I got my next reflection about frenemies and narcs from a fellow blogger (whatsaysyou)…thank you! When is your frenemy a narcissist? Well, if you have gotten to the point where you think you have a frenemy that is an indication of something…but to what degree is the frenemyish in her or him serious enough to call her or him a narc?
Well, the answer is that humans are imperfect…and therefore no such thing as a perfect friend. There is a time in your life where you will say the wrong thing to a friend or a friend will say something unsupportive to you. You may find yourself in a bad mood when your friend experiences a joyful event and you may at that moment not say something positive about it. We are all human…we may from time to time actually be the frenemy that we scream and complain about.
The difference lies in the fact that our bouts of frenemyish happens situationally, they are seldom. With friends (the true ones) you find yourself reaping all the good things and forgiving and forgetting the bad instances. And when it gets bad, there is a true apology that comes after. We can as humans experience the full range of emotions life has to offer – jealously, negativity, etc. And when we do, it is up to us to make amends.
None of this is true for a narc. It is never situational. It is a consistent flow of toxicity. And they think they are perfect…so no apologies (sincere ones) come out of their mouths. It never stops. The frenemy is then entering the range of Narcissism – NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) is at the extreme end. In my opinion if you are consistently feeling awful and betrayed by your friend then it really doesn’t matter if he or she is an unofficial narc or officially has NPD. It is better to assess the situation from how you are feeling with your interactions with them.
Some things that helped me decide that I was dealing with a narc (Grade A Frenemy) as opposed to a friend who is acting like a frenemy in the moment:
- How do I feel when I am not with them and know I wouldn’t see them for some period of time (like when they are on vacation)?
- How do I feel before I know I have to see them (at a party, at work, etc.)?
- When something good/bad happens in your life how do you feel about sharing that info with him or her?
- How do you feel when he or she has made an evident mistake (something can’t be hidden – like forget your birthday, late to an event)?
When dealing with Marian (my frenemy) I felt relieved when she went on vacation. I felt relieved the minute our interaction ended. When I knew I had to see her, a planned shopping trip, I would dread it…I couldn’t articulate why but I didn’t look forward to the event at all and I love shopping. When something good or bad happened at work or with my boyfriend I contemplated how to tell her. When she forgot my birthday she blamed me for it. She blamed me or someone else when she was late (she was never on time for anything). This is not normal…I didn’t feel like this with other friends. I shared my news freely with other friends because I didn’t face a verbal whipping.
In the end…before deciding to end contact with Marian I decided to identify the positive aspects of my friendship with Marian…I had one: I could practice speaking another language with her. Ummm…that is not a reason to be friends with someone. There were sadly no positive aspects of staying friends her…she was sadly my frenemy that was officially a narc.