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10 Red Flags Your Friend Is a Narcissist, Therapists Say

<p>Aside from family, friends are the people you turn to when you need advice or a partner in crime. They’re the ones who are supposed to care about you and your needs—but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://bestlifeonline.com/friendship-red-flags-news/” target=”_blank”>Unhealthy friendships</a> can be detrimental to your quality of life and self-esteem, and that’s especially true if a close friend turns out to be a narcissist.</p>
<p>”Narcissism occurs on a spectrum, from very little self-focus to extreme self-absorption. True narcissists—those who qualify for the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder—are, by definition, extremely self-absorbed,” <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://drcarlamanly.com/” target=”_blank”>clinical psychologist</a> <strong>Carla Marie Manly</strong>, PhD, author of <a rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer external” href=”https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Fear-Carla-Marie-Manly/dp/1641701218″ target=”_blank”><em>Joy from Fear</em></a>, tells <em>Best Life</em>. “Although a narcissist can act like a friend when it serves their needs, a friendship can easily be tossed aside if someone—or something—else comes along.”</p>
<p>According to Manly, narcissists typically have low <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://bestlifeonline.com/signs-low-emotional-intelligence/” target=”_blank”>emotional intelligence</a>, and they’re also lacking in “important friendship skills,” so you’ll want to keep an eye out for certain behaviors. Read on for 10 red flags your friend is a narcissist.</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://bestlifeonline.com/argument-styles-signs-of-a-narcissist/” target=”_blank”>I’m a Psychologist and These Are the 5 Telling Signs Someone Is a Narcissist</a>.</strong></p>
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<p>We all know someone who loves to hear themself talk—and while not all of these folks are narcissists, regularly monopolizing conversation is a red flag.</p>
<p>”Even if you are disclosing exciting or tragic news, [a narcissist] will always find a way to divert the attention back to themselves,” says <strong>Beth Ribarsky</strong>, PhD, <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://www.uis.edu/directory/beth-ribarsky” target=”_blank”>professor and director</a> of the School of Communication and Media at the University of Illinois Springfield. “Sometimes it is a bit subtle. For example, you might be talking about your dog that recently passed, and they might say, ‘Did I ever tell you about my dog growing up?'”</p>
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<p>Friends should be there to build you up and to offer constructive criticism if and when you ask for it. But a narcissist isn’t going to wait for you to ask for feedback—they’re just going to give it.</p>
<p>”Narcissists, while often highly charismatic, especially when in the public eye, tend to be highly critical, contemptuous, and even demeaning of others—including their closest friends,” Manly says. “The narcissist can be extremely critical and condescending to the point of eroding a friend’s self-esteem.”</p>
<p>A tendency to “put you down” is also on Ribarsky’s list.</p>
<p>”Narcissists want to ensure that you know they are superior, so they will often one-up you (i.e. their experience was so much worse than yours) or blatantly put you down,” she says. “They will disregard your strengths and attempt to highlight their own.”</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://bestlifeonline.com/warning-signs-toxic-friendship/” target=”_blank”>7 Warnings Signs That You Have a Toxic Friendship</a>.</strong></p>
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<p>Another sign your friend may be a narcissist is if you get that nagging feeling that your relationship is one-sided, according to <strong>Courtney Hubscher</strong>, LMHC, LCPC, NCC, of <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://www.groundworkcounseling.com/” target=”_blank”>GroundWork Cognitive Behavioral Therapy</a>.</p>
<p>”Does it seem like your relationship revolves around the narcissist’s life, problems, and agenda? If you feel your role in the friendship is mainly as an audience to your friend’s life drama, it could be a sign of a one-sided, narcissist-centered friendship,” Hubscher says.</p>
<p>Similarly, if you’re always there for your friend but they don’t show up for you, it should send up red flags.</p>
<p>”When you need someone to vent to or help with a project, they’re nowhere to be found,” Ribarsky says. “They may even gaslight you into thinking you’re being needy in the rare times you might need them.”</p>
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<p>A narcissist is probably quick to chime in with their two cents, but if you do the same, it’s not going to be well-received.</p>
<p>”The narcissist, sadly, has a core that is deeply rooted in feelings of shame, insecurity, and inferiority; their inner vulnerability is cloaked by a bullying, often arrogant exterior,” Manly says. “Yet, underneath the superior façade is a sad, lonely individual who is easily slighted by even a mild dose of constructive criticism or feedback.”</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://bestlifeonline.com/why-you-should-never-call-out-a-narcissist/” target=”_blank”>Why You Should Never Call Out a Narcissist—And What to Do Instead, Therapists Say</a>.</strong></p>
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<p>Another thing narcissists struggle with is apologizing and owning up when they’re wrong.</p>
<p>”Admitting they were wrong would only draw attention to their weaknesses. So, they often struggle with remorse. They will either deny wrongdoing or find an excuse outside of themselves,” Ribarsky says. “When you tell them you were hurt when they didn’t text on your birthday, they may put you at fault that you ‘should have reminded them’ or your ‘expectations are unrealistic’ or they were ‘overloaded at work.'”</p>
<p>Manly also points out that these friends will not be able to offer a meaningful apology: Their need to be “right” will often prompt them to point the finger at someone else.</p>
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<p>It’s not unusual to have a temper: We all get emotional and wound up sometimes. But if your friend is constantly having angry outbursts, take note.</p>
<p>”Narcissists may be prone to temper tantrums and anger outbursts when they don’t get their way; they have difficulty regulating their emotions, particularly in close relationships,” Manly says.</p>
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<p>It’s also important to clock signs of manipulation, which Hubscher says is “at the core of narcissistic relationships.”</p>
<p>”Narcissists often use guilt, favors, or charm to control their friends,” she says. “If you notice that your friend is often twisting the conversation or situations to their advantage and leaving you confused about reality, take it as a significant red flag.”</p>
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<p>Ribarsky, Hubscher, and Manly all point to a need for attention and validation as a dead giveaway sign of a narcissist.</p>
<p>”The true narcissist loves being ‘on stage’ whether as the drama queen, champion, or know-it-all,” Manly explains. “This need for attention and affirmation can make it draining to be around the narcissist. Narcissists tend not to truly care about others; they consistently turn the focus back on themselves.”</p>
<p>Ribarsky notes that a narcissist will also fish for compliments as a way to reassure themselves. These friends want you to “know how amazing they are and how lucky you are to be friends with them,” she says.</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: <a rel=”noopener noreferrer external nofollow” href=”https://bestlifeonline.com/psychologist-reveals-narcissist-red-flags/” target=”_blank”>5 Biggest Red Flags Someone’s a Narcissist, According to a Top Psychologist</a>.</strong></p>
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<p>Not every friend is going to be empathetic or able to understand every experience you have. But a narcissist isn’t even going to try.</p>
<p>”Not surprisingly, narcissists tend to have difficulty in their relationships due to a lack of concern or interest in another person’s needs, thoughts, or feelings,” Manly says. “One of the most appalling traits of a narcissist is their willingness to do whatever ‘must be done’ to get their personal needs or agenda met. The narcissist will lie or manipulate to get whatever they want without regard for how this behavior affects others.”</p>
<p>According to Hubscher, a narcissist may also get irritated or dismiss you entirely when you need support.</p>
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<p>Hubscher defines narcissism as “a personality trait that involves arrogance, a grandiose sense of self-importance, and a need for excessive admiration,” which differs from confidence.</p>
<p>According to Manly, narcissists want others to focus on their “achievements, talents, and perceived superiority”—and they’re not interested in sharing the spotlight.</p>
<p>”The narcissist loves to be appreciated and praised, but when it comes to complimenting others, the narcissist is often silent,” she says.</p>
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<p>If you notice these signs in one of your friends, experts stress the importance of assessing your relationship.</p>
<p>”When you’re feeling more drained than energized by your friendship, it is likely time to call it quits,” Ribarsky shares. “Of course, relationships ebb and flow, but a narcissist will continually take and take until they don’t think you have anything left to offer.”</p>
<p>When cutting ties, Ribarsky recommends keeping an eye out for gaslighting, which a narcissist might use to “manipulate you back into the relationship.” And while it’s not always recommended, this is one of the situations where you can “ghost.”</p>
<p>”Some will claim this is immature, but when it comes to saving yourself, making yourself a priority, and avoiding being sucked back into the toxicity of a narcissist—completely severing ties without communication might be best,” she suggests. “Block their number, unfollow on social media, etc.”</p>
<p>On the flip side, if you want to maintain the friendship, understand what that truly entails.</p>
<p>”Your mental health will fare better when you observe—and not respond to—the narcissist’s self-absorbed tactics,” Manly notes. “As narcissists lack empathy and compassion, it’s important to manage your expectations; you’ll likely never have a reciprocal, emotionally connected relationship with a narcissist.”</p>
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