Updated: Jul 5, 2021
I have a confession to make: Learning to set clear boundaries with people in my life has always been a challenge. I often ask myself the question, "how did I get here?" "What makes me so vulnerable and submissive to others that allows me to put their needs over mine?"
After reviewing a few videos (I included one below), I learned my behavior is a result of lessons taught to me in my early childhood: Not being seen as a 3 dimensional person, having to be the "obedient" child. Being taught that I was "lesser" than others and lastly being subjected to mental & physical abuse.
Now don't get me wrong, I understand our parents and family members do the best with what they have. However, I suffered tremendously with depression, experienced a nervous breakdown and made a string of bad decisions based on my confidence level which was about a 4 out of 10. Unhealthy friendships & relationships causes so much stress and anxiety, but just know there is hope to change things in your favor, but you MUST do the work.
TURNING INTO A PEOPLE PLEASER
I turned into a people pleaser/co-dependent as a result of my thought process making me a magnet for the narcissist (mainly women-I'll get back to this). I learned since childhood that it was better to go along in order to get along (or so I thought), even if it meant compromising my own happiness. As a result of not setting clear boundaries, I became of victim of my own circumstances.
As a child, there was no escape from mental abuse. I got my first dose of narcissistic behavior from my own family. As I was being taught to be a co-dependent, some of my relatives were taught to be entitled. I thought it was just bullying, only to learn later they had the traits of a narcissist, but I learned how to manage my own mental health in order to maintain healthy boundaries.
DEALING WITH FEMALE NARCISSISTS (Friendship)
Female narcissists seem like a breath of fresh air because they start off very pleasant, are great listeners (at first), very supportive and are treat you like a super star. Women can be quite charming and with their Oscar winning performance, the female narcissist will have you believing you are lucky to have them in your life.
A female narcissist can be a new person you recently met or even a person from your past. You may run into a friend you haven't seen in years or it can be an acquaintance you knew and are now learning to know each other better. It's always great to bond with friends, but do so with precaution.
As women, we tend to have a different type of bond. The female Narcissist doesn't know how to have this "bond" but is very good a pretending. She will go above and beyond to gain your trust. She will shower you with compliments, be a good listener, love to gift you with trinkets (they are also very cheap) and make it seem as if she is the only person you need as a friend.
But then, as the relationship carries on and you begin to realize something is off. Now, keep in mind, co-dependent's don't set boundaries which makes us vulnerable and the narcissist loves that, but getting back to my point...something is off. She's now requiring more of your time; is more demanding of you; becomes very emotional (yes, they resort to crying and throwing tantrums) and then finally becomes possessive.
Your narcissistic "friend" has finally unveiled her true self to you. She no longer needs to prove anything else. All those great "conversations" you had was only to collect data in order to have control over you. Now you want out, but how? Co-dependents are not as bold and confrontational as narcissists. We want to have the relationship with the person (or should I say representative) we met.
It's a very lock and key relationship with the female narcissist. We are the co-dependent "Lock" and the female narcissist is the "Key". It feels like a honeymoon being friends with the narcissist. You think, finally I found a friend who thinks like me, supports me, cares about me, only to learn she's been collecting data the entire time to lock you in.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NARCISSTIC MALE AND FEMALE
Narcissistic men are more predictable, they can't hide their horns for very long and are not as patient as women, so as soon as you see the signs, it can be easier to remove them from your life. This is my experience and I have read many articles where women had a hard time getting rid of of their male narcissist.
I only had one narcissistic man in my life and yes I agree it was hard to get rid of him. What's crazy is that we knew each other from High School and he never showed any signs of being a narcissist. It wasn't until we started dating that the signs began to show. I got pregnant and that's when the relationship got progressively worse.
I dealt with his behavior for 14 years (the age of our daughter) and trust when I tell you, he was my last male narcissist. I tried being friends with him, but you can't be friends with a narcissist because the goal is to take from you; he want to own you. He is the Master, you are the Slave. The relationship feels like giving up your soul when dealing with the male narcissist, but he was definitely my last. I'm more of a woman who is about female empowerment which is why I've always attracted more narcissistic women than men.
Now, I don't shift all the blame on my Ex-boyfriend. Think about about what I said earlier about my childhood: If I loved myself and had confidence, I would have detected the signs and been in a position to move on with my life, but dealing with low self esteem and lack of confidence made for bad decision making.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THE TRAITS OF A NARCISSIST
Before I get into recognizing the traits, it's important to understand that we must do the work on self love. Take the time to read, watch videos, tap into your spirituality (whatever you believe) in order to gain confidence in yourself. Even if you recognize the traits, it won't spare you from being trapped by a Narcissist if the internal work is not done. Please note these are my experiences of dealing with Narcissists over the years.
When meeting new people or even rekindling friendships, listen more and talk less. Keep in mind, you are meeting their "representative". Your job is to find out what this person wants from you and what is their intention for the friendship.
Narcissists' start off very friendly and easy to confide in. They will reveal intimate details about themselves to gain your trust. Don't reciprocate! This is where the data collection comes in to use against you.
Narcissists' love to brag, brag, brag about their past and present accomplishments. Yes, they co-sign themselves and love to repeat the same stories over and over about how great and accomplished they are. They consider themselves the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time).
Narcissists' are drama Queens! Because they love to be in control, they are often embroiled in some type of disagreement or argument with someone. They like to fight to the finish!
Narcissists' are jealous of your friends and relationships with other people. Remember they are not capable of forming organic relationships which is why they chose you as a friend. They want your friendships without putting in the time or effort.
They are very hypocritical. Example: They hate when people are late, but are always late. They talk about you saving money, but always asking you to spend money and so forth.
Continuing from #5, Narcissists' have no boundaries, but are very good at setting them. This is their way of having control over you and any situation.
Narcissists' are master manipulators. When they want you to do something, they will make you believe it's your idea to do it because "your so great" at (whatever talent you have) making you an offer you can't refuse.
Narcissists' are very needy and dependent people. Although they come off as independent, they are not ones to get their hands dirty and depend on other people to do the work for them.
Once they get comfortable with the friendship, they may ghost you out nowhere, only to come back and say they were just "busy", however you can't ghost "them", they're always in control. Lastly, don't expect the Narcissist to have any empathy or sympathy. Remember they pretend to have these false traits in the beginning, but in the end, they care about one person: themselves.
HOW TO GET RID OF THE NARCISSIST
Leaving a Narcissist friendship takes time, it took me 2 years to get out of my last friendship. The good thing about a Narcissist is that they end up leaving an open window for you to get out of, meaning that they take their eyes off of you for a while because they're more likely victimizing someone else.
This is your time to escape them! Once you do, trust they will try to contact you but you MUST be firm and stick to your morals and boundaries. Hopefully, you've been doing the work to build your confidence and get a better understanding why you're attracting this personality type in your life.
Start by taking less of their calls and become super busy. They've done the data on you and know pretty much what you're in to so you'll have to come up with a project or something than just came up. But be super nice because they get triggered.
When you do speak to them, "Grey wall" them, meaning act as if you are uninterested in their conversation. Don't divulge anything going on with you. You're trying to get out, not rekindle the abuse.
If you run in the same circle of friends, don't say anything negative about the Narcissist; people are very attracted to this type of personality and are very loyal to them. They have what's called their "Flying monkeys" (Their loyal tribe). Just say you've been busy.
This may be hard, but you have to start blocking them and their flying monkey's on social media. You may have to create new accounts to remove yourself from them totally.
If you happen to run into your Narcissistic friend on the street and they want to talk about what happened to the "friendship", just simply explain, it's not you, it's me, I just needed the time to do some work on myself and thank them for the good times you had and wish them the best. Don't work up to say what they did, you can't win a debate with a Narcissist.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Is there anyone you know dealing with a Narcissist friend? Please share this article. We are all in this together! Please check out my website for alternative solutions to deal with stress, anxiety, discomfort and sleep. Free Consultation is available.