A little unhealthy narcissism goes SUCH a long way. Here’s a few ways narcissism can roll right over a so-called friendship. Make yourself aware, so you don’t get crushed.
- Pretending what happened didn’t, even though they caused it and it did happen and you were hurt by it. Then refuse to own any part of the exchange. “You always do this—turn something simple into a complex mess.”
- Telling you to lighten up and not be hurt. “Other people have it worse than you. Your life is easy. Be grateful!”
- Making a point of saying, after they did something hurtful—while looking you in the eye—that their own “growth” HAS TO BE about learning they need to stop apologizing all the time. “I’ve spent too long apologizing to people who have no interest in understanding ME.”
- Telling you that you need to be responsible for your own feelings and that they are done taking care of you when in fact you’ve been the one walking on eggshells. “Grow up already—I hate having to watch my words around you.” (Recognize the co-dependent quality of this dynamic…what do you get out of coddling a person so intent on hurting you?)
- When you are having a tough time expressing yourself, look at you almost contemptuously and say: “I’m sorry—you make absolutely no sense” or “Speak up already.”
It might be true that you can have these conversations with people who are not narcissistic, or who tip the scale less in that direction. If so, good. Either way, pay attention to your inner voice. Try not to react. Is the exchange with this person dragging your spirit down? If so, that could be a sign to ask yourself what you’re getting from this relationship, and if it’s really what you want.