Narcissists can be so difficult to understand. That’s why there are many questions asked about them. Some people wonder if narcissists have any friends, the type of relationship they have with them, or if they can make and keep new friends like normal people do.
Most narcissists do have friends but the way they select them is very different from how normal people do. A non-narcissist would choose a friend who makes them feel less lonely, someone with whom they have same interests or someone they just get along with. But for narcissists, under the force of getting rid of inferiority feeling and projecting superiority, the way they select their friends and the kind of relationship they make is very different from how other people do.
Narcissists and Friendships
The desire to feel superior to others plays a big role when it comes to narcissists and making friends. Some narcissists choose friends who they consider inferior just to be highly noticeable among them. Others prefer to join smarter, successful and attractive ones to get a little share on their reputation.
But narcissists are not that simple to understand. A sick one can befriend someone of higher reputations that they are envious of just to destroy them overtime through gossips and back-stabs. This is common among female narcissists. (See also: do narcissists get worse with age)
Narcissists’ Friendships and Intimacy
Narcissists fear emotional closeness not only in romantic relationships but also in friendships. For people to form an intimate friendship, they have to let their guard down, know about each other’s problems, weakness, strengths and the real inner self. This cannot happen where there is an air of distrust.
Narcissists have an attitude of “nobody should know about my weaknesses because they would use them against me.” This prevents them from ever getting closer to anyone. They may have many friends and fans but their relationships are usually superficial.
You may be wondering, what is the problem with having superficial friendships. After all you would eliminate the chances of your weaknesses ever being used against you. Well, humans were created in a way that we should be emotionally closer to each other. Our brain uses emotions of loneliness whenever we are being emotionally apart from others. Loneliness can also cause depression, anxiety and other mental health issues if not dealt with.
Ending loneliness is not about forming several superficial relationships. It’s about the quality of intimacy. A person who has 50 superficial friends may feel lonelier than an introvert who has only 2 intimate friends. Our brains are smarter. A narcissist may enjoy the highs of getting a narcissistic supply from their fans, but sooner or later their mind will send them negative emotions when it realizes that there is still a big gap in their intimacy. That’s why some narcissists are bipolar like.
Friendship with a Narcissist is not Stable
A narcissist’s friend can turn into an enemy within seconds. If a friend did a big mistake, a narcissist devalues and discards them without negotiations. A mistake is interpreted as big or small depending on how it hurt the narcissist’s ego. (See: why are some narcissists so mean)
Their desire for always being glorified and dominate others can drive some people away. They usually get along with less confident people, co-dependent, and those who are always willing to be ruled. A disagreeable person can hardly get along with a narcissist. (See: why some narcissists are so jealous)