Do you think you might have a narcissist friend? Are you concerned about certain characteristics you see within your possible narcissist friend?

The weird feeling you can’t shake when you think you have a narcissist friend is more than likely not wrong… Many of us have been taught to give people the benefit of the doubt, as though saying, “I expect everyone to have the character and integrity that I have.” We’ve learned to trust others automatically. My advice is to wait! Don’t move quite so fast.

Dr. Phil McGraw published his book Life Code after he trusted too quickly and was emotionally burned. His approach has since changed. McGraw writes, “I approach people from a neutral standpoint, then gathering data from the first impression on, then finally form an opinion when I have enough information.”

I believe McGraw’s perspective can save empaths like us from future hurt, especially when it comes to choosing friends. We need to be cautious about who we bring into our inner circle, primarily since empaths draw narcissists like moths to a flame. 

Below are 5 characteristics to quietly watch for as we gather information on someone in your life who could be a narcissist friend:

1. A narcissist friend has unreasonable expectations.

Narcissists make inadequate friends because they expect you to do everything for them. You are expected to meet their emotional needs, admiring them when and how they need your adoration. Be careful, because this is a one-way street.  You will give to the narcissist over and over, but when you need emotional support, the narcissist won’t be there.  That person will be too busy with his or her own drama.

This can refer to physical support as well.  I have a narcissistic friend whose son is best buddies with mine.  I learned quickly that I would do all the driving, feeding and caring for the boys when they want to see each other.  Her job as a wedding coordinator is just too busy to take care of menial tasks like caring for her children.

2. A narcissist friend doesn’t take responsibility.

If something goes wrong between the narcissist and you, the narcissist won’t take the blame.  It will be your fault.

3. A narcissist friend projects their issues onto you.

The narcissistic friend will be needy and demanding yet tell you that you are ungrateful and unforgiving.  Don’t you know how busy and terrible their life is?

I recently had a narcissistic friend tell me that she just had to travel to the beach for a few days because her life was so stressful. (This mom doesn’t work and has lost custody of the children). Meanwhile, the three kids are home from college or on summer break from high school, left wondering where mom went for the few days they are all in town. Thankfully, the father is a very involved dad and picked up the slack, much like he does every day. Meanwhile, the narcissist told her ex-husband that he has no idea how much she goes through daily.

4. A Narcissist friend can love bomb friends, too.

Narcissists can shower you with attention and praise, but beware.  This usually happens when they want something from you.

For example, my narcissistic ex, Shane, has a close friend that he gave accolades to when he lost his job.  Why? Shane needed to use his car since his former employer repossessed his car. However, when the tables were turned, and this friend lost his job, my ex charged his friend for our old washing machine instead of just giving it to him.

5. A narcissist friend can be very jealous and keep score.

If the narcissist happens to do something nice for you, you will have to repay them tenfold. The narcissist will remember everything that he or she did for you, even if it is only in that person’s imagination. 

I remember Shane telling another wealthy friend, James, that James could buy him a beer or three one night because James “made more money than I’ll ever make in my life.” Shane would regularly take advantage of James’ generosity about using his lake house, jet skis or other toys that Shane couldn’t afford to buy.

The bottom line is that you need to understand what you are getting into when you accept a narcissist as a friend.

I keep narcissists at arm’s length and have zero expectations. If you decide to end the friendship, that will be its own challenge before the narcissist finds another victim.  Then, however, you will have peace.

Laura Charanza

Understanding the narcissist is key in determining if you are dealing with one, and how to deal with one. Consider downloading Dr. Carter’s free ebook that goes into the 50 terms you should know


narcissist friend