When you have a lot of friends, how do you know if you have a narcissistic friend?
One of my friends never calls me unless she is complaining about something. Occasionally I get to correspond with a story about my life which I think may help her in hers. Mostly I just sit and listen.
She is currently living with a man whom she is not married to. He doesn’t treat her right. She has called me numerous times to say that she is leaving him. She does for a day or two then goes right back to him.
He is similar in some ways to my ex-boyfriend, so I can empathize with her. However, my ex had a volatile temper and her boyfriend does not. That is the reason why I no longer intend to return to him. https://www.theshatteredvase.com/index.php/2020/06/01/domestic-violence-in-dating/
Whenever I call this friend she hardly ever calls me back.
It is only when she needs to talk that she calls. I understand the need to talk about complex relationships. I have worn some of my friends down when talking about my past relationships. I enjoy her calls even if it is all about her.
The other day I called her and wanted to talk about my problems. She didn’t call back that evening. The next morning she called early in the morning and began right off the bat with her complaints. I didn’t even get to mention my concern.
This has happened to me with another friend also. She knew I was going through a hard time and called me to check on me only to go on and on about her past failed relationships.
Am I a magnet for a narcissistic friend?
Why is it that I am attracting people who seem to only care about themselves? I began to study the subject of narcissism.
I do believe I was raised by a narcissistic mother. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201311/the-narcissistic-mother
My mother is very needy and demanding of attention. When I talk with her, I listen, because even if I have a problem that is dire and distressing she always turns it around to be about her.
She is close to ninety now and is hard of hearing. So, listening is a lot easier than talking with her. Although I hear the same stories repeated in the same conversation. She no longer remembers what she just told me. I let the broken record play for a short time and then tell her I must go.
However, I love my mother, so I listen and try to engage her in positive conversation, which is a challenge, because she is addicted to negativity.
Their is one common trait among Narcissistic people.
They have been hurt and have not yet healed.
Both of my narcissistic friends have been hurt by relationships, as had my mother. They both focus on the darkness that this hurt has brought into their life. They can talk on and on about betrayal, abuse and mistreatment. They become so clouded by the pain that they don’t look outside of themselves to see what others are going through.
It is hard to be a friend to someone like that. However, I have other friends. I have a couple of friends who have been put into jail because they could not pay child support. Both of these friends have developed ministries for singles. They are amazing! If they mention the pain of their past, it is in passing, not the platform upon which they stand.
A narcissist will glorify the evil that has been done to them.
They will try to get you pulled into their pain because they have a grandiose opinion of themselves. NO ONE, I REPEAT NO ONE should do them wrong. For some insane reason, they think that they are ALWAYS RIGHT!
So why do I continue to be their friend?
Because I am someone who cares. I try to lure them into healing and bait them with the treasure of forgiveness.
I also take comfort in the realization that not all of my friends are narcissistic in nature. I have many friends who actually care about me. They reach out to me when I am in pain and pray for me.
To be a friend of a narcissist is a lonely place to be.
That is why they are not my only friends.
I was on a cruise with a large group of my friends. One day I was separated from them. The next day when we had Bible study they comforted me. I told them, “It was one thing to be alone and know you had no one to turn to, and yet another thing to be alone knowing that your friends were on the shore waiting to embrace you.”
That is the the difference between being alone and being lonely.
As a Christian, I may be a magnet for narcissistic friends.
I have come to realize that my kind nature is a magnet for narcissistic people. My narcissistic mother conditioned me to be that. Sometimes I feel drained by my friends and I have to retreat. However, I do still love them and try to be available.
I remember in one passage in the Bible John 6:25 where Jesus addressed the crowds.
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”
Jesus knew that people were there only to take from him. That didn’t stop him from loving them. His desire was still to restore them and make them whole.
If Jesus could love a narcissistic crowd, who am I to say I can not love the same in friends?
Maybe narcissism is not a sin, but rather a stumbling block on the pathway of healing. Maybe it takes the right friend, with wisdom, to help them overcome that stumbling block, hoping that they will become more like Christ.
Stay tuned for my next post on how to survive a narcissistic parent.