Why is that person your friend?

It’s Narcissist Friday!   


A commenter recently asked an obvious question of another: “Why do you think that person is your friend?”  That rang a bell in me.  There are times, when reading the stories people send me, that I ask something similar in my heart.

Why do you think that person is your friend?

Why would you keep putting yourself through this?

Why did you think that person loved you?

Why don’t you just walk away?

Outside the situation, things seem so much more clear.  We read a story and the details are so contrary to anything that makes sense to us.  The narcissists are so cruel, so persistent, and so obvious that we want to grab the writer and help her/him run away.

But it isn’t that easy inside the relationship.  We know this because of our own situations.  We can look at others with logic and reason, but our own circumstances seem different.  They are filled with emotions and complications.


So let me take a bit to work through what happens in a friendship.  I suspect that friendship seems like the easiest narcissistic relationship to deal with—from the outside.  Those who grow up with narcissistic parents feel that they are stuck forever.  Those who are married to narcissists have to do a lot to get out of the relationship.  Those who encounter narcissists at work or otherwise professionally don’t usually have the power to remove the person from their lives.  But we all think the person with a narcissistic friend should be able to just walk away.

Very few people go through life interviewing strangers to see if they would make good friends.  Friends are rarely chosen methodically or even carefully.  Instead, friends come to us through circumstances, coincidences, or common interests.  We inherit them, they come with the job, or we suddenly discover them by our side.  Before we know it, the person has spent enough time with us and we have shared enough of ourselves that we think of him/her as a friend.

And few of us have ever really considered a definition of friendship.  We think we know it when we see it; but, when a friend turns against us, we are surprised and wonder if he/she was really a friend.  Even then we don’t take the time to sort out what we mean by a friend.

So without a careful way of choosing friends and without a helpful definition of a friend, we go through life gathering people into our circles.  We think of them as comrades, co-workers, acquaintances, colleagues, and associates.  Someplace along the line a few of them become something more—friends.  We assume they value the relationship in the same way we do.  We would miss them if they were gone if for no other reason than that they have become a part of our lives.

We acknowledge that there are different kinds or levels of friendship, but we still don’t think about it much.  A friend on Facebook is different from a friend from school days or a friend we confide in, but the overlap we allow is amazing.  We live in a culture where friends we have never met except online know more about us than friends who have walked with us through many trials in person.  Our culture speaks of “friends with benefits” or “friends in business” or “friends online” without regard to the conflicts inherent in the terms.

All of this is a way of saying that we have not been taught to be careful about whom we call or consider a friend.

So, when the narcissist comes along, we don’t have a guard up because we don’t think about guarding ourselves.  I have written often about the narcissist super-power, that amazing ability to manipulate what others think of them.  The narcissist might not even need a super-power to become a friend, but it gives her the ability to jump quickly past any fuzzy barriers we might have and get right into our hearts.

I suspect that the real reason it is hard for those in narcissistic friendships to end the relationship is that they can’t fully understand how they got into the relationship in the first place.  They might know the details, but they don’t understand the feelings.  All the red flags were there, the things others mention are true and should have been obvious from the start, but some kind of fog or deception took place.

Remember how narcissists work.  They look for people who are open.  Those who are lonely, sad, angry, frustrated, or afraid.  They manage to share a common cause or life circumstance.  Then they begin to tell you secrets (which may not be true) about themselves and get you to tell your secrets to them.  Pretty soon, they know much more about you than others and they know how to manipulate you.  You find yourself giving them your time, energy, even money—when you don’t want to.

So why not just walk away?  It seems obvious that this is one narcissistic relationship that could end easily.  Yet, it isn’t all that easy.  The narcissist knows too much.  By the time the victim realizes that the relationship is toxic, the hooks are firmly in place.  The narcissist knows how to threaten, how to plead, how to place guilt and shame, and all kinds of other manipulative methods.

Yes, you should walk away from a narcissistic friend.  Yes, you are being used.  Yes, you will be hurt again.   No, it will not get better.

It is possible to get out.  Set boundaries and maintain them.  Say no and mean it.  Don’t believe the lies, no matter how sweet they sound or how they tweak your heart.  Don’t blame yourself for being deceived.

And, for the rest of us, remember that the narcissist has to work harder to rule over a friend who can walk away.  Much harder than a boss or a parent or a spouse.  The narcissist must convince the victim that he is a lover and necessary in the victim’s life.  A narcissist knows how to do this very well.


Filed under Narcissism

39 responses to “Why is that person your friend?

  1. Thank you once again Pastor Dave for your great insight and understanding into the.mind and the hurtful behavior of,the narcissist.For those of us who have felt trapped and powerless for so long, this ministry is truly a,lifeline to freedom, one step at a time, trusting God to deliver us.

  2. Kitkat

    Yes, yes, yes! You hit the nail on the head once again. I think that one of the reasons why it is harder for some, more than others to get away from this kind of narcissist is because of where we are in our lives. If we are having difficulty in our relationships, are far from home or are in need of a listening ear, the predator waits in the shadows. Waiting to pounce on their next victim. If you have a good support system around you, the impact can be much less devastating. My husband used to say, “I don’t know why you are hanging around with her, she is not a nice person.” And I would dismiss it because, I thought that I could help her. She seemed nice enough to me, but I didn’t realize she was feeding the need in me to help others. She wasn’t as obvious as other Narcissists. She was subtle, until one day she turned on me without provocation. I thought I was helping her and instead she was sucking the life out of me. There was always some new trauma in her life that she couldn’t cope with. I was always, it seemed, trying to lift her spirits out of the dumpster. For others it is much harder when you are much more invested in the relationship. There are no easy ways to deal with these people. They are difficult, nasty and uncaring. But now, I am more careful. Because not everyone who is looking for help, really wants it. They just want to keep you on a string, so that they can manipulate you for their own ends. Fortunately, I have a family and other friends who have helped me through all this. I know others are not so fortunate, which makes letting go so much more difficult. But my biggest source of help has been the Lord and His leading me to sites like this one. The more I draw close to Him, the easier it is to deal with the hurt. Thank you Pastor Dave!

  3. This is so good. In divorcing my narcissist, my sister-in-law, who I considered a friend, turned against me under the guise of peace. Stepping back, what she really wanted to do was minimize my hurt, invite herself to my divorce and expect me to feel sorry for how it had affected HER, and maintain her ability to say hurtful things to me and about me without sensitivity. So, she is a therapist and I think that was the hardest to deal with. She isn’t the type to ever apologize, but she did project an awful lot onto me. I trusted her at one time and believed she had good will. It was one thing for my husband to betray me in the myriad ways he did, but the family too…ugh! Very hard. Lots of healing to sift through.

  4. “Remember how narcissists work. They look for people who are open. Those who are lonely, sad, angry, frustrated, or afraid. They manage to share a common cause or life circumstance. Then they begin to tell you secrets (which may not be true) about themselves and get you to tell your secrets to them. Pretty soon, they know much more about you than others and they know how to manipulate you. You find yourself giving them your time, energy, even money—when you don’t want to.”

    This is exactly how it played out with my abusive husband while we were dating. And he would play on the negative experiences we both had with other people and say, “don’t you just hate that?” Experiences may have been similar, but my feeling about them was *not* the same. I viewed them as not so out of the ordinary and had no bad feelings toward the others. He on the other hand harbored deep seated anger towards the other people in his life.
    “You find yourself giving them your time, energy, even money—when you don’t want to.” — that last phrase REALLY hit me between the eyes; that’s EXACTLY how I felt. He was also either calling me, writing me, or coming to my house—overkill!!! I could never seem to shake him off.

  5. Trying to cope

    You could not be more right. Why do you not just walk away? I ask myself that daily. Well I was discarded. So I don’t need to walk away, I was pushed out. But what if I didn’t want to be pushed out. I get that he’s an N. I get that I was a supply. I’m not sure of what but it wasn’t a bad place to be. I know this sounds weird, but this is a blog so let’s explore. This is my story.

    I am the discarded one. It was fun being his friend. He does have super powers after all. Now he shines his light on every one but me. I just went through a really tough number of years. This guy had the power to come in and make me laugh. In an otherwise dreary world i enjoyed this person. I thought he enjoyed me. Then one day i was discarded. No longer worthy of speaking to or looking at. I am shunned. In my quest for understanding I have learned about shunning and it led me to the N. The answer. This person is an N. Turns out N’s are a species with very identifiable charachteristics. The problem is, if they are not using their super power for harm, is it so bad? I miss my friend. I hate the way i feel being the discarded one. I also hate the way he treats me now and I can’t walk away. I am a co-worker.

    It is tough at work because my circle of friends is gone, why?..they are his circle of friends and he has the super power. Can’t talk about it. He is so covert that I can hardly identify what he is doing to me much less explain it. If I tried, I would be the crazy one.

    I do not come here often or post a lot because I don’t feel justified. There are some pretty nasty n’s out there. Some of you are their children, some are married to them. And if an N is using their superpower for evil, Watch out. But I am in Limbo. I am not married to one, Im not the child of one. I was a friend and a co worker. So I cannot just walk away. I have to come face to face with this problem 10 times a day. As a friend I could walk away. As a co-worker I have to stay and to strengthen myself. Because he is using his superpower to let me know I am worthless, unfriended, unworthy of his friendship. I look at my co-workers and I look at myself. Am i really that much less funny, interesting, charming, smart. What about me is so awful that i deserve to be put down and made to feel worthless every chance he gets. Why me? (yes same song., sorry) I can’t get over Why Me.

    To keep it together every day is a major undertaking for me. I try not to be this needy, whiny soal to others. I have learned that no one understands what it is like in the face of an N. Your post could not be more timely. I sit on this edge…wanting to confront him, speak to my boss, tell a friend. No one gets it, not even my husband. My husband is aware that this guy is an N, but this guy has a superpower so really my husband just want me to get along with the guy. How can I when I’m invisible. Not worthy.

    So the order of the day. You can’t confront him…he did not wrong. how do you fix it? If he accepts me then the circle is complete again. But i don’t know how and tomorrow I will go to work and get faced with my worthlessness again. Yes one single solitary person. You say don’t you have other friends. Yep. I have friends, family and a life. But this person was a part of our life. To not have this person makes my husbands life not as fun and mine. So a weird twist. How to get the N to stay in your life even after your not a supply. (I am actually laughing at the oddness) but we do need to co-exist with N’s. and make them see the error of their ways. But how.

    • Trying To Help

      I don’t know your entire situation, but hear me out because I’m actually trying to help you. I think this site is great and can be very helpful, BUT, I also think it can also be a destructive forum where victims just weep and sob over one another. I was married to a narcissist. I get it just as much as everyone else. The process of leaving and parting from a narcissist is totally gut-wrenching. I was discarded by a narcissist just like you were. The narcissist slandered my name and reputation during and after the divorce. I get it. With all that being said, SOMEONE needs to give you some actual advice so you can get on with your life. You’re on this site for a reason. Do you actually want help or do you just want sympathy?
      For example, if you’re stabbing yourself in the leg with a knife, what type of friend would you prefer? The type who just puts bandages on your ever-bleeding wound because they’re too “compassionate” to actually say something or the type of friend who confronts you on your wild behavior and attempts to disarm you. I’m the type of person who wants a friend who is going to truly help me, even if that means confronting me on uncomfortable terms. With this being said, hear out my entire response before you come to the conclusion that I’m some insensitive troll who’s picking a fight because I’m not. I get no pleasure in taking time out of my day to type out a thoughtful response to someone who is going to discard my advice.

      This is going to sound rude and I don’t mean it to be, but please listen to yourself. You work with someone who discarded you and now you act as if your entire life is empty and jaded. Why is that? Why are you defining your self-worth and value by the opinion of some ex-friend/coworker? Clearly, you have some low self-esteem issues. That’s fine, we all do. However, you need to some real advice in assessing your situation, so you can see that YOU actually have the resources to move on with your life. You don’t need anyone’s approval, but God’s and the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be.

      FIRST, God sees you as valuable and He says that you are lovely and likable. God says you were worth dying for and here you are, saying that some human being’s opinion is more valuable than God’s. How insulting!!! You talk as if your entire life revolves around this one guy. He’s a jerk and he discarded you. So what???? If people can’t see the good in you, then move on. You don’t NEED his friendship and furthermore, you shouldn’t even want it. You are a married woman, why do you care what this rude person says or thinks about you? Who cares if he convinced your other co-workers that you were a bad person. You know you’re not. You are giving other people too much influence in your life. I understand that we all grieve at the loss of friends and family. This is a natural part of the healing process. But you’re in a completely different place.

      You have exalted and idolized this narcissist as the most important thing in your life. Your priority should be God and your family follows after that. Rude and obnoxious people have no place in your life. They are there because you are letting them. You will continue to be in this miserable state unless you realign your priorities. Stop selling yourself so cheaply. Stop idolizing people. If you really want to be healed, it will come after you have realize the truth in what I’m saying. God loves you and He says you’re valuable. Bank on that and ask that God have His way in your life. Focus on God, NOT people! When you align yourself with God, He will handle all the details. In your case, He will remove the need to feel validated by other people. You don’t need people’s approval and you definitely shouldn’t care what they think of you. Who do you spend more time thinking about, God or your coworker?

      Now, why all the talk about God? Well because, for one this is a Christian forum. This is supposed to be a place where fellow believers can encourage one another and give God glory. This isn’t about portraying self-righteous behavior, but being an obedient tool for God. So if you’re going to post comments on a Christian forum, then you should come to expect that God is going to talk to and through other individuals in order to get His point across to you. This isn’t about ego and this isn’t about telling people what they want to hear. It’s about speaking the truth and hoping that people will respond to God’s convictions. Someone will read this comment. The moderator, you or maybe both. If this comment doesn’t reach you, then there was a conviction happening between the moderator and what was said here. The point is, God does use other people and His message isn’t always polite. Polite will only take you so far. At this point, God is urgently telling you to move on from this situation. You can continue to reject truth and stay in the current misery you are in, OR you can recognize that God loves you and He’s all that matters. Your pain is real and it is legitimate and no one’s asking you to do the impossible. Only God Himself can give us the resources to cope with all of life’s drama. Your only responsibility is to admit to God that you need His help and be willing to make some adjustments as God puts them on your heart. God loves you dearly and this is your moment to shine and put a smile on His face. Reject anything negative you think about yourself. God’s opinion is the only one that matters and He thinks you’re wonderful. Let that sink deep into your soul. The more you focus on God, the less you’ll focus on the approval of others.

      • Trying to Cope

        Trying to help. I did post the rest of the story last night. For some reason the moderator has chose not to let those posts through. Probably for the best in the name of anonymity. You are absolutely right. I come here trying to grasp why I even would care. Why it still nags me. What the rest of the story was is that my husband has an expectation that I be friends with this N. He in no way gets what an N is capable of or what I’m going through, I have tried telling him. This person is going no where, I have to cope and I am doing a lousy job of it.

        Some days I think I can look the other way, some days I just wish it could be back to normal when he was a friend, other days I think I could never forgive him for how he has treated me ( and I believe strongly in forgiveness) and every day I wonder why me?

        At the end of the day I am supposed to let this person treat me horrible and yet be best buds with my husband. It is hurtful. And I can’t fix it. I don’t get why someone would do this to me. Yep sounds pathetic. We each walk a different path with an N. I don’t get to simply walk-away. He is here in my face every day And as KitKat said…inflicting a thousand nicks and cuts along the way. So I get delusional and think maybe I can fix this.
        I will take your words and ponder their meaning. Thank You.

      • TTC, I apologize. Usually, when one post by a commenter is approved, the others follow as already approved. But once in a while WordPress randomly stops approving comments. That does happen when a commenter comes through a different email address, but nothing I can find changed in your comments. Hopefully, everything should be back to normal now.

        For everyone: if you have a comment that has not been approved, please feel free to call it to my attention. You can email me at daveatorrisondotnet. I very much appreciate your comments and value the exchange that is happening. (Obviously, I reserve the right to hold back comments that I think are hurtful or promote sites or information I don’t want to promote. You would be surprised at some that I have not approved!)

      • TTC, your situation sounds like a type of brainwashing took place. It may have been purposeful on the N’s part or it may have been an unfortunate side-effect to the relationship. What you describe is something you experienced as very good, which was then ripped away from you and now you are not only deprived of the good, but you receive the opposite. Narcissists do this, like the mom who praises something once then scolds for it the next time. It is a method of control.

        But you don’t seem to have any indication that this man wants something from you. If he is controlling, you don’t know his goal or desire. What it sounds like to me is that he is working hard to push you away. He maybe got what he wanted and he may be so narcissistic that he doesn’t even consider the connection between you and your husband. In other words, he can push you away while still maintaining a friendship with your husband. I don’t know why your husband doesn’t see the problem the way you do, but male relationships are different.

        Are you sharing these concerns with a good counselor? I had hoped that getting your thoughts out here would help, but you need more. A face to face visit with someone who cares and can help direct your thoughts and emotions could help a lot. Please forgive me if you have written about this already. I try to read all the comments; but, with the stories I get through direct correspondence, I sometimes get things mixed up. If you need a reference, I might be able to help.

        TTH’s words were strong, perhaps too strong, but I agree with them. There is much love for you to enjoy. Please don’t let this negative, no matter how strong it is, stop your opportunity to receive that love. Keep going until you find the way out. There is hope. You are loved.

    • Trying To Help

      Trying To Cope,

      While your situation is unique to you, the lesson to be learned from all of this is very common. And yes it is a spiritual lesson, so let’s start there. Not that we’re trying to diminish the physical and emotional “realness” of what you’re going through, it’s important to understand that God is sovereign and everything we experience in life is made to draw us closer to Him. It’s critical that you grasp the significance of that last statement. God isn’t limited to just church and happy feelings. God is with us in the good and with the bad.

      Because this is a spiritual lesson, you are being spoken to on two fronts. God is constantly whispering encouraging truths to you and then there are the demonic forces that are raining down condemnation and guilt and you. From your comments, we can already see that you are buying Satan’s lot of guilt and condemnation. You’re constantly ragging on yourself as lousy and unlikable which is NOT true. Furthermore, these thoughts aren’t even your own and you don’t even realize it. There are demonic forces at work and up until this point, they have done a great job at keeping you unaware of their presence and intentions. You are so hyper-focused on the narcissist that you aren’t even aware of the spiritual battle raging around you. Now God loves you immensely and He knows what you’re going through, but He’s not going to step in and just whisk away your problems until you learned what needed to be learned through these trials.

      Now before, I say another thing, I’m assuming that you are a Christian. I’m not talking about church attendance or being a member of some specific congregation. I’m talking about a person who has recognized, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as their Creators and has asked Jesus to atone for their sins in their heart. Salvation is something that is done at the heart level. If you’re already a Christian, that’s wonderful. If you’re not, I suggest you make steps towards doing it, because most of the advice you will receive will be of little help if you haven’t submitted to Christ. Spiritual growth can only take place after you become a Christian. So before you read anything else, make sure you’re on good terms with God.

      So moving forward and assuming you are a Christian, let’s talk about practical solutions for the problems you are currently dealing with. First, you need to recognize God’s involvement in this situation. Christians have a terrible habit of only associating God with pleasant and cheerful circumstances. This mindset is complete garbage. God’s chief concern for ALL of us is intimacy with Him. God loves us and He knows that the more we pursue Him, the happier we become. The more we focus on material things, human relationships and earthly concerns, the more stressed we become. Humans were not designed to happily exist apart from serving God. Because people are egotistical, the notion of serving God doesn’t sound appealing at first. However, the more we surrender to God, the more we experience God’s love and peace and the more we actually enjoy serving God instead of seeing it as a chore. It is EXTREMELY critical that you recognize that serving God is an EASY thing to do. God isn’t asking you do a bunch of religious tasks to prove your love to Him. God wants nothing more than a surrendered heart that is aimed at pleasing Him. Reject the idea that you must forgive the narcissist before God will be happy you. Reject the idea that you must “act a certain way” before God heals you. God wants a sincere heart attitude that cares about Him. So don’t fall for the trap that you must earn your way into God’s heart.

      Once you recognize that pleasing God is simple, you will be well on your way to being healed from the circumstances you are in. Recognize that circumstances are just temporary tools that God uses and right now He’s using your coworker to agitate you to no end until you finally just give up and seek God’s face. God ultimately wants you to be healed from situation, but He’s way more concerned with your relationship with Him than He is with your coworker.

      So assuming you’re a Christian who desires to please God, let’s talk about setting boundaries because they are a must in your situation. People are not supposed to be doormats for other people. If there is some type of abuse happening in your place of employment, you need to contact HR immediately. If HR is unable to resolve the issue and you still feel that abuse is happening, then you may want to seek other employment alternatives. God is one who gives us the grace to handle situations and if you are finding yourself unable to deal with your job, that could be a very good indicator that God is leading you elsewhere. Granted, you want to take this up with God before you make any moves, but don’t be surprised if God wants to completely remove you from this situation. In regards to your marriage, there must be boundaries set there as well. You’ve already explained your situation to your husband. It’s not your job to convince him otherwise. You let your husband know your boundaries concerning this individual and you move on. As we stated earlier, you are not a toy and you are not a doormat for other people to step on. Set and hold your boundaries and focus on God. Let Him handle all the details.

      I can’t speak for the owner of this site, but from my perspective, it appears to be a Christian owned and operated site. It is NOT religious in nature. Speaking about God and giving Him glory are not religious activities, they are natural actions that occur when one is truly seeking God. Your goal is not to find the perfect religion (they all have problems), your goal should be to seek intimacy with God in all aspects of your life. (Marriage, Children, Employment, Health, etc) It’s understandable that Christian sites like this one can be great sources of compassion and sympathy because the majority of the individuals on this site you can relate to and most of them probably have good intentions. All things considered, if you’re commenting on this site for actual guidance, then expect the advice to come in a form that honors God and teaches you focus on Him and less on other things. If you’re only here to vent, well that’s your prerogative, but don’t expect for your situation to ever change. You can’t change the narcissist or what they did to you, however you can change the way you respond. Accepting Christ and living a life that aims to please Him is the best choice you can ever make. This is what you should be spending your energy on.

    • Trying to Cope, I really know what you are saying. Think of it this way.. he’s acting like a teenage girl in high school. I know it sucks, but you have to rise above and let this fuel you on to better things. Things that will make you walk tall and stand proud, whether you are accepted in the clique or not. Matter of fact, you’re better off on the outside even though it seems really lonely. I’m sorry that things are this way.. for all of us.

  6. Kitkat

    Trying to Cope, I do so understand. For me, I could not understand why my so called friend, all of sudden turned on me. When all I did was try to help her. The hurt I felt from someone, who was in my life for 7 years, went on vacation with, and spent many good times together, was enormous. But when I found out that her jealousy of me was the cause, I was dumbfounded. She felt threatened by my abilities, she felt she wasn’t getting her proper moment in the sun, because I was in her way. Perhaps that is what is going on for you at work. If you are a capable individual and you are better at your job, or you are getting more accolades from the boss, you may be a threat to him, because he feels you are outshining him. It could also explain why your other co-workers are going along with him. I always try to let my work speak for itself. I don’t want accolades or atta boys, because that is not the reason I do the things that I do. I just love to get the job done and knowing that I’ve done it well, gives me tremendous personal satisfaction. I like doing things well. But that is just me and I really don’t care much what others think. But when you are a capable individual, people who are not so capable (which a lot of narcs aren’t capable), makes narcs fearful that their cover will be blown and that they will be found out how inept they really are. A lot of what Ns do is nothing but smoke and mirrors, or to put it bluntly, just BS. Do I feel a sense of loss? … absolutely. Do I feel left out? …certainly. Am I hurt by what she has done? …yes. But am I going to let that drag the rest of my life down? …absolutely not. As I said, I have other friends that I can lean on. And you said that you do too. Talk with one of them to help you get through this. And if you already have tried with other friends and they didn’t care to listen, then consider talking with a good counselor who deals with Ns to help you. And to answer your last question,”How do you make them see the error of their ways?”. You can’t! You are struggling against the wind. You will make yourself sick tying to change them. Only God can change people. I know that what I have written is not what you wanted to hear. Because you want hope, you want answers that will make them change. So did I. As I believe most of the people who are on this site did. You want back what you once thought you had, but I don’t think that will happen. I wanted things to go back to the way they used to be, too. My N played like we were still friends for awhile then she delivered her final nasty bite, dashing all hope that things could ever be the same again. Your N is trying to hurt you with a thousand nicks and cuts. And as long as you continue to hope that he will come back, those wounds will always be painful. You continue to say you are not worthy, I want you to understand that YOU ARE worthy, but he is not. He is not worthy of your friendship. He is not worthy of your kindness. He is not worthy of your companionship. If you wish to be healed from this relationship, as hard as it is, you must move on. How to move on when you have to see this person every day, depends on you. That is why a good counselor could help you. For me, I had to leave the church I loved. But for you, its your job. And that is not so easy to do. Perhaps you could transfer to a different department or work a different shift. You should look at all your options with your family and your counselor and then make your decision. But you must understand something, this man built up your self worth, only to rip it away again. He is not worth investing anymore of your time. I truly hope you find the way to the peace and comfort you seek. May God’s Great Grace be with you, along with many prayers.

    • trying to cope`

      I do love your saying that the N is trying to hurt me with a thousand nicks and cuts. That is exactly it. I truly feel delusional because each nick is no more than a paper cut. I feel and sound like a loon if I say what he has done out loud. I don’t even go into it here. Trust me when I say I have a lot of interaction with people, i know when i’m being purposefully made to feel bad. He will take any and every chance to get a cut in and no one even notices because it’s so subtle.

      • Kitkat

        My N did the same thing. Sometimes it was a subtle look, a sneer, grimace… something most people wouldn’t even consider. Then it would be turning her face away when I went to talk to her, like I wasn’t even there. A snide remark made only when it was just her and I in the room. She would also rush past me, pulling herself in the opposite direction from me as if I had leprosy or something. Anything she could do to enhance the drama she craved, so that she could lure someone else into her web. Hoping someone would ask, “What’s wrong?” “Why aren’t you two talking to each other?”… etc. Then she could tell them how I had so wronged her. But I have to say, if someone is willing to listen to someone like this, without finding out for themselves if it is true, I don’t need them in my life either. Some people did see her behavior and she has now nothing to do with them. But others have clearly bought into her nastiness. I can’t do anything about that, but what I can do is not let it or her control my life. I think that your husband is in for a rude awakening. Because if this N has done this to you, he will eventually do it to him too. You husband is still useful to him in some way. But give it time, the N will tire of him eventually, especially if your husband starts to see what this guy is doing to you. I stand by what I said earlier, you need to find a good counselor. I see Pastor Dave has recommended the same thing, please, for your sake if he can help connect you to a counselor, go for it. Kindest regards.

    • concerned

      wow I totally understand your situation aN befriended me for a lift to church it progressed from a lift to church to waiting at church untill she was ready to leave When suggested that I would like to leave the N gave a look that suggested I be quite alarms rang loud and clear so I backed away from picking her up when she suggested to when I wanted to pick her up eventually I told her I would no longer pick her up.Guess what she has found someone else to be her driverI feel free I asked the to show me the truth of the situation He told me she was nacisstic I was so relived that I had stood up to her and got my freedom back praise God

  7. Ann

    “To not have this person makes my husbands life not as fun and mine. So a weird twist.”
    What role does the N play in your husband’s life?

  8. trying to cope

    To ANN, HE IS A BUDDY. THEY PAL AROUND AND DO STUFF. ONLY since I have been discarded I finally said listen. This is real weird. Am I wrong to insist this person like me too. Quite frankly i do not know all my husbands friends or care to. But this was different. This guy pretended to be a friend to me. Had he not done that, all would be fine. But to act like a friend for so long and then for no reason, no warning and no willingness to discuss why he is gone.

  9. To KitKat, yes it seems we walk a similar walk. I imagine you too sometimes feel that your story may pale compared to some people struggle here. This does not however diminish our pain. These people were a part of our lives. Before I go to far, let me take this moment to apologize for typos and mis-spells above. Sometimes I am in a hurry, sometimes I am on my phone and I don’t get around to proofing.

    I absolutely love to hear what you have to say. Good bad and otherwise. If not for here I would have sunk into an unknown pit of misery long ago. I cannot explain why it bothers me so. For whatever life has thrown at me I was not emotionally ready for this. I was at a low point in my life and I valued that friendship. But more so, I know am just filled with all this doubt and anger…total pitty party. I honestly think I’m going nuts. I am obsessing i know I am. I cannot afford a counselor. You all are the best I will get. I have learned so much here but no matter how much I learn, it never fixes him. It makes it twice as bad because yes, my husband really wants me to not have an issue with him. That is a double edged sword though. Because when you talk jealousy well that adds an interesting angle. Yes this man once told my husband that he (my husband) has everything the N wants. Slip of the tongue, he tried to cover it up as soon as it was out. but it was out. I try not to let my mind go into those deep ugly corners. Could he be causing me so much grief because he is jealous of us our marriage, our family. I do have much that he does not. He has much that I don’t have. But we do lead very different lives.

    Kitkat you are stronger than I. I want to be the bigger person and then I spend a day with his covert abuse and I crumble. It is so hard because if I say out loud, what he does to me, it is so trivial, so petty, so high school..I would sound like an absolute lunatic for saying it.but it hurts. He has been dolling out punishment for 2 years. I think he just hates that I could be happy. He does these little insane things that I don’t even want to verbalize, but i get left in tears. He will lavish other people with friendship and kindness almost as a “see they deserve my friendship”. He used to always hang with me or my husband…now he will walk the long way around before he would cross paths with me. I am hurt, hurt and hurt. Oh and betrayed.

    And at the end of the day. Because he hates me it has compromised my husbands friendship. I feel like my husband could have done so much better than me. He could have picked someone people actually like. I know, stop right there. People do like me, I do have friends. Am I popular. Nope. Never tried. Wasn’t interested. But I am not the outcast he would like me to be.

    He has an agenda. It has to do with climbing the career ladder. But he is trashing me and my self worth to get there. It’s complicated. Its a weird mix of friendship and work. My husband is some sort of supply. I am nothing.

    Kitkat. I feel your pain. I know I am all me me me right now. I thank you for your words of wisdom.

  10. I agree with the content of this post. But I think the simplest reason, for me, was that I just could not believe that a person could be so dishonest about who he really was. I know I was naive, but I believed the whole initial persona, really, really liked that person, and took years (in two cases: my husband and a friend) to realize that the person I thought I had made a relationship with didn’t exist. I think I am a pretty honest person, as much as we sinners can be, and I expect honesty from others. Later, I think I was ashamed of myself for not believing they were dishonest about who they really were, but at first (and for many years) I really kept expecting the good, fun, caring, interested people to return. I didn’t believe a person could be so hurtful and not feel any of the pain he caused others (me).

    • Ann

      “and took years (in two cases: my husband and a friend) to realize that the person I thought I had made a relationship with didn’t exist”

      I think the above point causes the majority of pain for victims. Who wants to accept that years and energy invested was a waste and meant *nothing* to the other person?!; *genuine* love didn’t exist. We hold on thinking we must have done something wrong so we set out to figure it out and resolve it to make the pain go away. We need to tap into that pain to turn *from* a narcissist, because anything other than that is ______________________ (fill in the blank).

      • I have got to quit trying to figure it out because it is crazy, self defeating, dehumanizing, tramatizing, hurtful, insanity! But i don’t know how to stop because he doesn’t stop.

    • trying to cope`

      I really keep expecting the good, fun, caring, interested person to return. You nailed it repol. I don’t want to believe it. This has been going on for a long time now. Too long for a good, sane person like myself to still have to be worrying about.

      If I worked elsewhere, if I didnt have to face this person often I truly would not care anymore. But when daily I get to confront the fact that I was discarded I just buckle under the insanity of it all.

      Today I read why do we still love (read care for) him or her. It was helpful to remind me that I do not want back in. He has the power to hurt me. But i am married to a man that wants me to get along with this guy. What people don’t understand is this isn’t like a little tiff where I did something to irk him and he will get over it. I have been discarded. My husband doesn’t get it, friends don’t get it. They say talk it out. There is nothing to talk out, no matter what i say I learn that I have a problem. Even if I knew what to talk about we have just recently learned Confronting does not work, and it doesn’t….been there done that.. Talking to others about the problem is futile and actually can really backfire because the N has the super power and no one will believe such things of a superpower. I can’t even speak to this co-worker yet somehow my husband expects I am to make it all better. It puts me in a horrible position. Can’t talk to the N, have tried confronting, have tried just moving on and being nice in-spite of his mean and arrogant demeanor. Nothing works. Fun, caring interested guy is gone. So I feel double bad. I have lost a friend and angered my husband.

  11. Ann

    I’m still confused about this relationship your husband and N have; you said they are buddies. Do they work together? If so, does the N have some control over your husband in the workplace; is he his superior? Or does the N have money and shows your husband a good time on regular basis. Something your husband just couldn’t afford to pay for on his own? (Just trying to figure out this stranglehold this N has on your husband that your husband just wants you to not let the N bother you or for you to “smooth things over” with the N). Something seems to missing here.

    • TTC

      Thank you Pastor for the weigh in. This site at least lets me see it’s not just me. The N has a certain set of characteristics that make them identifiable. Some days I come here to learn some days I vent. Some days I even lend advise or support. It is an on going battle. To Ann it is impossible to figure out. That is the thing with an N … The super power is tough to overcome. I think others see the bad side but just let him get away with it. So I come to learn. To recharge. I understand the site is religious in nature, I did not however see any rules of engagement. It is not in my nature to broadcast my beliefs to others. Please pardon me if i am not engaging properly. I viewed this as a forum where people could share and learn. Kitkat when you talk of the way you are treated in passing, I can say ahhah I am not just over sensitive. These things are weird. It just helps add credit to my claim I guess. It’s me, myself and I. And sometimes I thinks i’m losing it…and then I come here and I see a story that I can identify with. Sometimes I think the story is about the person I know and it makes me feel better just to know I am not crackers.

      • Kitkat

        Trying to Cope, just a thought. You said that the N let it slip that he is jealous of what your husband has, family, life…etc. You also said that your husband moved onto another company, leaving him behind. Is it a better position, more money? Since the N can’t have what your husband has, he might be setting out to destroy not you, but your husband and what he has. And he is starting his destruction by putting a wedge between you and your husband. These people can’t stand to see other people happy. Its like, “If I can’t be happy, neither can you.”. This is how they operate, because it is happiness, power and control that they what they want. And because they refuse to do the hard work it takes to change, they will destroy anything that reminds them of how unhappy they are. My ex-friend was miserable almost all the time. She was never happy. She hated her husband, kids, life, even the family pets. My sister, who is a counselor, said that she wanted to be me, she wanted my life. But because that couldn’t happen, she set out to try to destroy my life. Something to think about too, is that you are the face at work that reminds this N of what he didn’t get, (i.e. the move to the other company), so he is unleashing all his hate at you. I would guess, that if he thought your husband’s life fell apart, he would drop your husband as a friend like a hot rock. It may not be you that he is trying to destroy, you just may be the way to get to his real target.

  12. UnForsaken

    Dave, I love this article. You answered a few of my questions and put several things into words that are very hard to describe. We give pieces of ourselves away when we make friends. It can be a wonderful growing experience, or a dangerous game, depending on the person we are friending.

    Recently someone insinuated I must be ‘withdrawn’, simply because I prefer to avoid sticky social situations with my N. But it’s a useless execise to make a good friend who will be stolen and bewildered shortly afterwards. I need perceptive friends, but I really don’t blame them because I have to keep my mouth shut most of the time. Is there any way to make healthy friends with the N always there?

  13. TTC

    To Trying to Help…Much to Ponder. Yes I am a christian. Clearly not as educated of one as you but a believer non the less. You have an enlightened way of thinking. I need to print your thread…read and re-read and clearly do some rethinking.

    KitKat…yes I am afraid it is the down and dirty of it all. I cannot speak with others about this. They don’t get it. You get it. By someone else getting it I feel a little less nuts. What you describe in your scenario is about what I have dealt with.

    I seek peace. And need to find my own path to get there. Thank You for the input. This seems to go on and on. For those that just say get over it, well that is why I am here. Trying to understand and suit up with armour to handle this attack. My armour could be a smile, it could be a scowl, it could be a plea for forgiveness, it could be a cold shoulder and an I don’t care. This person has made my life miserable when it didn’t need to be. I am trying to fight back…so it seems I am not as weak as some think I may be. The weak person would have left long ago.

    • TTC, people who say, “Just get over it,” clearly have not dealt with narcissists. I find that my own frustration with a narcissist from 10 years ago still comes up in my thoughts and conversations too often. It’s like a puzzle that was never solved, a wound that never really healed, or a crime that never saw justice. Many here will understand that feeling. The gap in your memory or the unexplained weakness of a part of your body. I could go on with analogies, but I think most of us would agree that the work of the narcissist doesn’t end when the narcissist goes away. In your case, to see him day by day, must be a real struggle.

      • TTC

        Thank You. My healing comes in the form of validation. I’m not crazy. He wants me to think I am. Im not. He could be. No one gets it and this site is the only thing that keeps me strong. And I am strong. This is a lesson I know, I am learning. Not sure the lesson yet but I will get it one day.

    • Hurttohealing

      Even though this person was not your spouse or parent, they can still wreak havoc in your life & make you feel anxiety any time they are near. My N is my husband (in middle of separation.) A friend’s husband knows my husband “has issues” but chooses to stay friends & keep his mouth shut. He knows the way my N treats me is wrong but won’t confront him. His wife can’t stand my N and tells him to stand up but he won’t. Why? Is there something he’s afraid of losing? I know men & women tend to have different kinds of relationships but why not be upfront? It sounds like your husband may be doing the same. There’s something he gets out of this relationship. Sometimes it takes them experiencing the Ns rejection & manipulation for themselves before they understand. It took me 13 years to see my situation clearly even though my family & friends knew things weren’t right from the beginning! The N superpowers are hard to combat. Sometimes it helps if just one person gets it. Is there anyone at work who sees him for what he is? If so, focus on building a friendship with a healthy person & try to vent here or to someone besides your husband. Hopefully he will see the truth soon!!! Hugs to you!! I know the stress isn’t easy but know lots of us are dealing with the same things & wish you the best.

    • Are you still around TTC- I have been experiencing a situation similar to yours.. Don’t know if there is a way to reply to me but would find it very helpful to discuss our situations further..

  14. Rox

    This post about the complications inherent in a friendship with a narcissist is spot on. My other friends said, “He’s no good. Walk away,” regarding my best friend of 20 years. But this was only after he started to reveal his true colors a few years ago. Before that, everyone loved him and said how great it was that we had this strong bond, as if we were twins. I came from a family of narcissists, so the idea of having a twin brother who thought and acted like me was incredibly appealing. Who ever thought that the person who supposedly was helping me to come to terms with having left my narcissistic family was himself a narcissist? This incredible deception so floored me that I was too shocked to think about ending the friendship. I stayed because I wanted proof that this wasn’t true. But it was, and the gall of this pretense still has me shaking my head, wondering ‘How could he do that?!?!’ even though I broke with him a year ago.

  15. Grace

    I’m so glad I found this post, it seems to sum up my life with friendships. I have had several Narcissistic friendships throughout my life for the past 41 years. I’m tired of the emotional drain and costs including time and money that my bad choices have left me with. I am thankful that every time this happens I do learn a little more and have gotten better at spotting these types of friendships. I have two narcissists in the family I grew up in so, of course, I am easily drawn to them. The most recent narcissistic friendship ended due to the drawn out lies that I was told about a job. This friend is an ex-coworker who now works for a different company. He is surrounded by women in his job so he is getting his fill of attention. He contacted me about working on part time basis for his company and I applied because I needed the money since I was in the process of trying to buy a house. Two and a half months later his company has still not hired me although they made a job offer and all I keep hearing is that he doesn’t know what is going on and that he’s “looking into it”. He’s the one doing the hiring so that is difficult to believe Finally, I ask him if they still need someone. He does not respond. Then the recruiter contacts me and says they don’t need any extra staff. I attempted to text and call him but get no response.

    I was so mad I couldn’t contact him for 3 weeks. I finally sent him a message describing how disappointed I was that he was not honest with me. Of course, he did not respond. A month later I find out that he invited two of our mutual friends to dinner, but not me. I wrote him an angry text and received the most rude and demeaning text message back I have every gotten in my life. This guy will only communicate with people by text or Facebook. Now he says he will only talk to me about the job in person and that I don’t know the truth about what happened. After stating what he will not do in his text he mentions that he and his wife are happy to have dinner with me after “I” have processed through things. There is NOTHING to process. Not that he’s willing to say anything about whatever his version of the truth is. Two of our mutual friends still think he is just wonderful and he tries to use them to tell me that I am wrong. When I showed them the text he sent they just brushed it off like it was nothing. Everyone thinks he is funny and when he does something stupid like get arrested for not paying speeding tickets, they say “that’s just him”. He has no empathy and will lie to make himself look better. He has been married for over 2 years but was bragging this past year how he had been picked to be on The Bachelor television show 3 weeks before he was married. I never heard anything about it before the wedding and why is he applying if he was in a monogamous relationship for over 2 years prior? He told everyone how he was going to be the “Christian” Bachelor. I called BS on this one and went on the show website. The only way to be a finalist is to go to LA and do a screen test. Now I can look back on so many lies he told that most people would never check up on because he is so charming. I have been tempted to meet with him in person but the question I keep asking is “what will this do for me?” At least I am not his wife, although I pray for her. She is smart and I’m sure swept off her feet by him but by now she must have caught on to his lies I hope.

  16. Christina

    Is there anyone from this thread still around and interested in commenting/reading my post. Having a terrible time with the end of a truly bizzard N friendship. “Trying to Cope” are you still here? Like your situation the N involved was very close friends with myself and my husband, and his children were close friends with mine- would appreciate discussing this further with someone ..

  17. Kitkat

    Christina, don’t know if I can help but I’ll certainly try.

  18. dombeckblog

    Why is that person your friend?

    I quit Facebook about six months ago precisely because the definition of what constitutes a friend had become completely lost on me.

    It was like a curse. Maybe an addiction. I made excuses, found all sorts of reasons why social media was harmless entertainment. I argued (with myself) that networking is a good thing. I keep in touch with my kids…keep abreast of family.

    But the truth is it wasn’t harmless and it was more a pain in my ass than entertainment. My kids don’t use it much anyway. I found out Facebook demographics are changing, it’s becoming “an old person” thing. Facebook, just on principle, fosters narcissistic behavior, not to mention Junior High mentality. I’m guilty of it. It’s the way the facebook users work, for the most part.

    The final straw for me was when my mother, a “Facebook friend,” called me up one evening in a crazy rage over a benign, yet honest paragraph I posted that was about (and I dare say passive aggressively) toward one of my husband’s highschool sweethearts. We are 55 years old. Newlywed. Bwahahaha.

    Enter Scarlett O’Hara:

    She requested my friendship days before our wedding. I accepted, more out of curiosity than anything else. What followed was nothing short of sickening. Nasty and I mean dirty love songs with subliminal messages about bad break ups, I wish I had a picture of you, I’m lost without you etc. Hippy posters (and she’s too damned young to be a hippy) about love, memories of the “good times,” with people and places she had nothing to do with, but by default knew of and was only mere acquaintances to. I went to the same school, knew these people and my husband–since Junior High. I’ve never met her. It just didn’t ad up. I blocked her.

    Yet, she, the old flame from long ago persistently acted and posted more like the mother of his children, or an ex spouse, in regards to her extremely familiar comments not to mention very odd connection to his family and friends (whom were also my friends, and now my family) who were either too young to remember her, or had nothing to do with her “back in the day.”

    Enter Ashley Wilkes:

    I had to ask my husband again how old he was, how long they dated, and if his family had adopted her. 16 & 18, about a year, apparently virginal, remained so until she showed up on his doorstep a couple of years later for a one night stand rebounding or cheating on her boyfriend, and no the family didn’t adopt her. A serious relationship so he thought at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, just a teenage romance. One that didn’t end well I might add. Water under the bridge…so it should be. I found out he had also blocked her months previous to this for the same annoying reasons. I was pleased, and didn’t feel so awful about blocking her myself.

    No one had seen Scarlet in thirty years but she had become thorny topics of dinner conversation at family get togethers. WHAT A MESS. It was just gossip. But, in my estimation, this silly old girl was seating herself wrongfully at the right hand of my husband, rewriting truth and history. And he agreed. We both had blocked her, but she still “came up” at family get togethers. Questions about her incessant personal dramas and problems advertised on Facebook were directed at my husband by his siblings, but he didn’t have a relationship with her on or off Facebook. It was very agitating.
    She’s not a nice person. She isn’t as she appears, and the truth is she was stalking him via his family. It pissed me off. CAT FIGHT?

    I can’t believe I bothered with such trite crap.

    Back to my mother: My Facebook paragraph about dealing with narcissistic/histrionic behavior disordered people put my N mother in such a tailspin that it caught me completely off guard and speechless. Not to mention hurt. My N mom was not my intended audience. I wasn’t publicly tattling on her. But she thought I was. And her anger tripled when I told her it wasn’t. Now mind you my “post” was anonymous. I named no names. It was just a generic lesson I had learned. A lot of people liked it and even commented on it. It was not hurtful to anyone in anyway. Or so I thought.

    So the screaming continued into the next minutes as I’m listening to my mother rage at me about wanting to know exactly who sexually abused me as a child. One thing had nothing to do with the other, but needless to say, it stirred up heinous memories better left forgot. She was challenging me to once again confront her and or my dead father. Yes, there was serious abuse and neglect. And I believe she intended to intimidate me into believing there was no abuse and to keep my damned mouth shut.

    I wasn’t addressing child abuse. At least I didn’t think so. I was advising others to not allow individuals to gaslight or rewrite their personal truth or history. It was universal really. It applied to everyone, victims and survivors of all flavors, abused or hurt by parents, lovers, spouses, friends and old sweethearts that just cannot let go or grow up.

    I can’t explain my mother’s behavior. I don’t want to. Just another Scarlet O’Hara. Other than the fact she was waiting for the moment, after several years of covert narcissism (just the eye of the storm from overt abuse) to finally unleash her rath upon me.

    My conclusion? Facebook is a playground for psychopaths. It has redefined “friend” as an insidious mystery. Complete strangers and toxic “friends” become privy to your most personal life, infiltrating conversation and energy at dinner parties–if you are a regular user. Oh sure, you can stop, block and roll, but to what end? Privacy is a misnomer. If you aren’t promoting a business, or an event, you are advertising yourself. End story.

    I’m back to the “old school” way of doing things, and a lot better off for it. No one, and I mean NO ONE has access to the private details of my life via a big “F” icon, or application on their phone or computer.

    I know longer think or pretend I am helping others on Facebook. I’m not a teacher or an entertainer. I see my Facebook participation was more just part of the problem now and realize I was not only creating drama, I was participating in it. The real me likes peace. The real me is a peace keeper, a neutralizing agent.

    It was hard at first. My husband joined me. ACCOUNTS CLOSED. Life is MUCH better and way more peaceful than I ever imagined. Oh, and I talk to my kids more and we text photos regularly. Nothing lost, much was gained.

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