Dealing with a Frenemy or Narcissistic Friend

Well, if you haven’t gotten rid of your frenemy or narc friend then the only thing left is to learn how to deal with them when the time comes.  I recently said Goodbye to my friendship with Lydia (Goodbye, Lydia post) but I did not end contact with her formally.  Due to the natural distance (she lives 8 hours away by car) that now exists between us I have reduced my interaction with her – meaning my focus in life and my friendship is towards my true friends and I don’t make the effort of contacting her.

  • The first step to dealing with the frenemy or narcissistic friend is to simply accept and grieve the fact that he or she is a frenemy and he or she does not see you as a friend.  Dealing with them is not possible if you don’t accept this limitation about him or her.  It took me a couple of weeks to accept that about Lydia.  I vented to my boyfriend, I wrote in the blog, I sat down and just processed the fact that she is not capable of being a true friend.  It is difficult and more difficult if you have had a long relationship with this person…it takes time and you need to give yourself that time.

If that is accomplished then you can officially separate yourself mentally for when they attack.  I use the word attack referring to any comment that does not support you, that subtly insults you, makes you feel bad, etc.  The verbal attacks will come and the next step is to be prepared so you are in a state of recognizing when it happens, not internalizing or personalizing the message and responding in a way that minimizes the emotionally drain in energy you feel when dealing with them.

  • To prepare yourself you need to observe their behaviors…what are the things they say to get attention, to get their self-esteem from others.  When, how do they do it?  Just observe objectively as best you can.

For Lydia – she is a stay at home Mom.  Both kids are now full time in school.  She needs to feel like she has a busy life and she is a good parent and secondarily needs to use her husband’s career to feel important and the things she has (anything new: watch, jacket, purse, camera) are important to her.  She does not have the self esteem to naturally feel like that, she has to suck it out of other people to feel like that.  That is the essence of a frenemy or narcissistic friend.  For your frenemy it could be a number of things: career, cars, brand names, busy life, status in life, parenting, showing off (different from sharing) their goodwill to others or animals.

  • To respond or not respond to their attention seeking behavior.  This is a tough call.

When I didn’t respond to these behaviors with another frenemy, Marian, who I ended contact with formally…she punished me with a lot of verbal attacks because I had stopped supplying her with the supportive responses.  It was awful, she started talking behind my back only because I didn’t respond routinely to every attention seeking behavior.  With Lydia I have distance on my side…and with most frenemies and narcissists they will develop a new close supply (the people they interact with daily and see face to face).  With Marian it was crucial to end contact because I was part of her daily life.   So with Lydia I decided not to respond…I limited myself to the Like button on her status posts on Facebook.  Evaluate the consequences with regard to your context.  And make sure you identify the consequences accurately.  Fear of them talking behind your back if you don’t respond is not a valid consequence.  You are a strong person, let your character speak for itself.  No matter what you do they are already probably talking behind your back…you just haven’t caught them in the act.

Lydia had noticed probably subconsciously that I hadn’t been throwing around my usual positive comments on her Facebook posts lately (about 1 month).  She started texting me while on Facebook (ironically while I responding to an email from a true friend).

  • Prepare for their attacks – attempts to get the attention they expect from you and the attack on you to get their self-esteem

Lydia spun the conversation to talk about her last post on Facebook and get a comment from me now…I responded in a way that acknowledged the post but quickly turned the subject back to something neutral – the weather.  (I love this Tip…turn it to something neutral, it seems to work).

  • When interacting with them, try and switch to a neutral topic (weather, news events, tv shows, celebrity gossip).  It may be that you don’t enjoy these topics but they can minimize the destruction from your frenemy.

Lydia attacked me twice about not having a job.  I was prepared for this one.  When observing Lydia I read some of our old emails…she never asks me how is the job search going (which ironically that is how my true friends ask).  Nope, Lydia’s questions are: so u r sitting at home doing nothing?; still searching?; job searching again?; I bet u r tired of staying at home?.  These are quotes…copy and pasted into this blog.  She never has asked the question:  How is it going with the job search?  This may seem like a small difference but it is a big difference in how she is supporting me during the time I do not have a job.

Looking at those comments…she is referring to the fact…am I still going after my goal.  Well, for me…I have a goal and I try and achieve them.  My observations of her is that she seems delighted when someone does not reach their goal…she has talked about her other friends to me…and when she talks about them she always points out the fact that they haven’t achieved something they wanted.  These comments have nothing to do with me or her friends…they have to do with her.  Lydia has mentioned she has wanted to do things…like start her own business, go back to work when the kids are in school full time, other things.  It is her problem with achieving goals…not mine or her other friends.

  • Separate yourself from his or her attacks.  They are not about you…they are about him or her.

My response to her two comments about my lack of job yet when texting was…no response…I just said…’Yup’ (meaning I am actively looking).  And I switched the subject back to a neutral topic…I asked about how her kids were doing and if they were enjoying the warm weather this week.  I got a short reply (the focus was not on her or on my failures).  She then said she had to go.

  • Respond non-definisively.
    • It would have been quite easy for me to respond to her comment about being at home all the time.  But there is nothing to prove to a frenemy.  Even if I said I am busy with applying/interviewing/job fairs and language lessons, etc.  She would have found something else to attack.  They always do.
    • There is no reason for you to defend yourself to them; true friends don’t ask that of you.

I don’t know how it will unravel with Lydia.  I wish her the best and I wish that I eventually don’t have to deal with her.  In the meantime I will stick to what I have learned.  I hope this helps those out there dealing with a frenemy or narcissistic friend.

TR

Further Reading on Verbal Attacks

Related posts @ IBC: The Purpose of Verbal Abuse (part 1, part 2)

 

50 thoughts on “Dealing with a Frenemy or Narcissistic Friend

  1. Omg it seems you and I have suffered with the same kind of friend. I broke off my relationship with my frenemy, it did not go well at at, she intitiated it, then blamed everything that was wrong with our friendship on me and my children, verbally attacked me on multiple occasions. There were times when I was wrong *fighting back with her* but she was SO narcissistic that my other friends and family were CREEPED OUT by her. She has even became obsessed with my kids since we arent speaking anymore

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    • Hi Ana, I am so sorry to hear you have been dealing with a frenemy. Well, I am not sure what you mean by ‘fighting back’ but if you mean you stood up for yourself and to be healthy and safe then, in my opinion, that is not wrong. It sounds like your family and friends are supportive and can hopefully help you through this rough period.

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  2. Hi,
    I just wanted to say how well written this is, I am going through exactly the same thing with a frenemy..she does the same thing. I actually had some time when I was looking for work for the first time in many years, she kept on at me that she had bought this or that, or we should go here or there..I replied several times I did not have the cash or the inclination..at the moment.
    Her response is then as I did not go out with her to post all over FB photos and descriptions of her doing things with other friends..busy, busy, and even a post about her mother being sick which also got everyone’s attention. If there is nothing to post about she will post about her mood, time of the month, etc etc.
    It is sad as I have had some good times with her but she absolutely cannot handle not being the center of attention. If I or anyone have something good she is envious, and this can be anything from the shape of my nose to a talent or ability or attention from friends. When she meets new people or if we are in a group and she is not getting enough attention she just starts talking about sex or something until she is the center.
    I found it such a drain and as I am going through a bit of an employment crises I had no energy from her, I have not doubt that she will talk behind my back as I know she does this with everyone, and I expect at some point there will be some kind of put -down or attack.
    thanks again, good to know I am not the only one.
    Violet

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    • Hi Violet,
      Thank you very much. I am so sorry you are dealing with a frenemy and especially during an employment crises. Your comment about energy is very true. When you have a lot of things going in your life…dealing with work, etc. the energy the N sucks does drain you. That is a struggle I face when dealing with them. I have dealt with Lydia in the manner posted above and found in the long run it still took up quite a bit of energy. The fact that I had to have a plan to deal…cost me energy. I think it is sometimes how they are so effective in getting what they want (attention, etc.).

      You are not alone! We are here for you! This network is a wonderful support.

      I wish you well in dealing with your frenemy. Stay strong!

      x
      T Reddy

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  3. Well said! A sign of well being is a recognition of your own self worth and where your lines of acceptable behaviors are drawn ( with both friends and family ). I made new commitment to myself to have no more “obligatory” or “habitual” relationships. I am worthy of quality and I need not feel guilty for it.

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    • That is a great commitment. The obligatory relationships…it was such a strong emotion. Having a relationship with my mother seemed like it HAD to be that way. And why should it?
      x

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      • This is one of the “gifts” we as children of narcissistic mothers posses. When we are ready to find peace we come to it with a new resolution and a wheelhouse full of newly found skills that most people with “normal” parents don’t have. It just takes a different perspective to see our “gifts” rather than our pain.

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      • It is true…how things we see and notice become gifts…I think when people go through traumatic events in life it can bring a perspective that is sometimes more open and honest…to oneself and towards others.
        x

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  4. This is so well written, and true! I am dealing with a frenemy that I met through my 10 year old daughter (she is the mother of one of my daughter’s frenemies). She was constantly asking for favors and draining my time to listen to her constant problems, and when I pulled away, I am now not only dealing with her frequent subtle attacks on me, but also (and much more hurtful) attacks on my daughter. She is so adement that my daughter is ‘rough and tumble’ and is bad in so many other ways (and everybody else thinks so, too, of course), that I have found myself coming down hard on my daughter and damaging our relationship. This was such a good article to bring me back to what’s really happening here and what’s important in my life.

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    • Hi Dawn,

      My apologies for my late reply; I had a family emergency.

      Thank you for your comment. I am so very sorry to hear about the frenemies in your life and your daughter’s. That is not easy to deal with. I can get how frenemies can somehow infiltrate and ruin existing, good relationships. The judging that comes from other parents is so cruel. Parenting is difficult without the added cruelty from other parents who are in the same boat you are in.

      I’m glad the article helped and I hope it works out for you and your daughter.

      xoxo
      T Reddy

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  5. Thank You for the great article. There are not enough articles on the web about narcissistic female friends.
    It took me a long time to recognize this behavior in my frenemy Lori. She constantly talks about herself and her kids (poor kids), always must be the center of attention. She will lie or hurt people to get her way, she talks about people behind their back and often says “Oh I hate that guy/girl” and expects me to hate them too. She cheats at school regularly and has no remorse about it, she criticizes me about not having money because as a student I have decided to take out loans and live frugally so I can focus on my education while her husband makes over $100 K a year. The next minute she’s telling me how awesome I am. The list of narcissistic tendencies is a mile long and she practically displays every one.
    I met her in community college and helped her to transfer to a very prestigious university by sharing my contacts and resources. Now that we are in our first semester together she has somehow manipulated me into taking almost all of our classes together; she sits by me, calls me all the time to help her with picking classes or hw whenever she feels like, wants to carpool everyday, and has roped me into a joint term paper project.
    So far I have been doing most of the work; our third deadline yesterday we had 3 hrs to complete it was just a basic outline and was not even being graded and she completely freaked out about how she hating doing things last minute while contributing only a crappy paragraph that didn’t even relate to the assignment; took credit for some of my writing and then got super defensive because I changed some of her wording.
    She even went to our professors office hours with out telling me and sucked up to him like she does all her professors. It made me look bad because he said –where’s Jennifer she needs to come see me too.
    Fortunately, I finally realized why I feel so drained and annoyed after I’m with her (one day the universe gave me a gift, while I was mad at her the word “narcissist” popped into my head and I started researching online). I have written her an email today telling her exactly how I feel and that I no longer wish to remain friends and that our relationship from here on out will be about finishing this project and that is it. I wish I could get out of it but its too late; it’s unfortunate timing but I cannot stand being used and abused one more minute.
    I am a little scared about how she is going to react and what she might do or say to try and ruin my reputation. Any advice you might have would be great.
    Thanks for giving me a forum to vent. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one sucked in by a parasitic narcissist.

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    • Hi Jen,
      Thank you for reading. So true, there isn’t much on female narcissists especially in relation to friendship.

      I understand; it took me a long time as well to recognise that one of my female friends is a N. The traits you describe of your friend/classmate are very familiar. It hits home. My female narcissist friend went to managers to discuss projects I was involved in (without me). Ugh…that is so ugly of them to do that.

      That is brave to stand up for yourself. No one has a right to be used and abused. The N’s reaction is something that is one of those elusive things. They react for ‘effect’. And depending on what is important to her or what she values will determine her ‘effect’ that she is trying to create in her environment. People’s reaction we cannot control but our own reaction is something we can.

      I know that each of us dealing with Ns has the strength to determine how best we should deal with our own situations. I will share with you my experience with dealing with Ns and I do believe that you are your own voice and you alone can determine the best course of action.

      When I have discussed my feelings with my N female friends or set boundaries with them, the reaction has been unpleasant. They have verbally punished me and have talked behind my back (but they were doing that before). When they have talked to other people about me, I realised that some may believe them and some may not. It helped me see who I could trust and it helped me realise that a lot of people (including managers) did not listen to gossip. Another person going to a manager (or any other professional) and talking about someone else usually provokes a weird reaction. Can you imagine – a manager sitting there trying to get work done and a person comes into his/her office to discuss another person with the person not present. To most people this is strange. The Ns can’t go in there raving mad and so any attempt to ‘seem’ normal usually will backfire. Managers (and in your case profs) don’t have the time to deal with gossip – and that is what it is – gossip.

      I have to admit when my N friend that I worked with spoke to some managers about me. I was scared, worried and sweating for days waiting for the manager to talk to me. I spent hours preparing for it. What I did to prepare was to make sure I speak in facts and not attacks. It is about facts – this happened on this day and here is the doc/e-mail to show that. So, I saved all written info. I did nothing with her without written proof (e-mail) or with witnesses – never alone. The day, fortunately, never came. The manager did not have time to deal with ‘gossip’ that wasn’t relevant.

      You understand your situation better than anyone and you have the necessary info to make the best decision for you. I share with you a way that I dealt with my N in a professional setting. I hope it helps and that you don’t have deal with any repercussions of her stunts. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with her and if you have any other concerns I am hear to listen.

      Wish you all the best at university,

      xx T

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  6. Hi. Thank you for sharing this post. It really resonated with me. I’ve come to realize how my previous best friend was so very narcissistic. We were the best of friends. She often said I was the sister she never had. I served has an aunty figure for her son, and was always on hand for her needs/demands/coddling of ego. She was constantly searching for compliments on her appearance, the cuteness of her son, the adorableness of her pets, the niceness of her home. It never ended. She also felt compelled to post a self-taken picture of herself on FB every day. No joke. I find this behavior normal for a teenage girl – but for a 35 year old woman? It seemed a bit much. She is married and perpetually maintained a secret male relationship, which served as a constant flow of: “you’re so pretty” and “you’re so smart”. Anyways, I was never mean to her regarding these indulgences. I tried to be productive in my comments, even though I disagreed with her lifestyle. That’s what best friends do, right? Anyway, her son and I were very close. I’d made a cake for his second birthday, and loved him so much. Just one week later, out of the blue, she bombarded me with the meanest things anyone has ever said to me. All via text. It was all so juvenile and hurtful. Things like: “ I find you annoying, insecure, and needy. I don’t want to be your friend”. I was completely shocked and of course, sad. When I tried to rationally talk to her, like an adult, the comments got worse. I stopped all contact. She then continued to act like this vindictive, mean person. She even contacted friends she made through me, to try and sway them away from being my friend. All of these efforts were denied, because these friends who she contacted valued me. It’s now been a year, and I feel and see things so differently now. I know I’m better off, without her in my life. I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore. I feel sorry for her. I know I’m a compassionate, honest, kind person. I would never treat anyone the way she treated me. The friendships that have strengthened since our demise are healthy, and rewarding!

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    • Hi Angela,

      I am so sorry about your dealings with you friend. That is hard to go through especially when the friendship is close.

      I don’t know if this info is relevant to your situation – the N friends that I have had have a hard time when their children start to assert independence and the first sign of it is the ‘terrible twos’. Babies are easy to control and in fact the mother controls a lot aspects of their baby’s life – eating, playing, etc. At a certain point the child begins to make choices for themselves – wanting only certain foods, certain toys. And in some cases preferring to be with people – often choosing daddy in place of mommy or other people.

      Often, with my N friends that have sons they tend to see the boys (especially the first son) as a psychological partner. And ‘other woman’ in her son’s life are not accepted. Often, this becomes more clear when the NM becomes a mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law has a difficult time bonding with with her MiL. This may be difficult to see when the child is young because until the child becomes the adult the behaviours are often labeled as ‘protective’ and therefore ‘caring’.

      This has been my experience with my N friends who have had children. That is wonderful that your friends understood that she was playing games. That is terrific that you have built healthier relationships. Life does become enjoyable without their games.

      Take care and thank you for reading and sharing your story.

      xx T Reddy

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  7. Did she at all guilt trip you during breaking it off? Or did you feel guilty? I feel guilty for attempting to end things with my narc friend only because she does seem to have a lot going on in her life although our friendship is not healthy and affects me negatively.

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    • Hi Libby,

      I felt guilty in unofficially ending the friendship. She behaved: at first, she tried to ‘kiss my butt’ with excessive compliments and then she did try to guilt me on not being in contact (it was only twice) and finally she became unresponsive. She found others to burden. There are times when I did wonder if this was the appropriate thing to do. I found myself slipping at times and I just felt bad about myself. Sometimes, I felt like I was being harsh.

      The process of this led me to find things about myself. When friends and even N friends are going through rough times, we can be empathetic however, being empathetic to a friends ‘rough’ situation does not mean excusing ‘bad’ (hurtful) behaviours towards us. When Lydia was going through rough times, she still treated me badly and was negative and insulting to me. When times were good, she was still the same way.

      I learned the distinction between empathy vs excuses the hard way. Looking back on it now I did some things I felt I could have handled better. On doing the fade approach – I handled this inappropriately. I would have been honest in ending it. If she tries to contact me again I will end the friendship formally. I am still connected to her on FB and at some point I will disconnect and I will tell her that I am doing so and my feelings around why.

      I hope this helps with your situation and continue to be strong and follow your own path that you feel is right.

      xxoo T Reddy

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  8. What a great page; what a wonderful resource. Thank you for it. Here’s my narcissist-frenemy tale:

    I connected with X via a website where she’d shared an interesting childhood experience that involved a group of artists. Those artists later went on to fame and fortune. As it turns out, I’d worked for said artists years ago – I don’t reveal that to many people, but when she herself told me she had later spent time around them as an adult, we “clicked” (or so I thought). I had been very young when I dealt with them, and I hadn’t felt comfortable telling a whole lot of people about that time, but I told her -there seemed to be a sort of understanding somehow, and she said all the right things. It was nice for me to feel I was finally sharing such a personal part of my life with someone I perceived was so understanding and accepting.

    X told me she herself had worked for (and spent time) with various other (famous) artists, but seemed very obsessed by her time spent with the people I used to work for. She even emailed me a novel she had written around her experiences, telling me she had “never” shown it to anyone before. What with the “50 Shades Of Grey” phenomenon exploding around the world then, I encouraged her to do some edits and perhaps find an agent. She seemed thrilled by this and would inundate me with updates and fantasies related to her work and the artists themselves. Some things she posited as fact, and she theorized one of the artists was, in fact, the father of her child. This artist was, I soon learned, an object of obsession with her.

    Throughout this, X was aware I had worked in and around people in the artists’ orbit since my time working directly for them. I am friends with people directly connected to the object of her obsession. She never asked me directly about them, in email or via Skype, but seemed to win my trust in various ways (sharing my own work online; endorsing my skills on my online resume; writing me an online recommendation -none of which I asked her to do). Doubts began to form in looking at her online profiles, and in realizing some of her stories had glaring inconsistencies. She was also in constant competition, it seemed; the tone of her notes displayed little or no empathy, and were consistently, rampantly self-centered. Those notes always invariably turned to news and gossip about these artists, and I shamefully admit I engaged in some of it myself.

    Through all of this, X claimed psychic connection with various artists and would send me notes or instant messages “in character,” even when I was at work. I tested X, responding to these messages with the supposed artist she “channelled” with facts I knew to be false, or with direct questions (which were always met with vague answers). I would make up stories and embellish facts whenever I communicated with X, just to see what she would respond to, and how she would respond. We had one fall-out, in which she accused me of competing with her, writing “you seem to act as though your experiences have more meaning than mine.” I was deeply shocked at the email, and deeply humiliated. As a result, I began rarely sharing details about myself (unless they were, in fact, lies) and began constantly flattering her. My inbox exploded, but in truth, was devastating to realize our friendship had not been a friendship at all but a mountain of lies based on exploitation and emotional vampirism.

    It was in the midst of travelling that I decided to cease contact. Initially I felt guilty and very scared: she had shared my work! she wrote me a recommendation! she might spill my secrets! But, I did not contact her, furious in the realization my personal experiences had been exploited, that she was only saying nice things to me and acting supportive in order to get something from me, and that I had been used. After several weeks of silence, she sent me a two-line email relating to gossip about the object of her obsession. It was an attempt at button-pushing on her part that failed miserably, as I did not respond.

    Very recently, she sent the following: “Have I done something to piss you off? Just checking.”

    I am honestly at a loss how to respond to this. I refuse to release any personal details; she has lost the privilege of knowing any more details about my life. Telling her it’s not what she’s done but what she HASN’T done seems pointless; narcissists never understand this line of human reasoning or the role of empathy in adult relationships.

    What to do now? It should be noted, a close relative of mine has terminal cancer and is facing multiple operations; I myself have been in grave health the last few months too. X has only asked in a perfunctory sense about my relative, and has not once inquired about me.

    I find her two-line inquiry troubling but unsurprising.

    I want this person to vanish from my life, forever; I want to vanish on them, too.
    Any and all insights are hugely appreciated.

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    • Hello Katie F.,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to the feeling that once you realise there wasn’t a real friendship to find ourself dealing with the consequences. You said it well ‘she has lost the privilege of knowing any more details about my life.’

      That is rough and X behaves non-empathetically. You have handled yourself strongly and with much courage. I can relate to the feelings of hurt when a friend uses us. It hurts and I often feel angry after processing it all.

      Ending friendships has been a bit of trial and error venture for me – I have tried many things and just recently realise that all attempts were ok. Not perfect endings but good enough decisions that were based on looking out for my emotional well-being.

      I have gone completely No Contact in an abrupt way to a more soft no contact by letting the friendship fade. We each have to find the one that works for us and keeps us sane. I’ll share with you my ‘hindsight’ from these approaches and I hope it helps you find your way.

      In the situation where I just went No Contact abruptly I did face consequences of her lashing out at work (we worked together). I also realised that if she went around trying to do this in a work setting she would look crazy. And she knew this – so I didn’t face consequences. The abruptness was necessary because I had reached a limit and my emotional well-being was non-existent at this point. It was a survival approach and it was necessary at this time in my life. So I did enough to ensure my safety.

      Because I had read a lot more about Narcissism I was understanding more about N and myself. I felt that a fade away approach was enough with the 2nd friendship. I didn’t contact her and I replied in short phrases to her e-mails. The e-mail X sent you seems to me she would like a reaction. I received e-mails like this. And I would get angry b/c there was no compassion but my friends were trying to tell me how to feel and put me on the defensive. I learned to not react to what they wrote. Instead I stuck to replies like ‘I am well and hope all is well with you’. Two sentences and that was it. If their response is one of ‘are u mad’ then my response is just to be neutral in the hopes they realise I am not supplying them with what they need anymore. They no longer have the privilege.

      I hope sharing these experiences help you find the right path in dealing with X.

      Thinking you and your friend as you both deal with your health. Hugs.

      xxoo T Reddy

      P.S. My apologies for the delay in my response; I have been traveling during the holidays with little access to the internet.

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  9. I am grateful for the post! I have had a friend? For 20 yrs who has all the signs of narcissism. So done with her/it! Feel better not being the lone person who has been roped in by this disorder!

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    • Hi Kim anna,

      Thank you! I can understand the relief of finding out that we are not alone. That is wonderful about the many blogs that write on this subject.

      It is interesting how once we learn about the signs that we can figure out what the ‘what’ is. Looking at old friendships that seem to withstand the test of time seem really different after learning about narcissism.

      I’m glad it has helped. Thank you for reading.

      xxoo T Reddy

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  10. I have been a part of a narcissistic friendship for seven years now. This friend started out as a really nice girl, we had a lot in common and had friends in common. In University after a few months of close friendship I was put into a situation where it worked out that I lived with her. Her parents owned a flat near our university and I rented a room, thinking it would be fun to live with a friend and have a roommate. I had absolutely no idea what that living situation would be.
    For the first few months, it was an adjustment living with her, but was generally ok. The next year and a half was NOT ok. I was told what to do, how to do it, what to NOT do. For instance when and where I could dry my hair, how to leave my door open, the heat controls, how to cook with ‘her’ pots, how to wash up…and let me say, I’m not a messy person! It was unreal the amount of control she thought she had the right to hold over me. I knew right away that this was becoming a bad situation, but I figured once the semester ended I would move back home and could distance myself. It was just so terrible living with her. I felt like I was constantly walking on egg shells, she made it seem like everything I did was going to ‘ruin’ her parent’s apartment. I never cleaned right, I felt completely confined to my room because it was my only place I could escape to and be at peace. I even started eating breakfast in there so as to have peace in the morning and not deal with her constant stream of judgement and criticism.
    The funny part is I still was friends with her; I was just holding onto this strong feeling of negativity and almost resented her. We had a lot of mutual friends and most people who were actually close to her felt this, but weren’t as close to her as I was, so didn’t quite get the full brunt of her personality.
    Let me say, she is an outgoing friendly, considerate person to acquaintances and ‘friends’ who aren’t her close friends. She portrays herself this way, going out of her way for these people and giving off this attitude of a kind, considerate and fun person. When I got close to her I realized the true personality behind this girl. She is extremely insecure. She needs to be the center of attention; she needs to have complete control. She puts this weird value on people and friends, like how often she talks to people and how she’s doing so much with friends. It’s like the more people she surrounds herself the better she is in her mind and it apparently makes her superior. She makes constant criticisms and subtle jabs and rude remarks. I feel like she never supports anything that suggests I am moving forward with my life in a positive direction. I completely feel like if she could, she would hold me back so as to be more ‘successful’ than me and then to hold it over me that she -makes more money-has more friends-has a better job-lives in a better area-has a better family, it honestly doesn’t matter, she will always try to reign as more important, more successful and more aware of everyone around her, even though she isn’t!
    Every exciting opportunity I have taken, that didn’t fit in with her plan, she completely showed no support. I travelled and extended my trip, and instead of being happy for me she was the opposite. I met an awesome guy travelling and made the decision to move to another country on a working visa to explore the relationship as well as the country and have a gap year after I completed my studies. This was apparently a terrible idea to her. She acted as if she was concerned with my leaving, but instead all she really wanted to do was hold me back. Leaving her and leaving for an exciting adventure and the possibility of a new serious relationship was absolutely not what she wanted for me. She wanted me in the same place, not growing at all…how is that for friendship. Supportive friends wished me well and kept in general contact with me. I kept in touch with this girl when I was away and it was just useless. I didn’t Skype enough or email enough or text enough even though I contacted her more than anyone else, even my family, it was never enough. She then went through passive aggressive bouts of the silent treatment.
    A few months upon my return I was planning on immigrating my foreign relationship back home, looking at apartments, cars, jobs. Being under a lot of stress and dealing with a massive move. All this friend focused on was how hard it will be for me to come home (aka will have no friends) how the area I’m moving to was further away from the city (aka no friends would ever come to our new place) how I was unemployed and wouldn’t find a job and how could I possibly expect to move out with no money. How my boyfriend wouldn’t want to stay in the country and how making plans that far in advance was just outrageous to her…as if we wouldn’t be together in a few months.
    Anyway, the move back home just occurred. I managed to get a high profile job interview for a university one day after I arrived home and got offered the job two days after that! The salary is good and in the same pay range as this friend (not that it actually matters to me, but money to her is such a massive focus). We had a beautiful suite arranged and furnished it within two weeks of arriving back. All my true friends welcomed me home with open arms and we had a big fun new year’s party at our new place. She came, and complimented my house, but with so many digs and jabs, there really was no complements what so ever. We got new furniture and all she went on about was how much money did you spend and I can’t believe you didn’t get anything used. I am really happy in my relationship and she continually says it must be so hard for him to fit in, when everyone that has met him says he is such a nice guy and that they are so happy for us…not her. I want to get a dog, and she overheard and rudely said ‘where will you get that money from?’ I reply ‘my full time, job, where else’ she said; how do you possibly think that a good idea when you are working full time, that’s a terrible idea.’ I can’t handle her anymore it’s just ridiculous. I feel like I shouldn’t ever have to justify my actions to her, but it just drives me to want to do so. Obviously I have put effort into planning for and taking responsibility for a dog, but she comes in with a snarky comment because it is another thing she has no control over and wants to put me down.
    I’m in a great place in my life. I have my degree, just go back from a year and a half from travel, am living happily with my boyfriend, who literally moved across the world to be with me and support me. I have a great job in my field of study that’s full time, and I’m planning for my future. She has a good job, but lives at home with her parents, has no boyfriend, and hasn’t had a boyfriend prospect for years and none for the future. Of course if she gets one I would be happy for her, but she would and could never show me the same consideration. I believe she needs to put me and others around her down to make her life seem better. I don’t understand why a person would so greatly need approval from other people and have such a need to be superior. I don’t get why she can’t happily live her life and put out positive energy to her friends. She is a drain on me and my emotional bank. I feel exhausted after a meeting with her to the point where I only ever want to see her in a group setting so as to avoid the bombardment of criticisms and judgements that I know will come.
    There is no mutual support or consideration, ever. If I’m doing well, she will try to bring me down so as to put herself above me. She will constantly try to subtly verbally hurt or criticise me. She needs to be the center of attention and have control and if you have a different opinion or idea she will fight to the death of her opinion even if she doesn’t have the facts or is completely wrong. If you don’t fulfil her expectations, which are unrealistic and constantly far too high, she will passively aggressively punish, to prove her point and try to get me to comply. Honestly I’ve beyond had it with her.
    This weekend was the last straw. It was her birthday party and the week before I went to dinner with her and gave her a thoughtful present. On the night of the party I organized a carpool of five of us to drive to the event in the city. We had dinner, paid for her portion, went to a show and when the planned evening was over she wanted to go for drinks. There were about twenty five people who were at the party and after the show about 18 people said goodbye and went home. I was ready to go home, had a rough work week and didn’t want to be left behind from my group of friends going back home in my direction in OUR CAR. She was appalled that I wasn’t staying for drinks. I explained I’m sorry, but it’s really late, I need to get back and I don’t want to travel alone on three busses for 1 hour 45mins just so I can stay for one or two more drinks…she has now given me the silent treatment for three days. She’s apparently super pissed at ME, not anyone else that came, just ME. This girl has not one ounce of consideration for me. I bought her a gift, paid for part of her dinner and drinks at the restaurant, paid $20 to see the show she wanted to go to, organized a carpool to get five of her friends there and home, and she still expects that I bend to her every whim. I understand that it’s her birthday, but honestly!! She wanted me to bus home on three busses, for 145 hrs alone at 1am. Nothing about my efforts or well being came to mind for her. The only people going for drinks were people living in the city and sleeping over at a friend’s a few mins away. The expectations she has for me are completely out of line and outrageous.
    At this point I honestly would be ok if I didn’t have to speak to her again. But the issue for me is that all of our friends are mutual and she would be the biggest bitch in history if I stood my ground and just cut her out. I would like to be civil and just distance myself from her naturally, but I feel she would resist even this and make my life a living hell. She already does though, so I don’t know which version of hell would be worse. I just am hesitant because I know she will go around bad mouthing me to all of our mutual acquaintances.
    What to do!!??

    Like

    • Dear Anon,
      I would like to apologise for my delay in writing to you. When I first read this I started to respond and did not finish my response when online.

      I can understand how you feel with regard to your friend. I have had friends like that that try and make us feel bad when we are feeling good about things in our life. Dealing with them is not easy and the right choice is up to each of us.

      I will share with you some experience and my journey when dealing with people who hurt us in a routine manner.

      When mutual friends are concerned, I have learned (the hard way) that I need to make choices that are best for me. That learning experience taught me I had to face my fears – losing mutual friends was one of them. When I made the decision to cut Marian out of my life I faced consequences. Some friends understood as they could see her behaviours and adjusted to it. In some ways they were also relieved. A few thought I was being cruel and Marian did talk behind my back (but she was doing that already). The fact is, I can’t control other people’s reaction I can only decide what is best for me and understand my fears around losing friends with my choices.

      With 2 other friends I decided the fade out approach would be better. It was in some ways. In the end I still was dealing with their hurtful behaviours. Behind the back and towards me. I have recently decided to end this relationship formally.

      The decision is each up to us. We have our own voice and we need to use it to make decisions that are right for us.

      I can imagine that this situation you are facing is difficult and frustrating especially when there are others involved in the friendship. I wish you much strength and courage in this journey. Thank you for reading and sharing your story.

      xxoo T Reddy

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  11. i know i am late on this blog…i just came apon it after i decided to research a little more on N’s. I have been friends with an N for about 5 years now, we have had good times, but more so bad — that is for me! I withhold information on my love life and other friends, cause i dont want to hear what i am doing wrong, or how stupid or ignorant the other person is, or how they are just liars. Her vocabulary for other people is stupid, ignorant, bum, naive, bad parent and pathetic. She is a big hypocrite. I will do something that she doesn’t approve of and she criticized me, than i few months later or a year she will do the exact same thing and be proud of it, or she can only do it for some “exceptional” reason she makes for herself. She believes she can get away with anything and that she is above the law. She even argues with Doctors on tv about their diagnoses for things, i believe she thinks she is smarter than everyone. We never do anything i want, we always end up doing stuff she wants. I had been asking her if she wanted to go to a holiday event with me each year and she would come up with an excuse, a few months ago she told me when she was kind of tipsy that she ended up going to the same event with a guy friend, and she made some sort of excuse why it was ok to do that (it was the day after i had suggested we go,and she said she really didnt feel like going to it cause she was too old for it) The times i have called her out was not pretty, the monster in her comes out and i just end up pretending like i agree with her,that i am insecure with myself, even though i am not. I will be fuming for days.I keep my feelings to myself. The N is really the only person that i “have” that is close to me and what i thought was my friend. I want to make new friends but its hard. Some of her views on people would sometimes rub off on me and i would think snotty things about others when in fact that is not my true nature, i am so ashamed for thinking or treating people like her. That is why i want to get out of the friendship. I know she talks shit behind my back because she talks about her boyfriends and family members all the time, how stupid they are and how pathetic their life must be. As much fun as we had together i dont think it was worth it. Im not sure how i am going to end it, maybe just see her little by little.

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    • Hi Miss LuvLee,

      Thank you for sharing your story. It seems like you know all the signs of having a frenemy and/or N person. I can understand about feeling like the N friend is the only friend. I find myself in a situation now after ending friendships with Ns that it is hard to find new ones. It is hard to make new friends and to make healthy friendships. I often feel that the time I spend managing N friends leaves me no energy to go out and make new ones. We all have limits on time and energy and N friends have a way of sucking it out of us.

      Much continued strength in coming to a decision and dealing with ending it.

      xxoo T

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  12. I have recently learned of growing up in a house of narc parents. Mother, worse, father her enabler, but a narc too, when it became apparent, just more, subtle. Now, I’ve started saying no, gone no contact with her, my “share value” to them is basically nil. This has been a learning curve in itself.
    I hadn’t realised i had a couple of very narcissistic mothers at school, two very different narcs.
    One was odd, & hellbent on excluding me & my child from parties, & then be nasty to those people about me. Funny that she would confess when i questioned her on the, telephone & she put herself in a, corner, but it was a case of (this is the truth) but nobody will believe you, coz, I’ll make, sure they believe me (& my lies). I de-Facebook’d her & she told everybody. I just kept my mouth shut. She did damage relationships. I can do nothing about that, one day maybe the people will see it was her nastiness.
    Another was more cunning, but made more friends easily, & now has showed her true colours, having a “flavour of the, month” at the school.
    She’s no longer on my FB, has gossiped about me causing trouble after my girl was bullied by another girl & she went to that girls mum saying i was talking about that girl… An untruth. The husband called my husband & it was really nasty.
    It took another incident for me to realise she is truly self centred & will destroy anyone for amusement. Much like my mother…
    I just need to spot these horrible people earlier, & give them a wide berth, or very little of my precious time.
    Now i have to concentrate on my retraining to recognise the damage done in my upbringing, & not repeat the rubbish, or stay stuck in these draining relationships. Thanks for the frenemy clarity. Obviously was drawn to what i recognised – abusive relationships…

    Like

    • Hi Boo,

      That is hard to go through. It sounds like you handled the situation with a lot of bravery and insight into the effects these behaviours have on us. Each of our stories has so much similarity and although, it is a sad realisation of the enormity of this personality trait, it is also comforting to not feel alone when so much of society really believes that we are the problem.

      The pattern you mention with your friends in relation to your friendships is the same pattern I saw in myself. I have a string of friends that resemble how my mother treated me. You also mention one of the first things that helped me – recognition. I started becoming good at recognising a person that has this trait. This has happened in the past year and it has helped me focus my energy on friends that do care about who I am and not what I do for them.

      There are a lot of blogs about recovering from maternal narcissism. Their posts have helped me along the way and offered different perspectives. This has helped me find my own voice and way through this process. Thank you for reading and much continued support through this.

      xxoo TR

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  13. My boyfriend is a narc, yet adorable and a good friend too. I did not come to terms with this until recently which I’m so thankful for because I now know how to deal with him in a healthy manner. I used to think he was just flat out abusive but after reading this blog, he fits in more with a narcissistic personality disorder. And yes, he was raised in a narcissistic household. I am so, so thankful I understand him better now and am able to better protect myself from his unavoidable, potentionally damaging behavior. The sun shines a little brighter now because I don’t want him out of my life forever, but now I know better than to expect so much out of him because I’d be wasting my time and driving myself crazy. I just feel at ease now that I know this crazy behavior has a name and a way to deal with it :)

    Like

    • Hello Miss Ramsay,
      I understand how you feel about identifying what it is about someone that causes us to feel a certain way. A lot of healing for me started when I found the ‘what’ was that had been hurting for so long. I’m glad to hear that you have found a way to handle your relationship in a way that keeps you safe and healthy.

      In reference to your statement on abusive behaviour and narcissism. A person with NPD does abuse its victim. The two are not mutually exclusive. Most abusive people have a form of the narcissism personality disorder – and/or other personality disorders. The very nature of the disorder is to use and abuse others to fulfil their own needs and desires and not recognising that others have needs of their own. In some relationships where there isn’t much invested the abuse can be small relatively – wasted time, etc. Usually (not always), the more invested the relationship the more abuse the person experiences on the other end.

      Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best in dealing with your relationship.

      TR

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  14. Thank you so very much for this blog….I’m dealing with a sister that exhibits the very profile you have described….what to do…? Our parents (both only children) are deceased and we are the only siblings..no cousins, aunts, etc. She exhibits traits of N and codependent and has alcohol problems. I can’t just completely cut her off as she has no one else, can I? She has vented to friends, my sons and any others that will listen to her about my behavior not appreciating what she has done for me and questioned my mental stability. Help

    Like

    • Hi Ann,
      You are welcome, thank you for visiting.

      That is very difficult to deal with a family member who behaves like this. There is a sense of obligation when it comes to family members to keep trying at a relationship. Your description of her behaviours does not sound healthy for you or your family (sons, etc.).

      I do believe you can find the solution you need and this does take help and which you recognise. I have been dealing with these behaviours in my life for a very long time and I needed help. I have read books (listed on the Resources page but there are a lot out there), this blog and fellow bloggers and sought help from a professional. If you are struggling and need immediate help I would try and find a professional locally. This person can talk through the specifics and offer follow up help (in the form of books or support groups in your area). Psychology Today offers local support help as well.

      In response to “I can’t just completely cut her off as she has no one else, can I?” You can only answer this for yourself – is No Contact the best thing for you and your family. However, the option to go No Contact with a family member is an option. It is a viable option and you have the choice. There are no guidelines, check lists or commandments when trying to stay healthy (emotionally or physically). You have to do what is best for you.

      You have a lot of strength and intuition – you are already recognising that there is a problem with your sister’s behaviours. I wish you continued strength as you find what is best for you.
      xxoo TR

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  15. Thank you for your post- it is very helpful and good to know someone else who is dealing with these sort of people. (I’d say “friends” but they really are not.) I had an old childhood frenemy come to my father’s funeral. She walked in with another old frenemy, plus her mother and grandmother also came. While they were standing there, my friend said to me with a smirk on her face,”I’d say let’s get together, but I’m moving out of state, so oh well!”(She was trying to get back at me for not wanting to hang out with her a few years ago. But the thing is, she always ditched me. After having it done many times, I finally said no to her.) Her grandmother looked embarrassed, but my friend just stood there with a smirk on her face. I just sort of smiled and thanked them for coming. Later on when I was talking to other people, my friend sort of walked past with her nose in the air. It’s funny because this frenemy always has to make it about her, even at a funeral. Can you believe it? It still irks me because I wish I had a snappy response or put her in place somehow, but I just thought that would add fuel to the fire and it wasn’t the time, nor the place. Plus, it would then make me look bad. I thought it was weak to be kicking someone when they’re already down and she had her family/another frenemy as support too. (Would have given her more props if she had said it to me by herself, lol.) But in the end, I see it as confirmation that I’m glad we’re not friends anymore and for taking my mind off my dad’s death for a little bit. (Plus, hopefully one day karma will kick her in the arse!)

    Like

    • Hi Tina,
      Behaviours like your friends help us see what is really go on – at a funeral when you and your family are grieving, to make it all about her – that is very narcissistic behaviour. I think you handled the situation well and you seem to have made decisions that are healthy for you. Thanks for reading and sharing your story. xxoo TR

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  16. I know how you feel I’ve had alot of friends like this. They are secretly jealous of you, seeking anything they can criticise you on. I have gotten rid of them except one who has been my friend for a long time. She too made fun of me for losing my job, the things I wear and my views and opinions. She competes with me also (when I buy something she has to get it too.) and constantly brags about her boyfriend. I don’t yet know how to respond to her.

    Like

    • Hi Sarah,
      Unfortunately there are a lot friends out there like this; This is often what makes friendships/relationships difficult to handle. Each situation is different because the amount of toxicity they bring to our life differs. I have some friends that hog the conversation and never ask about me and I still have them as friends – I have set boundaries with them. And then I have the other extreme where they cause too much emotional distress from one hour with them (like the ones I mention above). In the end, we need to find what works best for us and make decisions about our own health (emotional and physical). It is so much easier said then done, no doubt. If you need more help, other posts on this blog and other blogs on the sidebar (which you can see from the Home page) offer practical advice (outlining what they did and how they handled situations). I hope this helps.

      I am sorry about your situation and I can relate to the difficulties in dealing with them.

      xxTR

      Like

  17. Could anyone offer advice on this one, it’s really starting to get me down, I’ll try to keep the list of major offences short but her manner is all glowing and positive and it is not as black and white as a lot of these cases I read above.

    We have been acquaintences for 13 years but only became close after the birth of our daughters 5 years ago.

    She follows me everywhere, enrolled her daughter at the same nursery (even though it was accross town from her) and all the same clubs as I did, so I see her every day.

    She pushes the friendship of our daughters, filling hers with a feeling of ownership over mine. After a year at nursery together, I had to change days over to give my wee girl a break as the frenemy’s daughter wouldn’t let her have other friends but would then tell her she didn’t want to play with her, wouldn’t let her go to the bathroom and she was wetting herself, just generally being a domineering character. I never explianed to her why I changed the days but she asked me repeatedly. It caused me a major headache because by then I had 2 younger kids as well and I had to rearrange all my childcare and timetables, it made me feel awful.

    I decided to be the bigger man and put it behind me, and hey presto, the daughters have matured into the best of friends…. it still doesn’t convince me but they are only 5.

    She was really dissappointed that I chose a different school from her and repeatedly told me so.

    I have tried to break all ties but she keeps on coming to all the same clubs and activities.

    She constantly makes horrid sneaky remarks, just yesterday she asked me if I had got my new bum on holiday with all that eating…??!! what girl says that to another?

    I keep trying to just make the best of it and focus on the good points and reduce contact with her but now I have this issue-
    She has just booked a trip to the same hotel as two friends of mine and has come back raving about how brilliantly they all got along, how fantastic all their kids were together. Now this week, she is trying to get an invite to a halloween party that other friends of mine are having by arranging a big night out with a group and having this ‘halloween party’ couple as guests of honour. She is making a fuss of anyone I have friendships with in big groups or in public but never invites my husband and I to her home?

    I am reading this back and I feel weak for not just telling her to get out of my life but I hope any readers understand it is just not that simple and I dont think I can hurt her like that.

    It may be of interest that she is also having a long term extra marital affair and I am the only one close enough to her for her to confide in. I have stayed totally neutral every time she talks about it and feel like I have been supportive but I don’t approve.

    What now? today i just feel like screaming about the total waste of energy that this has become. Other days I think.. “well, i was her friend, there are parts I like, I feel sorry for her, just keep it sweet….”

    Any advice would be so appreciated, I feel i can’t talk to other friends about it as it sounds like bitching, especially as she is working so hard to befriend everyone I know.

    Like

    • Hi Stressed Friend,
      Wow, the situation is really complicated. I don’t offer advice on specific situations, I can offer what I have done and things I have considered to help me make a decision – I think each of us is strong to find our solution. Here is a list of things I have considered with what to do with unhealthy friendships.

      1. It is a myth that if we stand up for ourselves with our friends that we are hurting them. Giving feedback and telling someone they hurt you around a specific behaviour brings an amazing gift that is hard to see. One, you help the person improve by giving feedback – by giving feedback it says you still care about the friendship. Two, the reaction when you give feedback (constructively and kindly) tells you something about your friendship. If she/he reacts horribly and doesn’t even want to consider what you say than that tells you what they think about your feelings. These are amazing gifts, I believe.

      2. The amount of energy I have had to put into ‘managing’ their feelings because I would hurt them or anger them took away from energy I needed to take care of me and my family. Everyone is different and everyone has a limitation to how much toxicity they can take. After having say goodbye or gone low contact, I have found that there was no real connection to begin with because how could there be when the relationship is all about them and their feelings. What did I really miss about the friendship? And sadly, the answer is not much.

      I can understand that this is difficult to deal with and with the added the relationship between your children. It is never easy to find solutions that work for us and our families. I don’t know why being emotionally healthy has to be this difficult, but it is. I wish you the best of luck in finding a solution that works best for you and your family.

      xx TR

      Like

      • Thank you.. I read this whole page every so often. The process is a long journey, I didn’t realise. I’m still trying to understand why I think about it so much… This forum is a huge help to me, thanks to everyone for sharing and good luck / stay strong in your own journey’s x

        Like

  18. I so recognise all of what you say…

    I am a hang glider pilot and one of the other pilots I have discovered is a NARC, I crossed him about a year ago by making a joke youtube video poking fun at his use of powered hang gliders – seems innocuous enough – especially in a group that takes pride in “taking the piss”

    however as I write I have had a year of feeling depressed upset and now I am almost fully isolated from the other pilots – some who I had seen as good friends but who now nolonger reply to my emails and can be seen to follow this person around like a puppydog

    the NARC has recruited a little group, it is them, not him who act out – he is seen to be a hero, some sort of demigod – he has even been selected to represent the UK in the next world championships

    if I try to talk with anyone about his behaviour – why I think I feel as I do – describe the latest manipulative whatever he has done then I am seen as some sort of weirdo

    I have clearly stated in public for him to leave me alone – all attempts in the past to find some common ground became ammunition for him somehow – he goes after my friends sending them communications designed to undermine their opinion of me – the whole thing is utterly exhausting and has poisoned something that I had previously loved unconditionally – after all who could not love to fly – this is what we do and its a beautiful thing – only now I am forced to share space with this NARC and his sidekicks – removing the free flowing easy banter I would once enjoy…

    now I am finding that I discover friendships among the others differently and in a personal way – the online arena is his – he is omnipresent there and trumps all utterances there – so talking with real people is the way forward for me now…

    I have been debilitated and belittled felt depressed and now have no way to interact with the others – but I am ok now – or I know that I am on the road to being ok eventually – that feeling comes and goes – I have waves of depression that will crash over me now and again

    its been anger that has helped me – that relentless absurdity of his attacks eventually broke into my anger – now it surfaces a lot – its like a little storm inside me – I know its not great – or healthy – but its better than feeling like jumping off a cliff…

    Each day I try to learn more and try to think to something that is good.

    I have every sympathy for anyone – anyone at all who is similarly blighted by this NARC monstrosity… stay strong

    Like

    • Hi Silk Red,
      I am so sorry about the situation. I can relate to your struggles with emotions. Feelings of depression and feeling that anger is not healthy.

      Unhealthy friends manipulate our emotions; this is the essence of how it works – they play on our emotions. If your friend was angry about your joke then he should have handled it a lot differently – discussing it with you first.

      As I go through this process of trying to have healthier relationships, I have learned things that have surprised me. The emotion of anger exists for evolutionary purposes. It is a warning sign that something is wrong. It forces us to focus on it for a period and see what the problem is. Anger gets a bad reputation – rightly so – anger moods (ones who have to go to anger management) are a lot of the focus. The emotion of anger (which is fast and happens for a specific event) tell us something about what the other person does was not ‘right’ for us. If we are allowed to explore it (and not act on it right away) we find that there are other emotions that initially brought anger to the service. It helps find out that we were hurt or disappointed or shamed. It serves a purpose. In this sense anger can be healthy – when it tells us something about what is going on in our environment. Anger can be unhealthy when expressed unhealthy. If explored healthily, it does serve a purpose and everyone does feel that emotion. My struggle is to express it in healthy ways and find out what other emotions are behind it. You mention anger has helped you. Indeed, anger’s gift is to help us focus on a problem to find its root and the right solution for us.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your story. Hang in there, you are strong.

      xx TR

      Like

      • thank you for your words – they are helpful a lot – talking about these things is good in general as it sort of sanity checks what can seen surreal inside ones own conscious diatribe

        for me the anger I feel acts as a shield protecting me from the emotional hurt coming from my change in status among my friends – I found trying to understand things emotionally brought only pain inside me and led me into depressive funks where I would be almost totally unable to function – I expressed this as appeals for help to my friends – in apologies to my protagonists

        this became an academic lesson in Narcissistic Supply as the lead actor used the wording of my apology to later attack me when it seemed to him I was garnering support from others in the group – he at this time even framed his attack with reference to me appealing for others to be on my side…
        the absurdity of their attacks and the sustained nature of them – and when I say they I mean 3 distinct actors again academically modelling the notion of a NARC recruiting ‘sidekicks’ – it was this that broke into my anger – I don’t express it or hit them or do silly things – I am protective of my space like I say it feels to be protecting me from the difficulty of understanding what has happened on an emotional level – this is expressed as a wish only for him to leave me alone – no attempt to understand or ameliorate things as I realise that this only feeds him ammunition

        simply put – this NARC has removed my daily contact with my the other pilots – him and I have no actual real world contact until I go flying when he is almost always there so this is the biggest thing I have to learn to cope with

        others are not helping – at least one has confessed not to want to be a target himself – most exclaim that “he’s young” looking to my maturity to cope or rise above things

        in no way am I recovered and I feel the stress inside me every day – but I do think I have a framework of strength from my anger within which I feel I am starting to gain traction on my journey back to health
        what is really nice is that on a personal level when I meet people I am finding that they are supportive – I am going to be ok – it will simply take time…

        Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to write out your thoughts.
        xx

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      • The journey you speak resonates my own and others as well. Stopping a pattern of being the narc supply in and of itself is hard and adding going against the grain of popular belief adds another cruel challenge. You are welcome and thank you for sharing your journey, it helps to know I am not alone on this journey. :) xx

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    • the loser narcissist and his dullard sidekicks seem to think clicking the little dislike thumbs down button actually means something

      in these last days, March 2014, the dullard sidekick has been writing to people on behalf of the loser narcissist about my re-blogging of another post about haters:

      http://silkred.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/haters/

      Its aggravating that they would do this but interesting in the sense that when I was informed about this latest event those telling me are themselves declared that they were starting to see the loser narcissist for what he is.

      I was encouraged to note this and happy that writing out my experience maintaining no contact together with a mindful realisation that its not my problem, even a little, that the loser narcissist and his dullard sidekicks are as they are.

      it is and will become progressively more their problem – letting them go – surrendering any notion that it was a situation to be understood or somehow fixed is making me a far happier person inside.

      So go on you loser – click the little thumbs down icon, I dare you, and show the world the bile inside your evil heart.

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  19. I had a N friend who totally blew my mind. Initially, she was supportive and told me all the time she loved me. We have many mutual friends and I knew that many of them were unaware of her true nature. She constantly puts it out there that she is a good, moral, god-fearing Christian. Five years ago, after a very painful break-up with a boyfriend who I was very much in love with- N friend persistently told me, “He’s not beating a path to your door.”, She began hanging out with him. He was supposedly helping her to find a new house to buy. Her daily calls to me were filled with “Oh, Ed is so funny- this is what he said or Ed is such a nice guy.” I didn’t confront her on this. I accepted it at face value that my former boyfriend was just helping her find a house. Next I dated Jim for 2.5 years—yup, you guessed it. While Jim and I were breaking up- She started contacting him. Then she called me one day to tell me that at a party the previous night she had had sex with another friend’s husband. My jaw hit the floor. At this point, I started to distance myself from this woman who obviously valued the men who had been or were involved with her friends.
    In March of this year, she asked me did I think Ed (boyfriend #1) and I would get back together due to a change in both of our circumstances. A conversation ensued, I was being quite vague when she slipped up and said, “When he was helping look for a house he told me over and over that he was still in love with you.” Still in love with me? Information she didn’t share with me for 4 years which could have been life altering and quite literally may have changed the course of the relationship which I truly wanted to have – and N friend knew I was in love with this man! She didn’t tell me and clearly, Ed believed he was telling her and she was my dear friend- so of course she would tell me, right? Wrong. At this point, I decided that other than to casually greet N friend in public places, I wanted nothing more to do with her. I faded out. And as so many have written before me, you can guess what happened next- she began back stabbing me to all of our mutual friends. I found comfort in the words of a previous post, when you make a decision you must accept the consequences. I am facing the consequences. She is running a slam campaign behind my back to whomever will listen…..she is the victim. So if anyone has any advice, I could use it. I have decided that at this point, the very best thing I can do is take the high road and not stoop to her deceitful, two-faced, hypocritical level.

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    • Hi GG,
      That has to be dreadful to go through. She seems to be in envy of the relationships you have had and has not been a true friend. Like you said, I also fell for the initial glow of the relationship and had to later realise the words weren’t backed up by actions. It is hard to stomach.

      With any decision we take there are indeed consequences and I think her behaviours are not fair consequences. It is her punishing you for not putting her first and for taking away her supply of constant attention, admiration and adoration. I have been there and when they start on the mutual friends it can be sticky because sometimes it is affecting your whole support system. It was really hard for me to see and accept but I soon saw the behaviours of our mutual friends and realised that some of them weren’t looking at the whole picture and making decisions on their own thoughts and feelings. It later became clear that some of the mutual friends were also not true friends of mine. This was maybe harder to deal with than the actual N friend at times. It is a personal decision to how to how to handle the mutual friends – I did write about how I handled the situation in the post:

      http://inbadcompanyinc.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/frenemies-narcissists-and-mutual-friends/

      Since this post is old I will catch you up, some of the mutual friends stopped talking to me and without word dropped contact. I didn’t tell my side of the story because they didn’t ask nor was I wanting to go into what happened because in a way I would smear her name too. When asked I did say that I made a decision that was healthy for me. That is my standard answer. I guess if a friend were to question more I would feel comfortable talking about how I felt in the relationship without placing blame. Some of the mutual friends did remain in contact and we have remained friends today and they have slowly began to see her behaviours as not healthy. So time helped on that and the fact that they didn’t believe everything she had to say about me. That was a huge signal to me that not everyone will be swayed by the N and true friends come out of it.

      I think you are handling it well and it is tough to deal with a smear campaign that affects people you care about. Whatever you do, you have to do what is best for you. I hope sharing my story helps.

      Thank you for sharing your’s and for reading. xx TR

      Like

    • That is horrible. You are well rid of her, I like the “this is healthy for me” approach. I have found great strength in my brother throughout my N friend journey. He has rightly pointed out, there seem to be 2 types, people like myself, him, my true friends, who just get on with it, are happy for others and who make theor own decisions. Then there are people who can’t do that, they have to mix it up, to conive and manipulate. They can’t help it. I feel truly sorry for them because they loose good people all the way through their lives. This thread is a constant source of help and reassurance for me so thank you to all who put their stories out there and good luck to everyone. I just wish we could move on with no pain but I can see from the posts that we are all experiencing hurt and regret and negative feelings that take time to stop. The good thing is we can start to recognise these types now and steer clear!

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  20. Hi there, thank you so much for your article, I´m currently trying to get distance from a freenemy and needed advice on how to come to terms with the fact that she is not my friend, the first sign that I had was that whenever I talked to her I ended up feeling bad about my life, I ended up depressed, thankfully my husband saw what i was too blind to see, she would talk on and on about how much money her husband made, and how he bought her things, she would brag about her landrover and even parked it in the first parking space so everyone at school could see it, one day there was another landrover far within the parking lot and she walked to it just to see if it was in better condition than hers. She even tried to get me to go with her to a funeral when we weren´t even acquainted to anyone in there, just because she wanted everyone to like her for been there. If I buy something nice she would try to make me feel guilty for not getting her that same thing, her re What has been hurting me most is that she tries to put my work down in front of the teachers, if I´d ask a teacher their thoughts on my projects she instantly´d say that someone else did a better job, if she sends me a text asking me about homework and if my reply has a misspelled word..she´ll correct me. She enjoys when something is not going for me, she is the first one to point out if I make a mistake and makes sure that everyone around hears her. I´m glad that I see all of that now, but its sad that at first contact she comes on as a charming caring person thus she pulls people her way. I try to not even look at her when she calls out my name but every time I ignore her, her in your face attitude increases. After I read your article I can see that I need to keep strong and avoid her attacks, I hope that I can accomplish this and not react to her constant attacks, the good thing is that in 1 month and 12 days I wont have physical contact with her(yes!!). Thank you again, please wish me luck!

    Like

    • Hi Nina,
      I feel you. It is a painful process to realise that someone we care about treats us in an unhealthy way that leaves us feeling bad about ourselves and often depressed. I have had the same awakening you are going through.

      Many, many people who are difficult to deal with seem charismatic at first. They can look like they have it together or charm us, compliment us. I slowly realised that a lot of it is too good to be true. Being real and authentic means being imperfect. It is natural to be charmed at first. I don’t foresee that changing however, I have started using that initial ‘good feeling’ from meeting someone charismatic to my advantage. It is now a small warning sign. It doesn’t mean that that person is unhealthy. It only tells me to move slowly and get to know more about the person.

      You are strong and I know that you will make the right decisions for yourself (and it sounds like you are choosing your own path already). You are welcome and I’m glad this helped. xxTR

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