissistic tendencies.

This video will guide you on how to recognise if your friend is narcissistic. Learning the signs will help you understand them better to deal with situations in an informed and appropriate way. Do not use this video to diagnose your friend, as only a licensed professional can do so. 

Let’s talk about five ways to spot a narcissistic friend.

Number One

Pay attention to how you feel around them.

When you’re with this friend, do you feel inadequate or small as compared to them? Do they let you think that you’re lucky they spend time with you?

Generally, being around narcissists can make you feel on edge. You might be anxious about saying or doing the right things to get their approval. This fear might be coming from unpleasant experiences in the past when they embarrassed or criticised you.

It can also be a fear of upsetting them because of their unpredictable rage. Perhaps they took a casual comment you made too personally and berated you for it. Narcissistic friends will make you think ten times before you act. They’ll also keep rubbing in their superiority to make you feel indebted for their company.

Number Two

Notice what happens when you try to talk about their behaviour.

Have you ever tried to talk about your concerns with this friend? Did it turn out to be a disaster, leaving you feeling confused or guilty?

Narcissists are known for using emotionally manipulative tactics like gaslighting to deflect responsibility during conflicts. If you have a problem with something they did and want to address it with open communication, you’re going to have a tough time.

They’ll probably just ignore what you said or dismiss it like it’s nothing. If you still insist on talking about it, they’ll fight back with accusations that make you look like the bad guy. Even if you have evidence for their bad behaviour, they’ll either blame you or someone else for it. Whatever they do, it’s unlikely that they’ll be receptive or take accountability for what they did.

Number Three

See how they feel about other people that you care about.

Does this friend usually have bad things to say about other important people in your life? Do they try to convince you that they’re the only person who truly cares about you?

By isolating you from other significant loved ones, a narcissist attempts to gain more control in your life. If they succeed in becoming the last remaining person in your social circle, they can get you to do anything you want.

This hidden motive makes them openly criticise or mock the other people in your life. If you’re not careful, they might have you believe that you only need them and no one else. It’s important to remember that a true friend would want you to have other meaningful relationships in life.

Number Four

Check how they react to your achievements.

If you’re celebrating something you’re proud of, does this friend rain on your parade? Do they make you feel like your success isn’t that big of a deal?

A narcissist can’t bear to let anyone else be the centre of attention. If they see you talking about something good that happened to you, they’ll make it seem ordinary or boring. On the other hand, when others acknowledge your success, they might attempt to focus on themselves.

If nothing works, a narcissistic friend will hit below the belt and remind you of your insecurities. You might have told them something in confidence, and they may use this information against you—anything to make you feel less proud of yourself.

Number Five

Observe what happens when you don’t comply.

Beyond a point, you might have decided that you’re done always obeying this friend’s orders. Maybe, you tried to stand up for yourself and denied their obnoxious requests. If your friend has narcissistic tendencies, this couldn’t have gone down well.

Their entitled nature makes it hard for them to take no for an answer. Narcissists usually respond to non-compliance with aggression. They might start by making you feel guilty for not being a true friend. Then, perhaps they’ll try some emotional blackmail.

If these controlling tricks don’t work with you, they won’t hesitate to demean you. For example, after being nasty to you, they might shut you out entirely and spread rumours about you.

Have you experienced any of the scenarios we described here? Does any toxic friend you have fit the descriptions we gave? Let us know in the comments if you think your friend could be a narcissist.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.


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