By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
Many of us have questioned whether or not a friend is a narcissist. Sadly, there are many narcissists in the world, and they will try to abuse your friendship. Rather than being a friend to you, they will put you down, manipulate you, and hurt you. It is not good to remain friends with a narcissist because they will continue to hurt you and abuse your kindness.
If you are wondering if your friend is a narcissist, here are five subtle signs to look out for:
1. They View Themselves As “Better Than You”
One subtle sign your friend is a narcissist is if they view themselves as better than you. This is very common among narcissists. By viewing themselves as better than you, they think they can walk all over you and abuse the kindness you have shown to them by being their friend. This is not how a friend is supposed to treat you. A friend is supposed to be caring, loving, and supportive.
Narcissists view themselves as better than others because of their pride and false view of the outside world. They believe others are inferior to them and that other people (including their “friends”) are not as important as they are. If you have noticed your friend has been viewing themselves as better than you or has directly told you they are better than you, it’s time to step away from the friendship. Remaining friends with a narcissist will only cause more problems for you in the future.
2. They Aren’t There When You Need Them Most
A second subtle sign your friend is a narcissist is if they aren’t there when you need them the most. Narcissists only stay around when something exciting is going on. They will not stick around when you are grieving, hurting, or going through a difficult time. Narcissists don’t stick around because they only think about themselves. They are not going to be thinking about you in your time of need.
If your friend isn’t there when you need them most, you won’t be able to rely on them. If they are only there for the good times, summer vacations, and parties, but not in the difficult times, you won’t be able to form the strong bond known as friendship. Friends who are not narcissists want to be there for you and won’t put you down during your difficult times. They will surround you with prayer, hope, and encouragement.
3. They Make You Feel Bad About Yourself
A third subtle sign your friend is a narcissist is if they make you feel bad about yourself. If you have noticed your friend has been making you feel down about who you are, or where you are in life, it is best to take an honest, real look at your friendship to see what’s going on. Friends shouldn’t make each other feel bad about themselves. Narcissists will make you feel bad about yourself because they will always be putting you down and reminding you of how much “better” they are than you. It's a subtle, cruel ego boost for them.
If you are constantly feeling bad about yourself because of friends, it is probably because they are narcissists. While you should still be kind and friendly, you are under no obligation to remain in the friendship. The Lord doesn’t want you to surround yourself with people who will make you feel bad about yourself. Always putting yourself down can result in a negative self-image, depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder. It is best to step away from any and all friendships that cause you to feel bad about yourself.
Since we are all prone to be our own worst critics, we don’t need someone else to reinforce negative thoughts or views about ourselves. If a “friend” is making you feel bad about yourself or comparing who they are to who you are in a negative light, the best route to take is to step away from the friendship. If you are already struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mental illness, you must surround yourself with friends who encourage and uplift you. When you take the step to make new friends, ask God to guide you to these individuals and help you be a good friend in return.
4. They Never Feel Bad When They Hurt You
A fourth subtle sign your friend is a narcissist is if they never feel bad when they hurt you. If your friend has recently hurt you and has shown zero signs of remorse, it is probably because he or she is a narcissist. Since the individual is a narcissist, he or she is not going to accept the fact that they hurt you. Instead, they might try to place the blame on you and gaslight you. Narcissists don’t have much of a bandwidth for sympathy. Therefore, they most likely won’t feel bad when they hurt you.
You don’t deserve to be in a friendship with a narcissist. Rather, you deserve friends who uplift you, sit by your side in your grief, and stand up for you. You won’t find any of these qualities in a narcissist. Part of the friendship process will involve having to apologize for mistakes and working at fixing those mistakes. A narcissist will never make this effort and will instead try to act like they did nothing wrong.
This can be extremely taxing on your mental health because it can make you feel as though you are going crazy. If you know this “friend” has hurt you and tries to make it out to be that nothing happened, they are gaslighting you. You have the choice to step away and remove yourself from the situation. As long as this friend isn’t a roommate, you should be able to properly distance yourself from this individual. If this individual is a roommate, it would be a good time to look into new places to stay.
5. You Feel Exhausted and Drained After Spending Time with Them
A fifth subtle sign your friend is a narcissist is if you feel exhausted and drained after spending time with them. If you are spending time with someone who makes you feel good about yourself, you will go home feeling great, loved, and recharged. However, if you go home feeling exhausted and drained, you might be dealing with a narcissist. Narcissists drain the energy out of others because they normally make you feel uncomfortable, invalidate your feelings, and can even make you feel crazy at times (gaslighting).
If you have noticed you are feeling exhausted and drained after spending time with a friend, try to see the reason why. Was the person making you feel bad about yourself, putting you down, or insulting you? If so, it would be best to distance yourself from the person. Sadly with narcissists, they might not even notice you distancing yourself and will move on to other friends. Don’t let this get you down because there are always new friends you can make who won’t be narcissists.
Even if you invested a long time in a friendship with a narcissist, know that it is okay to let this person go. You can mourn the friendship, but you also have to remember all the times you were hurt by them. You can experience healing and growth in the future by making new friends. Some great places to meet friends are church, a Bible study, college, or work. There are many great people out there who need a friend just like you.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.