(HealthyAccess)- Best friends are the icing on the cake of life. They give us that one person we trust completely, who knows everything about us and loves us anyway. They’re the people we call when we’re in trouble, but they’re also the people we most want around us for a great time.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Sometimes, a relationship with a best friend might cause tension that shouldn’t be there. Maybe they create drama once in a while. It just might start with a sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we think about their antics. It could be a sense of growing unease that the friendship isn’t entirely reciprocated.
When friendships don’t have that equal sense of give and take, we may question if the person we call our BFF is actually someone we should continue to trust. And in extreme cases, we might suspect that our best friend might actually be a narcissist.
If we suspect our BFF could be a narcissist, how can we know for sure?
They need all the attention.
It’s not just all the selfies primarily starring them while we’re clearly cast as the trusty sidekick. It’s not even the fact that they’ll post pictures where they look great, and we look like we’re what’s been dragged in on someone’s shoe. It’s the fact that they need all the attention all the time.
Not only do they have to be the center of attention, but they manage to make every conversation exclusively about them. They don’t just ask for attention; they demand it, and we’re expected to give it to them at their convenience. While they may not always answer our texts, we know we need to answer theirs in a hurry or else!
They are draining to be around.
As much as we love them, we start feeling seriously drained after interacting with them. It’s not just the requirement of attention. Everything in their life is major drama, and they are always either the victim or the hero of the stories they’re telling. Even if we’d like to give them a gentle reality check, they won’t hear us anyway.
They aren’t nice to our other friends.
Because narcissists demand our attention, they aren’t exactly relaxed about us devoting time to other friends. The narcissistic BFF is most likely to gossip about mutual friends, trash our other friends, and generally make themselves out to be heads above everyone else while simultaneously making us feel bad about our other friendships.
They don’t express empathy for others.
One major issue with a narcissistic personality type is that they see everything in black and white–from their own perspective. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for empathy. If our BFF is happy to complain about the waitstaff but ignores that the restaurant is both crowded and understaffed, they aren’t demonstrating much empathy.
But it goes beyond complaining about a server. In every story they tell, they don’t ever seem to put themselves in anyone else’s shoes. In fact, they dismiss everyone else’s experiences in favor of their own. It may even feel like they don’t extend much empathy our way, but they expect us to always and forever side with their experiences.
It’s not fun to think that our BFF might have narcissistic personality traits. While they may not meet the clinical requirements for a diagnosis, those traits could make spending time with them a less desirable option.
Because narcissists aren’t strong on empathy, it may be difficult to find the right way to address how we feel and talk about it. However, if we want healthy relationships, we may have to try. By setting better boundaries and finding a stronger balance in the friendship, we might be able to keep our BFF and not feel so drained doing it.
If that doesn’t work, it may be time to ask ourselves if the person who leaves us feeling flat-out exhausted should really be our BFF.
~Here’s to a Happier, Healthier Life!
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