Part 3 of 5 – NPD series
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) reflect honourable character traits in you, myself and others. This makes it hard to tell if someone is a narcissist.
Narcissists are very private, at their whim. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against privacy. Many of my friends like to lead much more private lives than me. But what was considered private to this person changed depending on his mood and agenda.
The narcissist I knew said nothing plainly. I had to read between the lines all the time. Afterwards, he’d tell me I was too literal and needed a dictionary definition for everything. I felt stupid.
He laughed often at my expense. He poked the kind of fun that broached boundaries I had set in our friendship. I told him when he hurt me, but he didn’t respond.
I brazenly told him when to back off, but he’d come back to a sensitive topic another time, another way. He was always pushing me.
I wasn’t to make him feel like the bad guy, even though he knew that’s what he was. It was too intense, too burdensome for him, to bear the responsibility of his actions. He wanted an easy friendship that required no effort on his part. I had to be fun fun fun!
My narcissist friend came across as very honest. He said things like, ‘you can be bare with me’ and ‘I’m one of the good guys’, inviting me to trust him. He implied he cared but his later, punishing treatment proved otherwise.
My friend would not grant me forgiveness. He did once, in the beginning. He even said sorry… once. Only once.
Sometimes I offended him (and sometimes admittedly I was in the wrong) but often, he would be offended for no known reason. Later he revealed his unforgiving nature.
I had to play by his rules or I was out. I was told not to take offence to anything he said because, ‘he never intends to hurt anyone’. If I responded in a way he disliked – if I defended myself and stood ground – I was blamed for misunderstanding him. (Funny, because I’ve always been quick to listen and slow to judge.)
Call me Sally
I was called a multitude of things I had never been called in my long history of healthy friendships. I was tip-toe-ing on eggshells to keep him happy and prevent the abuse.
He claimed he liked to help people but he only helped if it served his purposes as well. One of his solutions to one of my ‘problems’ was very inappropriate. And he kept pushing it, because it was what he wanted.
I was made to feel like the odd one out of an entire world of normal people who put these normal solutions in place. It was creepy.
Ostracise me, pleeease!
Towards the end, I don’t even think my friend liked me, yet he hung around. I was still a good supply source for his narcissism. He didn’t want to get rid of me. He would do so in his own time, on his own terms.
I was repeatedly ignored for varying lengths of time as a form of punishment for something I’d apparently said in the ‘wrong way’. No amount of contact from my side would move him to acknowledge my pain. I felt he didn’t care that I was suffering. And so, this is basically how our friendship ended. Mr NPD got shelved.