If you look closely at the chaotic life of a narcissist, one question you will be asking yourself is “why don’t narcissists have genuine friendships that stand the test of time? “You will notice that their friendships tend to be shallow and only transient, and they tend to cycle between friends. Just like any type of relationship with a narcissist or someone with a personality disorder, it’s always an on-and-off type of relationship.
It’s not like they can’t make friends. It’s quite the opposite: a narcissist can be so charming, and they read people so easily and know how to flatter them in the starting phase of their relationship. They can use love-bombing tactics in friendships, too. So it’s not a matter of starting friendships but maintaining deep ones is the real problem for them. Narcissists can’t truly move beyond the acquaintance phase.
Here I will present some answers to the question at hand:
Research shows narcissists get less popular over time:
Narcissists are more popular at the starting phase of friendship, they are charismatic, attractive, they dress to impress, and they are charming and witty. They tend to love-bomb at first: shower you with gifts and attention and rush through the relationship. They try too hard to make a great first impression. And they succeed: they are shown as assertive, exciting and fun to be around. And that’s all they are good at: manipulations and masks. But then the next phase of a friendship comes after acquaintance, and the mask slips. They are now seen as aggressive and arrogant. They begin to show their true color. They can’t be in any meaningful, deep relationship like normal people can.They can’t take the friendship to the next level.
Like psychopaths, narcissists have very limited empathy and a shallow connection to other people. They can’t put themselves in other people’s shoes so they make terrible friends. They can’t feel it when they are hurt. They are not there when a friend expects them to be. They might even get angry if you make demands. And their emotions for their friends are limited. They have a fear of real intimacy.
Narcissist treat people like objects and objects can be disposed and replaced with better ones. That’s how they always view people in any type of relationship. When the narcissist begins to see a friend as less than perfect, they begin to think about discarding them for a better version. Someone who is as awesome as they are. Someone that will help them reach their goals. It’s all about them and their narcissistic supply. In a lot of times, a narcissist comes back hoovering over an old friendship. It’s is said a narcissist keeps recycling the same people over and over again.
Friendship is too much work for them:
A true friendship needs give and take and narcissists are always takers not givers. They will always ask for big favors from their friends. To be a good friend, you have to be there for them all the time. You have to go the extra mile to be there for them. You have to give them daily attention. Narcissists don’t like it when someone else is receiving the attention. So when you demand too much, you are discarded and replaced. A friend also needs show his authentic self, while narcissists like to keep a façade.
Narcissists are novelty-seekers which means they are always looking for the next new thing or they get bored. At one point or another, you will be a boring friend. They will be looking at another one. They are attracted to the acquaintance phase where they shine. Where everything is new.
They get exposed:
Time is the best test to a narcissist’s mask. A narcissist will not be able to keep the mask for too long before they get exposed by their friends as needy and very selfish. As a taker not a giver.
Too focused on self:
A lot of narcissists are one track minded they focus too much on their own life; there is no room for true friends. They may be busy at work climbing the ladder; they may friends only as coworkers or people that can help them reach their grandiose goals.
They already have their supply:
why would a narcissist need friends when they get the attention they want from another source? Their narcissistic supply. Be it a girlfriend, a family member, a coworker. When their supply is secure, they are happy and content.
Malignant narcissists are paranoid:
An extreme form of narcissism is called malignant narcissism which is narc traits with paranoid and antisocial traits. Being paranoid about their position of power, they can’t open up and confide in other people as friends. They are always keeping their guard up.