How to Deal with a Narcissistic Friend (10 Effective Ways)

Are you interested in how to deal with a narcissistic friend? Then this guide is for you!

Do you have a narcissistic friend? Maybe you already figured that out, or you may still be trying to figure it out. Behavior and time will tell.

What do you do if you have a friend who is a narcissist? You can either choose to deal with your friend or part ways.

People often walk away from narcissistic friends if the relationship becomes too toxic, and that’s ok.

Today, we’ll look at ways you can deal with narcissistic friends and protect yourself from the tornadoes of emotional abuse they spout.

1. Know your own reality

If you know a narcissist, you know they’re good at gaslighting. They can weave elaborate and believable false realities.

They’ll make you question the real reality with their intricate deception. You can shut this down by making a conscious effort to identify what’s real.

Write off the negativity when you question your abilities, character, or what you know because of what the narcissist says.

Think about why that person is trying to gaslight you.

You’ll find that narcissists have an agenda to control your thoughts to make you see them as a persona they want you to see.

Their lies are also self-serving when they need money or anything else they’re trying to get from you.

2. Have a network of supportive people

Make friends who aren’t close to the narcissist. If you have a wider circle of friends, the previous tip is easier to master.

Spend time with friends who value you for who you are. They should tell you that and be people who build you up.

Narcissists are attention hogs, and they’ll try to push you away from your other friends, family members or coworkers. When anyone tries to do this to you, shut it down immediately.

If you get sucked into the whirlpool of narcissistic abuse and lose your other friends, you’ll risk losing a healthy view of reality.

It’s also harder to break away from narcissistic abuse without strong and supportive friends or family.

3. Give yourself the credit you deserve

Write out a list of your positive qualities. Ask some people who know you and aren’t narcissists what they like about you. Focus on those things.

You’ll notice when you’re with that narcissistic friend, the person will try to tear you down when others build you up.

Narcissists always need to be superior, which is one tactic to create that illusion.

Be aware of when the narcissist does this.

Remember that the narcissist’s dismissive comments, backhanded compliments, and twisted opinions are worth exactly what you pay for them – nothing.

4. Look past the fake charm

We’re all drawn to people who’re charismatic and charming. Every narcissist is like this at first. Every single one.

As time passes, the charm starts to turn into more negative behaviors. There are temper displays, sullenness, manipulation, clinginess, rage, and a wild rollercoaster of other emotions.

The point is that it’s easy to be drawn to charm and feel intoxicated by it. Stop yourself when you feel that way.

Look for the “why” factor, which is why the narcissist acts that way.

There are some genuinely charming people, but narcissists are over-the-top charming. There’s a good reason when someone goes to great lengths to put on such an appearance.

Think of it like air freshener spray. Its pleasant aroma covers up a serious stink, but not for long!

5. Limit what you share

Be careful what you tell your narcissistic friend, and be careful who in your life you expose that person to.

Remember that narcissists will be happy to gossip about you, make up lies and try to manipulate people close to you. They need their supply of affirmations, and they’ll get those from anyone they can.

They’ll happily share your secrets if it makes them appear more interesting or makes you look worse.

They’ll try to weasel their way into your family life and may even try to manipulate your kids, siblings, or parents.

Don’t ever tell a narcissist anything you wouldn’t want the whole world to know. Even though narcissists can make you feel drawn to pour out your heart before them, resist that temptation.

Narcissists aren’t above trying to sabotage you in your personal or work life, so always keep that in mind. It’s disheartening, but that’s the unfortunate reality of dealing with them.

6. Watch out for the narcissist’s enablers

Since narcissistic supply often involves multiple people, you’ll notice that the narcissist wants you to be chummy with other “suppliers.”

There’s nothing wrong with being cordial and friendly to those people. Just be aware that they’re pushed on you because they’re enablers.

You can see this when you analyze how they view, talk about or treat the narcissist. They’re like a personal cheer squad.

If you call out the narcissist or do something the individual disapproves of, you’ll probably hear the disapproval or reproaches of those enablers.

Just be careful to ensure the narcissist doesn’t push you away from your real friends.

7. Learn the narcissist’s reaction patterns

How does the individual react to stress? To criticism? How about to dissenting ideas?

Here’s the big test: What does the narcissist do when you say no? Narcissists tend to prey on people who have difficulty refusing to do what they ask.

Studying these reaction patterns can help you decide how to approach or avoid some situations. If the narcissist reacts badly enough to nearly everything, it may be time to walk away.

8. Set strict boundaries and consequences

Once you know a narcissistic friend’s behavior and reaction patterns, it’s easier to draw your line in the sand.

The boundaries should be specific to your situation.

For example, maybe your friend likes to call you when you enjoy your weekly family night. You notice your friend calls you with petty issues continually.

It doesn’t matter that you have kids, and they’re your world. To the narcissist, the most important person to everyone should always be – you guessed it – the narcissist.

Tell the narcissist you don’t answer calls on family night or during other times that are important. You need time for yourself, and you deserve that time. Don’t let anyone rob you of what’s important to you.

Now, for the consequences. You’ll need to stick to them.

For example, if the narcissist shows up at family night and tries to barge in on your time with your kids, tell the person you won’t answer the door next time.

You can make other consequences that remove you from supplying the narcissist with attention. The narcissist may discard you for that at some point, but hey, you tried!

9. Don’t let the narcissist abuse you

You don’t have to drop the narcissist after the first time you’re mistreated. Some people give a person another chance or a few chances.

Narcissists try to violate your boundaries. Expect it, but only you can decide how much is too much.

Perhaps you’ll allow the narcissist to violate each set boundary once or twice and will then enact your consequences.

When it becomes a pattern, or if the narcissist disregards what you say, walk away.

There’s no shame in ending a friendship with someone who insists on abusing you with gaslighting, put-downs or other tactics. That’s unacceptable, and you don’t deserve it.

If there’s violence against you or someone else, end the friendship there. That’s never ok.

10. Don’t get involved in drama

Every narcissist comes with more drama than a telenovela. Your narcissistic friend will try to involve you in that drama.

Involving others helps narcissists feel more important and powerful.

If you get sucked into the drama, it can lead to financial ruin, legal trouble and all other kinds of nightmares. Stick to your boundaries, keep your friend at a distance and only help when necessary.

For example, if your friend needs a ride to the hospital for surgery, go for it. That’s a real need.

If your narcissistic friend “needs” you to ride along somewhere and acts mysterious about the reason, stay home. The trip may be to stalk a romantic partner at work or do something else that’s an epic waste of your time.

The key is to distinguish needs and wants.

To minimize frustration, remind yourself often that your friend needs psychological help. If a narcissistic friend is interested in seeking help, encourage those efforts.

Always use your best judgment in dealing with narcissistic friends, and remember it’s always ok to walk away from abuse.

Can a gifted therapist help you too?

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, high-stress levels, relationship issues, or other specific challenges, one-on-one support from a therapist can help a lot.

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