Have you ever been left bemused and wondering; why does the narcissist have so many friends? It seems that the average narcissist is never alone, with friends surrounded. There appears to be a long list of people that the narcissist somehow knows from a variety of places. What’s more, these people are willing to spend time with the narcissist and generally speak positively about them.
Typically, when we first meet the narcissist, they possess many good qualities. There’s interpersonal warmth, which is hard to come by, a sense of self-assurance and charisma. The narcissist may also exude an air of mystery, which depending on your personality type may be very attractive and alluring.
The narcissist may constantly be on their phone, calling or messaging an array of individuals. If you’re trying to develop a relationship or close friendship with this person, it’s a frustrating behaviour to deal with.
The very worst of it, however, is that the narcissist starts to brag about their quantity of friends and supposed popularity. According to them, everyone they know is a “great friend” of theirs, who also happens to be very well connected. As time passes, the narcissist develops a pattern of shaming you, asking why you don’t have more friends, or who your “friendship group” is. At this stage, you’re probably left feeling uncertain, wondering if you too should be amassing friends like you’re back on the school playground. Even the thought feels exhausting.
So, what is really going on? As discussed in other posts, the narcissist’s true self stopped developing typically under the age of 5 years. This means that the narcissist has no true personality or identity. To compensate, the narcissist created a false self, which is everything that the narcissist perceives himself or herself not to be. For example, if the narcissist considers their true self to be weak, they will present as strong through their false self.
The problem is that the false self is not self-sustainable; it needs constant energy from other people to survive. The narcissist’s goal is to surround himself or herself with people who buy into the character of the false self. Narcissists are hyper-vigilant in assessing whether or not others are buying into their fiction; the idea is for others to adore, with positive affirmations at all times. This is commonly known as narcissistic supply, which is vital to the narcissist’s survival and functioning.
When the narcissist has low or inadequate supply, he or she is hounded by feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing and an overwhelming sense that they do not exist. The internal world of those with narcissistic personality disorder is a cold, empty, dark and barren void. In all essences, that world is dead, just like the narcissist’s true self.
With no positive emotional life force of their own, the narcissist seeks this out in others as a form of pain relief. Narcissistic supply is an addiction, and like all addicts, the more of the substance, the greater the temporary relief. Other people are reduced to objects and numbers, merely serving a function for the narcissist. Those with narcissistic personality disorder are unable to connect with others in a healthy way emotionally.
The crux of the matter, however, is that if these so-called friends are not romantically involved with, or live with, the narcissist, chances are they may well carry on believing in the illusion of the false self for many years to come. Many are in awe of the narcissist and their easy popularity, wondering how such a larger-than-life person can exist. The narcissist goes to great effort to keep others at a comfortable arm’s length, meaning that they never get the chance to see behind the curtain. If that chance were given, the illusion would be destroyed, and that person would cease to be in the narcissist’s life.
The definition of a friend is:
‘a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.’
There is nothing mutual about any relationship with a narcissist. The narcissist is incapable of true affection towards anyone. When examined, you realise that you didn’t possess the affection you once thought you had for the narcissist; reason being, you never knew them. The question, which then arises, is; does the narcissist have any friends?
If you enjoyed Why Does the Narcissist Have So Many Friends, check out Is the Narcissist Happy?